Major Research Grant 

Our Major Research Grants support work on the subject of healthcare-associated infections (HCAIs) and infection prevention and control. This grant would be suitable to support a PhD studentship, MD or other research worker and related consumables/equipment, with a preference towards translational research rather than pure science topics. Grants will be subject to satisfactory biannual progress reports.

Major Grants are suitable for National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Partnership in their Clinical Research Network Portfolio.

Please see the HIS Research Strategy 2020-2025 document for full information on our funding remit. 

  • Total funding: up to £99,000 (up to £33,000 per annum)    
  • Duration: min 1yr, max 3 years
  • Availability: one award every other year. Next award year 2025/6.
  • PI must be UK or Ireland based


The submission deadline for the HIS 2023 research funding call has now closed 


Application deadline: 1 September 2025 at 11.59 pm

Frequently asked questions

Am I eligible?

We accept applications from researchers and clinicians, based in the public sector, who are in a career grade or substantive role.

  • If the Primary Grant Holder is not experienced in research, then the application must include, and be signed by, an experienced researcher as a Co-Investigator who will provide mentoring and oversight of the project.
  • Applications from a Primary Grant Holder who is an experienced researcher but who does not have experience in IPC research must include one of the following as a Co-Investigator who is either a:  
  1. Consultant Microbiologist (or Speciality Registrar on a microbiology pathway)
  2. Specialist Clinical Scientist
  3. Infection Control Nurse
  • This Co-Investigator shall provide insight and guidance regarding the clinical applications of the project.
  • Where an application includes support for a studentship, the Primary Grant Holder must be in a supervisory role (e.g., a potential PhD student cannot directly apply for funds).

Further information can be found in our Terms and Conditions

What research do you fund?

The scheme can be used to:

  • Fund research projects to answer well-defined IPC/HCAI questions.
  • Build collaborations between clinicians and researchers
  • Provide access to funds for hypothesis testing
  • Encourage innovative and interdisciplinary research in infection prevention and control

Information on current and past funded Major Research Grants can be found here

Restrictions: Funding is not available:

  • For the commercial exploitation of work already being undertaken, or intellectual property protection;
  • For equipment purchase only
  • To purchase contracted-out services
  • For Indirect and estates costs
  • As Start-up funds for new staff
  • As Honorarium payments to visitors or fees for undertaking teaching
  • To buy-out PI staff time

Scoring criteria are available in the Grants programme overview and process document.

What costs do you fund?


We will only pay the direct costs of research at UK  and Irish Universities.

UK higher education funding bodies provide funding for directly allocated and indirect costs associated with charity-funded research.
In England, this funding is called the Charity Research Support Fund. Similar funding is provided by the Scottish Funding Council, Higher Education Funding Council for Wales and the Northern Ireland government.  Higher Education Authority block grants support research costs within the Republic of Ireland.

Research costs in the NHS

For research conducted within the NHS, we follow AcoRD principles for non-commercial studies available here
For non-commercial studies the normal funding arrangements for research, NHS Treatment and NHS Support costs are:

  • Research Costs - are usually met by grant funders through the award of a research grant. However, there are some specific research activities where, in England, the costs will be met by the Department of Health.
  • NHS Treatment Costs - met through the normal commissioning process.
  • NHS Support Costs - met from the R&D budget by the Health Departments of the United Kingdom.


For further information, please see the costings summary document available on the main funding and awards page.

How do I apply?

Your application must be reviewed and approved by your host organisation.  The application and terms and conditions require signatures from an authorised authority within your institution who undertakes financial management of award, in addition to a Director of Research, Dean of Medicine or equivalent.

Applications must be sent to by 11.59 pm on the application deadline.

The following items must be included in your application:

  • Completed application form (including signatures)
  • Abridged 2 page C.Vs for all applicants
  • Letters of support
  • Ethics applications and risk assessments
  • Terms and conditions signed by all applicants

Application forms and terms and conditions are available below.

Next steps:

  • Applications will be triaged for completeness, eligibility and fit to the HIS remit. 
  • Applications will be sent the Research Committee for peer review, who will meet to discuss the applications and perform short-listing.
  • Applicants will be notified of their progress at this stage. 
  • Short-listed applications will be sent for external peer review.
  • After reviewing the external peer-reviews, the Research Committee will make a recommendation to the HIS Council regarding the proposal to fund.
  • All remaining applicants will be notified of the outcome.
Project management and monitoring

The following Conditions of Funding are absolute and apply in all cases unless otherwise stated:

Reporting on project outcomes

Successful applicants are required to report on project outcomes (including publications and follow-on funding). Failure to report the outcomes of your project may result in your department being ineligible to receive HIS funding in the future. 

In line with the Society’s terms and conditions, publications resulting from the research must be submitted to the Journal of Hospital infection for first refusal.  Award holders will be required to acknowledge HIS funding in oral and poster presentations, and may be asked to present at a HIS meeting or conference.

Research Integrity

Projects are supported on the understanding that all applicants are familiar with the MRC’s policies and guidance on research ethics and research integrity and that the PI has taken ethical considerations into account in the project design, and has or will receive relevant formal ethical review and sign-off by  the relevant research ethics committee and governance committees  (and any relevant external committees), prior to the commencement of the research. The responsibility for identifying and responding to ethical considerations, referring them for review, and securing approval before the research commences lies with the PI: failure to do so can constitute misconduct.


Projects should be completed within 36 months of the grant start date.  Grant holders may apply for a no cost extension in line with the Society’s terms and conditions.   

Key dates


Timescales / deadlines



The call opens

1 September

Application submission deadline

September to October

Research Committee (RC) review applications


RC meeting - discussion of applications


Short listed applications sent for External Peer Review


Award allocation

By August

Project must start

By end of August + 3 years

Funding to be spent