Posts By / Jo Garrad

Wellcome Trust call for Small Arts Awards

Arts Awards support imaginative and experimental arts projects that investigate biomedical science.

The scheme aims to:

  • stimulate interest, excitement and debate about biomedical science through the arts
  • examine the social, cultural and ethical contexts of biomedical science
  • encourage new ways of thinking
  • promote high-quality interdisciplinary practice and collaborations between arts, science and education practice
  • support formal and informal learning.

The scheme is open to a wide range of people, including artists, scientists, curators, film makers, writers, producers, directors, academics, science communicators, teachers, arts workers and education officers.

Your project must involve the creation of new artistic work and have biomedical scientific input into the process, either through a scientist taking on an advisory role or through direct collaboration. This expert may be from an ethics, science or history background, but must be an expert in the area of biomedical science you are investigating.

If your proposed project has an artistic dimension but does not involve the creation of new work, then it may be more appropriate to apply for a People/Society Award.

You can apply for funding at two levels:

Small Arts Awards (small to medium-sized projects – up to and including £30 000)
Funding can support the development of new project ideas, deliver small productions or workshops, investigate and experiment with new methods of engagement through the arts, or develop new collaborative relationships between artists and scientists.

Large Arts Awards (larger projects – above £30 000)
This funding can support full or part production costs for high-quality large arts projects that aim to have significant impact on the public’s engagement with biomedical science.

Projects that are not eligible for Arts Award support include health promotion, education or campaign projects, arts projects for therapeutic purposes, straight documentaries, work that is purely illustrative, and projects dealing with non-biomedical sciences.

You should refer to the application guidelines, Grant Conditions and evaluation guidelines before completing your application.

Complete a full application form, via the Trust’s eGrants online application system (select the ‘Small Arts Awards’ form in the ‘Full application’ drop-down menu), and submit it at any time before the deadline of 27th July 2012.  Funding decisions will be made approximately three months after the relevant deadline.

 The RKE Operations team can help you with your application.

EPSRC Call for Feasibility Study Proposals: Through-life engineering services


The EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Through-life Engineering Services is offering funding for feasibility studies in the field of through-life engineering services. Through-life Engineering Services are technical services that are necessary to guarantee required and predictable performance of a complex engineering system throughout its expected operational life with the optimum whole life cost. The feasibility studies should examine a subject area in the field, review activity in it, identify key challenges and research questions not currently being addressed and develop full proposals for funding by established routes. Awardees are expected to attract significant new industrial support and the subsequent major award will form a strategic part of the Centre activities. Awards are limited to £20,000 at 80% FEC and to a maximum duration of six months.

How to apply

Feasibility study applications should be submitted to Professor Rajkumar Roy, the National Centre Director (, and copied to Andy Shaw, the National Centre Manager (

Key dates

Activity Date
First Call Launched 14 May 212
Closing date for applications 30 June 2012
Evaluation of applications by the Centre Executive Committee                13 July 2012
Grants announced and feedback given by 30 July 2012
Expected start of the projects by 15th August 2012
Documents to download

Stephanie Lewis

The RKE Operations team can help you with your application.

EPSRC call ‘Design for Wellbeing: Ageing and Mobility in the Built Environment’



EPSRC is leading a call with the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and invites proposals from interdisciplinary consortia for evidence led research into ageing and mobility in the built environment. This call is being run under the auspices of the Lifelong Health and Wellbeing (LLHW) cross-council ageing research programme which supports research addressing factors throughout life that influence health and wellbeing in older age.

This call is seeking to create a step change in interdisciplinary engineering, social science and design research for wellbeing in the built environment. There is up to £7M available (EPSRC up to £4M, ESRC up to £2M and AHRC up to £1M) to support a maximum of five large multi-disciplinary projects of up to three years duration.

Prospective applicants will need to complete an Expression of Interest form by 12:00 on Monday 10 September 2012.

The expressions of interest will be assessed by an expert short listing panel in September 2012 and those aligned appropriately with the assessment criteria will be invited to submit full proposals. The deadline for submitting an Expression of Interest is 12:00 on 10 September 2012. Those invited to submit a full proposal will be notified by the end of September 2012. The deadline for the submission of full proposals will be 28 November 2012, and will be peer-reviewed in March 2013 with the expectation that funding decisions will be made by the end of March 2013.


There are two stages in the assessment process. This call invites Expressions of Interest (EoIs) which will be assessed by a shortlisting panel in September 2012. Shortlisted applicants will then be invited to submit full proposals.

Activity Date/Time
Call for Expressions of Interest May 2012
Call for Expressions of Interest submission deadline 12:00 noon on 10 September 2012
Applicants informed of outcome and full proposals invited        26 September 2012
Deadline for submission of full proposals 16:00 on 28 November 2012
Prioritisation panel March 2013
Documents to download
The RKE Operations team can help you with your application.

Opportunities for existing ESRC Students

Overseas institutional visits

All full-time ESRC studentship holders are eligible to apply for financial support for overseas institutional visits (OIVs) within their studentship period, to visit overseas universities or esteemed research organisations. This additional funding is intended to provide applicants with the opportunity to:

  • establish research networks
  • disseminate early research findings
  • participate in seminars and other academic activities that are directly relevant to their research
  • undertake specialist research training that is not available within the UK.

How to apply

You should submit completed applications to your research organisation (RO) nominated contact who will check the form before forwarding it to ESRC. You should note that applications are sent to ESRC in batches by 16.00 on the last working day of the month. If you miss a batch deadline this will delay the processing of your application.

Applicants must allow at least three months between the batch deadline for the month in which they apply and commencing the visit (eg if your application was received by ESRC on 30 January, the earliest you would be able to commence your visit would be 1 May).

We will aim to process and send applications to assessors within five working days. We will normally communicate funding decisions to nominated RO contacts within two months of the batch deadline, although this may take longer at certain times of the year.

You should read the scheme guidance notes before completing the application form:

All successful overseas applicants are required to submit an end of award report within two weeks of the end of the overseas institutional visit. Students undertaking more than one visit should submit a report on completion of each separate visit.

Further information

If you have any queries about the scheme please contact:

Leverhulme Trust Research Project Grants – Outlines welcomed

The aim of these awards is to provide financial support for innovative and original research projects of high quality and potential, the choice of theme and the design of the research lying entirely with the applicant (the Principal Investigator). The grants provide support for the salaries of research staff engaged on the project, plus associated costs directly related to the research proposed.

Proposals are favoured which:

  • reflect the personal vision of the applicant;
  • demonstrate compelling competence in the research design;
  • surmount traditional disciplinary academic boundaries;
  • involve a degree of challenge and evidence of the applicant’s ability to assess risk. 

Value and Duration

The great majority of awards involve a spend of up to £250,000 over a duration of two to three years. If compelling evidence is provided, awards may be made for sums between £250,000 and £500,000 for research over a period of up to five years. The assessment procedures for these large grants are especially stringent, and can involve site visits and discussions with applicants.


Applications for research on any topic within the entire array of academic disciplines are eligible for support. However, an exception is made for areas of research supported by specialist funding agencies and, in particular, for medicine. In such cases, applicants should consider an application to these alternative funding bodies as being more appropriate. Specific attention is paid to the reasons given by applicants in justifying their choice of the Trust as the most appropriate agency for the support of their project.

Please read the following before submitting an application.


If your query has not been answered in the links please contact Matt Dillnutt regarding Outline Applications (020 7042 9873); or Nicola Thorp regarding Detailed Applications (020 7042 9872).

The RKE Operations team can help you with your application.

There are no closing dates for Outline Applications.  Deadlines for Invited full applications are 21 March, 1 September, 1 December annually

Register now for BRIAN Demonstrations – the new Publication Management System

The new publication management system BRIAN (Bournemouth Research, Information and Networking) will go live on 22 June 2012.  BRIAN will provide a facility for academics to quickly and easily update their research activity via a single point of data entry which will enable research information to be used in multiple places, including BURO and the BU Staff Profile web pages, without the need to duplicate or enter additional data.  Academic staff will no longer add records direct to BURO, but via BRIAN.

BRIAN will allow you to have ownership of your staff profile web pages so these are easily kept up to date, allowing you to promote yourself for potential research collaborations, research grants and enterprise opportunities, research assessment exercises, etc.  It will also provide a search function for staff to find out about potential collaborative opportunities with colleagues from across BU.  BRIAN will enable BU to meet research assessment requirements by improving the administrative efficiency and data accuracy.

Demonstrations of the new system have been arranged and each will run for one hour and will also allow time for you to interact with the new system.  These are being held on the following dates:

24th May – 1pm – to be held in CG21, Christchurch House

29th May – 10am – to be held in CG21, Christchurch House

29th May – 2pm – to be held in CG21, Christchurch House

6th June – 10am – to be held in P231-5, Poole House

6th June – 2pm – to be held in P231-5, Poole House

It is highly recommended that all academics attend a demonstration of BRIAN as the system will be extremely important to your research profile.

To register for a session, please select your preferred date and a second choice (as demand will be high) and email this to Joan Bonnici at: by 22nd May 2012.

Health Related Funding Opportunities

There are a large number of calls that have been announced in the Medical and Healthcare remit.  A brief description of each of them is given below, together with a link to the call.

Medical Research Council:Joint Global Health trials scheme – this funds global health trials to generate new knowledge about interventions that will contribute to the improvement of health in low- and middle-income countries. The budget for the scheme is up to £12 million per year for three years.

Medical Research Council: Early Career Fellowship in economics of health – the scheme enables individuals to undertake challenging projects in excellent research and training environments. The fellowship is for a period of up to three years.

Medical Research Council: Methodology research fellowship – the scheme is aimed at researchers with a grounding in health research who wish to undertake a period of specialist training in the development and investigation of innovative research methods. The fellowship lasts up to four years and covers salary, training, consumables, and travel costs, capital equipment, and all other relevant costs under FEC.

Medical Research Council: New Investigator research grants – molecular and cellular medicine – these provide support for clinical and non-clinical researchers while they are establishing themselves as independent principal investigators. Grants are worth up to £600,000 and normally last three years. MRC will usually meet up to 80 per cent of the full economic cost.

Medical Research Council: Confidence in concept scheme – this provides awards to institutions to be used to support the earliest stages of multiple translational research projects. Grants will be between £300,000 and £1 million.

Cancer Research UK: Senior cancer research fellowships – this enables senior researchers to establish or to further develop an independent research group. Fellowships will last for six years and fund salaries for the fellow, up to two postdoctoral researchers, a technician and a PhD student. They also cover research expenses, consumables and equipment costs.

Cancer Research UK: Career Development Fellowships – these support non-clinical scientists who have shown promise in their initial studies in a cancer relevant research field, but may not yet have sufficient experience to obtain a more senior fellowship. Grants have a duration of six years and fund: salaries for the fellow, a postdoctoral researcher and a technician; consumables costs; equipment.

British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy: Research grants support research efforts in the following areas: mechanisms of antibacterial action; mechanisms of antibacterial resistance; antiviral resistance; antivirals; antifungals; antibiotic methods; antibiotic prescribing; antibiotic therapy; antiparisitics; evidence based medicine/ systematic reviews. Grants are worth up to £50,000 for projects of one year’s duration.

British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy: Project grants may be used for the following purposes: pump priming projects; supporting the completion of an existing project; introducing a novel technique for existing work; funding for trainees for projects/training (maximum value £5,000). Up to £10,000 is available for projects of one year ‘s duration.

Anatomical Society: Research Studentships provide basic maintenance and fees for postgraduate students working towards the award of a higher degree in the anatomical and related sciences. Studentships are tenable for a maximum of three years and must be held in a British or Irish university.

British Pharmacology Society: AstraZeneca prize for women in Pharmacology: This recognises women whose career achievements have contributed significantly to the understanding of a particular field in pharmacology through excellence in research. The prize is worth £1,000.

 The RKE Operations team can help you with your application.

EPSRC Sandpit: More with Less: Engineering Solutions for Resource Efficiency

The EPSRC has announced a call for Expressions of Interest for attendance at their Sandpit for ‘More with Less: Engineering Solutions for Resource Efficiency’.

The UK is a small nation with limited resources that has a high material dependency. With the ever growing concern of material and resource scarcity we look to the ingenuity of the research base to find long-term sustainable solutions.

The Engineering theme will lead a sandpit in response to the challenges raised by the research community in the Resource Efficiency Scoping Workshop in April 2012 and in line with EPSRC strategy. The primary aim is to invest in ambitious, engineering-led, cross-disciplinary research with the potential for long-term transformation across many and diverse sectors, especially among those that have yet to embrace these concepts.

EPSRC are looking for enthusiastic participants from a wide range of disciplines who will bring their expertise to explore the challenges of:

  • Dematerialisation (eg lightweighting, novel materials functionality, novel materials from waste products, materials security and efficiency);
  • Designing for resource sustainability (eg energy, water and materials efficiency, considerations for engineering processes, whole systems and resource flow modelling);
  • Reuseability at any scale (closed and open loop recycling, remanufacturing, extended product life).

Closing Date: 13.00 on 11 June 2012

Documents to Download:

Resource efficiency sandpit call document

Resource efficiency workshop challenge outcomes

Ideas Factory Sandpit expression of interest form: Return form to

Equal Opportunities Form

A Sandpit for Ideas: The concept of the IDEAS Factory is to organise interactive workshops (sandpits) on particular topics, involving 20-25 participants. The focus for this sandpit is MORE WITH LESS: Engineering solutions for resource efficiency. Anyone eligible to apply for funding from Research Councils UK can apply.

The Sandpit Event: The sandpit will run over five days starting mid-morning on day one and finishing mid-afternoon on day five.

As the sandpit progresses, participants will build up thoughts on how the identified ‘challenges’ may be addressed and develop their innovative ideas and activities into research projects. Projects will contain genuinely novel and speculative investigations that address new approaches to resource efficiency. The sandpit will include inputs from a variety of sources.

Location and Date

The date for this sandpit is 23rd – 27th July 2012. Location to be confirmed.

ISRF Mid-Career Research Fellowship Call announced

The Independent Social Research Foundation (ISRF) wishes to support independent-minded researchers to do interdisciplinary work which is unlikely to be funded by existing funding bodies. It is interested in original research ideas which take new approaches, and suggest new solutions, to real world social problems.

The Foundation intends to make a small number of awards to support original interdisciplinary research, across the range of the social sciences, to be held from a start date during the academic year 2013-4. Scholars from within Europe are eligible to apply.

The award is intended to enable a scholar at the mid career stage to pursue his/her research full-time, normally for 12 months. The amount will be offered to buy out the costs of replacing all teaching and associated administration in the applicant’s home institution, and will be considered to a maximum of £60,000 per successful applicant. Within that sum, reasonable support for research expenses may be considered on a matched-funding basis with the host institution.

The applicant should normally hold a salaried position at an institution of higher education and research, and be 10 years or more from the year of their PhD award. However, a shorter time from PhD award may exceptionally be considered, if the candidate has other qualifications to be considered as mid-career.

Applicants should consult the Criteria as set out in the Further Particulars and show that they meet them. Applicants should follow the Application procedure and should present their Proposal in the format specified there.

Closing date for applications is 4pm on June 21st 2012.

Application Queries: Telephone +44 (0) 20 7262 0196 or email

The RKE Operations team can help you with your application.

New user friendly ESRC Research Funding Guide

A new version of the ESRC Research Funding Guide is now available to download on their web site.

It has been thoroughly reviewed and substantial changes made to the layout and content.  The contents page now includes hyperlinks so that you do not need to scroll through the document to find what you need; relevant links to current Funding Opportunities and assessment information are included; as are guidance in chronological order from beginning to end of the grants process; annexes have been removed and where appropriate the information is now included within the document; and a revision to the OJEU threshold has also been included.

The new streamlined version is much more user friendly and easier to keep up to date. This document will now only be updated on a bi-annual basis – in April and October – where changes are required (unless exceptional circumstances require immediate revision). Where possible amendments will be implemented at the point at which the guide is updated. Any changes which occur during the interim period will be captured as amendments on the web page so that they are easy to find and will be communicated as appropriate (this may be via RCUK or the normal ESRC channels).

NERC announce first round of the 2012/13 Follow-on Fund

Applications are invited to NERC’s first round of the 2012/13 Follow-on Fund.

The aim of this scheme is to develop outcomes from previous funding to a stage where commercial opportunities are possible.  The fund is open to researchers in UK universities and research council institutes with current or past research council funding.

Funds are typically requested to further develop the scientific or technical aspects of an idea.  This may be to strengthen the intellectual property position, carry out further market research or investigate possible licensees.

Applications must be made through the JeS system (

The closing date for applications is 4pm, 6 June 2012.

NERC also funds a Follow-on Fund ‘Pathfinder’ scheme to support small-scale, specific activities that can help develop a better understanding of future work needs and may be beneficial when submitting a full Follow-on Fund application.

For more information and contact details go to

The RKE Operations team can help you with your application.

Useful documents

To find out more, please download the documents you need from the list below.

Guidance to applicants

Eligibility and assessment criteria

Specific guidance – ‘Full’ Follow-on Fund

Specific guidance – Follow-on Fund Pathfinder

Moderating panel membership

Guidance for writing supporting letters

EPSRC announce call: Working together in ICT


EPSRC’s ICT Theme intends to commit around £5M of funding for research projects which will directly address its Working Together priority.

Projects submitted in response to this call should comprise two or more ‘streams’ of research which run concurrently and show significant mutual benefit. These streams may include ICT researchers working with researchers in areas outside ICT, as long as the potential benefit to ICT research is the main driver for the project.

Full call document including background, funding available, aims and scope of call, eligibilty, how to apply and assessment can be found here.

Closing date: 16:00 on 10 July 2012

Submitting application

You should prepare and submit your proposal using the Research Councils’ Joint electronic Submission (Je-S) System (

When adding a new proposal, you should select: Council ‘EPSRC’; Document type ‘Standard Proposal’; Scheme ‘Standard Research’; On the Project Details page you should select the ‘Working Together in ICT’ call.

The RKE Operations team can help you with your application.

Alcohol Research UK announces Small Grants Scheme

Alcohol Research UK have reopened the Small Grants Scheme.

Competition is always tough for a small grant award, so please check the criteria before applying:

Criteria for Funding Projects:

Small grants could fund small research projects, pilot research studies or demonstration projects with a strong evaluation component, up to £5,000 in total. The following criteria are used to judge all applications for small grants:

  • Does the project have the potential to make a significant new contribution to the alcohol evidence base, either in its own right or as a precursor to a larger project?
  • Are the aims well defined and achievable?
  • Is there a sound evaluation component to check whether aims have been achieved?

Preference will be given to projects that will have a demonstrable impact.

Alcohol Research UK is unable to contribute to the running and general costs of organisations, make donations or fund ongoing service provision.

Download a copy of the Small Grant Project application form

Conferences and Conference Attendance:

Applications may be made for a contribution towards running a suitable conference of up to £3,000 subject to the following criteria:

  • The conference would help to disseminate important new evidence or theories;
  • It has clear and identifiable aims; and
  • There would be some post event evaluation regarding the influence on policy and practice and Alcohol Research UK would be provided with a conference report.

Applications for conference attendance to present a paper will only be accepted from Alcohol Research UK funded individuals.

Download a copy of the Small Grant Conference application form

Download a copy of the Small Grant Conference attendance application form

The RKE Operations team can help you with your application.


MRC announce Special training fellowship in biomedical informatics

Special training fellowship in biomedical informatics (computational biology, neuroinformatics and health informatics)

The MRC has identified the application of informatics as an area of strategic importance to health and medical research. This special training fellowship is aimed at developing outstanding individuals who are seeking to move into the application of mathematical, statistical and computational methods to biomedical and health research problems.

The MRC is keen to support individuals with a clear ambition for their research and a strong and practical sense of how they develop their careers as leading biomedical scientists and informaticians. The special fellowship is awarded at the post-doctoral entry level only and all proposals must include a well-specified formal training element in addition to a research project. The award commonly provides 3 years support and the opportunity to enhance the research training through placement in an overseas research centre, a second UK research centre or in UK industry.

The MRC expect to make up to five awards a year.

Who can apply?

The fellowships are aimed at those with non-biological, biological, non-clinical or clinical backgrounds who wish to undertake training and research in biomedical informatics. This is a prestigious fellowship; therefore applicants are expected to demonstrate an excellent track-record relative to their time in research.

Applications are particularly encouraged from those with advanced training in the physical or mathematical sciences or in information technology, who wish to apply their expertise to biomedical problems. In particular, applications are encouraged in imaging informatics.

Applicants should hold either a PhD or DPhil in a relevant discipline or expect to do so by the time they intend to take up the award. Medical or dental applicants holding a PhD can apply at any stage in their careers from immediately post-registration up to specialist registrar grade or be at the equivalent level in general practice or dentistry. The majority of successful applicants are within six years of the completion of their PhD but this is not an absolute requirement.

Post-doctoral applicants have no residential restrictions and may come from any country. If you are invited to interview by the biomedical informatics training and career development panel, you would be expected to demonstrate a commitment to the UK research effort in the area of biomedical informatics beyond the period of a special training fellowship award.

What funding is provided?

An MRC special research training fellowship in biomedical informatics is usually awarded for three years or occasionally up to four years when there is special justification.

The fellowship provides the fellow’s personal salary, research training support costs, annual travel costs, and all other relevant costs under Full Economic Costs (see the guidance notes for completing the application form and the form itself for more details). Salaries for clinical applicants will be payable up to, but not including, NHS consultant level. In addition, a small amount of salary can be requested for supervision but this should be appropriately restricted.

Where the fellowship includes attendance on a formal course leading to a Masters degree, or parts of a taught course, course fees may be requested. All applications must include an appropriate taught training component.

Overseas/Second UK Centre/UK Industrial Training Period

The special research training fellowship in biomedical informatics provides the opportunity to spend time in an overseas research centre, a second UK research centre or UK industrial centre in year two or three of the award. The aim of this training component is to provide a concentrated period of training that cannot be achieved as effectively within the academic host institution. MRC would normally expect this training component to be a single visit lasting up to 12 months. However, the assessment panel may agree to requests for visits to more than one centre, if this can be justified on the grounds of training needs. These should not be simply collaborative visits but applicants are encouraged to consider this opportunity by the assessment panel. You should be prepared at interview to discuss in detail any visits proposed.

Deadlines and submission details

The MRC special research training fellowship in biomedical informatics competition is held once a year. There is no need to submit an outline application.

Please see fellowship deadlines dates for application deadlines.

Closing date: 19 September 2012

Short listing: January 2013

Interviews: 27 – 28 February and 1 March 2013

Take up dates: April – September 2013

Please apply for the Special Training Fellowship using the RCUK Je-S application system. Your proposal must be submitted through the MRC Je-S system by 4pm on the relevant Fellowhip Application deadline date.

The RKE Operations team can help you with your application.

Completion of specialist clinical training

If you are medically and dentally qualified and have not already completed your specialist or vocational training, you should have a clear idea of your plans for doing so at the time of application. Applicants wishing to pursue specialist or vocational training must consult their Postgraduate Medical Dean, Regional Advisor in General Practice, and Royal College prior to submitting the fellowship application to find out if the research may be acceptable as training towards the Certificate of Completion of Training. Enquiries and subsequent applications to the relevant body should be made in consultation with the prospective head of department.


The MRC tries to operate this scheme as flexibly as possible. As part of the MRC’s equal opportunities policy, consideration will be given to applicants who are returning to science following a career break. There are no age limits for any of our schemes and all fellowships may be held part-time to fit in with domestic responsibilities.

The MRC recognises the challenges faced by clinicians in combining research training with the demands of a clinical career. MRC therefore allow up to 20 per cent of fellows’ time for NHS sessions.

Alternatively, Fellows may spend up to six hours a week on other work such as teaching or demonstrating. The payment for this work may be retained in full if this is the host institution’s normal policy. Fellows may seek other research grants to be held concurrently with their award during its last six months only. However, they may not exceed the permitted time for other work on research grants.

Please see fellowship terms and conditions for further details.

Applications for further fellowship support

MRC special research training fellows who wish to consolidate their research skills and make the transition from post-doctoral research and training to become independent investigators are eligible to compete for an MRC clinician scientist fellowship (medical/dental graduates, nurses, midwives and members of the allied health professions) or, an MRC career development award (non-clinical scientists).

Guidance for applicants


For further information please refer to MRC’s contacts page.

MRC EoI for Research Consortia to establish a new cohort for intellectual disabilities research

The purpose of the MRC Call for Expression of Interest (EoI) is to gauge the likely interest in establishing a new cohort for research on intellectual disabilities. The EoIs solicited will inform discussion at a workshop to be held in the autumn and representatives from those submitting EoIs will be invited. The objective of the workshop will be to scope the feasibility and discuss the logistics of establishment and maintenance of a cohort in intellectual disabilities research in the light of the EoIs submitted.

The establishment of a cohort in this area would meet one of the recommendations of the Mental Health Review that was led by the MRC and published in 2010. The cohort would be a resource for high quality, hypothesis-driven research in an area where there is a perceived research gap. The final decision will be taken following the workshop and is dependent on establishing its feasibility. Funds have provisionally been set aside.

Remit of this call for EoIs

  • At the moment MRC are seeking interest in establishing a cohort that would cover any condition or conditions that have arisen due to impairment of brain development before or during birth, or in the childhood years before the brain is fully developed; and which has been caused by any biological and/or environmental factors.
  • The cohort will be established for epidemiological research on mental health and to provide information on risk factors and interventions. MRC also intends to explore the opportunity for designing the cohort to provide health care providers and care-givers with information that will inform the design of better care.
  • The cohort should initially be established within the UK.


The rationale for considering establishing a cohort is as follows:

  • The MRC-led review of mental health research noted the higher prevalence of psychiatric disorders and other co-morbidities among children with learning disabilities compared to children without learning disabilities; and the fact that those with more severe conditions are routinely excluded from patient and population based cohorts.
  • There is a strong need to understand how certain factors such as mental and physical health relate to health outcomes in those with intellectual disabilities.
  • From a scientific perspective, the study of rare and severe disorders can provide a unique insight into issues of much wider public health significance.
  • Establishing a well-characterised cohort of people with intellectual disabilities will enable more immediate studies of the different aspects of the possible phenotypes and might also provide the epidemiological information to assist the establishment and optimisation of clinical and social management across the age range.

What your EoI should address

At this stage MRC are seeking information about you, what research questions you consider to be most pressing, the feasibility and logistics issues you envisage and how you would seek to overcome them.  EoIs should provide the following information:

About you

  • Please provide the name of a single Principal Investigator, with host institution, who might lead a future bid and be administratively responsible for any award.
  • Names and institutional affiliations of up to three co-workers.
  • Please do not include CVs or any information that cannot be shared. Information on relevant funding and publications would be useful.
  • Please indicate your consent for information from the EoI to be shared with delegates in order to inform the autumn workshop.

Note: MRC will consider proposals from any UK-based researcher who can demonstrate that they will direct the proposed research and be actively engaged in carrying it through. Researchers from overseas institutions may be included in a proposal as a collaborator where the nature of the research makes this necessary but it is anticipated that this cohort will be wholly UK-based at least at the start.

About the research question

It is important that EoIs make clear what new health research questions or hypotheses it will be possible to answer over the next five to ten years using the cohort resource. Therefore you should address the following

  • A description of the most pressing research questions for the next 5 years listing the expected outcomes (maximum 2 sides of A4).
  • What the proposed cohort will offer that other cohorts do not (nationally and internationally) and how it relates to other relevant cohorts?

Logistics and feasibility

As many of these syndromes are rare, undertaking research in this area presents very particular challenges such as recruiting large enough samples and the associated geographic spread of any cohort. Therefore you should address the following:

  • What will be the target population (inclusion/exclusion)?
  • What will be the starting age for cohort subjects?
  • Who will be the comparison groups?
  • What sample size do you envisage?
  • Who would be the participating centres?
  • What expertise do you have (or plans do you have to engage with specialists) in the area?
  • What would be the plans for establishing the cohort as a resource – how is it/ will it be used by the wider research community?
  • What questions do you think the workshop should address?
  • What costs to the nearest million do you envisage the cohort costing, broken down into three or four major headings
  • Initially, if funded, the cohort would be supported for five years. How would you manage continuation or discontinuation of the cohort beyond five years?
  • How will the cohort be used to inform clinical decision making and inform policy or social care?

At this stage no details are needed on governance arrangements for data sharing and data access by the wider research community but please make you ensure that you are familiar with MRC policy on data sharing and preservation.


How to submit the EoI

There is no template or form and EoIs should be emailed, by 4pm Friday 8th June 2012, to:

Do not exceed 6 sides of A4 (Arial 11 point) including references but you may append a 1 page diagram (e.g. Gantt chart/ flow chart).


Process and timescale following submission of EoIs

Following the workshop, the outcome will be reported to MRC Boards. If agreed, we hope that we will be able to invite proposals from competing consortia or commission a single group depending on how researchers agree amongst themselves to organise their response to any call. We anticipate that a call for funding will be issued in the spring of 2013.

Alzheimer’s Society calls for Project Grants and PhD Studentship Grants

Project Grants: Next deadline: 29 June 2012

The objective of Alzheimer’s Society Project Grants is to provide funding for significant research projects in the areas of cause, cure, care or prevention of dementia.

Up to £225,000 funding per application may be requested, for periods up to 3 years.

PhD studentship Grants: Deadline: 27 July 2012

The objective of Alzheimer’s Society Project Grants is to provide funding for new PhD studentships in the areas of cause, cure, care or prevention of dementia.

Applications should be made by the prospective supervisor. Up to £80,000 may be requested consisting of a fixed student stipend and a budget for student fees, materials and consumables.

Project grants and PhD grants are open calls, for investigator led proposals across cause, cure, care and prevention of dementia. They wish to highlight that welcome applications for high quality complex interventions in social and psychological care since these are currently underrepresented in their portfolio. Applicants are also advised to look at the document ‘Challenges facing primary carers for people with dementia: Opportunities for research‘, which was prepared in consultation with Research Newwork volunteers.

Alzheimer’s Society now accepts applications for all types of research grants via an online grant application platform. Potential applicants should follow the link to the grants platform and register online to set up an account. Registered applicants will then be able to view and apply to grant rounds that are currently accepting applications. Applications will open approximately three months before the closing date.

The online platform can be accessed at

Any queries should be directed to

All applications submitted to Alzheimer’s Society will be peer reviewed and funding decisions will be made within six months. If you hold a grant from Alzheimer’s Society, then this will eventually be managed through the online platform. If you are interested in partnering with Alzheimer’s Society on a research project, but are not seeking funding from the Society, then please look at the partnership working page.

The RKE Operations team can help you with your application.

MRC Call for Career Development Award

The MRC career development award provides up to five years’ support for outstanding post-doctoral researchers who wish to consolidate their research skills and make the transition from post-doctoral research trainee to independent investigator. Applicants are expected to take advantage of the full five years’ funding available. It includes an option of 12 months research training outside the UK, in UK industry, or at another UK research centre, to enable fellows to acquire new transferable techniques and skills. The scheme also provides a jointly funded postdoctoral award in partnership with the Multiple Sclerosis Society.

Who can apply?

Applicants should have a PhD or DPhil and have at least three to six years’ post-doctoral experience at the time of application deadline. Applications from existing MRC research fellows and post-doctoral researchers returning from overseas are particularly welcome. Applicants who hold a research-oriented MSc degree and have undertaken at least four years’ appropriate postgraduate research work – such as in medical statistics – may be considered.

Medically and other clinically qualified professionals who are clinically active should consider MRC’s Clinical Fellowships or Population Health Scientist Fellowship schemes.

As with all MRC fellowships, these awards are not available to individuals who hold a tenured academic position at the time of application. If you hold a tenured position, you may apply for funding under one of the MRC’s grant schemes.

There are no residence eligibility restrictions for this fellowship. As part of the MRC’s equal opportunities policy, consideration will be given to applicants who are returning to science following a career break. There are no age limits for any of our schemes and all fellowships may be held part-time to fit in with domestic responsibilities.


Scientific Remit

Proposals are encouraged across all areas of the MRC’s remit. Applications may range from basic studies with relevance to mechanisms of disease, to translational and clinical research.

Funding provided

The fellowship provides a competitive salary, research support staff, research consumables expenses, travel costs and capital equipment appropriate for the research project under full economic costs. The award also provides funding for research training outside the UK. Higher requests for resources must be justified in terms of delivering the objectives of the research proposal.

Tenure of award

An MRC career development award may be awarded for up to five years. Applicants are expected to take advantage of the full five years funding available. Part-time fellowships for individuals who wish to combine research with domestic responsibilities may apply for a period of up to 5 years pro-rata.


The MRC and Multiple Sclerosis Society training fellowship

Applications are invited for this joint award from non-clinical researchers who also wish to undertake research into understanding and treating multiple sclerosis.

Clinical researchers may apply for this joint funding scheme through the MRC clinical research training fellowship.


Deadlines and submission details

This fellowship competition is held twice a year, however applicants may only apply to one CDA competition in any 12 month period. There is no need to submit an outline application.

Please apply for the Career Development Award using the RCUK Je-S application system.

Please see the schedule and deadlines for fellowships for closing dates.

Your proposal must be submitted through the MRC Je-S system by 4pm on the relevant closing date.

Closing date: 10 October 2012

Short listing: February 2013

Interviews: 20 -21 March 2013

Take up dates: April – September 2013 


Other work responsibilities

MRC career development fellows and research support staff funded through full-time fellowships may spend up to six hours a week teaching, demonstrating or supervising research staff not funded by the fellowship. Payment for such work may be retained in full if this is the host institution’s normal policy.


Applications for further support

Existing fellows who wish to continue developing their research careers, and who do not have an established position, would be eligible to compete for an MRC senior non-clinical fellowship.

Other grant support

Career development award holders are encouraged to apply as a principle investigator or co-investigator for grant support via an MRC research grant or collaboration grant, or grants from other funding organisations, subject to written approval from the MRC fellowship section. Fellows seeking this further support should ensure that the additional work can be carried out within the six hours per week allowed for other duties as stipulated under other work responsibilities and in the fellowship terms and conditions (part FA19). In certain cases consideration will be given to allowing the fellow to apply for grant funding which exceeds these limits.

Guidance for applicants

For further information please refer to MRC’s contacts page.

 The RKE Operations team can help you with your application.

NIHR CSO Healthcare Science Research Fellowship Programme – Round 3 now launched

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) in partnership with the Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) for the Department of Health has now launched round 3 of the NIHR/CSO Healthcare Science Research Fellowship Competition. The scheme supports the development of healthcare science research capacity and capability building, by providing funding to undertake research for patient benefit.

The Fellowships will support members of the NHS healthcare science workforce who already have some research experience and wish to bridge clinical or service careers and research. 

The two award levels are:

  • Doctoral: funding for individual doctoral level research and to undertake a PhD
  • Post-Doctoral: funding for individual postdoctoral research projects

Fellowships must be undertaken with the support of the relevant NHS line-manager and an appropriate academic partner. The research proposed must be of direct relevance to the NHS with the potential to improve service or clinical outcome. 

Applications are invited from individuals working in England from one of the three main Healthcare Scientist areas:

  • Biology
  • Physiology
  • Physics and Engineering.

Application Packs

An overview of the competition process, eligibility, funding, Review Panel and previous awards can be found on this link: FURTHER INFORMATION

Informal enquiries may be directed to

Closing date 24 Jul 12

Deadline information Deadline: emailed applications due 24 July; postal applications due 31 July 2012.

The RKE Operations team can help you with your application.