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Sources of Funding

There are many sources of funding available from a variety of different organisations; these include charities, professional medical bodies and government funded organisations such as The Department for International Development (DFID) and The Tropical Health Education Trust (THET).


British Charities

The British Charities website provides a guide to charities in the UK, some of which can be approached for funding support.


BMA Humanitarian Fund

The Fund aims to support health professionals in undertaking humanitarian work and is funded jointly by the BMA, Royal College of Nursing, and the Department of Health (England).

Grants of up to £3000 are available to individual projects to cover incidental costs, such as travel expenses and accommodation. Proposed projects should offer clear health benefits to the local population and must be sustainable. The project must involve at least one current NHS employee.

Individuals interested in applying to the Humanitarian Fund, should contact the BMA's International department on international.info@bma.org.uk or on 020 7383 6133 or 020 7383 6793, or download the application form from the BMA website.


Department for International Development (DFID)

DFID is a government department that manages Britain's aid to developing countries and works towards eradicating extreme poverty. Its headquarters are in London but it has offices throughout the world and provides aid to over 90 countries. They are working towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals which have been set by the United Nations.

They have funding available for individuals, more information can be found on their website, DFID funding opportunities.

The Health Partnership Scheme is a DfID allocation to support the development of Health Partnerships between UK organisations and partners abroad. The Tropical Health Education Trust (see below) administers this allocation. 


Medical Elective Funding

The BMA has an excellent directory of sources of funding which medical students can apply to for elective grants.


Overseas Surgical Fellowship

The Association of Surgeons of Great Britain and Ireland, in partnership with the British Journal of Surgery Society Ltd, are offering Fellowships to sponsor surgeons wishing to work in a developing country, primarily in the least developed countries, on a short-term basis. The purpose of the Fellowships is to provide training and support for overseas medical schools in the development of their postgraduate training programmes and, thereby, establishing links with these centres.

The principles of the Overseas Surgical Fellowships are to establish links with surgical centres in developing countries. These links are to provide the opportunity for teaching and postgraduate training of surgeons overseas and, where appropriate, to encourage the exchange of surgeons. In order to allow at least five Fellowships each year, a maximum grant of £2000 will be awarded to each successful applicant.


Tropical Health Education Trust (THET)

THET manages the Health Partnership Scheme to support institutions and professionals in partnerships with low-income countries, to improve health outcomes by sharing skills and capacity building. More information about the scheme is available on its website.  

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