Our approach

Since our foundation in 1971 as the Digestive Disorders Foundation, Guts UK’s vision has been of a world where digestive diseases are better understood, better treated and where everyone who lives with one gets the support they need. Digestive diseases are conditions that affect the gut, the liver or the pancreas. They are surprisingly widespread but include some of the conditions about which we know the least.

Their impact can be devastating, and the burden they place on society as a whole is huge.

Research into some types of digestive diseases is already generously funded by other charities so Guts UK prioritises research into those diseases where research is underfunded and where we can make a significant difference.

In 2018, to accompany its rebrand, Guts UK launched a new research strategy. In 2020 we have updated our research strategy.

The Guts UK research strategy will take a three-fold approach:

1) Guts UK will support research that can make a difference to patients affected by digestive disorders.

Our 7 priority areas are:

  • Upper gastrointestinal disease such as GORD and Barrett’s oesophagus
  • Diverticular disease
  • Pancreatitis
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Childhood gut, liver and pancreatic diseases
  • Gut microbiome and nutrition
  • Less survivable digestive cancers: stomach, oesophageal, pancreatic and liver.

These are the areas we believe are less well-resourced than other disease areas and where Guts UK’s research funding can make a meaningful difference for patients. Whilst these are priorities, we will also consider funding other areas including other cancers, liver disease and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) if proposals are considered of outstanding quality.

2) Guts UK will continue to support the development of the future leaders in academic gastroenterology and will continue to support research training for the next generation of health and non-clinical science professionals.

Guts UK prioritises funding of junior doctors at the start of their career by working in partnership with the British Society of Gastroenterology (BSG) to support more research in the specialty of gastroenterology, including hepatology and pancreatic disease.

3) Guts UK will encourage research that draws on innovation and achievements of other fields to speed up progress in gastroenterology and hepatology, and develop joint collaborations with other organisations that can help us meet our aims sooner.

Why is research so important?

Investment into medical research keeps all our doctors, nurses, surgeons and healthcare professionals at the top of their game, enabling them to deliver the best healthcare they can and every patient benefits from this.

Research is everyone’s business. We need a dramatic shift in perception and levels of research into this hugely important area.  Guts UK wants to start a national conversation about our guts and engage all ages with the fascinating facts, ignite interest, raise awareness and help this underrated topic finally get its time in the spotlight.

If you have questions about this funding opportunity or would like to sign up for research award updates, email research@gutscharity.org.uk