Applying for a grant

The Scottish Cot Death Trust is a registered charity which has three key objectives:

To support families in Scotland affected by the sudden unexpected death of a baby or young child

To educate professionals and parents across the country about ways to reduce the risk of SUDI  and to better understand what happens after a sudden unexpected death of a baby or young child

To fund vital research into why these babies and children die and how we may prevent future deaths

The charity is committed to funding research into the cause(s) of unexplained deaths in babies and young children and to also invest in prevention strategies of such deaths. Since its inception over 30 years ago the Trust has funded in excess of £3 million in research.


Applying for a grant

Anyone who is undertaking research into the causes of unexplained infant or childhood deaths or groups looking at developing prevention strategies are eligible to apply for funding. It is common now for charities to co-fund with other funders, although the charity may consider sole funding if a project was assessed appropriate by the Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC).

How Quickly will I hear if my application has been successful?

Grant applications will be considered throughout the year, but can take several months depending on the schedule for SAC meetings. You will be kept informed of likely timescales and asked to submit additional information if the SAC need this top make a final decision.

What are the stages for applying for a funding?

1. Preliminary Proposal

In the first instance please submit a 2 or 3 page preliminary proposal (by e-mail to if possible) summarising the work you plan to do, the approximate amount of funding required and the duration of the project. This must include approximately ten lines explaining:

  • how the work described falls within the Trust’s research and development strategy
  • potential for clinical / public health benefit arising from this study
  • why you have chosen to apply to the Trust for funding for this particular project.

The SAC will decide whether to request a full application based on this submission according to whether it conforms to the charity’s objectives and research strategy, its feasibility and whether there is overlap with work already in progress.

2. Full Application

If your preliminary proposal is acceptable, we will send (by e-mail):

  • A Grant Application Form
  • Guidance for Applicants
  • Terms and Conditions of Grant Aid (for information)

The application form should be completed with reference to the other documents. The Trust’s willingness to consider an application does not imply that support will be forthcoming.

3. Evaluation

Full applications are assessed by the Trust’s Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) who then make a recommendation to the trustees for final approval. The trustees have the final decision making authority for all research grant awards. The Trust’s grants are highly competitive and are awarded primarily on the basis of clear relevance to the Charity’s aims and scientific merit. Even a scientifically sound application is likely to fail if the objectives are poorly described, it lacks experimental detail and necessary power calculations, or it does not address apparent overlap with other projects. Inexperienced applicants are encouraged to seek advice from senior members of their department on how best to prepare a grant application.

Assessment Criteria

  1. Relevance
  2. Clinical benefit
  3. Design
  4. Originality
  5. Methodology
  6. Ability of proposers to achieve objectives
  7. Probability of completion within time frame
  8. Ethical aspects
  9. Realism of costings

Scientific Advisory Panel

Dr Tom Turner (Chairman)
Dr Mary Ray
Dr Una McFadyen
Mrs Lynsay Allan
Prof David Tappin
Dr Paul Brown
Prof Colin Smith
Prof Sameer Zuberi


When we write to applicants to let them know the outcome of their applications, we summarise the conclusion reached by the SAC.

Please note that applicants should not, under any circumstances, directly approach members of the Trust’s Scientific Advisory Committee in connection with their (or another’s) research application. The Trust’s decisions are final and no subsequent correspondence will be entered into. Applications that are rejected will not be reconsidered unless re-submission is specifically invited or permitted.