Research Management overview

Our aims for research funding

Crohn's & Colitis UK is dedicated to finding a cure for Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis, 

the two main forms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease. We fund clinical (scientific) research towards finding a cure. We also fund new and exciting projects designed to increase the understanding of the challenges faced by those living with Crohn’s and Colitis, and to improve their lives.

We fund research in two key areas:

  • Medical - projects aiming to provide a better understanding of the causes or mechanisms of Crohn’s or Colitis, or looking to find better treatments, including surgery. 
  • Improving Lives - projects that are looking into the social and psychological impact of Crohn's or Colitis, including research into ways of helping patients and their families to live well. This would also include projects with the potential to drive up standards of care for people with Crohn’s and Colitis. 

The ultimate goal of most of the medical research we fund is looking to prevent or find a cure for Crohn’s or Colitis. However, the work actually taking place is rarely as glamorous or headline-grabbing as 'finding the answer’. Crohn’s and Colitis are complex and difficult to treat diseases, with a range of symptoms. It is likely that there is not a single cure or solution, just as there often does not seem to be a single cause or reason why someone has developed Crohn’s or Colitis.


Who we fund

Crohn's & Colitis UK will consider applications from teams working in established universities, medical centres and research organisations. Our preferred strategy is to fund smaller research projects that can form an initial or pilot project that can later be expanded. We also aim to provide awards for research which needs initial funding in order to attract 'match-funding' from other organisations.


Oversight of our funding programme

Peer-review sits at the heart of our research funding. This means that we expect the research we fund to be published and fully reviewed by experts in high impact medical research journals. This is a standard approach across all members of the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC), and Crohn’s & Colitis UK has been awarded an AMRC certificate of good practice for our peer review procedures.

The Research Strategy and Funding (RS&F) Committee takes delegated responsibility on behalf of the Board of Trustees for the research strategy and its delivery. This ensures that there is a framework for accountability, and that the charity is working within appropriate legal and ethical boundaries to fund research of the highest quality and of greatest benefit to people with Crohn’s and Colitis.

We are always considering how our funded projects can be developed to make our supporters money work hard and achieve best value. We continually review our research strategies and policies to ensure they are fit for purpose in the ever-changing world of scientific research and academia, and in light of availability of other additional and complimentary research funding.

Research Awards Panels, supported by the RS&F Committee, oversee our annual research awards process, working alongside external peer reviewers to shortlist, peer review and select fundable grants. Membership includes lay representation and reflects a fair balance of experience and scientific disciplines. All panel members and peer reviewers are required to disclose any conflict of interest. Potential beneficiaries are not present when applications are discussed.

All applications are judged on scientific merit. As a member of the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC), any application involving animals will be judged in accordance with 3R principles (replacement, refinement and reduction) as part of the peer review process. View the AMRC statement on the use of animals in research.

All applications involving humans must be backed by full ethical approval from the appropriate ethics committees

Feedback on all grant applications is provided to applicants from the Chairs of the Awards Panels.


Accountability

The Board of Trustees agree a programme of grants in any financial year according to funds available.

The Research Strategy and Funding Committee (RSFC) takes delegated responsibility on behalf of the Board of Trustees for the research strategy, its delivery and all funding streams, ensuring that there is a framework for accountability and that the charity is working within appropriate legal and ethical boundaries to fund research of the highest quality and of greatest benefit to people with IBD.

The RSFC is chaired by a Trustee of Crohn’s and Colitis UK and includes the Chairs of both the Medical and Improving Lives Research Awards Panels. Other members are appointed by the Trustees to include lay representation and reflect a fair balance of experience, academic and scientific disciplines. Potential beneficiaries may not be present when decisions are made.

This Committee makes recommendations to the Trustees on final grant funding allocations, based on strategic priorities and an assessment of grant applications made against agreed criteria by the Awards Panels.


Grant Management 

Grant holders must be employed by a recognised research centre within the UK, and agree to supervise the research project in line with the Universities UK - Concordat to Support Research Integrity (pdf) 

A formal agreement covering the terms of the Grant is made between Crohn’s and Colitis UK and the Grant holder. A Final Report must be submitted following completion of the project, including a lay summary. Annual interim reports are required for projects which extend over a period of one year.


Further detailed information of the full procedures and processes for research management can be obtained from the Research Team at research@crohnsandcolitis.org.uk