FUNDING CALLS

Current funding opportunities

BBSRC-DEFRA Global Coronavirus Research and Innovation Network

Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)

23 February 2021, 16:00
£500,000
48 months

Funding available to establish a single international network for research into coronaviruses. Applicants must be lecturer level (or equivalent) and based at an eligible UK research organisation. Proposal should coordinate research in the following areas: pathogen biology, host response and effective intervention strategies.

Pain Research Data Hub: SPF Advanced Pain Discovery Platform

Medical Research Council (MRC), Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)

25 February 2021, 16:00
£2,o00,000
36 months

Funded by Versus Arthritis, Eli Lilly and Company UK. Funding available to set up a pain research data hub which will be part of the UKRI and Versus Arthritis Strategic Priority Fund (SPF) Advanced Pain Discovery Platform. It will underpin original research by providing innovative new data assets for pain research in areas of need. It will not support original research directly.

Clinical Research Fellowships

Versus Arthritis

03 March 2021, 16:00
No limit
36 months

The closing date for this opportunity has been extended. The previous deadline of 10 February has been extended to 3 March 2021. All other call details remain unchanged. These fellowships encourage clinically qualified professionals into an academic research career in any discipline relevant to arthritis and related musculoskeletal conditions.

Research for Patient Benefit (Competition 44)

National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)

10 March 2021, 13:00
£350,000
36 months

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.

Early Detection and Diagnosis Programme Award

Cancer Research UK (CRUK)

11 March 2021
£2.5 million
60 months

Funds long-term, integrated and renewable programmes of exceptional science to transform how and when early cancers and pre-cancerous states are diagnosed.

Collaborative Awards in Science

Wellcome Trust

16 March 2021, 17:00
£4 million
5 years

These awards promote the collaborative development of new ideas and speed up the pace of scientific research to improve quality of health. The proposals must fit the remit of the Wellcome Trust. Research areas supported includes genetics and molecular science, cellular and developmental science, neuroscience and mental health, infection and immuno-biology, physiology, and population health.

Early Detection and Diagnosis Primer Award

Cancer Research UK (CRUK)

18 March 2021
£100,000
12 months

Supports researchers at all stages to develop early, novel and outside-the-box ideas and collaborations to build and make progress in the early diagnosis and detection field.

Integrated Clinical Academic Programme: Predoctoral Clinical Academic Fellowships (PCAF) Round 4

Health Education England / National Institute for Health Research (HEE/NIHR)

18 March 2021, 13:00
See below
Full-time for one year or part time for up to 30 months

These fellowships support personalised programmes of academic training that equip registered non-medical healthcare professionals with the skills and experience to access doctoral level funding and dedicated time to prepare an application for a competitive, peer-reviewed doctoral level research training fellowship. Fellowships may be taken full-time for one year or part time for up to 30 months

Costs

  • Salary costs to cover the time undertaking the fellowship
  • Up to £5,000 towards masters level training and associated travel and subsistence
  • Up to £1,000 for conference/meeting fees and associated travel and subsistence
  • Supervision and mentorship costs up to £1,000

Developmental Pathway Funding Scheme

Medical Research Council (MRC)

24 March 2021, 16:00
No limit
No stated

Researchers can apply for MRC funding to turn fundamental discoveries into benefits to human health. This scheme supports translational research across all diseases and interventions, from pre-clinical development to early-stage clinical testing.

Joint Predoctoral Research Bursary

Cancer Research UK (CRUK) and the Pathological Society

25 March 2021
£45,000
12 months

The Joint Predoctoral Research Bursaries provide short term funding to allow clinicians to get involved in cancer research projects early in their careers.

Predoctoral Fellowships

National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)

25 March 2021, 13:00
Not stated. Fellowships cover the salary costs of the individual, and training and development programme.
24 months full time or part-time

These support people who are looking to start or advance a career in health research methodology. The fellowship can be undertaken on a full-time or part-time basis for up to two years. To be eligible for a NIHR Pre-doctoral Fellowship, applicants must have completed a relevant first degree, have a proposed host who is an English Higher Education Institution, NHS body, or other provider of health and/or care services, and be proposing to develop a career as a methodologist in one of the areas listed above. Successful applicants should start their Fellowship between September 2021 and March 2022.

Health Technology Assessment

National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)

31 March 2021, 13:00
No limit
No limit

The Health Technology Assessment (HTA) Programme supports research that is immediately useful to patients, clinical practice, and policy or decision makers.

HTA research is undertaken when evidence exists to show that a technology can be effective. The purpose of an HTA study is to establish the clinical and cost-effectiveness for the NHS in comparison with the current best alternative(s).  A study may also investigate uncertainty around a technology’s place in the existing care pathway.

“Technologies” in this context mean any method used to promote health; prevent and treat disease; and improve rehabilitation or long-term care. They are not confined to new drugs and include any intervention used in the treatment, prevention or diagnosis of disease.

The technology doesn’t necessarily need to exist in current NHS practice, but a study would need to show that it could.

Development and Skills Enhancement Award

National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)

31 March 2021, 13:00
Funding can be used on a part time basis of between 50% and 100% whole time equivalent. There is an expectation that host organisations will match the level of support provided by NIHR at a level of 50%.
12 months

The Development and Skills Enhancement Award (DSE) provides a maximum of 1 year of funding for post-doctoral NIHR Academy Members to gain skills and experience for the next phase of their research career. Applicants will be required to demonstrate the new skills and experience that they hope to gain through the award, and how it will benefit their future career in research. Applications from the following areas of strategic importance are particularly welcomed: health data science, clinical trials, entrepreneurship and working with industry.

Biomarker Project Awards

Cancer Research UK (CRUK)

01 April 2021
36 months
£300,000

This scheme provides funding for biomarker assay development, validation and qualification where there is a clear line of sight to clinical implementation.

Efficacy and Mechanism Evaluation Programme (Researcher-Led)

National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)

13 April 2021, 13:00
No limit
No limit

The EME Programme primarily supports clinical trials, and other robustly designed studies that test the efficacy of interventions. The interventions should have the potential to improve patient care or benefit the public.  The programme will only support studies where there is sufficient evidence that the intervention might work in man, i.e. that there is ‘proof of concept’.

Innovative study designs involving stratification, the use of routinely collected digital data or novel methodologies are strongly encouraged.

Senior Clinical Fellowship

Medical Research Council (MRC)

21 April 2021, 16:00
No limit
No limit

This fellowship scheme is open to clinically-active healthcare professionals with a track record of effectively leading their own independent research. It provides support to help applicants progress to research leadership and become an internationally-recognised leader in their field.

Interdisciplinary Award 

Rosetrees Trust

30 April 2021
£300,000
36 months

The Rosetrees Trust is offering £300,000 over three years to stimulate new research collaborations between disciplines. This is an annual call in which the Trust awards a single grant. This year the focus is on collaborative research between the fields of Medicine and Engineering, including the field of healthcare technology. Applications should be truly interdisciplinary in nature and clearly represent collaboration between two different departments, with a lead applicant from each field. Applications can relate to any disease or medical condition which affects a significant proportion of the population. Applications with a clear line of sight to the clinic will be prioritised.

Health Technology Assessment Researcher Led (Primary Research) 

National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)

05 May 2021, 13:00
No limit
No limit

Proposals should normally evaluate the clinical and cost effectiveness of a health technology. For diagnostic technologies, researchers may suggest equivalent evaluations. NIHR is interested in receiving proposals addressing any health problem in areas not otherwise well covered in their portfolio. Please note that proposals should be within the scope of the HTA Programme. Proposals to investigate the organisation of health services, or services entirely outside the NHS will not be eligible.

Collaborative Training Partnerships

Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council / UK Research and Innovation (BBSRC/UKRI)

05 May 2021, 16:00
Not stated
Not stated

UK registered businesses can apply for funding to set up and run collaborative training partnerships, in collaboration with research organisations. These partnerships should address industrial research challenges.

Programme Development Grants 

National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)

12 May 2021, 13:00
£150,000
24 months

These position and equip research teams in submitting a competitive programme grant application in the future.

Smart Grants

Innovate UK 

26 May 2021, 11:00
See below
36 months

Opportunity for UK registered organisations to apply for a share of up to £25 million from Innovate UK to deliver game-changing and commercially viable R&D innovation that can significantly impact the UK economy.

Costs

Projects of 6 – 18 months must have total eligible project costs between £25,000 and £500,000 and can be single or collaborative. Projects of 19 – 36 months must have total eligible project costs between £25,000 and £2 million and must be collaborative.

Health Services and Delivery Research Programme – Researcher-Led (21/04 Children and Young People’s Mental Health)

National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)

03 June 2021, 13:00
Not stated
Not stated

This supports research on questions proposed directly by researchers on improving the quality of care, support and access to services for children and young people with mental health conditions, including children who have, or have had a social worker.

Invention for Innovation (i4i) Product Development Awards

National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)

09 June 2021, 13:00
No limit
36 months

These awards support innovations at any stage of the translational and developmental pathway, including the clinical development of laboratory-validated technologies or interventions. The research proposals may address any disease or health area, provided there is a clear unmet clinical need. There is no upper funding limit, but costs must be fully justified.

Public Engagement Seed Funding

Medical Research Council (MRC)

Not stated
£10,000
Not stated

Medical Research Council and Medical Research Foundation (MRF) funded scientists are encouraged to participate in engagement activities. Sharing our research work with the public who fund it and the wider world is a crucial part of the MRC mission. This scheme is open to all MRC and MRF funded researchers and those working in MRC research institutes, units and centres. The funders aim is to support the piloting of new activities and/or to take advantage of unexpected engagement opportunities.

Expression of Interest: Emergency Route for Time-Critical COVID-19 Research

Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), Medical Research Council (MRC), Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)

No closing date
£80,000
6 months

Apply for funding to support short term time-sensitive collection of data or samples or rapid turn-around research or analysis to either inform urgent policy or national decision making or secure data for future research use.

Knowledge Transfer Partnership

Innovate UK, Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)

No closing date
Not stated
36 months

Available for businesses or not-for-profit organisations, research organisations and graduates to work on an innovation project. Funding is provided to support the total cost of the project. Businesses should provide around one-third to half of the project costs depending on their size.

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.

Government Support for Research Related to COVID-19

National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)

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.

Public Engagement Development Fund

University of Sheffield

No deadline
£5,000
Not stated but award must be spent by 31 July 2021

The public engagement development fund for the 2020/21 academic year is now open for applications. The fund is intended to provide small grant funding to enable successful applicants to begin public engagement where grant funding does not currently exist. This may be where applicants have not undertaken public engagement activities before or where there is potential for follow on activities already taking place.

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

Nesta

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

Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)

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 (ESRC)

No fixed closing date
£350,000 – £1 million
Up to 5 years

The Economic and Social Research Council (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

LifeArc

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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