Grant FAQs Applying for a research grant

If your research grant application questions are not answered in the FAQs below, please get in touch at Please also check our guidance for applicants and grant funding process for more information.

What is the remit of Muscular Dystrophy UK?

The remit is to increase ‘understanding of the underlying causes of disease, develop potential treatments and improve the quality of life of people living with neuromuscular conditions’. Please refer to our Research Strategy for more information.

How can I apply?

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. Details of our grant rounds are generally announced in the Autumn. Please note, due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the 2021 grant round was announced in March 2021, we hope to return to our normal timing for the 2022 grant round. 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.

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. 

Principal 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.
  • We welcome project and proof of principle applications from early career researchers. Researchers should have a research degree e.g. PhD, MD or the equivalent for non-UK countries OR, if an Allied Health Professional, should have a post-graduate degree (PhD, MPhil or Masters degree) and/or demonstrate significant experience with trial procedures, conducting research and monitoring its progress.

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 expert committees, a Committee of scientific and clinical experts – the Medical Research Committee – and a panel of people directly or indirectly affected by muscle wasting conditions- the Lay Research Panel.

If a high number of applications is received a triage process will be implemented prior to the committee meetings. In this instance members of the Medical Research Committee and Lay Research Panel will review the applications. Shortlisted applications will be considered at the annual Lay Research Panel and Medical Research Committee meetings.

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.

What types of grants are available?

  • The types of award being offered may change each year depending upon the priorities of the charity. More information can be found on the ‘apply now’ page.
  • If you are looking for support for an infrastructure grant, such as a patient registry, please contact us to discuss potential funding opportunities outside of the Grant Round.

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 2017 to 2019 the average success rate of grant applications was approximately one in four.

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

Yes. Muscular Dystrophy UK does not limit the number of grants held by any individual. However, each applicant can only submit up to one application per grant type in a Grant Round. Multiple applications for the same grant type will not be accepted.

Are resubmissions accepted to the Grant Round?

One resubmission of a previous Muscular Dystrophy UK grant application is allowed to the grant round. This should be indicated, along with the amendments to the original application, in the relevant field on the application form.

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.

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?

  • Project and proof of principle grants should start within six months of the award date.
  • It is important that the MDUK research team 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 two 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.