Researchfish guidelines for award holders

We appreciate the effort that goes into completing the Researchfish assessment process. It is therefore important that we get as much out of the process as possible. So we have developed this short guide to help you to complete your submission.

We also encourage you to read our Researchfish FAQs (see below) which address many of the questions or concerns raised by researchers. The following are some brief notes outlining our expectations with regards to each of the outcomes you will report on.

The Researchfish submission is not used as a tool to assess projects or researchers. It is used as a way of assessing our overall portfolio and, as such, we would be grateful if your submissions are honest and accurate.

Main reported outcomes

The following headings relate to the main questions in the Researchfish report. Each section provides guidance on what to include, and what not to include, when entering information in the main outcome areas.


  • We only need to see publications that pertain directly to the Muscular Dystrophy UK (MDUK) award you are completing a submission for.
  • Please do not enter publications that do not directly result from the work done on an MDUK-funded grant. In the past we have taken a soft line on this but will be asking PIs to correct their submissions if it continues.
  • Please ensure that you do not enter duplicates of the same publication.
  • We will accept pre-prints in this section, but they should be correctly labelled as such.

Further funding

Please consider carefully whether the MDUK funding allowed you to secure subsequent funding. We are delighted to hear that projects funded by MDUK are subsequently picked up by other funders. However, inaccurate reporting in this category will mean that we cannot make a reasonable assessment of our impact.

Dissemination to non-academic audiences

MDUK involves non-scientists/non-clinicians in every part of our work from patient advocacy, through our communications and, as you know, the assessment of our research applications. We think it is important to explain the added value of the research we fund.

Please tell us if our funding helped you to reach other audiences in any way. So for example if you talked about our research to lay audiences or if our funding helped you to reach patients or other non-scientists.

Intellectual property and licencing

Please report on any patents filed no matter what stage they are at. Note, patent applications involving outcomes from MDUK should be reported to

Collaborations and partnerships

We feel strongly that our funding should promote connections between scientists and clinicians working in the field of neuromuscular research and even beyond. As part of our reporting, we would like to demonstrate how our funding leads to networking and collaboration.

Influence on policy and practice

MDUK is also a campaigning and advocacy organisation with interests in how research is feeding through into policy. If your work has had an influence on standards of clinical care or other areas that could influence policy, we would like to hear about it.

Researchfish FAQs

What is Researchfish?

Researchfish is a database used by many research funders including charities to collect information about research projects. MDUK’s grant holders are required to make a submission to this database once a year, typically in March.

What kind of information do we collect?

MDUK asks grant holders to submit information on a range of outputs that relate to their research. The most common output, for example, is publication of scientific papers arising from the research. However, Researchfish also allows us to collect a range of other information including how our research may affect policy and clinical care, whether patents have arisen from the research and also if our funding has resulted in researchers being involved in public engagement, for example, promoting public understanding of neuromuscular conditions.

Why do we collect this data?

Researchfish allows us to get a snapshot view of the portfolio of grants we have awarded. It also allows us to gather comparable trend data (information about how our portfolio changes over time) and, to a limited extent, allows us to compare our data with similar organisations who collect data through Researchfish.

Are researchers assessed on the content of their Researchfish submission?

In short, no. MDUK grants are assessed annually through a separate process (see below). We may, on the basis of your submission, approach you to ask questions about interesting aspects of your report or if there are significant advances that were not picked up in the annual reporting process. However, Researchfish remains a tool for assessing the entirety of our portfolio, not a tool for assessing individual projects or researchers.

What do we do with the data?

To date we have used this data internally to assess the grant portfolio. The information collected is also useful for communicating with our Trustees. The data will be used to help communicate the impact of our research to fundraisers and the community of people living with muscle-wasting conditions.

Do we collect other types of data about research projects?

We collect two other types of information about projects. All of our projects are reviewed once a year and renewal of our grants is subject to a satisfactory review by members of our Medical Research Committee.

At the end of each project, we collect a report which describes the results of the whole project. We try to ensure that information from both annual reports and the end-of-project reports are published on our website.

The types of information we collect through these reports differs from that collected through Researchfish. In particular data collected via Researchfish represent a single point in the year, allowing us to view data about our whole grant portfolio and to make comparisons from one year to the next.

Where can award holders get support during the Researchfish submission period?

Due to changes in the service provided by Researchfish, MDUK does not deal with most queries relating to the Researchfish submission. Researchfish should send you reminders with details of how to accept invitations to the platform, what support resources are available to you and how Researchfish communicates with you in the lead up to, and during, the submission period.

If you have any questions about your submission please visit the Researchfish website or contact Researchfish support at in the first instance.

If you are uncertain about the about the content of your Researchfish submission or have questions related to your award, please email us at