Bursaries and funding

This page includes information about funding opportunities available to Imperial College NIHR ACFs and NIHR CLs, and AFTs (medical)


Before submitting an application we strongly advise that you read and understand the eligibility criteria, under the menu headings below, for the bursary funding you are claiming. All bursaries administered by CATO are processed through Imperial College London and as such are bound by ICL policies. Once you have read the guidance notes please familiarise yourself with Imperial’s current Expense policy. If you have any questions you can email the CATO team: cato@imperial.ac.uk. Please also note the following points before incurring any costs:

  • Bursary and funding applications can only be processed if forms are completed correctly and all necessary documentation is supplied. If receipts are required please ensure you attach receipts or bank statements for each cost claimed
  • Please do not claim funds for any person other than yourself. Where relevant, divide any costs incurred by another individual.
  • The cost of a hotel (room only) in the UK should not exceed £150 including VAT when staying in London/Edinburgh or £105 including VAT when outside of London. When staying in a hotel overseas please refer to the Civil Service/HM Revenue quoted rates for guidance as the rates will differ to the UK
  • Where possible please book a 3-star hotel or equivalent
  • You should wherever possible book your air travel in advance and in the majority of case tickets should be economy class.  The College prefers employees to reserve airfares well in advance and to book lower fares, based on non-flexible flight arrival and departure times which cannot be changed.  Further information is available online from the College’s preferred travel provider, Egencia.
  • If you are using a car, motorcycle or bicycle on a business trip you can claim a mileage allowance - that is, a sum of money for every business mile you travel. Please see the Expense policy for the current standard rates.  Mileage allowances will be reimbursed after the fact when claimants are able to confirm that they have completed the journey, incurred the petrol costs and can state the exact mileage being claimed for, although an approval in principle to cover the mileage costs can be requested in advance through the bursary application.

CATO-managed funding opportunities

Applications managed through the CATO office can take up to four weeks to be processed. 

Please address any urgent queries in the meantime to the CATO Team (cato@imperial.ac.uk)

 CORONA VIRUS

Due to the ongoing situation regarding Covid-19, all members of the CATO Team are currently away from the Office, working remotely – as are the majority of our colleagues at Imperial College London.  We will do our best to process bursary applications as soon as possible, but it may not be possible to turn applications and reimbursements around as quickly as usual.  Thank you in advance for your understanding.

Accordion widget - CATO-managed funding

NIHR TCC bursary

Due to the ongoing situation regarding Covid-19, the NIHR TCC Bursary (normally to be used for supporting conference attendance and training) has been extended to support other research costs as well . The total value remains unchanged at a maximum of £1000 per year, for ACFs and CLs. Please note, these interim guidelines will be subject to review in Summer 2021.  Please apply in the normal fashion and justify your use of the funds properly.

  • £1000 available each financial year
  • NIHR ACFs and CLs can apply
  • Supports the attendance of conferences and training relevant to research
  • This bursary is operated on a reimbursement basis and is paid directly into the trainee's bank account via the Imperial College expense department through the submission of receipts.

Advice for applicants

  • This fund does not cover food or catering costs
  • This fund does not cover hotels 4* or above
  • This fund does cover the cost of transport, accommodation, and conferences fees  (always choose the cheapest and most efficient way of reaching your destination)
  • Please, where possible, divide any costs incurred with another individual.
  • Please submit all receipts that prove payment.  If you are an ACF submitting an expense claim form please send a scanned version of the completed form and not a photograph

For NIHR ACFs


Please apply by completing this form

*NIHR ACFs must also complete an Expense claim form (PDF) for this bursary. Please note that forms must be scanned, screen shots or photographs will not be accepted.


For NIHR CLs


Please apply 
by completing this form

*NIHR CLs do not need an Imperial College expense claim form for this bursary. They are requested to use MyExpenses once their application has been approved by CATO.


Please note: you cannot claim for food using the NIHR bursary. Claiming the bursary is different from an Imperial College expense application. The expense form is a mechanism to have your application processed. Therefore not all declarations on the expense form apply.

NIHR Imperial BRC funding

The maximum BRC bursary award thresholds were adjusted in April 2017 and are subject to constant review thereafter. The amounts quoted below are indicative of the maximum that may be available to apply for.

The NIHR Imperial BRC Bursary is a ‘one-off’ amount with a total maximum payment as follows:

  • £1,000 for Academic Foundation Trainees
  • £2,000 for Academic Clinical Fellows
  • £4,000 for Clinical Lecturers in NIHR funded CL posts in the Integrated Academic Training Pathway
  • Funding available for the cost of research project consumables
  • Funding is awarded prospectively, i.e. applications should be made BEFORE any expenses have been incurred. Retrospective applications for funds will not be approved.
  • Funding is transferred into an 'N account' (research account) organised by the Faculty of Medicine finance team. Trainees may then purchase consumables via Imperial College purchase ordering system, using the N account details provided upon application approval 

Advice for applicants

  • Applicants are advised to apply early in the financial year to avoid disappointment since funds are limited
  • The funding does not cover animal experiments or costs
  • The funding does not cover course or conference fees
  • Please outline the cost for each consumable on your application form. Those doing research using large data sets e.g Public Health should take advice from CATO about what can be considered as 'consumables' by emailing cato@imperial.ac.uk.
  • CLs are urged to apply for a Starter Grant from the Academy of Medical Sciences (AOMS).  This grant offers up to £30,00 over 1-2 years for research consumables.   CL’s applying for a CATO managed BRC research consumables bursary will be asked if they have applied for an AOMS grant as part of the BRC bursary application process.

Applications for BRC funding, please apply by completing this form


Please note: all bursary and funding forms that are not completed correctly will be subject to delays. Applications can take approximately four weeks to process. In busier times of the year - February through May - processing times can vary and increase to approximately two months.

This fund cannot be used in the support of animal experiments or animal research consumables, nor to fund the purchase of personal computers or laptops.

NIHR Research Training Programme Award

  • For ACFs only
  • A maximum of £4,500 available as a ‘one-off’ amount
  • To support the attendance of Masters courses and modules, and to attend workshops related to research
  • This funding is operated on a reimbursement basis and is paid directly into the trainee's bank account via the Imperial College expense department through the submission of receipts.

Advice for applicants

  • The Award cannot fund food, or catering costs
  • The Award does not fund hotels 4* or above
  • The Award does cover the cost of transport, accommodation, and course fees  (Always choose the cheapest and most efficient way of reaching your destination)
  • The award does cover costs of Imperial MSc and modules up to £4.5k allocation
  • Please  submit all receipts that prove actual payment.   As an ACF submitting an expense claim form please send a scanned version of the completed form and not a photograph

For NIHR ACFs applying for the Research Training Programme Award, please apply by completing this form

*NIHR ACFs must complete an Expense claim form (PDF) for this bursary. Please note that forms must be scanned, screen shots or photographs will not be accepted.


Please note: claiming the bursary is different from an Imperial College expense application. The expense form is a mechanism to have your application processed. Therefore not all declarations on the expense form apply.

Externally-managed funding opportunities

Accordion widget - Externally managed funding opportunities

NIHR funding for trainee workshops

  •  Funding to support trainees organise their own workshops.

Trainees who would like to hold a workshop for the benefit of themselves and other NIHR trainees can apply for funding support on the NIHR trainee workshops webpage.

The Academy of Medical Sciences - Starter grants for ACLs

  • ‘Starter grants’ for ACLs. 

Grants extend up to £30,000 to cover the cost of research consumables. The grants allow research-active Clinical Lecturers to gather data to strengthen their bids for longer-term fellowships and funding. Further details can be found on the Academy of Medical Sciences starter grants for Clinical Lecturers webpage.

Imperial Health Charity / Imperial BRC Funding

Pre-doctoral Charity Research Fellowship

Charity Research Fellowships for Doctors and Healthcare Professionals:

The Imperial Health Charity and Imperial BRC Research Fellowship Programme provides ‘first-step funding’ for Doctors and Healthcare Professionals looking to begin their academic career. The key aim of the programme is to allow Health Professionals to undertake 12 months of research to develop their research skills and identify an important research question that will make an impact on patient care within the Trust, surrounding communities and the wider NHS. This will then allow successful candidates to springboard onto successful funding bids for further study.

The Pre-doctoral scheme is open to all Health Professionals (Doctors and Healthcare professionals e.g. Nurse, Midwife, AHP, Pharmacist, Clinical Psychologist). The Post-doctoral scheme is open to Non-Medical Healthcare Professionals only.

For the avoidance of doubt Non-Medical candidates include Nurses, Midwives, Allied Health Professionals, Pharmacists, Research Practitioners, Psychologists, and Healthcare Scientists. If you have queries regarding your eligibility please do not hesitate to enquire.

The Fellowship provides funding for an individual’s salary for 12 months and related research expenses. Funding has historically been capped at a maximum award of £50,000, however, this cap has now being raised to a maximum of £65,000 where necessary upon prior discussion with the Charity. Please note back-fill for your role or out of programme requests need to be arranged in order for you to undertake the fellowship.

The application process runs annually, opening in early October and closing in mid January.  Further information and the application dates for this year can be found on the Imperial charity website.

Top up funding for awardees

To support additional costs relating to research fellowships not explicitly covered by the charity/BRC award, a new top up fund has been made available for fellows who receive their award in 2020 and 2021 (not available to previous awardees). Funding is available for both Pre- and Post-Doctoral awardees, Doctors and Healthcare Professionals in receipt of IHC/BRC Research Fellowships only.

Applicants must demonstrate that they have fully utilised/exhausted options with their Charity/BRC award before looking to apply for funds through the Top Up fund. The bursary is available for up to £3,000 per person, for the duration of their award. The Imperial Health Charity wil be managing the requests for this fund, please contact the Charity for further information and to discuss.

 Potential research-related expenses covered by the bursary include:

  • Research consumables
  • Research Training costs
  • Open access publication costs
  • Publication costs, journals etc..
  • Library Fees

Software bursaries for fellows

This Bursary scheme is for ICHT Doctors and Healthcare Professionals* on Imperial Health Charity/NIHR Imperial BRC funded research fellowships. Bursaries are available to Imperial College Healthcare Trust staff undertaking IHC/BRC funded research fellowship to provide funding for the purchase of software programmes/licences required to undertake their research projects (i.e, SPSS, NVIVO and EndNote). 

This bursary scheme is administered by the CATO Team. Bursaries will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Applicants are advised to apply early to avoid disappointment since funds are limited.

Further details please visit the bursary and funding page for further information. For queries please contact CATO@imperial.ac.uk or 020 331 31373.

*Healthcare Professions: Nurses, Allied Health Professions, Midwives, Pharmacists and Healthcare Scientists.