Child Health Futures - Research

Research is essential to advance the science of paediatrics and improving the health and wellbeing of children. Infants, children and young people need healthcare that is tailored to their needs. Can you support us?

Our vision is a healthier future for children and young people in the UK and across the world. To achieve this, we deliver individual research projects, research fellowships and a rare disease development fund.

Individual research projects

We undertake and support the delivery of research projects to ensure that our outputs and activities are underpinned by available evidence. We promote high quality research, support the development of paediatric researchers and contribute directly to the evidence base.

You can read more about our research activities, including studies, trainee support and awards.

Child health research fellowships

Funding for child health research from the UK's public sector and industry is limited. There's a shortage of people, too: worryingly few paediatric academics and a decline of those who can carry out research and train future researchers.

Our child health research fellowships will support a global increase in clinical and non-clinical research training posts and will increase academic capacity in paediatric research. They will identify and nurture future children's research leaders at a senior level and create opportunities to strengthen the scientific evidence base - leading to improvements in the diagnosis, treatment and management of child health.

We aim to set up the following fellowships over time:

  • Clinical lecturer level for individuals still in clinical training
  • Postdoctoral clinical research fellowship
  • Career development fellowships for non-clinical researchers 
  • International child health research fellowships for researchers based overseas
  • Clinician scientist level for more experienced clinical and non-clinical researchers with the necessary track record of research achievement and, in the case of clinicians, have been awarded a UK Certificate of Completion of Clinical Training or overseas equivalent 

Our first such child health research fellowship is a joint award with Newlife, The Charity for Disabled Children, for a post-doctoral researcher in childhood disabilities.

Rare disease development fund

In collaboration with British Paediatric Surveillance Unit (BPSU)

Though rare diseases are infrequent individually, collectively one in 17 people are affected by a rare disease at some point in their lives. But research into children's rare diseases is severely underfunded. We set up our rare disease development fund to support research and education in rare diseases, including:

  • Support the delivery of research surveillance projects by awarding grants to clinicians using the BPSU methodology
  • Award bursaries to paediatric trainees who seek to study a rare disease or condition that affects children and that addresses a question of clinical or public health importance. These may cover inclusion onto the BPSU orange card, attendance at appropriate training courses and attendance at conferences and events to present data
  • Support education and training programmes, including face-to-face and online courses, developed and delivered by us in collaboration with BPSU and other key stakeholders. These will aim to support paediatric workforce to better deliver services for children and young people with rare diseases
  • Work with patients to develop and disseminate patient resources, based on outputs from research projects, and support events where patients, patient advocates, researchers and health professionals can share their experiences of living with a rare disease and/or working in the field


We welcome donations from both members and non-members who want to support our work.

You can make a one-off donation towards RCPCH's research into child health through Virgin Money Giving, or explore other ways to give from setting up challenge events to leaving a gift in your will.

Make a one-off donation

For information on how we process your data in relation to donations, please see our privacy notice - fundraising.