The Sir Jules Thorn
Award for Biomedical

The Trust offers one grant of up to £1.7 million to support a five-year programme of translational biomedical research selected following a competition among applicants sponsored by the UK’s leading medical schools and NHS organisations.

UK medical schools and NHS organisations are able to submit one application annually, selected following an internal competition.  Full details of this programme are given in the guidance notes.

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

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).


Applications are welcome from UK medical schools and NHS Organisations with only one application allowed per eligible instruction/organisation. The research must have a justifiable claim to be at the leading edge of international science and must be led by a clearly identified Principal Applicant of outstanding quality in the early years of established research and academic career.


There is a two-stage application process running from July in the year preceding the Award to November in the year in which the Award is made:

  1. A short preliminary submission leading to long-listing.
  2. A full application leading to short-listing, followed by detailed discussions and a decision on the award of the grant.

Full details are given in the guidance notes, but:

The preliminary submission should include:

  • A 2000-word (maximum of four pages font size Arial 11) summary of the proposed research and explaining why it would be suitable for a translational study, the timescale for clinical applicability, the unmet need which is to be investigated and how the research will meet that need. The summary should include a word count.
  • One page of key references (maximum of 40) supporting the proposed research. Each reference to include PubMed ID number, title, name of first author and number of citations.
  • Short CV of the principal applicant, including major publications relevant to the application, a list of current grant awards and a list of grant applications awaiting decision. CV, publications list and grant list not to exceed 3 pages in total
  • A completed applicant questionnaire which can be downloaded from our website.
  • A single page appendix containing figures/diagrams may also be included.

Institutions whose preliminary submissions are long-listed will be invited to complete a full application:

The following documents should be submitted with the completed full application form:

  • Covering letter from the applicant addressing any specific questions contained in the invitation to submit a full application.
  • A letter of support from the Research Dean/Head of Department or equivalent indicating how and why the proposal was selected, including its relevance to the institution’s research strategy.
  • A letter from the Research Sponsor in accordance with question 17 of the application form, confirming that it is willing and able to take on the responsibilities of the sponsor.
  • If the project proposed will use animals or animal tissue – a copy of the relevant Home Office Licence in accordance with question 18 of the application form.


Preliminary submissions are invited between 1 July and 31 October. The preliminary applications are long listed by the Medical Advisory Committee (MAC) and invitations are issued to submit full applications. The closing date for these is 30 April in the following year. The full applications are externally reviewed and are considered by the MAC who short list a limited number and invite the applicants for interview in the Autumn, when a winner is selected and recommended to the Trustees. The award winner is announced following the Trustees confirmation.

Applicants should contact the Trust, should they have any further questions on [email protected].

More information about previous award winners of the Sir Jules Thorn Award can be found in the Previous Awards section of our website.