The BMA Foundation awards funds to encourage and further medical research. Our mission is to support medical students, doctors and scientists in their research aims and to help pioneer medical research.
Through the BMA Foundation, the BMA has been supporting medical research since 1839 and is the oldest medical organisation in the world to award grants and prizes to encourage further medical research. Thanks to the support of generous individuals, approximately 14 research grants totalling over £850,000 are awarded to medical students, research scientists and doctors each year. The grants provide funding for a variety of different subject areas, ranging from research into rheumatism and arthritis, to cardiovascular disease, cancer and neurological disorders.
Until 2020, the BMA Foundation for Medical Research consisted of four existing separate registered charities; the HC Roscoe Trust Fund (277391), the James Trust (233691), the British Medical Association Scholarship Trust Fund (245997), and the Joan Dawkins Fund (276097). The trustees brought together the charities under one formal, newly established Charitable Incorporated Organisation called the BMA Foundation. The objects of the new BMA Foundation focus on the overall advancement of health and the relief of sickness for the public benefit.
Online applications for the 2023 grant round is now open.
As a charity, the BMA Foundation is fully reliant upon the generosity of individuals. Without the money received from donations the foundation would not be able to fund medical research and continually strive to make progress for future generations.
You can choose to donate to an area of research that is important to you. If you would like to specify an area of medical research, please let us know at the time of making your donation by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org , or calling 020 7383 6351.
Alternatively donations can be made to our general purposes fund. This will ensure that the BMA Trustees can use your donation to support the best research as it arises. It offers us the greatest flexibility to respond to important emerging research applications.
Ways to donate
Support medical research today. You can choose to make a one-off donation, or to give monthly.
Print out and complete the donation form then return it to us by post. Please make cheques payable to 'BMA Scholarship Trust Fund' and send to: BMA Foundation, BMA House, Tavistock Square, London, WC1H 9JP.
To make a donation by credit/debit card, then please call 020 7383 6351.
Your gift however large or small, could help fund the next clinical breakthrough.
Leaving a gift for medical research
The BMA Foundation grants are made possible through funding provided by generous donations and through legacies left to the BMA.
Making a donation or leaving a legacy is one of the most valuable and lasting ways you can support medical research.
We make sure we invest the funds sensibly to maximise the award money, so that your gift can continue to support medical research for years to come.
Leaving a gift to medical research
It is easy to leave a legacy for medical research. Simply instruct your solicitor to include in your will:
- 'For the British Medical Association for the purpose of medical research'
- Our registered charity number - 1192733
- Charity address: BMA Foundation, BMA House, Tavistock Square, London, WC1H 9JP
If you are considering leaving a gift to the BMA Foundation, we would love to hear from you. Should you wish to fund a particular area of medical research, we can discuss your wishes and ensure that they are fulfilled.
Instead, you may choose to leave a legacy to our general purposes fund. This will ensure that the BMA trustees can use your donation to support the best research as it arises. It offers us the greatest flexibility to respond to important emerging research needs.
If you are thinking about writing a will, or updating your existing will, it is best to use a solicitor or professional will writer. Legacies are generally exempt from inheritance tax, so a gift in your will to the BMA Foundation could reduce the amount of inheritance tax your loved ones are liable for.
For more information, please visit the HMRC website.
Other funding resources
Listed below are some useful sources of information about funding offered by other organisations.
Research councils are independent public bodies that distribute taxpayer-funded research, from postgraduate studentships to career development fellowships, research and programme grants.
See below for a list of the UK research councils:
- Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)
- Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)
- Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
- Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
- Medical Research Council (MRC)
- Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
- Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)
The European Research Council also provides funding support to scientists undertaking research in Europe:
The Department of Health, and NHS National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) also support health and social care research:
Many professional bodies and medical royal colleges also provide career development and research grants.
For a complete list of funding available visit RDinfo
Medical research charities
Medical research charities also provide a significant amount of funding for medical research in the UK:
- Association of Medical Research Charities
- British Heart Foundation
- Cancer Research UK
- Medical Research Scotland
- Wellcome Trust
National Obesity Forum
The National Obesity Forum, partnered with Weight Watchers, offer an annual research award worth £8,000 for research into adult or child weight management.
RDinfo: Digest of health-related research funding and training opportunities
Winners of the 1999 Healthcare IT Effectiveness Award for the 'Best Publically Accessible Database of Health-related Information', this database provides researchers with direct access to up to the minute information on health-related funding and training opportunities. It also contains a wealth of links to other funding organisations.
UK Research Office
The UKRO is a subscriber based organisation providing information and advice primarily to UK organisations about European Union funded opportunities for research and higher education.
The Grants Register
The Grants Register is a reference book published by MacMillan Reference Ltd which should be available in any good library. It is a comprehensive guide to worldwide professional and postgraduate funding.
European sources of funding
The following document provides an overview of the European funds that offer grants for health-related projects:
The Fundraising Regulator
The BMA foundation is registered with the Fundraising Regulator. This promise outlines the commitment made to donors and the public by fundraising organisations which register with the Fundraising Regulator. Those who register with the regulator agree to ensure their fundraising is legal, open, honest and respectful.
We will commit to high standards
- We will adhere to the Fundraising Code of Practice.
- We will monitor fundraisers, volunteers and third parties working with us to raise funds, to ensure that they comply with the Code of Fundraising Practice and with this Promise.
- We will comply with the law as it applies to charities and fundraising.
- We will display the Fundraising Regulator badge on our fundraising material to show we are committed to good practice.
We will be clear, honest & open
- We will tell the truth and we will not exaggerate.
- We will do what we say we are going to do with donations we receive.
- We will be clear about who we are and what we do.
- We will give a clear explanation of how you can make a gift and change a regular donation.
- Where we ask a third party to fundraise on our behalf, we will make this relationship and the financial arrangement transparent.
- We will be able to explain our fundraising costs and show how they are in the best interests of our cause if challenged.
- We will ensure our complaints process is clear and easily accessible.
- We will provide clear and evidence based reasons for our decisions on complaints.
We will be respectful
- We will respect your rights and privacy.
- We will not put undue pressure on you to make a gift. If you do not want to give or wish to cease giving, we will respect your decision.
- We will have a procedure for dealing with people in vulnerable circumstances and it will be available on request.
- Where the law requires, we will get your consent before we contact you to fundraise.
- If you tell us that you don’t want us to contact you in a particular way we will not do so. We will work with the Telephone, Mail and Fundraising Preference Services to ensure that those who choose not to receive specific types of communication don’t have to.
We will be fair & reasonable
- We will treat donors and the public fairly, showing sensitivity and adapting our approach depending on your needs.
- We will take care not to use any images or words that intentionally cause distress or anxiety.
- We will take care not to cause nuisance or disruption to the public.
We will be accountable & responsible
- We will manage our resources responsibly and consider the impact of our fundraising on our donors, supporters and the wider public.
- If you are unhappy with anything we’ve done whilst fundraising, you can contact us to make a complaint. We will listen to feedback and respond appropriately to compliments and criticism we receive.
- We will have a complaints procedure, a copy of which will be available on our website or available on request.
- Our complaints procedure will let you know how to contact the Fundraising Regulator in the event that you feel our response is unsatisfactory.
- We will monitor and record the number of complaints we receive each year and share this data with the Fundraising Regulator on request.
Visit the Fundraising Regulator website for more information.
Please contact us with any queries or complaints you may have: email@example.com / 020 7383 6351.
Corporate development, British Medical Association, Tavistock Square, London, WC1H 9JP
Tel: 0207 383 6341
Dr David Wong - 2022 Dawkins & Strutt grant winner