Research investment strategy and governance

Our approach to funding research, and the policies and governance that support this approach.

How we decide what to fund

Our vision is a world free from meningitis. We aim to bring this vision closer through funding world class research.

Below is an explanation of the process that we follow from our initial call for preliminary proposals, to awarding research grants. This process typically takes around 6 months.

More information about the procedures and guidelines we follow can be found by downloading our Peer review procedures.

Research Investment Strategy

Our approach to funding research is to highlight priority topics for each grant round. In setting priority topics, our aim is to elicit strong, well-constructed research proposals on subjects we believe will have the most impact in terms of clinical/public health benefit or unlocking key research questions that will enable further translational research. We will consider funding basic science, but this must increase understanding of the disease area and have a clearly defined potential for early translation into alleviation of the diseases. Research funded must be of the highest scientific merit, in terms of the importance of the investigation, excellence of the study, ability of the research team, and probability of success.

In our 2016-2017 grant round we invited proposals dealing with all forms of meningitis and associated infections, improving prevention, treatment and outlook for patients, and improving the speed and accuracy of diagnosis.

Priority topics included:

  • Research pertinent to prevention of bacterial meningitis and to maximising vaccine impact, including studies to:
    • evaluate vaccines or enable their evaluation
    • understand their mode of action
  • Research leading to prevention of neonatal meningitis and sepsis, including research which facilitates GBS vaccine development and implementation
  • Research in Africa that seeks to improve outcomes from meningitis by:
    • overcoming barriers to health seeking behaviour
    • improving prevention, treatment or health systems
    • improving recognition and accelerating the development and evaluation of rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) for meningitis

We are particularly interested in projects that lead to practical interventions and partnerships in Africa.


Research grants may be held in any country and must meet UK standards of research ethics, scientific integrity and animal welfare.

Research governance and policies


We are a member of the Association of Medical Research Charities, a membership organisation of the leading medical and health research charities in the UK. As a member we follow its guidelines for best practice on peer review and support its position statement on the use of animals in research and its position statement on supporting research in universities.

We were awarded the AMRC’s Certificate of Best Practice in Peer Review at their latest audit in 2020.

Scientific Advisory Panel

Our Scientific Advisory Panel ensures independent and rigorous review of proposals for research funding and makes recommendations to the Trustees who make final decisions on funding recommended proposals. All Panel members adhere to our Code of conduct and conflicts of interest policy to ensure impartial assessment of any research applications from members of the Panel, or from researchers based in a Panel member’s academic department.

Research Integrity

We are a supporter of the Universities UK’s Concordat to Support Research Integrity, a cross disciplinary national framework for good research conduct and its governance.

As a supporter of the concordat, we are committed to:

  • Upholding the highest standards of rigour and integrity in all aspects of research
  • Ensuring that research is conducted according to appropriate ethical, legal and professional frameworks, obligations and standards
  • Supporting a research environment that is underpinned by a culture of integrity  and based on good governance, best practice and support for the development of researchers
  • Using transparent, robust and fair processes to deal with allegations of research misconduct should they arise
  • Working together to strengthen the integrity of research and to reviewing progress regularly and openly

Read more about our research integrity policy here.

We fund research into the prevention, detection and treatment of meningitis and sepsis
Key data and meningitis estimates
A global vision for meningitis by 2030 and an action plan to get there.
£160/€190/$214 decodes the genetic information in a sample of meningococcal bacteria. This information has helped us track new forms of meningitis and campaign to introduce new vaccines to protect people.
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Liz Rodgers
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