Oct 17 2017

Proximity to Discovery: Industry Engagement Fund

Flexible funding to assist research organisations to use creative approaches to establish and develop relationships with industry partners.

Fund Information

Funding body:
Medical Research Council (MRC)
Maximum value:
£ 250,000
Application deadline:

Extended Description

The Medical Research Council’s (MRC) Proximity to Discovery: Industry Engagement Fund is a scheme designed to assist research organisations in the UK to use creative approaches to building relationships with industry partners. The Fund aligns with another MRC scheme, Confidence in Concept, to better enable research organisations to establish academic-industry relationships. Proximity to Discovery can be used for people and knowledge exchange at the very earliest stage of a collaboration and need not necessarily be aligned to a specific project objective.

Awards from the Fund should enable research organisations to be proactive in developing opportunities for collaboration and allow a greater flexibility to respond quickly to opportunities when they arise. Applications to the scheme do not need to specifically address a translational aim. Examples of potential uses include:

  • Projects that would enhance academic understanding of industry or vice versa.
  • Showcases enabling universities to highlight the opportunities they provide for potential industry partners.
  • People exchange that allows for an exchange of skills or knowledge which will enable new collaborative projects to develop.
  • People exchanges between technology transfer offices in universities and business development teams in industry, where the placement will enhance the understanding of each other’s business model and allow them to better support their organisation to develop medical research collaborations with industrial partners.
  • Other creative ways to encourage new collaborations or two-way people exchange to increase the permeability between industry and academia.

Eligibility Criteria

The normal MRC “response mode” eligibility rules apply. Only one application per institution is allowed and it is expected that applications will be led by one or more senior members of the institution (eg Dean of Medical School or equivalent).

Institutions may apply to this scheme and Confidence in Concept in the same round. The two applications do not need to be led by the same individual but the applying institution will need to present a persuasive case that the proposed governance structures will be coherent.

Previous awardees of P2D:IEF can apply in consecutive years but must be able to show the added value of continued funding.

Value Notes

A total budget of £15 million is available to support both Confidence in Concept and the Proximity to Discovery: Industry Engagement Fund.

Applications to Proximity to Discovery are not expected to be in excess of £250,000 and should be spent within 18 months of the award starting. Funding can be used to cover both academic and industry costs for people exchange.

Successful institutions are expected to allocate funds to projects within the first 12 months of the award.


Awards are not intended to support:

  • Entire translational projects.
  • Administration costs.
  • Industrial partner costs.
  • Staff between posts/funding (ie as bridging funds), or PhD studentships.
  • Continuation of normal research grants.
  • Costs relating to protection of intellectual property.
  • Staff exchange into a spin out company of the host research organisation.

Terms and Conditions

Applications will be assessed on criteria such as:

  • Possession of sufficient critical mass to be able to deliver engagement with industrial partners that will result in partnership opportunities.
  • Capacity to make two-way people exchange opportunities available to those best placed to benefit and promote continued collaboration (whether principal investigator, research assistant or associate, technician, fellow or student) to spend time based at the industrial partner or research organisation.
  • Potential to create partnership opportunities with a range of industrial partners.

Application Procedure

Applicants should download, complete and return the relevant application form, including applicant details and a case for support, to DPFS&DCS@headoffice.mrc.ac.uk by the next closing date of 7 November 2017.

Oct 17 2017

Biochemical Society Conference Proposals – Funding Opp

Grant funding available to support residential research conferences, workshops, independently organised conferences, single lectures and other equivalent small events in the fields of cellular and molecular bioscience.

Fund Information

Funding body:
Biochemical Society
Maximum value:
Application deadline:

Extended Description

The Biochemical Society, founded in 1911, is a not-for-profit membership organisation based in the UK. Its remit is to represent the interests of, and create a national hub for, those working in the field of biochemistry, including the cellular and molecular life sciences. As part of this, the Society offers a programme of grants and awards intended to support and recognise the work of researchers and students in the field.

The Biochemical Society Conference Proposals scheme allows scientists worldwide to apply for support for a wide range of events. These include residential research conferences, workshops, independently organised conferences, single lectures and small events.

Eligibility Criteria

Applications are accepted from anyone in the science community worldwide, on the condition that at least one member of the organising committee is a member of the Biochemical Society.

Value Notes

The support available depends on the nature and scope of the conference proposed, and may include secretariat and promotional services in addition to financial assistance.

Terms and Conditions

Proposals may take a number of forms:

Focused Meetings:

  • Submission required 12 – 18 months in advance.
  • Meeting lasts two to three days.
  • Secretariat services provided.


  • Submission required 9 – 12 months in advance.
  • Meeting lasts one day.
  • Secretariat services provided.

Training Days:

  • Submission required 9 – 12 months in advance.
  • Meeting lasts one or more days.
  • Secretariat services provided.

Young Life Scientists’ Symposia:

  • Submission made in response to call only.
  • Meeting lasts one day.

Harden Conferences:

  • Submission required 12 – 18 months in advance.
  • Meeting lasts four to five days.
  • Secretariat services provided.

Hot Topic Events:

  • Submission required five to six months in advance.
  • Meeting lasts one day.
  • Secretariat services provided.

Independent Meetings – no publications:

  • Submission required one month in advance.
  • Meeting lasts one or more days.

Independent Meetings – with publications:

  • Submission required 12 – 18 months in advance.
  • Meeting lasts one or more days.

Sponsored Events:

  • Submission required one month in advance.
  • Meeting lasts one day.

Previous Successes

Successful proposals include:

Application Procedure

Applications are made via the ReviewRoom application which is available via the Society website. Applicants are required to register before proceeding with their application.

Successful applicants will be notified approximately two months after the deadline.

Oct 17 2017

Future Global Navigation Satellite Systems Concepts

Funding for a feasibility study to explore future Global Navigation Satellite Systems concepts.

Fund Information

Funding body:
Innovate UK (IUK)
Maximum value:
Application deadline:

Extended Description

The UK Space Agency will invest in a feasibility study to explore the challenges, innovation and future concepts of Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS).

GNSS have become increasingly used to support basic society and security functions (internet, TV, smartphones, tagging, defence, etc). Until new technology replaces GNSS, they will remain a technology of strategic value.

This competition aims to identify innovative concepts in GNSS and will focus on their feasibility. Proposals should identify established and future concepts for GNSS services including, but not limited to:

  • Identification and understanding the potential of state-of-the-art technologies and capabilities.
  • Technical readiness and the opportunity for innovation.
  • Usage in several sectors.
  • Innovative implementation and operations.

As most GNSS are based on concepts developed more than 20 years ago, the UK Space Agency believes there is significant opportunity to innovate in this field.

Proposals should identify improvements in effectiveness and/or efficiency of GNSS systems and their usage. It can either develop original ideas or adapt successful technologies, techniques or processes from other cutting-edge science and technology fields, drawing on UK capabilities and expertise.

The successful bidder will carry out all aspects of the study. It must produce multiple outputs that demonstrate the feasibility of the concepts identified by the study, the UK Space Agency and its partners.

This competition will have two phases. Only applicants selected in phase 1A will be eligible for phase 1B, and all applicants are required to attend a mandatory industry day in London on 9 November 2017 to be eligible for 1B.

Eligibility Criteria

UK organisations of any size working alone or in collaboration with other UK organisations (including businesses, research base and third sector) are eligible to apply.

Applicants must attend the phase 1B briefing in London on 9 November 2017 and be prepared to take appropriate security measures in their project.

Value Notes

The small business research initiative (SBRI) process allows the UK Space Agency to fund 100% of the project’s costs.


Funding is not available for projects that:

  • Focus on market research.
  • Focus on management consultancy.
  • Do not offer significant innovation.
  • Offer only incremental improvements.

Application Procedure

This is a two-stage, confidential application process.

In phase 1A applicants must register and apply online to express their interest in phase 1B.

The deadline for submissions for stage 1A is 1 November 2017. Only applicants selected in phase 1A will be eligible for phase 1B.

Registration for the competition will close on 6 December 2017, with the competition closing a week later on 13 December.

Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application on 29 January 2018.

Oct 17 2017

Rosetrees Trust Medical Research Grants

Funding is available to researchers across Great Britain for innovative research projects in all areas of biomedical sciences.

Fund Information

Funding body:
Rosetrees Trust
Maximum value:
£ 20,000
Application deadline:

Extended Description

Established in 1987 by a family business, Rosetrees Trust uses venture philanthropy to locate and fund medical researchers working across a broad range of illnesses. The aim of the Trust is to provide the funds for researchers, from early-career to established-career stage, to conduct projects which will allow them to achieve outstanding improvements in human health and become future leaders in their field. Rosetrees Trust currently supports over 250 projects.

The medical research grants support innovative research into all areas of biomedical science, generally within Great Britain, and applications of a cross-discplinary nature are encouraged. Grants are available for the following types of activities:

  • Part funding for PhD studentships, MBPhD studentships and Clinical Fellowships (where the applicant is seeking to convert a 1-2 year fellowship/MD into a full length PhD).
  • Pilot study project grants: seed corn funding.
  • Postdoctoral project grants.
  • Part-funding of other project grants.

Awards are provided for between one and three years and the Trust works on a pyramid approach whereby first time applicants will receive less funding than more experienced researchers who are working on outstanding projects.

Eligibility Criteria

Applications are invited from researchers based at academic institutions in England, Scotland or Wales.

Value Notes

Projects of between one and three years will be funded at between £5,000 and £20,000 (experienced researchers may be afforded access to higher levels of award). The funding may be used for salaries and consumables costs.

PhD Studentships will be funded for three years within the region of £5,000 to £17,500 a year for stipends (with a consumables allowance of up to £7,000 per year for one to three years) and up to £7,500 a year for consumables only.

All payments are made to the applicant’s institution and not to individuals.

Match Funding Restrictions

All applicants should have agreed with their Department/Institute that EU/UK tuition fees will be paid from in-house resources.


The following are not eligible for funding:

  • Overheads.
  • Equipment or capital.
  • Conferences.
  • Travel & accommodation.
  • Technology transfer.
  • Tuition fees.
  • Projects based overseas or in Northern Ireland.
  • Researchers who are pre PhD level.
  • PhD Studentships that have already begun.
  • Research into illness affecting only a handful of people.
  • Basic research that has no translational vision.
  • Psychology/social research.
  • MDs.

Projects that are under one year are not generally funded unless they are an extension.

Terms and Conditions

Applicants are advised to review the guidelines document for information on terms and conditions prior to submitting an application. Applications will be peer reviewed by a scientific committee and applicants will be informed of a decision within two to four months of the application deadline.

PhD applications will be assessed using the following criteria questions:

  • Is this a focused, coherent, and feasible project which can be completed realistically within the timeframe of a PhD studentship?
  • Is the methodology to be employed appropriate, timely, and will it provide good quality data?
  • Is the outcome likely to advance knowledge and understanding of human disease and/or advance treatment possibilities?

Candidates considering submitting a cancer-related application should be aware that only the highest scoring applications (grade 1 – top 5%) will be considered, due to the large number of such applications currently being received by the Rosetrees Trust.

Previous Successes

Examples of research areas supported to date include:

  • Alzheimer’s and dementia.
  • Arthritis and rheumatology.
  • Brain research.
  • Cancer.
  • Coronary and lung disease.
  • Digestive and urinary disorders.
  • Eye disease and hearing disorders.
  • Immunology and transplantation.
  • Maternity and children.
  • Multiple sclerosis.
  • Parkinson’s disease.
  • Tissue engineering and regenerative medicine.

Application Procedure

Applications may be made at any time for postdoctoral grants, pilot grants and other project grants and will be considered at one of the Rosetrees Committee meetings, which are held at two-monthly intervals.

There are two annual deadlines for PhD Studentship grants, one for stipends and consumables and one for consumables only:

  • 31 October 2017 (applications accepted from 1 August 2017) for stipends with a consumables allowance.
  • 30 March 2018 (applications accepted from 1 January 2018) for consumables only.

Application forms are available to download from the Rosetrees Trust website. The relevant form should be completed and submitted by email to Richard Miller at the Trust.

Oct 17 2017

PHR: Community-Wide Interventions for Physical Activity (NIHR Funding)

This call, issued under the Public Health Research Programme’s commissioned funding stream, seeks proposals for research to determine what community-wide interventions are effective in promoting physical activity.

Fund Information

Funding body:
National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)
Maximum value:
Application deadline:

Extended Description

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) is tasked with maintaining a world-class health research system to facilitate the delivery of leading edge research into the NHS, focusing on the needs of patients and the public. In particular, the Institute is responsible for commissioning and funding NHS, social care and public health research to meet its responsibilities in public, health and personal social services. Its role is to develop the research evidence to support decision making by professionals, policy makers and patients, and make this evidence available and encourage its uptake and use.

The NIHR operates the Public Health Research Programme to evaluate public health interventions in order to provide new knowledge on the benefits, costs, acceptability and wider impacts of non-NHS interventions intended to improve the health of the public and reduce inequalities in health. The programme maintains two research funding streams: commissioned calls, and researcher-led.

This commissioned call 17/104 – Community-wide interventions for physical activity seeks proposals for research to determine what community-wide interventions are effective in promoting physical activity.

Physical inactivity is a health risk, contributing to over 52,000 deaths annually in the UK. Increasing physical activity levels can protect against health conditions such as cardiovascular disease, cancers, and increase health and wellbeing. To date, there is a lack of evidence on the effectiveness of community-wide approaches to increase physical activity. According to the NIHR, further research is required to determine the effectiveness of community-wide interventions, which are theory-based, with good engagement across populations. Long-term, sustainable impacts of the intervention should be considered within the research. Studies may be large scale and should include evaluation of interventions with at least two components, or at least two interventions that target the whole community. Interventions for target populations at different life stages or with different needs would be welcomed.

Studies may evaluate multi-component interventions. Researchers are asked to specify and justify study design and indicate how long-term impact will be assessed. Interventions to be evaluated must be outside the NHS and the primary outcome must be health-related. Researchers should identify underlying theory and should include a logic model to help explain underlying context, theory and mechanisms.

Public health initiatives are complex and wide-reaching. Evaluation should acknowledge this by adopting a broad perspective, taking account of costs and benefits to all relevant sectors of society. For all proposals, applicants should clearly state the public health utility of the outcomes and the mechanisms by which they will inform future public health policy and practice. Details about the potential impact and scalability of interventions, if shown to be effective, should be provided.

Eligibility Criteria

Applications are welcome from any UK-based researcher who considers themselves able to carry out high quality medical research. Concerns regarding eligibility should be discussed with the NIHR at an early stage.

Successful proposals are likely to be multi-disciplinary, and draw on varying areas of expertise. For instance, proposals involving randomised control trials should solicit the input of an experienced trials unit. A commitment to team working is also encouraged, and applicants may wish to consider collaborative applications between several institutions.

Value Notes

There are no fixed limits on the duration or funding of this research, proposals should be designed to fully address the problem.

Eligible costs are the direct costs of the research itself, including data collection, analysis other activities necessary to address the question, trial registration, and the salary/indirect costs of the staff involved.


  • Travel costs should not exceed the HMRC-approved rate of 45p per mile for the first 10,000 miles, and 25p thereafter.
  • Items of equipment costing more than £5,000 will usually need to be leased.
  • Funding will cover conference fees where the relevance to the research of attendance is adequately justified.

Match Funding Restrictions

HEIs should determine the Full Economic Cost (fEC) of their research using the Transparent Approach to Costing (TRAC) methodology. Up to 80% of fEC will be paid, and applicants from HEIs should enter 80% fEC when entering the total costs requested.

For applications where the contractor is an NHS organisation, up to 100% of direct costs will be paid.

Commercial Organisations should include direct costs and commercial indirect costs (if appropriate). Indirect costs should be included in proportion to the amount of research staff effort requested on the funding application form. Up to 100% of costs will be paid.

Charities and NGOs should include direct costs and other partner organisations’ indirect costs. Indirect costs should be included in proportion to the amount of research staff effort requested on the funding application form. Up to 100% of costs will be paid.


The PHR Programme does not support:

  • Research for which there is not a strong and well demonstrated case for importance to public health.
  • Intervention and other non-research costs.
  • The testing of new health technologies or diagnostic techniques – these may fall within the remit of the HTA Programme.
  • Proposals which are solely or mainly surveys, audits or needs assessments.
  • PhD studentships.

Terms and Conditions

Proposals are assessed according to the following criteria:

  • Scientific quality:
    • Will the study improve understanding of the topic area?
    • Will the study make a substantial advance in scientific understanding/knowledge?
  • Feasibility:
    • Evidence of the necessary blend of skills, research experience, project management processes and infrastructure.
    • Explanation of the proposed number of participants, and demonstration of ability to recruit this number.
    • Consideration of social, ethical and legal implications of the proposed work.
  • Reasonable costs and value for money.

Application Procedure

Outline applications must be made via the NETSCC Management Information System (MIS). A full description of the application process beyond the outline stage is available via the NIHR website.

Application to Stage 1 closes on 20 March 2018 (1pm).

The NIHR Research Design Service and Clinical Trials Unit can assist with designing and developing research proposals.

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