Sparks and GOSH Charity National Funding Call

Researcher in lab sparks funding

The Sparks and GOSH Charity National Research Funding Call is now closed. 

Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity and Sparks have a shared passion and commitment to support paediatric research nationally. Through our partnership that was established in 2017 we are able to make £2 million in research funding available annually to support project grant applications from researchers across the UK.

This year we are also proud to partner with Action for A-T, Krabbe UK, Dravet Syndrome UK, Myotubular Trust and DBAUK. Further information on these partnerships can be found below.

Remit of the funding call

Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity and Sparks are inviting project grant applications for child health research from researchers across the UK. The emphasis of this call is on complex childhood illness, including rare diseases.

The call will support translational research across the spectrum of medical conditions affecting the fetus, neonates and children directly, as well as pregnancy disorders that affect the child.

All projects must aim to improve understanding and/or outcomes of the child and have the potential to lead to the development of new diagnostic tools and novel interventions. Proposals will be asked to demonstrate a clear route to clinical application and strong partnership between clinical and laboratory based research.


This is a national funding call and is open to researchers across the UK. For this funding call, you do not need to have a co-applicant or collaborator from Great Ormond Street Hospital or the UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health.

We particularly encourage applications from early career researchers and those who are still consolidating their independent research careers.

Funding Available

Applications will be considered from researchers across the UK. Up to £2 million is available to spend under this call and it is anticipated that we will fund a range of proposals from different investigators and institutions. Therefore, applicants are asked to carefully consider their request for funding and whether it represents good value for money. The charity would not expect applications to exceed £250,000. Funding will be provided for the direct costs of research (such as research staff and consumables) but will not cover consultant Programmed Activities, team-leader salary time or PhD studentships. Typically, projects will be up to 3 years duration.

Funding Process

Applications will be received and managed by Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity and considered by its Research Assessment Panel. Final funding decisions will be announced in February 2019.

Research Partners

We are also delighted to be in a position to offer possible joint awards in partnership with our research partners in the specific areas outlined below.

With our partners we are specifically interested in receiving applications that:

  • Have the potential to lead to treatments and cures for Ataxia Telangiectasia (A-T). Research should demonstrate to be of actual or future potential benefit to A-T patients.
  • Aim to address the cause, diagnosis, understanding and treatment of Krabbe Disease.
  • Improve understanding, quality of life and better outcomes for those affected by Dravet syndrome and related genetic sodium channel epilepsies
  • Aim to significantly advance the search to find a cure and/or a treatment for any of the genetic forms of centronuclear and myotubular myopathy.
  • Aim to address the causes, understanding and treatment of Diamond-Blackfan Anaemia (DBA).


Please note that all applications to this call will be considered in open competition with one another, there is not a separate process for applications addressing specific research partner areas.

For more frequently asked questions about this funding call please visit the GOSH charity website.

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