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Our funding opportunities

We consider applications for research funding in line with our research strategy. 

This includes research into more than 60 different types of muscle wasting conditions. The charity has application processes in place that involve rigorous international peer review and a panel of lay experts to ensure we fund high-quality science thats relevant to people with muscle wasting conditions.

Types of funding available

Please refer to our open grant calls. We may offer a number of funding opportunities for laboratory-based and clinical researchers: 

  • a competitive annual call for research grant applications. Normally, grants will be available for project grants of two to three years duration as well as proof-of-principle grants of up to one year and support for four-year PhD studentships. However, the types of award being offered may change depending upon the priorities and available budget of the charity.  
  • in 2024 we will pilot a grant call which aims to attract applications for research that will improve the quality of life for people living with muscle wasting conditions. Grants of up to £10,000 will be available for consumables for 12-month projects. 
  • we may consider infrastructure grants to help accelerate the translational path to clinical trials, including support for patient registries, natural history databases and clinical trials coordinators. 
  • alternative funding approaches to support research for a number of the very rare conditions (fewer than 500 patients in the UK), which may include establishing international research partnerships –contact us if you wish to discuss an approach for a very rare condition. 
  • in exceptional circumstances we will consider an application outside the grant round that will be subjected to a peer review similar to those of the annual grant round. 
  • Due to budgetary constraints, we are not currently able to support Clinical Research Training Fellowships through our partnerships with the Medical Research Council or the National Institute for Health Research. However, funding may be available in future years so please keep an eye on this section of our website. 

We also welcome applications for large strategic investments  

  • We encourage researchers to contact the Director of Research and Innovation (via should they have specific proposals that would require significant grant funding over and above the duration and financial envelope of our normal project grant funding. In such circumstances. 
  • Proposals must address multiple neuromuscular conditions, address aspects strategically important to Muscular Dystrophy UK and benefit the wider UK neuromuscular community; 
  • The host university must have a clear strategy for neuromuscular research and; 
  • There must be a significant financial commitment from the university as part of the planned partnership with us. 
  • Applicants seeking support for a Muscular Dystrophy UK University Centre must clearly articulate how it would build on existing MDUK and other support into neuromuscular conditions to add value to these investments. The Centre should support researchers with a shared interest in neuromuscular conditions to collaborate and deliver world-leading research and high-impact translation that will benefit patients. Centres must have clear research goals, strong leadership and actively engage the people with lived experience of neuromuscular conditions with their research. 
  • Please submit a written outline of your plans (via detailing what support is required, why it is important and how the plans address the above criteria. Credible approaches will be taken to the Board of Trustees to gain approval for a formal submission. If approved for submission the Board will reserve the right to include specific points for the review to focus on. These will be shared with the applicants. 
  • The proposal will be subject to rigorous peer review, a specially convened sub-committee comprising members of our Medical Research Committee, Lay Research Panel and subject-area experts. The recommendation from this sub-committee will be taken to the Board for final sign off. 
  • If a collaboration agreement is required by partners involved in the research, no funding can be released from us to any party until the collaboration agreement is signed. 
  • Our ability to engage will depend upon our financial position. Agreement to proceed with the review of your plans in no way guarantees that the proposal will be funded. 

For more information read our advice for applying for a grant and our open grant calls.

Email our research team with any queries about our grant schemes, funding available or your grant application. 

More information

Advice for applying for a grant

Our grant FAQ’s and top tips for writing your plain English application.

Open grant calls

Our funding opportunities. We fund groundbreaking research to change the future of muscle wasting conditions.

Questions about our grants

Can’t find what you’re looking for? Our friendly research team are here to answer your questions or point you in the right direction.