Research Strategy

The research strategy was developed with the advice of the charity’s Trustees and is reviewed each year to ensure that it continues to guide the most effective use of the charity’s funds.

Research Objectives
Core Funding
  – Peer Review – NFORC activities
Research grants
  – Principles
  – Priorities
  – Types of grant
  – Peer Review

Research Objectives
Saving Faces, is the only charity in the United Kingdom solely dedicated to the worldwide reduction of facial injuries and diseases through education and research. Saving Faces aims to make the most of its research findings and encourage the translation of that research into benefits for the public. The charity will agree research priorities and identify appropriate research partners to develop formal collaborations, in order to support the co-ordination of the UK’s head and neck research effort. We will engage in dialogue with professional and public audiences and encourage researchers and clinicians to communicate and collaborate with one another.

The charity is keen to build partnerships with other funding and research organisations where appropriate and to promote networks and dialogue between disciplines in order to maximise the effectiveness of its funding. We will engage with other partners to persuade them to facilitate and fund the research we believe needs to be done, but which is beyond our own resources.

Given its unique position linking those affected by facial diseases and disfigurements with scientists and clinicians, the charity also has a particular interest in the dissemination of research results to the wider community.

The Charity supports AMRC position statements on animals in medical research, university indirect costs and peer review. These documents can be found on their website (

The National Facial, Oral and Oculoplastic Research Centre (NFORC) is a wholly funded and owned subsidiary of FSRF – Saving Faces and results from a collaboration between Saving Faces and the national specialty organisations British Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (BAOMS) and the British OculoPlastic Surgery Society (BOPSS). Its mission is to conduct studies and research to improve the care of patients with facial and oral conditions. Every surgeon who participates is a stakeholder and has equal ownership of, and access to, the data collected. NFORC will help surgeons to collect their national datasets and run prospective randomised trials.

Core Funding
Saving Faces will provide core funding and resources to support the UKCRC Registered Head and Neck Surgical Trials Unit, a collaborative enterprise that draws in expertise from two successful groups: the charity’s own research centre, NFORC and Barts Clinical Trials Unit (Barts CTU). The unit has been recommended by the Royal College of Surgeons, England, as the only surgical trials unit dedicated to research into head and neck surgery.

This collaboration will provide expert advice to surgeons on methodology and deliverability, and will enable them to access a team of statisticians, epidemiologists, quality assurance managers, database programmers and trial coordinators, all of whom are experienced in running multi-centre international RCTs. The trials unit has been adopted as the surgical study centre of BAOMS and BOPPS.


  • To promote surgical research as a tool for delivering improved care for all surgery patients
  • To help surgeons to develop prospective cohort studies and randomised controlled trials
  • To enable scientifically excellent surgical studies to be successfully completed
  • To develop a national network of consultants and trainees who will deliver trials within their specialist field
  • To provide research training for surgeons, trainees and medical students

Peer Review – NFORC activities
Experts from Barts CTU and the surgical sub-specialties BAOMS and BOPPS and the Royal College of Surgeons, England, will review the activities of NFORC.

Research grants
We fund researchers based in the UK and attached to recognised academic and medical institutions. Research funded can be clinical, laboratory-based, epidemiological and/or qualitative.

The charity’s research grants awards programme is guided by the following principles:

  • Relevance to prevention, diagnosis, treatment or cure of disorders affecting the face
  • Excellence, timeliness and originality of science
  • Clearly defined short, medium and long term impact
  • Financial need – no other obvious or more appropriate source of funding

Grants may be available for research in the following priority areas:

  • Developing strategies for the prevention of facial injury, mouth cancer and other diseases that affect the face
  • Improving diagnosis and treatment
  • Addressing the wider psychosocial and social impact of mouth cancer/facial disfigurement
  • Investigating the best methods of educating the public and health professionals
  • Medical humanities

Applications for funding from Saving Faces must demonstrate how the research fits with the charity’s research strategy and priority areas. However, these priority areas are not exhaustive and promising work outside of these areas can still be considered.

Types of grant
Grants are largely response-mode and are only available for research where the principal investigator is based in a recognised research centre, university or hospital in the UK. The following types of grant are available:

  • Pilot and feasibility studies
  • Other small projects
  • Postgraduate studentships (awarded to supervisors – project based assessment)
  • Clinical Fellowships

Peer Review
All awards are approved by the charity’s Scientific Advisory Board, taking advice from appropriate external experts e.g. Cancer Research UK committees, and using an agreed process of peer review. However, the charity is mindful of the value of flexibility and rapid response where this can be achieved without compromising the principles of peer review and best practice.