Research Small Grants Programme

Closing date:

Information and criteria

What is the programme?

The ‘Research Small Grants’ programme supports hospices to engage with, generate and lead the development of hospice and palliative care research. The programme is part of the Hospice UK Research Active Hospices action plan.

Hospice UK is a non-commercial Partner of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). Research studies funded by NIHR non-commercial Partners are automatically eligible for consideration for Network support.

NIHR non-commercial Partners are organisations that:

  • award research funds as a result of open competition with high quality peer review
  • fund research that is of clear value to the NHS
  • take appropriate account of the priorities, needs and realities of the NHS in making decisions about the research that they fund

Being an NIHR non-commercial Partner brings a number of benefits including access to the full range of services offered by the NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN) through the Study Support Service. In addition, decisions about eligibility for Network support can be reached more quickly and, once confirmed, studies will be included in the NIHR CRN Portfolio and have access to the NIHR research delivery infrastructure in the NHS, essential training and ISRCTN registration.

You can find out more about NIHR non commercial partners here

For the purpose of this grants programme, research is defined as a systematic activity that:

  • attempts to answer a clearly defined question;
  • employs systematic and rigorous methods - including quantitative and/or qualitative paradigms;
  • leads to generalisable and new knowledge.

This excludes: audit; needs assessments; quality improvement and other local service evaluations. It also excludes routine banking of biological samples or data except where this activity is integral to a self-contained research project designed to test a clear hypothesis. 


Research Small Grants of up to £500 per study over the time line of the research are available for the following:

  • Dissemination of knowledge through open access publications in a peer reviewed journal or proceedings
  • Practical research analysis (e.g. computer assisted qualitative data analysis programmes and transcribing costs).
  • Patient and public involvement forums or costs which are part of the research design.

Please note that although you may apply for a maximum of £500 over the time line of the study, the actual amount awarded may be less and is at the discretion of Hospice UK.  Applications requesting excess of £500 will not be considered. 

Example of two-year grant:

A grant award of £300 towards dissemination costs - £150 would be for year one and £150 for year two. The full grant of £300 is agreed at the start of the research study and funding is claimed over a two-year period (pending successful milestones).


There is an open call for the grant programme.  However, we encourage you to apply as early as possible, once the funding for this programme has been allocated the grants will cease to be available until such a time as additional funds have been raised. 

We aim to notify you of the decision on your application within 4 weeks of it being received by the Grants Team.

Eligibility criteria

The lead applicant must be employed by a full member of Hospice UK based in the UK, this includes:

  • Adult hospices
  • Children’s hospices

Where a research study is a partnership between a number of organisations, one hospice must be the nominated lead in the grant application.  Please note, only one Research Small Grant can be awarded per research study.

Your project must fall within the definition of research as stated previously.

We can only consider grants for research studies that cover a one or two year period

Your application must include evidence that:

  1. Your research protocol has been peer reviewed (independent, expert and proportionate) prior to application to us.
  2. Your research protocol has received ethical approval or permission (e.g. academic institution, or internal organisation governance or via the NHS research ethics approval/permission process).
  3. Your research has a clear project plan and timeline.
  4. Your research is of clear value to the NHS and is aligned within one or all of  the following areas:

In your application you will need to identify which research priority, issue and strategic objective your study is most aligned with.

Only one application will be considered for each research study.

How to Apply 

Please select the below Apply now button and select Start an Application.

A PDF version of the Programme Information and Criteria is available.

Apply Now



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