In a bold move to back the research projects of the future, the Bupa Foundation is making financial support available for pilot and exploratory studies to encourage researchers to get their projects off the ground.
For the first time, grants of up to £20,000 will be obtainable as part of the Philip Poole-Wilson Seed Corn Fund, set up following the death of the former governor of the independent medical research charity.
The new fund will set out to nurture research in the fields of surgery, preventive medicine and epidemiology, health information and communication between patients and health professionals, health at work and mental health of older people.
High priority will be given to applicants who have not been previously funded and where grants will be used to support pilot work, or even to bring together a project team to develop a research proposal.
Dr Andrew Vallance-Owen of the Bupa Foundation says, "For a new researcher getting any kind of funding can be a massive challenge. Getting these pilot studies off the ground is essential for the medical research breakthroughs of the future, which is why we have created the Seed Corn Fund to support fledgling research projects."