Pilot projects

The Pilot project scheme provides funds for small innovative research projects and pilot studies.

The Pilot project scheme is meant for novel research ideas that if successful would lead to a Major project or programme application to Alzheimer’s Research UK or other funding body.

Duration: Up to two years.

The lead applicant and point of contact must be based in a UK academic/research institution. However, the application can include researchers or institutions outside the UK.

The Lead Applicant is expected to have a contract (fixed term or tenure) which covers the proposed duration of the grant. If the Lead Applicant does not hold a tenure appointment, the application must include a co-applicant that does.

If the project requires ethical approval and/or Home Office licences, the award is dependent upon the requisite approvals being granted.

This scheme is not designed to cover:

  • Clinical trials and opportunities to research ‘add ons’ to ongoing clinical trials
  • Drug discovery or development

Clinical trials and add-ons should be applied for through the Global Clinical Trials Fund. Drug discovery and development work should be applied for through the Dementia Consortium or through ARUK’s Drug Discovery Institutes.

Applications are made via our grant application website.

Grant schemes only appear on this website when the round is open and we are accepting new applications.

View an example Pilot Project Grant application form.

Alzheimer’s Research UK is a member of the Association of Medical Research Charities and follows their guidelines for best practice in peer review. Grants are awarded entirely on scientific merit in relation to Alzheimer’s Research UK’s remit and on the basis of open competition. The quality of the application and applicants is the key determinant of outcome, although the strength of the dementia research environment within the institution is also considered.            

Triage

Grant Review Board (GRB) members are asked to read a subset of applications related to their area of expertise and provide a score based on whether an application should proceed to the next stage of review.

Lay review

Applications for research studies that involve human subjects require lay review. Applicants are requested to complete a lay summary of their application which is sent to lay review volunteers for comments. The comments made by lay reviewers are made available to the GRB members.

Discussion in meeting

Each application is allocated to two GRB members, based roughly on their areas of expertise. The two members will present the application to the rest of the board, including any relevant information from external reviews or applicant responses. A short discussion will follow before the GRB score the application. Applications for each grant scheme are ranked by their average score and recommendations for funding are made.

Trustee meeting

Those applications recommended for funding by the GRB are presented to the trustees for final approval.

Success rate

In the last three years Alzheimer’s Research UK has received 108 applications for Pilot Project grants. 32 of these projects were awarded funding.

The terms and conditions of grant differ for each grant scheme and contracts are drawn up individually once the grants have been awarded.

View an example award letter and contract for the Pilot Project Grant.

All grant holders are expected to report on the progress of their project on a regular basis. Read more about our reporting requirements on the measuring impact page.

For more information about any of the grant schemes or the application process please contact the Research Team research@alzheimersresearchuk.org or 0300 111 5555

Up to £50,000.

This can cover staff salaries, equipment, animals, running costs, or any combinations of these.

Key Dates

  • 16/03/2016
    Applicants will be notified of the decision by 8 July 2016.
  • 05/10/2016
    Applicants will be notified of the decision by 10 February 2017