Aims of the Foundation

The Colt Foundation is interested in supporting research into the health, safety and comfort of people at work.  The Trustees have occasionally supported projects which fall outside this area, but these projects are very much the exception.


The Trustees meet twice a year to review applications, in the spring and in the autumn, and applications normally need to be received approximately eight weeks beforehand so that a full assessment can be obtained from external assessors before the papers are prepared for the Meeting.  The next Meeting is in November 2019 and the closing date for receipt of applications is 1st September 2019.  The following Meeting is likely to be in May 2020.  However, applicants can submit a single sheet lay summary at any time during the year prior to working on a full application, so that advice can be given on whether the work falls within the remit of the Foundation.  The Trustees are particularly keen to fund research that is likely to inform government policy and change working practices.

What needs to be in an application

Applications should contain sufficient information for the Scientific Advisers to be able to comment, and should include a lay summary for the Trustees’ first appraisal.  This lay summary is essential as the majority of the Trustees do not have a medical or scientific background.  This summary will help them in their decision between the different applications under consideration.  Applications are not expected to exceed 3,000 words, excluding references, the lay summary and justification of resources.  Brief CV’s, not exceeding two sides of A4 paper, should be attached for each of the major applicants. Please read these questions carefully and although you do not need to follow them precisely, you should bear them in mind when preparing your application:

  1. What is the work you would like to do?  Explain the background and its relevance for occupational health.
  2. Explain the specific research question and why it is important.
  3. What are you proposing to do to answer the research question?  Why do you think this is the right approach?  How will it answer the research question?  What potential problem (e.g. biases) do you see with this study design, and how will they be addressed?
  4. What do you think will be the potential ultimately to influence policy or practice for the benefit of workers or the wider public?  Who else is doing or has done work in the same area, and how will your work complement theirs?
  5. What resources will you need to do the work, and to what extent are these resources already available?  How much money do you need to complete the work?  You will need to demonstrate that the study is good value for money.
  6. Who will do the work, and how much time will each of the people, including yourself as PI, involved devote to it?
  7. How long will the work take and when do you plan to start?


Applications involving research on people and/or on human tissues must receive the approval of an ethics committee. As a charity, the Colt Foundation will only pay the Directly Incurred Costs of a project, together with some categories of necessary Directly Attributable Costs.  Universities are reimbursed by HEFCE for the majority of Directly Attributable and Indirect Costs. In addition to funding, the Foundation takes a continuing interest in its research projects and holds annual review meetings.  The trustees may appoint an external assessor to report on project progress. Grants are not made to the general funds of other charities, or directly to individuals, or to projects based outside the UK.  Details of recent projects supported are shown on the website under ‘Projects’.


The Foundation also makes grants to students taking higher degrees in subjects related to occupational and environmental health through selected universities and colleges. More than 250 students have been supported since the inception of the Foundation in 1978, and grants to students account for between one-quarter and one-third of the Foundation's annual grants.

Colt Foundation Fellowships in Occupational/Environmental Health

The Foundation awards fellowships each year to persons carrying out research within the area of occupational and environmental health. The research is expected to lead to a PhD degree. Further details are shown on the website under 'Students'.