We invite researchers to submit high quality proposals for research grants of up to a maximum of £50,000. Proposals should focus on the causes of, or improving treatment and support for, cleft lip and/or palate. They may be either clinical or basic science questions. We welcome applications for smaller grants. 

Find out more about submitting an application 

Each application will be reviewed by the CLEFT Research Steering Committee (RSC) which includes patient and carer representatives.

The timeline for the application process will be as follows:

Call for funding applications open 1st July 2024

Closing date for applications 30th September 2024

Enquiries should be emailed to [email protected]


The RSC recommends considering the following points to build a strong research funding application:

  • A clear research question to be answered  
  • A literature review or systematic review in advance of the project to support the research question  
  • Plans for, or evidence of, ethical permissions
  • Plans for, or evidence of, public and patient involvement
  • Input from a R&D department, clear information about costs of the project including details of the grade and hours of any staff employed  
  • Clear information on how the data will be analysed and the statistical measures to be used – involve a statistician at the beginning of the project 
  • A clear time plan that shows the time expected for set up, collection of data, analysis and write up.  Include planned start and finish dates  


Pitfalls to avoid:  

  • Not being able to recruit sufficient numbers  
  • Small numbers for analysis 
  • Not leaving enough time for collecting data 
  • Similar projects in another centre 


Other considerations: 

  • Request ethical permission early 
  • Confounding factors – consider and understand as many confounding factors as possible and reduce them as much as possible without reducing the impact of any findings of the study 
  • Use well established, robust, and externally validated outcome measures where possible 
  • Measure inter and intra rater reliability 
  • Measure outcomes blindly and independently 
  • Collaborate with other centres where possible 


What you can also do for CLEFT:

Clearly state the impact of the research – how it will: 

  • Change the quality of people's lives  
  • Improve treatments 
  • Reduce the burden of treatment needed  
  • Reduce costs for health care providers 



CLEFT Research Steering Committee members:

E Anderson, Consultant Clinical Geneticist, Liverpool, Vice Chair; S Butterworth, Cleft Fellow, Newcastle; A Chadha, Cleft Surgical Trainee; R Chorbachi, Audiological Physician, GOSH; J Cropper, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, Oxford; J Davies, Speech and Language Therapist, Manchester; M Dwyer, Parent; F Gilchrist, Senior Lecturer in Paediatric Dentistry, University of Sheffield; N Hay, Consultant Orthodontist, North Thames Cleft Centre; H Lane, Speech and Language Therapist, University of Sheffield; G McCarthy, External Engagement Coordinator, CLAPA; H Robson, Lead Cleft Nurse, North Thames Cleft Centre; R Slator, Consultant Cleft Surgeon (retired), Chair; P Stanier, Emeritus Professor of Craniofacial Biology and Genetics, ICH/UCL; B Sommerlad, Trustee; S van Eeden, Speech and Language Therapist, Newcastle; Y Wren, Chief Investigator of The Cleft Collective Cohort Study, Bristol. 

View the Research Steering Committee members' bios

If you would like to download this Call for Research Proposal, click here