Apply for a fellowship award

Female scientist wearing a white coat in a laboratory, looking towards the camera.
Action for Pulmonary Fibrosis are seeking applications from exceptional researchers who are ready to begin an independent research career. Our Mike Bray Fellowships are aimed at developing the pulmonary fibrosis research leaders of the future.

Our 2022/2023 Fellowship Call is now closed.

Please visit our research news pages for updates on key dates for future Fellowship funding calls. Our next funding call opening date is yet to be confirmed. We offer a range of support for researchers, including Conference Awards, take a look at our Support for Researchers page to find out more.

The Mike Bray Fellowships are named after and in memory of the charity’s founder and former chairman, who passed away in January 2017. Fellowship awards are made possible through the dedicated fundraising activities of patients, caregivers, family and friends, and philanthropic trusts and funds.

Our Mike Bray Fellowships are open to people from diverse disciplines in academic, clinical and care settings. The Fellowship is intended to provide the necessary skills and training for the development of an independent career in pulmonary fibrosis research. Our fellowships are designed for early-career researchers with the skills to deliver high-quality innovative research, with the potential to bring about meaningful change for those affected by pulmonary fibrosis.

Mike Bray Fellowship Award

A total of £600,000 is available for the fellowship awards. Funding is available for up to three years (full-time), with the expectation that individual applications will not exceed £300,000.

Available funding includes:

  • Salary for the fellow
  • Reasonable salary costs for additional research and research support staff
  • Full cost of direct research costs including: equipment, conference fees and project-specific travel costs.

Action for Pulmonary Fibrosis does not fund allocated research costs or indirect costs of research. For further information on how we support research at UK Universities please see our Research Priorities.

All costs must be justified and based on actual, verifiable costs and not on estimates.  

Eligibility Criteria

This is a personal fellowship. The lead applicant will be the named holder of the award.

Applicants must be eligible to work in the UK and the host institution must be based in the UK. Applications are welcomed from Universities, NHS hospitals, statuary social care organisation, hospices or research institutes.

All applicants will need to have been awarded their PhD before beginning their Fellowship, should they be successful. At the point of application submission, you must satisfy at least one of the following training requirements:

  • be an allied healthcare professional
  • be medically qualified
  • have submitted your PhD thesis for examination

You are not eligible if any of the following apply:

  • If you have more than 8 years of active research experience since completing your PhD or first academic appointment. Excluding carer breaks and other periods of leave.
  • Researchers or academics in a tenured or established position
  • Your host (grant holding) institution is not based in the UK

Involvement and Engagement

APF anticipates being an active partner in the research process, supporting the successful outcome, and promoting the work and research findings.

APF believes Patient and Public Involvement can and should occur throughout the research process, from identifying a research question to influencing policy makers when disseminating results. We believe it is important to engage with the PF community to ensure your research is relevant, credible, and impactful. You will be asked how you have involved people with lived experience of pulmonary fibrosis in your research and/or the application, how you will involve them going forward and how you plan to disseminate this work to them.

It is essential that all research applicants engage directly with the pulmonary fibrosis community.  Applications that do not reflect the needs and lived experience of people affected by pulmonary fibrosis will not be funded.

The support I’ve had from APF has been amazing! Everyone has been so enthusiastic and being funded by APF has been a really positive experience. I don’t have a clinical background, meaning I have little access to the pulmonary fibrosis community, but through APF I have been able to get involved in lots of patient involvement activities that I wouldn’t have been able to otherwise.

Applicants are encouraged to use language that is accessible to non-experts, and non-scientists with lived experience of pulmonary fibrosis, throughout their application.

For further information on how we provide support for researchers with involvement and engagement prior to application submission, please read the guidance notes for applicants.

Priority Areas for Research

Our Mike Bray Fellowship awards are open calls.

APF funds research that has the potential either to:

  • contribute towards the discovery of an effective treatment or cure, or
  • accelerate change which will enable our community to live well for longer.

Applicants are advised to refer to our Research Strategy to ensure their application aligns with our research priorities.

How to apply

The following information outlines how to apply for a Fellowship award and the process we use to award Fellowships.

The APF Mike Bray Fellowship for 2022/23 is a 2-stage application process.

Before you apply you should:

  • Check the key dates and submission deadlines
  • Read our applicant guidance document
  • Review our grant terms and conditions. You should share the T&Cs with your host institution. Grant holders and host institutions must agree to our T&Cs as a condition of the award.

Downloadable application forms and guidance documents

The 5-step funding process

1. Expression of Interest (EoI)

EoIs will be triaged by our Research team to check that applications have followed the applicant guidance notes and that they broadly fulfil the award remit.

EoIs will then be reviewed by members of the Research Review Panel (RRP). Our RRP is made up of individuals with lived experience as 'experts by experience' representing the patient voice, and academics, and clinical experts in the field of pulmonary fibrosis. The review criteria are:

  • APF Research Priorities
  • Person
  • Project
  • Place
  • Price

2. Invitation to submit a full application

Applicants successful after EoI review will be invited to submit a full application. All applicants will be notified of the EoI outcome via email.

Full applications undergo peer review by members of the RRP. Applications will also be reviewed by expert external peer-reviewers.

The RRP and expert external reviewers will provide a detailed review of applications against the same criteria as the EoIs.

You read the full criteria details in the Review Criteria and Scoring Guidance document.

The contents of your application will remain confidential and will not be reproduced, stored or disseminated for any purposes beyond the review process. All reviewers will adhere to our Conflict of Interest Policy. Applicants must declare any real or potential conflicts of interest.

3. Shortlisting for interview

Shortlisted Fellowship applicants will be invited to interview either in person or virtually depending on the circumstances. The interview panel will be made up of members of the RRP.

Applicants will be emailed with dates to hold in their diaries as early as possible. Once the interview has been confirmed, applicants will be sent further details of the interview and confirmed members of the panel. 

4. Interview

At interview applicants will have the opportunity to discuss their research proposal in detail with members of the panel. Applicants will receive detailed reviewer comments ahead of interview in order to prepare responses and rebuttals.

Following interviews, the RRP will make their recommendations to the Board of Trustees for the research proposals receiving support for funding. Our Board of Trustees is comprised of individuals with lived experience of PF and clinical academics.

5. Successful grants awarded

The Board of Trustees will decide who receives funding and applicants will be notified via email. Successful applicants will be issued with the award contract for the host institution to sign. 

Illustration of the review process

Diagram of review process

Contacting us

If you have any queries regarding your application, please contact