St George's has been awarded funding from the Wellcome Trust Institutional Strategic Support Fund. The fund enables universities to invest in areas of research relating to medical and clinical sciences, public health, social sciences and medical humanities.


What our ISSF funding will be used for

St George’s is exclusively focused on health-related research. Below, you can read about the ways we aim to use our ISSF funding.

Our research strategy aims to maximise the benefits of our location within St George’s Hospital through the establishment of Clinical Academic Groups, and through support of early career researchers. We hope to increase clinical translational input into our basic research, and provide stronger basic mechanistic research approaches to our clinical research.

St George’s has a strong record for research impact and we are keen to build on this strong foundation by expanding our areas of research and developing new centres of research excellence.

Our ISSF objectives

The ISSF will be used to support six areas of activity.

1.    Investment into young early career researchers
Our Research Institutes provide an excellent research environment for early career researchers. Recognising the importance of this group of scientists is a key component of our research strategy.

2.    Protecting research time for clinical consultant staff
This investment will help to draw wide-ranging clinical academic expertise into our research structure, leading to stronger integration between clinicians and academics at St George’s and improvements in translational and clinical impacts to our research.

3.    Pilot research projects
A pilot project scheme will support those aiming for research grant applications from major funding bodies, in our research areas of strategic importance. See below for a list of funded projects.

4.    Cross-cutting core research investment
This supports key core services of value across St George's. It will enable the acquisition of new research capability and capacity. In the long term this will result in the development of new research directions.

5.    Public engagement
ISSF investment will be used to incorporate public engagement into our taught courses, to fund public engagement training for students and staff, and to develop public engagement opportunities for those who require them.

6.    Career development
Funds will be used to explore new ways to facilitate career development for non-professorial research staff, particularly for those with complex working patterns or personal circumstances.


Funding to support research activities that cut across our research institutes and clinical academic groups

St George’s, University of London was awarded Institutional Strategic Support Funding (ISSF) from the Wellcome Trust for 2016-2021 and allocated £229,000 over this period to support research activities that cut across our research institutes and CAGs. 
By extending our existing strategy to support key services that are of value to multiple research groups and providing opportunities to establish new research collaborations, this investment has strengthened our research portfolio and improved our research impact. 
The short term impact will be the acquisition of new research capability and capacity. In the long term, we expect this activity to result in development of new research directions, more robust grant applications and higher impact outputs.
Applications were invited from all members of staff. The funding could be used to support equipment purchase and/or skilled personnel. The potential benefits to multiple research groups across the Institution must be clearly described and evidence of PI support for the proposed cross-institutional collaboration had to be provided. Applications that provided new training opportunities for young scientists, or support the University’s research relationship with the Trust and existing and emerging CAGs, were prioritised. 
Application for this scheme is now closed. The selection of successful applications will be determined by the ISSF committee comprising Dean of Research, Institute Directors, Director of JREO, Head of Enterprise and an external expert.

Research Funding for Trust Staff to Collaborate with SGUL University Researchers

St George’s, University of London was awarded Institutional Strategic Support Funding (ISSF) from the Wellcome Trust for 2016-2021 and allocated part of this (£132,000) to encourage Hospital Trust staff to engage in academic research in collaboration with research staff in the University. This investment sought to ensure continuity of clinical input and collaboration in our research portfolio, which has historically been one of our main areas of strength.

All members of staff were invited to apply for funding for one to two sessions per week for up to six months to carry out a defined piece of work.  Examples include performing a pilot study, writing a high impact paper, or preparing a collaborative research grant.

Six projects have been awarded for the 2017 round under the scheme. The awardees are:

  • Jeremy Isaacs (Consultant Neurologist) - Atticus Hainsworth & Franklyn Howe (Molecular and Clinical Sciences): ‘Use of MRI-based metabolic biomarkers to identify new treatment targets in delirium and dementia’
  • Samar Elorbany (Clinical Fellow, Gynaecological oncology) - Dorothy Bennett (Molecular and Clinical Sciences): ‘Mutation Profile of Low grade Endometrial Endometrioid Adenocarcinoma of Poor Prognosis’
  • Richard Pollok (Consultant Gasteroenterologist) - Tim Planche (Infection & Immunity): ‘The role of microbial PCR testing in the evaluation of patient with GI infection and raised calprotectin’
  • Anshul Rastogi & Nik Papadakos (Consultant Radiologists) -  Nidhi Sofat  (Infection & Immunity): ‘Developing specific biomarkers for ARthritic PAIN to guide better treatments for chronic arthritis pain (ARPAIN study)’
  • Omar Khan (Consultant Upper GI and Bariatric Surgeon) - Peter Whincup (Population Health): ‘Outcomes following Bariatric Surgery’
  • Rafiah Badat (Highly Specialist Speech and Language Therapist) - Peter Whincup (Population Health): ‘iPad supported Speech and Language Therapy (SLT) to improve children’s language and wellbeing – an investigation into feasibility and acceptability to service users.’

Personal Development opportunities for non-professorial research staff

Do you want to go on a course or attend a conference but can’t because of personal commitments?

St George's is piloting a project to explore new ways to facilitate personal development for non-professorial research staff. You can apply to the new Wellcome Trust ISSF personal development fund if you need some extra support to attend a personal development event because of special circumstances. 

The fund will not be used to pay for attendance at a meeting or course, but you can use it to pay for something that would facilitate your attendance; for example, if you need to pay for additional child care or carer costs. Up to £100 per day is available; the total per staff member cannot exceed £600.

To apply, please send an email to Louise Kim (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) with the following information:

1. Your name, your Institute and position, your email address.  
2. Name and dates of the meeting or course you want to attend, and your reasons for attending.
3. The source of funds if any for registration, travel and accommodation (delete as appropriate).     
4. The reason you are applying to the ISSF personal development fund and the amount requested.

If you wish to discuss your application first, please contact Professor Julian Ma (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Funded studies

Pilot research projects, winter 2016:

  1. Professor Pippa Oakeshott, Dr S Tariq Sadiq, Dr Adam Witney, Dr Liqing Zhou. 'Genital microbiota in women who did and did not develop clinical pelvic inflammatory disease: proof of principal, matched cohort study using novel sequencing technology'

  2. Dr Claire Nightingale, Professor Peter Whincup, Professor Christopher Owen, Dr Alicja Rudnicka, Professor Derek Cook. 'Exploring the feasibility of a longitudinal (cohort) study investigating the development and determinants of type 2 diabetes risk in adolescence and early adult life in UK South Asians, black Africans and white Europeans.'

  3. Dr Pascal Drake, Dr Tim Szeto. 'Development of colicin-based antimicrobial cocktails'.

  4. Dr S Tariq Sadiq, Professor Philip Cooper, Dr Natalia Romero, Dr Emma Harding-Esch, Dr Cynthia Marquez, Emma Cousins. 'Estimation of prevalence of common sexually transmitted infections (3TI) among female sex workers in Quito, Ecuador and early evaluation of utility of an approved rapid molecular technology to give precise 3TI treatment in real-time'.

  5. Dr Ingrid Dumitriu, Dr Satdip Kaur. 'Characterisation of the frequency, phenotype and suppressive function of regulatory T cells in patients with atherosclerosis.'

  6. Dr Katalin Török, Dr Silke Kerruth. 'The role of αCaMKII clustering in ischemia.'


Read more about ISSF funding on the Wellcome Trust website.


Last Updated: Monday, 14 August 2017 15:36