General and Education Trust Fund (GET)
The BDA General and Education Trust Fund exists “to advance education and other charitable purposes related to the science of dietetics”. The Trust can make grants to any individual or organisation engaged in dietetic research or related activities.
The Trust is separate to the BDA and is managed by the Trustees, some of whom are members of the profession and some who are independent. The Trustees may allocate funding as long as the outcome 'advances the science and practice of dietetics' and meets the other criteria in the guidance for applicants.
Grants can be made for running costs, project costs and help with salaries. The Trust does not make grants for buying buildings; expenses for post-graduate qualifications; support dietetic students in training; or fund conference attendance, unless the attendee is presenting a poster, a lecture, leading a workshop etc. and the conference will promote the science of dietetics or dietetic practice. If a grant funded project generates income the Trust Fund may require income to be shared accordingly.
The Trust cannot give grants for every project put forward, even though the projects may meet its criteria. In some cases, only partial support may be offered, or grants may be made subject to conditions which must be met. The types of applications which have been successful in recent years include
- funding for a study trip to the USA to evaluate diabetes management;
- a research project to evaluate the impact of clinical placements on professional training;
- ‘start up’ funding for a post to monitor developments in clinical effectiveness for dietitians.
When applications are rejected it can be for a variety of reasons. It is sometimes because
- An application for research does not have a sufficiently rigorous methodology;
- An application is not clearly going to benefit dietetic practice; or
- A project is too local and funding is sought to fund activities which should be supported by another organisation (e.g. the NHS).
“The award from the Trustees was extremely helpful and it enabled me to convert a pilot study for a randomised control trial on evaluating preoperative oral supplements in people who were losing weight into a fully powered trial. This allowed me to answer a research question and develop my research investigating the use of oral nutritional supplements to assist people with cancer preoperatively”.
Dr Sorrel Burden
University of Manchester