Grant Round 2024 Applying for a research grant

We are pleased to announce that the 2024 Grant Round will open for research proposals on Monday 9 October 2023. The deadline for submission of the online application is 3pm on Wednesday 17 January 2024.

Before applying, please ensure you refer to following webpages: 

If you are unsure whether your research fits within our strategy and current criteria, please contact us at

We are currently offering funding for PhD studentships and project grants (including up to three-year project grants and shorter, proof-of-principle projects such as pilot studies of up to one year) that have relevance to one or more type of muscular dystrophy or a related neuromuscular condition. We will fund research across the breadth of conditions supported by the charity, including rare and very-rare conditions. Please refer to the list of conditions supported by Muscular Dystrophy UK. If you want to make an application for research into a neuromuscular condition that is not listed here please contact us on

At the present time, specific funds are available for projects related to facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD), limb girdle muscular dystrophy (LGMD) and LMNA congenital muscular dystrophy and we would especially welcome applications in these areas. This should not dissuade applicants who are applying for funding for research into other conditions as all applications are subject to the same review criteria. 

We will invest in research that increases our understanding of neuromuscular conditions and that promotes the development of potential treatments. These may be basic, pre-clinical or clinical projects, but must be in line with our Research Strategy. We also welcome applications for research that will have a direct, positive impact on the quality of life of people with neuromuscular diseases or will help to establish best practice in symptom management. This could include, but is not limited to, social or psychological research or projects with a focus on exercise, physiotherapy, fatigue or chronic pain. 

Please refer to our Research Strategy for further information about the aims and objectives of the charity, which must be reflected in your application. If you are unsure whether your research fits the criteria or our remit, please contact the research team at

The deadline for submission of the online application is 3pm on Wednesday 17 January 2024. Applications will not be accepted after the deadline. Please note that applications can be submitted at any time prior to the deadline. After online submission you must send us a copy of your application signed by the principal- and co-investigators, and by your Head of Department and institute’s research office. This should be sent by email to no later than 7 February 2024.  

We welcome applications from early-career researchers (defined as researchers who possess a PhD who have not yet gained, or are transitioning to, an independent research career) as well as existing principal investigators.

Each applicant can submit up to one grant application per grant type; multiple grant applications for the same grant type will not be accepted.If you currently hold a Muscular Dystrophy UK-funded project or studentship grant, you may still apply in this round. A single resubmission of a previous Muscular Dystrophy UK application is permitted.

Please note, whilst we are only able to fund principal applicants who are based in the UK, we strongly encourage international collaborations.

Please ensure you use the correct form for your application; we reserve the right to reject applications that are submitted using the wrong form type. If you are unsure of which form to use please contact us at

PhD Studentships

Grants for 4-year PhD studentships are available. The charity will fund stipend, consumables and fees. We will fund stipends and fees up to UKRI rates and consumables to a maximum of £8,000 per year. When applying for a studentship please take into account any annual increases in stipends and fees. Start dates of awarded PhD studentships are for entry no later than October 2025.

The charity will not fund a year of general training as part of a studentship. We will, however, consider funding for training if it can be demonstrated that this will further the project and give the student grounding in the techniques they will be using. We will not fund equipment on a studentship grant.

Please refer to the guidance for completing PhD applications

Project grants

We welcome proof-of-principle and project grant applications from early career researchers as well as existing principal investigators. Applicants can only apply for one of the following:

1. Grants for 2–3-year projects

The charity will cover any combination of salary and consumables up to a maximum of £75,000 per year. For one-year grants please see the proof-of-principle projects below.

2. Grants for up to 1 year for proof-of-principle projects

If you are applying for a shorter grant of up to one year, for example to show proof of principle in a pilot study, the charity will cover up to £30,000 for salary and consumables. In this case, please apply using the project grant application form; we will not require as much detail to be given in the text boxes as for a full project grant application.

Please refer to the guidance for completing project grant applications

Please note: If you are looking for support for an infrastructure grant, such as a patient registry, please contact us at to discuss potential funding opportunities outside of the grant round.

How to apply

Applications must be submitted using our online application form, which is accessed by a secure login.

  • If you have used our online system before, go to the Smart Simple login page. Please login and update your profile before starting your application.
  • If you are new to the system, please register as an applicant on the registration page. After that you will be able to log in and select the grant round and type of grant you wish to apply for.
  • If you work at an institution which is not already listed on our system, you may need to contact us at to help you create a profile. 

Please also refer to our Terms and Conditions (PhD studentship or project grant) and guidance for applicants (PhD studentship or project grant), which are also accessible when you are logged into the online system; please select Help – Support Documents from the home screen.

If you have any questions, please contact us at