Small Research Grants

We believe that excellent research underpins clinical best practice.  HIS aims to fund pioneering, innovative research within the scope of infection prevention and control and nosocomial infections.  Applications for funding must show an understanding of the clinical practice of infection prevention and control directly relating to nosocomial infections. Small research grants are intended to support small-scale research projects, or possibly the costs associated with the visit of an overseas research fellow, up to £10,000 for a project of 12 months duration. The primary grant holder and their institution must the based in the UK or Republic of Ireland. Small grants are normally non-recurring.

  • Total funding: £20,000 
  • Maximum size of award: £10,000
  • Duration: max 2 years
  • PI must be UK or Ireland based
  • Where: UK and Ireland only
  • Availability: two awards per year


Application deadlines: 1 March and 1 September at 11.59 pm

Frequently asked questions

Am I eligible?

We accept applications to this fund from researchers and clinicians, based in the public sector,  who are in a career grade or substantive role. Where an application includes salary support or a studentship, the Primary Grant Holder and applicant must be in a supervisory role (e.g.  a potential PhD student cannot directly apply for funds).

Applications must include Co-Investigators with either experience in research or the clinical practice of IPC, depending on the experience of the Primary applicant.

What research do you fund?

The scheme can be used to:

  • Fund small (local) research projects to answer well-defined and concise IPC/HCAI questions.
  • Create proof of principle data to underpin external applications for additional funding
  • Build new collaborations between clinicians and researchers
  • Provide access to funds for further hypothesis testing
  • Encourage innovative and interdisciplinary research in infection prevention and control
  • Build consortia for specific funding calls


Restrictions: Funding is not available:

  • For the commercial exploitation of work already being undertaken, or intellectual property protection;
  • For studentships or fee waivers for students;
  • 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 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.
The 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.
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 Grants Committee for peer review, who will meet to discuss the applications.
  • Applicants will be notified of their progress at this stage.
  • After reviewing, the Grants Committee will make a recommendation to the HIS Council regarding the proposal to fund.
  • All 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 24 months of the grant start date.  Grant holders may apply for a no cost extension in line with the Society’s terms and conditions.

Example timeline

Timescales / deadlines



The call opens

1 September

Application submission deadline


Committee meeting


Award allocation

By May 

Project must start

By end of May + 2 years

Funding to be spent