Medical Research

The Trust’s main objective is to fund translational research which will bring benefit to patients through improved diagnosis or by assisting in the development of new therapies for important clinical problems. It recognises also the importance of encouraging young scientists to pursue a career in clinical research. Its two grant schemes have been designed with those objectives in mind. All areas of research are considered.


The Sir Jules Thorn Award for Biomedical Research

One grant of up to £1.7 million is offered annually to support a five-year programme of translational biomedical research selected following a competition among applicants sponsored by the leading UK medical schools and NHS organisations.

UK medical schools and NHS organisations are eligible to submit one application annually, selected following an internal competition coordinated by the Research Dean, Head of the Medical School, or other appropriate person having delegated authority.

Please note that the Trust is unable to provide a grant for an existing project, to cover expenditure already incurred, or to supplement support provided by other funding bodies (such as third party fundraising organisations that commission research on their own behalf).

Entries for the 2019 Sir Jules Thorn Award are now closed. Applications for the 2020 Award will be invited from July 2019.

If, having read the Guidance Notes, potential applicants have any questions they should contact the Trust.

Details of previous Award winners can be found in the Previous Awards section.


The Sir Jules Thorn PhD Scholarship Programme

The trust provides funding for a small number of 4-year scholarships embedded within the Doctoral Training Programmes of UK universities, which manage the application process, including calls for applications. The programme is not available for unsolicited individual applications.

For 2019, the universities invited to compete for the funding available from the Trust are University College London, the University of Oxford, the University of Bristol, and the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. Enquiries should be addressed to the Doctoral Schools, or equivalent, at those institutions.