The Waterloo Foundation


Home page About Us Grant Programmes ApplicationsContact Us


What we fund Examples of organisations supported Publications and web links Where else can we get funding? Application guidelines

Child development




TWF is interested in the psychological and behavioural development of our children, and particularly in certain neuro developmental conditions and the factors that influence them.  To that end we fund:

  • Research, as a main priority.

We also fund some non-research projects, including

  • Dissemination of research.

and to a lesser extent

  • Intervention projects.




Information for applicants


2014: One Brain

In 2014, our funding will again focus on co-occurrences, and the fact that each child has one brain. We are interested in the common and co-occurring neurodevelopmental conditions of Dyslexia, Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) and ADHD, along with Rolandic Epilepsy and Developmental Trauma, and have a particular interest in factors under parents’ influence.

Co-occurrence is a major issue for these children. Impairments in one domain are often accompanied by impairments in other domains. For example, a child identified as having Dyslexia is more likely to also have DCD and / or ADHD than a child who does not have Dyslexia. In this case, the main problem may be in the language domain, but the motor and attention domains are also affected, albeit perhaps to a lesser extent.

The medical community often refers to this as comorbidity. We are steadfastly refusing to use this term and refer instead to co-occurrence, which is surely more cheerful for children and their families. We do hope you will join us in using this terminology1.

The level of co-occurrence is perhaps unsurprising. After all, the same brain is responsible for all domains. The language domain, motor domain, and attention domain are all supported by the same brain. Moreover, the brain develops as a whole: each part of the brain grows together, uses the same mechanisms, and is influenced by the same factors. Although our diagnostic systems focus on separating problems according to the main domain of impairment, we now know that excluding other domains is to our peril. Our research strategy reflects this.

In 2014, our research funding will again support projects which account for the fact that these children are often affected in more than one domain. Successful applications will focus on two or more of the conditions or domains on our strategy. Projects focusing on, for example, a major deficit in the language domain must also identify how impairments in other domains will be addressed. Thus, an application concerned principally with children who have a problem in the language domain, must state how performance will be measured in the motor, attention, and / or social domains.

We prioritise projects which are closest to the point of making a difference to the lives of those affected by these conditions. As always, we are interested in factors which may alleviate these problems. We are particularly interested in those which are under families’ influence, such as diet, sleep, and parenting behaviours.
The research we fund is clinically relevant, with clear benefit to those with these conditions and their family members. We fund both pure and applied research topics, prioritising those which are closest to direct patient benefit. Our pure research projects typically investigate the causal factors, core deficits and co-occurrences of particular disorders. Our applied research projects typically investigate factors relating to interventions for these disorders. We prioritise those which are cost-effective, would be easy to rollout, and directly involve parents and children (such as involving sleep and diet etc).

For examples of applied research projects the Child Development Fund has previously supported, please click here. To apply with a research project, click here to go to our Research Applications pages. 




We love to support the dissemination of knowledge and best practice to children and their carers, and to related professionals. These grants are smaller than our research funding, and grants are typically up to £10,000, although can be up to £20,000. This dissemination can be either by researchers themselves or by support groups, and could take the form of:

  • Website development.
  • Helplines.
  • Newsletters.
  • Conferences, either sponsorship of or attendance at.

However, we are unlikely to wish to be the sole funder of any such support, so it will be important that you demonstrate what your own fundraising efforts have been and how we can augment your success. We will also consider how cost-effective your plans are.

For examples of dissemination projects the Child Development Fund has previously supported, please click here. To apply for a grant for a project relating to dissemination of knowledge, click here to go to the applications page for practical and dissemination projects.




We are able to offer some support to projects in Wales which help families who are affected by one of the above conditions. We welcome such applications at any point through the year.
We generally do not fund actual support for individual children with these conditions (e.g. homes, equipment or therapists for individuals etc) – sorry.  However, we have limited capacity to fund a small number of intervention projects subject to the following criteria:

  • In Wales.
  • High local need.
  • Low cost per intervention.

For examples of intervention projects the Child Development Fund has previously supported, please click here. To apply for a grant for a project relating to Intervention Support, click here to go to the applications page for practical and dissemination projects

1 - Indeed, we will prioritise those applications which refer to co-occurrence rather than to comorbidity.





Last updated Monday 8 July, 2013