Research funding

The RCM, alongside other organisations, offers scholarships to support midwives' professional development with the aim of encouraging individuals to conduct research, undertake continuing professional development or to enable innovation of changes in practice.

Funding/financial assistance

Funding and financial assistance can be obtained for research projects, places on post-graduate programmes [such as Masters and PhDs], and for research related costs, such as travel and conference fees. 

The RCM Research Advisors write a monthly newsletter where many of the current research related opportunities and events are listed.

RCM supported awards 

The RCM provides financial support for two research awards. If you are considering applying for one of these awards you may be interested to apply for support through our RCM Research Award Buddy Scheme [RABS] 

Wellbeing of WomenRCM Entry Level Scholarships for midwives  

Wellbeing of Women in partnership with the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) funds Entry Level Scholarships (ELS) which provide successful candidates with up to £20,000 for research lasting normally up to one year. Funds are for directly incurred research costs and may include a salary contribution. Applicants must be midwives and full members of the RCM. The research must be undertaken in the UK. This award enables midwives to develop research interests in midwifery, maternity services or research with a focus on women’s reproductive health. 

Iolanthe Midwifery Trust - Jean Davies award  

This award, jointly funded by the Royal College of Midwives, is for individuals or teams working to address inequalities in maternal health in the UK. The lead midwife or student midwife must be an RCM member. The award is worth up to £5000. 

The award is made in honour of Jean Davies who served for many years as a Trustee of the Iolanthe Midwifery Trust, stepping down in 2012, and in various roles for the RCM during her career. Jean’s focus in her work as a clinical midwife and midwife researcher was to help those families experiencing social and economic disadvantage, mainly in her home region, the north-east of England. 

Country specific funding schemes

Each UK nation has its own specific health and care research funding streams. Throughout the year different funding opportunities will be available within the 4 countries. This may include funding for smaller initial research projects, post-graduate study (such as PhD) or for larger research projects. Calls may permit the applicant to select the focus of their research or the applicant may instead be required to apply within the funder’s priority areas.  

England (with some awards also accessible by researchers outside of England): The NIHR 

Wales: Health and Care Research Wales 

Scotland: The Chief Scientist Office 

Northern Ireland: The HSC R&D Division Northern Ireland     

Other awards and funders

The Iolanthe Midwifery Trust have a range of awards in addition to the Jean Davies award. The Trust welcomes applications from UK midwives and student midwives.

The Wellbeing of Women have further awards, in addition to the Entry Level Research Scholarship for Midwives. 

The Nightingale Fund supports post registration education and professional development through diploma and post-graduate degrees, including PhDs, specific modules and short courses, defined as five days or greater. 

The Barbers' Company Clinical Nursing Scholarship enables nurses and midwives making a career in clinical practice to undertake further education. The award is specifically intended for nurses/midwives in, or planning to return to, clinical practice. 

The Harkness Fellowships in Health Care Policy and Practice provide a unique leadership development experience for midcareer professionals — policymakers, researchers, clinical leaders, health care executives, and journalists — from Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, and the United Kingdom.

The Maternity and the Newborn Forum, of the Royal Society of Medicine has several research related awards that are open to midwives and student midwives.

The RCN Foundation provides grants to support educational and professional development.

Wellcome have three research funding schemes available. 

The Medical Research Council (MRC) funds research at the forefront of science to prevent illness, develop therapies and improve human health.

Individual Trusts and Health Boards may have charitable funds or funding available through the Research & Development department. Contact your individual organisation to find out what is available. For example, the Kings College Hospital Nurses’ League have educational grants available to league members for help with funding for CPD which can be for a course, a module, or a conference 

If you are looking specifically for funding to undertake a Masters or PhD programme you can also access University websites to see what opportunities are available. Websites, such as FindAMasters.com and Findaphd.com may also be helpful 

If you are looking for funding for a specific focus you may wish to approach related charities (such as SANDS, BLISS, APEC) 

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