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Opening the door to new ideas

04 May 2021

Today we launch our new way of driving innovation and new research ideas for people with kidney disease – our open door initiative 

This initiative is the beginning of a new way of working for us, to drive new ideas forward. It works alongside our usual research grants funding rounds for researchers, and the alternative ways of funding we are developing. 

About open door 

Our open door initiative is a new way of capturing ideas and innovations and supporting them to make a difference for people with kidney disease. It’s exciting because it’s open to anyone – patients, carers, industry, companies, researchers, scientists, doctors or health professionals. 

Share your idea with us at any time – and together we can explore options to move research and new ideas forward. 

Here are some examples of the things you could approach us with through open door:  

  • To get advice on how to take your research to the next stage 
  • To seek support with commercialisation of your product 
  • For help building a network of people to work with 
  • To approach patients to steer your research idea 
  • For advice on how best to secure funding for your idea 
  • You have a great idea for research but are not sure how to make it a reality  

Research grants programme

After a tough year, we are delighted to be finalising plans for our future research grant rounds for researchers too.

Our programme has had a revamp and we now have a fresh approach:

  • Our application process has changed – there will now be two phases, the first phase will be a shorter application, and those shortlisted will be invited to complete a more detailed application
  • Patients are much more involved in our grants review process than ever before – they now do a more comprehensive review from a patient perspective

We are continuing to review the process and more information will be available when the grant funding rounds open.

We have already mapped out our full programme of grants for the year ahead, with the first of them opening during the next few weeks.

If you are thinking of applying, plan ahead by checking out our full programme of grant rounds coming up.  Please note - the money available for research this year might be limited until our fundraising activity is back on track after the pandemic.

More information will be available soon.

Exploring new ways of funding

To make research happen faster, and make it count for patients sooner, we are working with partners to establish alternative approaches to funding research beyond the traditional grant funding rounds.  

We want to attract greater investment to kidney research and explore and develop different funding opportunities for researchers and scientists. 

Our new programme will increase the knowledge of researchers and scientists so they consider and explore opportunities around intellectual property (IP) and other ways of funding. The programme will include a range of workshops, training sessions and boot camps for them.   

Find out more about our alternative funding work and who we are working with, and look out for exciting news over the coming weeks. 

The beginning of a brighter future

Our chair of trustees and kidney doctor Professor Jeremy Hughes explains why these new initiatives are so important: 

“I am delighted we are opening our door to new ideas from the renal community and working towards getting our funding for research back on track after such a tough year.

According to the AMRC, £270 million in charity research funding has been lost due to the coronavirus pandemic, and we had to pause all new research funding in March 2020. We were so proud to be ending our 2020-21 financial year by awarding some new research grants, albeit at a lower level that we planned before the pandemic hit – we have only awarded £2.2 million in research grants rather than the £5.03 million we planned.

We have now mapped out our year ahead and we will be opening our 2021-22 research grants programme shortly. I am so grateful to our wonderful supporters for helping us to make this happen.

The full programme of initiatives – the open door, alternative funding and research grants - signal a significant and exciting change in how we work and drive forward new ideas to help kidney patients.

While the charity is dedicated to funding research, it does so much more. It galvanises and encourages new ideas and brings people together to drive progress. It plays a vital role in the UK kidney research landscape, especially when other funders have also had to cut their funding. This is only possible because of the wonderful generosity of our loyal and new supporters.

I truly believe these new initiatives will accelerate discoveries and will make a genuine difference to patients’ lives.”

Find out more

Visit our research section for all our latest information.

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