How do we choose which research we fund?
The process takes around five months and involves a lot of people with a lot of expertise and research experience. This way we can be sure that the money you donate is spent wisely, funding research that is high quality, and will have real impact for people living with chest, heart, and stroke conditions.
To do this, we run a research grants programme once a year.
Local researchers apply, describing the research question they want to investigate, how they propose to do the research, and how they will spend the money if they are successful in their application.
We only fund the best research. By that, we mean the research that will likely have the greatest impact for people living with these conditions, and research that is in line with our values. Read more about successful applicants.
The application process usually takes place over the summer. Once the application window is closed, the applications go through several stages of review to identify the strongest candidates. Successful applications will receive funding from us early the following year.
The evaluation process takes several steps:
- Initial evaluation by NICHS team. Applications undergo an admin check to ensure that they have been completed within the guidelines
- External Peer Review. Each application is judged by researchers working in the same field. Each is reviewed by three different researchers, one who is independent. The peer review covers a number of areas, including: Is the research well designed? Will it answer the question? Do the researchers have sufficient experience and resources to carry out the study? Scores are awarded on each area.
- NICHS Senior Leadership Review. After peer review, our Senior Leadership Team meets to consider the applications on the basis of whether they fit our aims and objectives, and importantly whether the research will make a difference to people living with chest, heart, and stroke conditions.
- Scientific Research Committee (SRC) meeting and final decision. The final stage is for the SRC to meet and make the final decision on applications, based on all the scores and feedback from previous stages. These are used to rank the applications highest to lowest.
This might sound like a long, complicated process – and it does involve many dedicated people – but it ensures our research funding is based on strong, transparent decision making. That way, we can maximise the impact of research, and use your donations wisely.