Does Muscular Dystrophy UK cover recruitment costs within the grant award?

  • We do not cover recruitment costs. These should be covered by the employing institution/university.

Does Muscular Dystrophy UK pay for maternity cover and sick leave?

  • Muscular Dystrophy UK does not pay for maternity leave or sick pay. This is the responsibility of the employing institution.

Does Muscular Dystrophy UK pay for travel to conferences?

  • Due to limited funding, Muscular Dystrophy UK does not provide funding for travel to and attendance at conferences.

How are grants selected for funding?

  • Muscular Dystrophy UK employs a strict international peer review system to ensure that the research we fund is of the highest quality. Muscular Dystrophy UK also utilises an expert committee – the Medical Research Committee – and a panel of people directly or indirectly affected by muscle wasting conditions- the Lay Research Panel- which both sit annually. At the scientific meeting, each member, including two lay research panel representatives, grades applications and the average score for each application is calculated. Funding decisions are made based on the average score of each application and charity’s strategic priorities given the available budget. Read more about our funding process.

How many grants are awarded each year?

  • There is only one application round per year. The number of grants funded each year varies, depending on the amount of free monies available for the year and on the cost of the grants being considered. Muscular Dystrophy UK endeavours to fund as many projects as possible in order to maximise the potential of the grant portfolio.

What is the success rate for applications?

  • From 2016 to 2018 the average success rate of grant applications was approximately one in three.

How much does Muscular Dystrophy UK spend on research per year?

  • Muscular Dystrophy UK spends approximately £1 million on new and existing grants per year.

Who can apply for a Muscular Dystrophy UK grant?

  • Funding is available for those undertaking research in all disciplines relating to conditions which fall within the remit of Muscular Dystrophy UK conditions. 

Principle applicants must hold a contract which extends beyond the duration of the proposed grant period at an Institution approved by Muscular Dystrophy UK. We are only able to fund research within the UK at the present time, although international collaborations are encouraged. Any exceptions to this will be made known when the grant call(s) are announced – please check the apply now page for more information.

Is it possible for an individual to hold more that one Muscular Dystrophy UK grant?

  • Yes. Muscular Dystrophy UK does not limit the number of grants held by any individual.

What types of grants are available?

  • Muscular Dystrophy UK funds both laboratory and clinical research. The types of award being offered may change each year depending upon the priorities of the charity.
  • Details of our grant rounds are generally announced in the Autumn. Please email if you would like to be added to our mailing list for future grant rounds.
  • If you are interested in applying for a Clinical Research Training Fellowship, please note this can only be done through one of our joint funding schemes. We jointly fund clinical fellowships through a scheme with the Medical Research Council and doctoral fellowships through a joint funding scheme with the NIHR. Please contact us for more information.

What is the application procedure?

  • Anyone interested in applying for a grant should refer to the information on the call(s) for that year; these will be posted on our apply now page. If you would like to be notified of upcoming calls you can contact the Research Team to be added to our circulation list ( Applications are made online through our secure online application system.
  • The lay summaries of the applications are assessed by our Lay Research Panel who will check them for scientific language. If they feel that the information is too technical, applicants will be asked to re-write the lay summary. The Lay Research Panel is made up of people who are affected either directly, or indirectly, by a muscle condition. A Care Advisor and physiotherapist also sit on the Panel. There is also a Scientific Advisor at all Lay Panel Meetings who does not have voting rights but answers any scientific questions the Panel may have.The Lay Panel does not judge the science behind the projects but assesses the importance and relevance of the project from the perspective of someone affected directly or indirectly by a muscle-wasting condition. Two members of the Lay Research Panel sit on the Medical Research Committee and vote on the funding decisions.
  • The scientific applications are sent to experts world-wide for peer-review. Applicants will get a chance to read and respond to reviewers’ comments. The Medical Research Committee meet in late Spring/early Summer and examine all the information from the Lay Panel and peer-reviewers as well as the applicant’s response in order to make a judgement on the best projects to fund.
  • See here for more information on our grant process

Does my application need Health Regulatory Authority (HRA) approval?

  • From 1 October 2018 additional requirements are in place for funding clinical research. For all clinical research that needs Health Research Authority (HRA) approval (refer to criteria for HRA approval), a Schedule of Events Costs Attribution Template (SoECAT) will need to be completed, approved and submitted with the grant application.You will need the assistance of a local AcoRD specialist to complete and approve the SoECAT form (find your local AcoRD specialist) before including the approved form in your grant application to us.See more information here
  • We strongly recommend you contact your local AcoRD specialist as soon as you know you are planning a piece of clinical research, to allow sufficient time for completion and approval of SoECAT before the grant application deadline.

Does the applicant receive feedback about the peer review?

  • Once the applications have been sent out for peer review, the referee reports are sent to the applicant for comment. The applicant has one week to respond, and the response is considered at the meeting of the Medical Research Committee along with the reviewers’ comments, the full application and the comments of the Lay Research Panel.

What happens if the grant does not start on the correct date?

  • It is important that the Senior Grants Manager at Muscular Dystrophy UK is consulted with regards to changes in the start date of the grant. As soon as you know that the start date is changing, please contact us at

What happens when the grant ends?

  • Muscular Dystrophy UK requires that an ‘End of Project’ report be submitted within three months of termination of the grant. This is specified within the Terms and Conditions of the grant and thus non-compliance may result in payment being withheld. This may also affect the Principal Investigators chances of obtaining another grant from Muscular Dystrophy UK.

What is the remit of Muscular Dystrophy UK?

  • The remit is ‘to increase understanding of muscular dystrophy and allied disorders and to support research and evaluation of potential management and treatment strategies’. Please refer to our Research Strategy for more information.
  • In the development of diagnostic tools, there must be clear evidence of the exploitation route. It would also be helpful to discuss the possibility of further development with the National Specialist Commissioning Advisory Group (NSCAG) whose aim is to help patients by improving access to uncommon services.
  • Research to develop animal models must demonstrate a clear route to a therapeutic application.
  • Muscular Dystrophy UK will favourably view research that realistically brings us closer to identification of treatments.


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