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Research we do not fund

What kinds of research are not eligible for Leverhulme Trust funding?

Both because of the substantial funding available from other sources for applied medical research and the Trust’s priority to support investigations of a fundamental nature, we do not fund studies of disease, illness and disabilities in humans and animals, or research that is intended to inform clinical practice or the development of medical applications

Topics such as these would generally be eligible:

  • physiology, cell biology, genetics and genomics where relevant to understanding fundamental processes that underpin biology;
  • epidemiology, public health and health systems; and 
  • broad interdisciplinary subjects, such as sports science and psychology 

However, these types of projects would not be eligible: 

  • projects involving the development of tools or technology that are clearly aimed at medical, therapeutic or pharmaceutical use; 
  • randomised controlled trials/clinical trials; and
  • projects to develop or assess clinical interventions and approaches (be they psychological, biological or exercise related)

Policy-driven research where the principal objective is to assemble an evidence base for immediate policy initiatives

In general, the balance of effort needs to be on academic research elements rather than on outputs designed to influence policy (or to be used for advocacy). While research outputs may, of course, go on to inform such things, they cannot be the principal aim of the work.

Topics like these would generally be eligible:

  • academic study of politics and policy processes;
  • study of historical policies and their impact; and
  • research into policy design, such as the design of optimal welfare systems 

Whereas these would not:

  • evaluation of current government policy (e.g. an evaluation of the impact of changes to universal credit rules on poverty rates); and
  • research that is designed to support a bid to change current policy or whose principal output would be a policy report

Research aimed principally at an immediate commercial application

This includes:

  • development and commercialisation of products, processes or services (and includes where industrial partners are required or are already in place); and
  • development of tools and materials for practitioners (e.g. textbooks, websites or learning materials)

However, some translational work may be acceptable:

  • proof of concept/ pilots of ideas that are at the more fundamental end of the research pipeline and still some way from a commercial application; or 
  • research to translate a theory or more fundamental research into something that might be useful in to a theory of classroom practice or pedagogical approach

Proposals for the following are also ineligible for Leverhulme Trust support:

  • research where advocacy is an explicit component; and
  • proposals in which the balance between assembling a data bank or database and the related subsequent research is heavily inclined to the former

Guidance on eligibility

If you are uncertain about the eligibility of your proposal, please contact us before beginning an application.

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