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Research strategy

Every year over 95,000 babies who are born premature or sick receive neonatal care. Since 1985 the number of babies who survive being born premature has increased, however for many babies being born premature or sick has lifelong consequences. We believe that having a strong evidence base is vital to ensure that babies are able to receive the best possible care and to improve their long-term outcomes.

Our strategic goal
We will support research that will tangibly improve outcomes for babies born premature or sick.

Our approach
Bliss will contribute funding to projects focused on the areas stated below.
Our three areas of priority are:

  1. The most effective ways of judging whether a premature or sick baby is feeling pain.
  2. Impact of developmental care support on neurodevelopmental outcomes.
  3. Emotional and other practical support to improve attachment and bonding of premature or sick babies and their families.

Additionally, researchers should evaluate the impact their projects have on families and babies, and on the culture of a neonatal unit. This is to ensure that research interventions are delivered in a way which is positive for all those taking part - babies, families and health professionals - and sustainable after the project has ended.

Funding available
Bliss will award grants for projects lasting up to three years, with a maximum annual award of £50,000 per year. We would welcome applications for smaller projects as well as larger ones and aspire to fund a range of different sized projects.

Funding will be provided for direct research costs such as consumables and research costs but not for any indirect costs.


  1. ONS. (2012). Childhood mortality in England and Wales: 2015. Retrieved from:
  2. Duley, L., Uhm, S. and Oliver, S. (2014). Top 15 UK research priorities for preterm birth. [online] Available at:

How to apply for funding

Bliss' Research Panel


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