How we invest in research

Our wide range of research grants offers support to scientists at every stage of their career, attracting the brightest and best researchers wherever they are in the world, as we unite for a life unlimited by cystic fibrosis.

We're the largest charity funder of cystic fibrosis research in the UK. Last year we invested £4.7m on CF research. We fund research in the following ways:

  • Strategic Research Centres (SRCs)

    Strategic Research Centres (SRCs) are virtual centres of excellence bringing together researchers from within and outside of the field of CF, supporting scientists and other specialists around the world to work together to address specific issues arising from cystic fibrosis.

    SRCs are three to four year grants up to a maximum of £750,000. Since they were initiated in 2013, we have funded 25 SRCs, bringing together over 140 scientists and specialists from over 50 cities and 15 countries around the world.

  • Venture and Innovation Awards (VIAs)

    Venture and Innovation Awards (VIAs) are designed to support transformational and innovative research projects by bringing leveraged funding into the field of CF from external sources.

    Since we started funding these awards in 2013, we have awarded over 90 grants across a range of different research areas. For every pound spent by Cystic Fibrosis Trust to fund a VIA, an additional four pounds have been leveraged from an external agency.

  • Development Awards

    Development Awards (DAs) allow researchers to undertake preparatory work prior to developing future applications for further funding. The preparatory work might include generating preliminary data, strengthening collaborations and developing new partnerships.

  • CF Innovation Hubs

    The Innovation Hub programme is designated as a series of strategic partnerships between Cystic Fibrosis Trust and academic institutions, with shared goals, shared investment and shared governance. The aim is to provide a platform for exploring experimental medicine, to create a step-change in research to solve key issues in cystic fibrosis (CF).

    An Innovation Hub at Cambridge in partnership with the University of Cambridge began in 2018, which was the inspiration for the creation of our new Translational Innovation Hub Network.

    Find out more

  • Summer Studentships

    Summer Studentships are placements for promising medical and basic science undergraduates with hands-on experience of research during the academic summer vacation, with the aim of attracting the brightest and best into a career in CF research.

    Each placement of £1,500 provides support for the student. We have funded over 50 placements in since 2014.

  • CF AMR Syndicate

    The CF AMR Syndicate is a partnership between the Trust, Medicines Discovery Catapult and LifeArc working alongside people from the CF community. Its aim is to accelerate the development of new medicines to treat CF infections. The Syndicate brings together leading experts based at universities, hospitals and researchers from biopharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, who are working on understanding and treating bacterial, fungal and viral infections in CF and other diseases. People with CF are involved in all of the Syndicate’s activities to ensure their needs and priorities are at its heart.

Our CF research topics pages explain more about the research we are funding through these schemes. You can also learn more about how our research has made a difference.

If you’re a researcher or you would like more information on how we fund research and our research governance, please see the Support for researchers section.

Research we fund

We fund research to tackle some of the most pressing issues in CF today. Find out how your donations are making a difference.

What is CF?

Cystic fibrosis, or CF, affects the lungs, digestive system and other organs. There are around 11,000 people living with it in the UK.

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