In 2019/20, we were very excited to receive a generous legacy donation of more than £450,000 to fund research into alopecia areata.  As a result, we increased the size of our Research Pots awards from £20,000 each in 2021, to £30,000 each for up to 3 projects. This meant a bumper £90,000 in total, for Research Pots in 2022.

We set about eagerly advertising the 2022 Research Pots funding call to our professional networks back in the Spring. We were pleased to receive seven applications into our inbox by the deadline of 16th May. What was even more pleasing is that all the applications were found to be of high enough quality to be seriously considered for funding. The reviewers of the applications were a mixture of Lay Research Panel members, bringing their own experience of alopecia to the table, and independent scientific experts. This meant we had lots of useful feedback to help us decide which applications to take forward. 

The Alopecia UK Research Committee provided the final layer of scientific scrutiny, giving recommendations of proposed actions to Alopecia UK's Board of Trustees. The Research Committee recommended that two excellent proposals be funded immediately, and two further brilliant proposals go to our Patients' Choice vote in early September, to decide which should receive the third pot of funding. 

We shall be announcing the funded projects in coming weeks, once we have all contracts signed and monies transferred to the successful candidates. 

Looking ahead, and again thanks to the legacy donation, we will also be funding a PhD bursary, to cover the costs for a PhD student at a UK university to do research on alopecia areata for three to three-and-a-half years, starting from October 2023.

Alopecia areata research at Alopecia UK has gone from strength to strength thanks to this legacy payment and we are incredibly grateful to someone who in life wanted part of the estate they left behind to benefit people with alopecia areata. 

We appreciate those with a type of alopecia other than alopecia areata may feel frustrated that the focus in the last year has been on alopecia areata (both in terms of Alopecia UK's research funding and recent pharmaceutical treatment developments reported in the media). Our blog post from the summer explains more about this. You may find it helpful to read this here