Board Discretionary Fund

Cochrane’s Governing Board has a Discretionary Fund available for collaborators and Cochrane Groups to apply for, for small amounts of funds to facilitate important activities within the organization. Applications will only be accepted from the person or people responsible for a registered Cochrane Group, or Convenors of the Board’s advisory committees. Members of the Central Executive are not eligible to apply to the Discretionary Fund.

The Fund’s total expenditure per year is capped at £20,000, with a ceiling of £5,000 to any one applicant. The following criteria will guide the Board’s decision as to whether or not to approve an application:

  1. Focus on Cochrane’s strategic goals – The proposal should focus specifically on one or more of Cochrane’s strategic goals and objectives, to ensure it is addressing organizational priorities and needs.
  2. Gain to the Cochrane – The proposal should promise significant gain to all or part of Cochrane.
  3. Collective benefit – The potential benefit of the proposal should not focus on a single group but apply across a number of groups (for example, by co-ordinating activities).
  4. Likelihood of success – The proposal should have a high likelihood of success of meeting its aims within the agreed budget.
  5. Alternative sources of funding – The proposal should not have an obvious and readily accessible alternative source of funding available.
  6. Cost of not funding – There should be judged to be a significant loss of advantage to Cochrane if the proposal is not funded.
  7. Long-term continuity – Because discretionary funds will not be available on a recurrent basis, there should be some plan for continuity of funding and support if this will be necessary.

It is accepted that applications will rarely meet all these criteria; however, applicants are asked to consider all seven criteria when applying, and to use the criteria as the paragraph headings in their application.


  1. A brief application for funding should be sent to the Chief Executive Officer's Office (, using the seven criteria listed above as the paragraph headings, to ensure completeness and consistency across all applications. The application should include details of the timeline and a description of the deliverables. The application will be forwarded to the Chief Executive Officer and Editor in Chief who will assess and analyse the application and make a recommendation to the Governing Board in an e-mail, with a brief conclusion of the application’s suitability against the Fund criteria. The Governing Board then takes the final decision.
  2. Applications should state clearly the amount of money being requested.
  3. Successful applicant(s) will be required to provide a report of a maximum of 500 words to the Central Executive Team ( within three months of spending their award. This report will be shared with the Governing Board and might be made available to other people if judged appropriate by the Governing Board.