Current funding opportunities


Travel and subsistence funding to support LMIC engagement during the COVID-19 outbreak
National Institute for Health Research

31 December 2020
No limit
No limit

The awards will provide travel and subsistence funding to appropriately qualified public health professionals, clinicians and academics who wish to offer science and technical advice to support the immediate response to COVID-19 in low and middle-income countries. The awards are open to applicants who have a substantive position at a UK higher education institution or research organisation. Applicants are required to ensure appropriate duty of care, insurance, safeguarding and all other liabilities are in place and that they have the support of their institution for any travel, as well as appropriate institutional support in the destination country.

Applications are open until further notice, on a rolling basis. Applications should ideally be submitted at least 2 weeks before the planned travel.


Funding for ideas addressing COVID-19

Apply online at any time
No limit (UKRI will fund 80% of the full economic cost)
18 months

Proposals are invited for short-term projects addressing and mitigating the health, social, economic, cultural and environmental impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak. UKRI will support excellent proposals up to 12-18 months duration which meet at least one of the following:

  • New research or innovation with a clear impact pathway that has the potential (within the period of the grant) to deliver a significant contribution to the understanding of, and response to, the COVID-19 pandemic and its impacts.
  • Supports the manufacture and/or wide scale adoption of an intervention with significant potential
  • Gathers critical data and resources quickly for future research use

If a grant is awarded, UKRI will provide funding at 80% of the fEC.


Government support for research related to COVID-19
National Institute for Health Research

Apply online at any time
No limit
No limit

COVID-19 Urgent Public Health Research is being prioritised to gather the necessary clinical and epidemiological evidence that will inform national policy and enable new diagnostic tests, treatments and vaccines to be developed and tested for COVID-19.

Government support is available to prioritise, coordinate and deliver these studies, regardless of sponsorship and funding source. This support includes expedited identification of sites to ensure appropriate geographical distribution of Urgent Public Health Research to maximise recruitment and minimise over-commitment of resource.


Support to mitigate impact of COVID-19 pandemic
Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe (PRACE)

Apply online at any time
No limit
No limit

PRACE is welcoming project proposals requesting computing resources to contribute to the mitigation of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. This applies, without being exhaustive, to the following topics:

  • Biomolecular research to understand the mechanisms of the virus infection
  • Bioinformatics research to understand mutations, evolution, etc.
  • Bio-simulations to develop therapeutics and/or vaccines
  • Epidemiologic analysis to understand and forecast the spread of the disease
  • Other analyses to understand and mitigate the impact of the pandemic

This call for proposals will follow a fast track review process to provide swift feedback to the applicants.

Innovation Grants
MedTech Navigator

Open call (first deadline is 23 June, 12:00)
£7,500 (50% of total project costs will be funded, up to a total cost of £7,500 for a £15,000 project)
6 months

Having access to the right knowledge and expertise is an essential part of successfully developing and commercialising new products and services for the health and care market. Key stakeholders need to be involved with medical product development, such as the beneficiary (patient), user (clinician) and buyer (NHS organisation), who often have different interests and requirements.

The MedTech Navigator Innovation Grants are designed to facilitate such bespoke interactions between SMEs and eligible Knowledge Providers, such as an NHS Trust, or a University, during the product development process. Each Innovation Grant (up to £7,500) is worth 50% of the total project costs up to a maximum of £15,000.  Your business must pay the remaining 50% and any project costs over and above the £15,000 cap.

Medical Technologies Proof of Concept Funding Call
Versus Arthritis and the Medical Technologies Innovation and Knowledge Centre

30 June 2020
2 years

The Proof of Concept Awards provide support and up to £100,000 to accelerate exciting innovations that help the lives of people with musculoskeletal conditions.

Proposals are accepted from scientists, clinicians and allied health care professionals at eligible UK institutions, and collaborations with industry are encouraged.

Applications will be judged on the clinical need, potential market opportunity and industry confidence to progress the technology to market.

Versus Arthritis is the biggest funder of research into the cause, treatment and cure of all forms of arthritis in the UK. The long-standing partnership with the Medical Technologies Innovation and Knowledge Centre provides access to expertise in product development, speeding up route to market and reducing the risk of late stage failure.

NIHR Research for Patient Benefit Programme (Competition 42)
National Institute for Health Research

15 July 2020
No limit
No limit

Applications are invited for research proposals that are concerned with the day-to-day practice of health service staff, and which have the potential to have an impact on the health or wellbeing of patients and users of the NHS. As a response mode researcher-led programme, Research for Patient Benefit (RfPB) does not specify topics for research, but encourages proposals for projects which address a wide range of health service issues and challenges.

The programme aims to fund high quality quantitative and qualitative research with a clear trajectory to patient benefit. It particularly encourages applications that have a strong element of interaction with patients and the public, and which have been conceived in association with a relevant group of service users.

Proof of Market
Grow MedTech

15 July 2020, 12:00
6 months

This funding call is responsive. Applications are reviewed monthly and applications submitted by 12:00 on 15th of each month will be considered for review, up until 15th July 2020.

This call provides funding to enable commercially inspired projects to be validated and de-risked: establishing a market need and enabling further investment to be attracted.

Proof of Market awards costed up to £5,000 with a project duration of up to 6 months are available through this call, which fit with the award scope.

Outcomes from this work will be validated and de-risked technology opportunities, with an established market need, subsequently attracting feasibility funding via the programme or externally.

Projects should aim to bring together researchers, clinicians, patients/public, and industry.

NIHR Mobile Data for Public Health (20/07)
National Institute for Health Research

28 July 2020, 13:00
No limit
No limit

The Public Health Research Programme is interested in receiving applications using a range of potentially innovative designs and methods to evaluate whether, how and at what cost, existing publicly available non-health mobile digital technologies can be harnessed to improve population health in the UK.

Research areas of interest may include (but are not limited to):

• The comparative use, validity and accuracy of data from geolocation software in devices and applications such as Google Earth, Strava, Fitbit, social media, smart phones and watches
• Interventions that track behaviour through the use of mathematical models or those that use mobile digital data without formal modelling (e.g. movement, sleep)
• The use of mobile digital data from either a nationwide cohort or a geographical location cohort or both
• The ethics, legality and public acceptability of organisations collecting and using mobile digital data
• The accessibility and the costs of access of mobile digital data
• The generalisability of mobile data in research to a range of public health problems

Researchers will need to identify and justify the most suitable methodological approach and will need to specify how short, medium and long term impacts will be evaluated.

Public Health Research Programme: Interactive Electronic Devices and Children and Young People’s Wellbeing (19/135)
National Institute for Health Research

28 July 2020, 13:00
No limit
No limit

This programme is interested in the impacts on health, health inequalities and related outcomes of interactive electronic devices for children and young people. The programme is interested in both maximising the benefits and minimising the harms for health outcomes as a result of the use interactive electronic devices activities by children and young people.

NIHR Programme Grants for Applied Research (Competition 33)
National Institute for Health Research

29 July 2020, 13:00
Dependent on the nature of the proposed work
Dependent on the nature of the proposed work

Applications are invited for Stage 1 research proposals to develop individual programmes of research. Research funded through a Programme Grant typically consists of an interrelated group of high quality projects focused on a coherent theme and hence require multidisciplinary approaches, including clinical, health economics, statistics, qualitative and behavioural sciences, to ensure that research objectives can be met. The amount awarded and the length of the funding period will depend on the nature of the proposed work, in particular whether or not the proposal includes a substantial powered trial.

Applications to PGfAR are made with the support of an NHS body and other providers of NHS services in England. If an application is successful, a contract will be placed with that organisation for delivery of the research and all funds for the research will be paid to the NHS organisation or other provider of NHS services.

Programme Grants for Applied Research is currently participating in the following themed call: Injuries, Accidents, and Urgent and Emergency Care

Second Call for Transformative Healthcare Technologies: Pre-announcement and engagement event
UKRI: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council

30 July 2020, 14:00
Full guidance to be published September 2020
Full guidance to be published September 2020

The UKRI Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, in collaboration with the Medical Research Council, will shortly be inviting proposals for adventurous (high risk, high gain) projects as part of the second phase of the Transformative Healthcare Technologies for 2050 call, otherwise referred to as the Transformative Healthcare Technologies 2.0 call.

This call will target projects that that are guided by a longer-term vision to pursue new, “high risk high reward” ideas and develop thinking and approaches supported by the next generation of underpinning science, engineering and emerging technologies in the healthcare space.

We seek and encourage adventurous ideas, new thinking and collaborations that have the potential to significantly improve healthcare delivery by 2050.

Expressions of Interests are invited before the 30th July, with an engagement event, for briefing and community networking, to be held virtually on 16 September 2020.

Efficacy and Mechanism Evaluation: Injuries, Accidents, and Urgent and Emergency Care Themed Call (19/159)
National Institute for Health Research

20 August 2020, 13:00
No limit
No limit

The Efficacy and Mechanism Evaluation Programme is accepting stage 1 applications for this themed call. Proposals should involve a multi-disciplinary team with appropriate skills and experience, including an appropriately experienced statistician on the study team. The involvement of an accredited Clinical Trials Unit (CTU) is strongly encouraged in the design of clinical trials. The EME Programme welcomes applications proposing joint funding arrangements.

NIHR Health Technology Assessment Programme Researcher led (evidence synthesis) 20/37
National Institute for Health Research

02 September 2020, 13:00
No limit
No limit

The Health Technology Assessment Programme is accepting stage 1 applications to their researcher-led workstream. The NIHR HTA Programme funds research to assess the effectiveness of technologies within the NHS. In this researcher-led workstream, grants are available for primary research and evidence synthesis on topics proposed by the researchers.

NIHR Health Technology Assessment: Injuries, accidents, and urgent and emergency care themed call (primary research) 19/162
National Institute for Health Research

02 September 2020, 13:00
No limit
No limit

This themed call seeks applications for research into the prevention, management and treatment of accidents and injuries and other conditions needing urgent and emergency care. The call includes the organisation, staffing and delivery of urgent and emergency care services wherever delivered, at an incident, in the community, or in primary or secondary care settings. Applicants may propose primary research or research using methods for evidence synthesis and investigate interventions for individual patients, delivery of services, health systems or for population groups. The call can accept a broad range of preventive, social care or clinical interventions, including services and interventions for people needing urgent or emergency care due to mental or physical health issues.

Call for Participants in a three-day Sandpit focused on Digital Technologies for Health and Care: ‘Novel digital technologies for improved self-monitoring and health management’

08 September 2020, 16:00
Up to £1.2 million to fund research projects arising from this sandpit. Each project funded is expected to be in the region of £400,000.
Not applicable

UKRI are pleased to invite participants to apply to attend a sandpit on Digita Technologies for Health and Care.

The Research Councils within UKRI (MRC, BBSRC, EPSRC, ESRC, STFC, AHRC, Innovate UK and NERC) have been working together to strengthen co-ordination around digital technologies for health and care and to identify opportunities in this area. In 2019, UKRI with input from the community, mapped the digital health portfolio, produced a definition for digital health and highlighted opportunities for the Research Councils to take forward. One of the areas which has been highlighted for strengthening is building coordinated and well-informed research and innovation communities, with the appropriate multidisciplinary and cross-sector skills and expertise in digital health. As a result, UKRI would like to run a sandpit to bring the different communities in this area together. This is the first sandpit in a series of three which will be advertised over the next three years.

The theme for this sandpit is novel digital technologies for improved self-monitoring and health management. Successful projects from the sandpit should either have a new approach to self-monitoring of conditions(especially conditions which are harder to manage and where there are fewer tools available for interventions) or that seek to identify novel digital technologies that will ultimately enable the public to better manage their health in their own homes and in the community. These smarter interventions should reduce the time that the public spends engaged with the traditional healthcare delivery system and enable a faster recovery or better management of their health.

The concept of the sandpit is an interactive workshop on a topic, involving 25-30 participants. The focus for this sandpit is ‘Novel digital technologies for improved self-monitoring and health management’

The sandpit will run over three days in November 2020.

NIHR Health Technology Assessment: Reducing Overtreatment 20/33
National Institute for Health Research

23 September 2020, 13:00
No limit
No limit

The NIHR are interested in proposals for the evaluation of strategies and interventions to identify and de-intensify overtreatment. Applicants should clearly define and justify their choice of patient group, study design and outcome measures, and explain how the research will fit into the remit of the HTA programme. Primary research, including randomised and hypothesis-testing observational studies, and evidence syntheses will be considered. We are looking for studies where there is equipoise around the advantages and risks of continued treatment, with the potential to change clinical practice.

Examples of topics of interest include, but are NOT limited to:

  • Studies concerning the optimisation of treatment schedules, as in shorter courses of treatment or reducing the dosage of long-term therapies.
  • Trials of long-term treatments where the evidence of benefits and harms are lacking.
  • Evaluating the safety and effectiveness of withdrawing treatments associated with increased risks at particular timepoints, for example leading up to surgery or during pregnancy.
  • Evaluating interventions or tests to identify individual patients unlikely to benefit from continued treatment, or who may otherwise benefit from de-escalation of treatment.
  • Reducing treatment burden associated with polypharmacy.
  • Applications to this call are expected to evidence strong patient and public involvement (PPI) from an early stage, particularly around the acceptability of the proposed treatment strategies.

Horizon 2020: SME Instrument – Phase 1
Knowledge Transfer Network

04 November 2020, 17:00
6 months

The SME Instrument supports high-risk, high-potential small and medium-sized enterprises to develop and bring to market new products, services and business models that could drive economic growth.

The SME Instrument is for innovators with ground-breaking concepts that could shape new markets or disrupt existing ones in Europe and worldwide.

Innovator Awards
Wellcome Trust

Apply online at any time, shortlisting occurs every 3 months
Up to £500k (or £750k for multidisciplinary collaborations)
Up to 24 months (or 36 months for multidisciplinary collaborations)

Innovator Awards are open to researchers who are developing healthcare innovations that could have a major and measurable impact on human health. You can work in any scientific discipline, including a discipline outside life sciences. You can work on any type of technology. Examples of technologies include: therapeutics (small molecules or biologics); vaccines; devices; diagnostics; digital technologies; and regenerative medicine. The work that you propose must be essential for developing your healthcare innovation.

Nesta Impact Investments

Open call
£1 million
No limit

Nesta want to see the power of innovation and technology used to address big social issues. Their mission is to invest in high impact innovations run by outstanding entrepreneurs. They invest primarily to create real and lasting social impact in the UK, as well as generating a financial return for our investors. They invest between £150k and £1m in social ventures developing innovations that tackle the major challenges faced by older people, children, and communities in the UK.

Healthcare Technologies: Call for Investigator-led Research Projects

Open call
Flexible depending on quality and demand
No limit

This call is aimed at researchers working in Engineering, Physical Sciences, ICT, and Mathematical Sciences that are now seeking to apply their research expertise to a defined healthcare challenge. Applications to this call must be clearly aligned to the Healthcare Technologies theme Grand Challenges: Developing Future Therapies; Frontiers of Physical Intervention; Optimising Treatment; and Transforming Community Health and Care.

Economic and Social Research Council: Research Grants
Economic and Social Research Council

No fixed closing date
Up to £1 million
Up to 5 years

The ESRC Research Grants (open call) invites proposals from eligible individuals and research teams for standard research projects, large-scale surveys and other infrastructure projects and for methodological developments. The call offers researchers considerable flexibility to focus on any subject area or topic providing that it falls within ESRC’s remit. Proposals can draw from the wider sciences, but the social sciences must represent more than 50 per cent of the research focus and effort.

Ambitious and novel research proposals addressing new concepts and techniques and those with the potential for significant scientific or societal and economic impact are particularly encouraged. They are keen to encourage fresh ideas from new researchers and appropriate proposals are welcomed from those with limited research experience.

Funding decisions are based on a number of criteria including quality, timeliness, potential impact and value for money.

LifeArc Philanthropic Fund

Open call
A share of £5 million 
No limit

LifeArc invites applications for its philanthropic fund. This supports medical research projects focused on translation of rare diseases research. The aim is to accelerate scientific breakthroughs to deliver new medicines for patients with these conditions and projects must focus on developing an intervention, therapeutic, device or diagnostic, that will address a significant, unaddressed need for rare disease patients and on research which has a credible translational and development path to reaching those patients.

Grants will either be awarded directly to academics or will be partnered with similar funds being awarded by our rare disease charity partners.

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