Sands aims to reduce the number of babies dying and to improve bereavement care for all parents and families.

To help us meet our aims, we fund research focusing on:

  • understanding the causes of stillbirth and neonatal death
  • identifying pregnancies at risk of perinatal deaths and improving care for those pregnancies 
  • improving bereavement care.

Applying for research funding

Sands research fund – call for applications

Sands 2018-19 research funding cycle will open on 8 October 2018, with a deadline for outline applications of 3 December 2018.

We will consider proposals from UK-based researchers that focus on: 
•    understanding the causes of stillbirth and neonatal death, and/or
•    identifying pregnancies at risk of perinatal death, and/or 
•    improving interventions to manage at-risk pregnancies, or
•    optimising bereavement care

This year we are inviting applications for grants to a maximum of £40,000. These may be pump priming or seed awards. We will also consider applications for part-funding.
We invite initial outline applications which will be triaged; we anticipate inviting a shortlist of 15 full applications and awarding up to five grants.


The deadline for application is 1700 hours on 3 December 2018. Please send completed outline forms to 

If you have any questions relating to the application or funding processes, please contact


Perinatal Expert Panel

The Perinatal Expert Panel (PEP) make recommendations about research funding to the Trustees.

Professor Gordon Smith (Chair), Professor and Head of Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Cambridge University and Honorary Consultant in Maternal-Fetal Medicine (CUHFT)

Professor Stephen Charnock-Jones, Professor of Reproductive Biology, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Cambridge, The Rosie Hospital, Cambridge

Professor David Cromwell, Professor of Health Services Research, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

Professor Alexander Heazell, Senior Clinical Lecturer in Obstetrics and Clinical Director of the Tommy’s Stillbirth Research Centre, Maternal and Fetal Health Research Centre, University of Manchester, UK

Dr Alyson Hunter, Consultant Obstetrician, The Royal Jubilee Maternity Hospital, Belfast [also a Sands Trustee]

Dr Tracey Mills, Lecturer in Midwifery, University of Manchester

Professor Jane Sandall, Professor of Social Science and Women’s Health, Division of Women’s Health, Faculty of Life Sciences and Medicine, King’s College London

Dr Dimitrios Siassakos, Consultant Senior Lecturer in Obstetrics, Director of Research Academic Centre for Women's Health, University of Bristol & Southmead Hospital; Lead for Obstetric Education Reproductive Health and Care of Newborn, University of Bristol

Professor Baskaran Thilaganathan, Professor in Fetal Medicine, St George’s University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, London

Professor Jim Thornton (Vice Chair), Consultant Obstetrician and Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Nottingham

Dr Nicola Mackintosh, Associate Professor in Social Science Applied to Health, University of Leicester

Professor Andrew Ewer, Professor of Neonatal Medicine, University of Birmingham; Honorary Consultant Neonatologist, Birmingham Women's Hospital

Dr Sarah Stock, Senior Clinical Lecturer, Honorary Consultant and Subspecialist in Maternal and Fetal Medicine, University of Edinburgh Queen's Medical Research Institute

Sabbatical: Professor James Boardman, Professor of Neonatal Medicine, MRC Centre for Reproductive Health, University of Edinburgh

Conflict of Interests Policy

PEP Terms of Reference

amrc, Association of Medical Research Charities, sands

AMRC membership

We fund research of the highest quality and are proud members of the Association of Medical Research Charities. The AMRC is the national membership organisation of leading medical and health research charities.