Roald Dahl Research Award

Roald Dahl's Marvellous Childrens Charity

Finding and funding practical creative solutions

Child looking through magnifying glass

Roald Dahl was an innovator; and not just in his stories for children. He was involved in two significant health innovations during the 1960s: the Wade-Dahl-Till valve and rehabilitation after stroke.

Inspired by Roald Dahl's inventiveness and practicality, our Roald Dahl Research Award is given to a promising research project.

We aim to help good ideas take their first steps into development, with the most promising ones being able to demonstrate their value to larger scale funders of research.

The maximum amount we currently award is £25,000.

Roald Dahl Research Award 2012

Our 2012 Roald Dahl Research Award was for £23,638,  given to the UK Children’s Neurological Research Campaign.  The award funded the first year of the development of a brand new Disease Registry for Childhood Neurology.

The Disease Registry for Childhood Neurology collects clinical data from all the different centres across the UK who care for children with rare neurological conditions. It is the most efficient way of gathering important information to help researchers increase their knowledge and identify patterns. The Registry also helps researchers to collaborate and provides the tools for future medical research. 

Roald Dahl Research Award 2011

The first Roald Dahl Research Award was awarded to the NHS Sickle Cell and Thalassaemia Screening Programme. The award funded a study into the role and value of specialist nurses in sickle cell and thalassaemia.

Roald Dahl's Marvellous Children's Charity was concerned that sickle cell nurse posts could be particularly vulnerable to NHS budget cuts. There had been a decline in the number of funding requests from hospitals for sickle cell children's nurses. Other health conditions, including epilepsy and cancer, had a lot of research and evidence to support the importance of investing in specialist nurses in those areas, but sickle cell did not. The charity approached the NHS Sickle Cell and Thalassaemia Screening Programme to discuss what could be done.

This resulted in our first Roald Dahl Research Award which funded an intensive six month study with nursing experts and patient groups, chaired by Professor Elizabeth Anionwu. Professor Anionwu was the first sickle cell and thalassaemia specialist nurse appointed in England in 1979.

A report was produced from the study and launched in May 2012 at the Royal College of Nurses Annual Congress in Harrogate, Yorkshire, England. It is a valuable tool for those working in the field, including nurses and patient groups, and is used to influence policy makers to protect sickle cell and thalassaemia specialist children's nurse services.