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Latest Major Funding Opportunities

The following opportunities have been announced. Please follow the links for more information:

  • The AHRC are running an International placement scheme providing funded research fellowships at leading international research institutions.  The maximum award is unspecified, Closing date is 15 Jan 14.
  • The AHRC are offering Collaborative research grants in partnership with the São Paulo Research Foundation enabling transnational British and Brazilian teams to apply for funding for collaborative research projects. This is an open call with no set deadline.  The proposal total should not exceed £2 million.
  • The BBSRC are offering Modular training partnerships  designed to help develop master’s-level training in areas of significant need for industrial sectors. The award maximum is unspecified with a closing date of 28 Jan 14.
  • The BBSRC invite proposals for their Welfare of managed animals strategic priority area.  The maximum award is not specified, closing date: 09 Jan 14.
  • The BBSRC are offering funding for the Animal health research club.  The club’s research focuses on improving the resistance of farmed animals. A maximum of £5.5 million is available to support a variety of projects at 80% full economic cost.  Projects usually last 3 -4 years but funding of up to £2m for a maximum of 5 years will be considered. Closing date: 11 Dec 13.
  • The EPSRC ICT pioneers competition is now open,  providing recognition for UK PhD students who can communicate and demonstrate the excellence and exploitation potential of their research.  There are four prizes of £2000 each are available.  Closing date is 04 Dec 13.
  • The fourth call from CHIST-ERA is now open from ERA-Net CHIST-ERA.  Proposals for this call should be transformative and highly multidisciplinary research projects in ICST. The indicative budget is approximately €11.6 million, closing date 21 Jan 14.
  • EUREKA’s Eurostars programme  is supporting SME’s using research to gain competitive advantage.  Funding is provided on a country by country bases with an average project budget of €1.4 million.  The maximum award is unspecified with a closing date of 13 Mar 14.
  • The MRC are offering UK-Japan collaborative proposals, specifically looking at neuroscience disease challenges and the use of next generation opitical microscopy technologies.  The maximum MRC contribution will not be more that £120,000 over three years.  Closing date 05 Dec 13.
  • The MRC are offering a  Senior non-clinical fellowship  providing non-clinical researchers opportunities to become research leaders. The maximum award is not specified and the closing date is 30 Apr 14.
  • The MRC are awarding funds in Stratified medicine to support investigator-led methodological research into the challenges raised by stratifying patient groups. Over the next 4 years, £60 million will be committed to this area of research. Maximum award is not specified, closing date: 23 Jan 14.
  • The Royal Society of Edinburgh are offering Scottish Enterprise/RSE enterprise fellowships to encourage the development of a new Scottish businesses based around a technological idea.  Fellowships cover the fellow’s salary for one year.  There is no maximum award and it will close 28 Nov 13.
  • The Royal Society are offering funds to run small three-day South Africa-UK scientific seminars to bring together groups of early- to mid-career scientists from South Africa and the UK.  Grants are worth up to £12,000 to be used to cover costs of international airfares for up to 5 scientists, local travel costs, accommodation and organisational support.  Award maximum is £12,000, closing 18 Feb 14.
  • The TSB are offering Infrastructure for offshore renewables.  Funds will be given to collaborative, business led projects looking to reduce costs associated with offshore wind, wave and tidal stream energy generation through technology.  Registration closes 29 Jan 14 with a final submission date 05 Feb 2014 .
  •  Improving cell and tissue analysis for stratified medicine.  The TSB seek development of innovative technologies to enhance cell and tissue sample analysis.  Projects should be between £200,000 and £1.5 million and last up to three years.  Award maximum not specified, closing date: 04 Dec 13.
  • The Wellcome Trust are offering Doctoral studentships in medical humanities.  The award will cover stipend, conference travel, research expenses, overseas fieldwork, and university and college fees for up to 3 years.    Maximum award unspecified, closing date: 02 Apr 14.
  • The Wellcome Trust People Awards support projects to explore the impact of biomedical science on society, its historical roots, effects on different cultures, or the ethical questions that it raises. Up to £30,000 is available per project.  Closing date: 31 Jan 14.
  • Wellcome Trust are offering Capital funding for learned societies. This scheme provides funding, usually for up to £200,000, to projects that support the scholarly activities of learned societies. There is no specified deadline or maximum award.
  • Society and ethics doctoral studentships are available from the Wellcome Trust to enable scholars to undertake full-time research on a topic related to the ethics and society programme.  Maximum award is not specified, closing date: 02 Apr 14.
  • Research training fellowships are available from the Wellcome Trust to support medical, dental, veterinary or clinical psychology graduates who have limited research training, but who wish to develop a career in academic medicine. Award amount maximum not specified. Closing date is 07 Feb 14.
  • Society and ethics small grants are available from the Wellcome Trust to  support small-scale research projects, scoping exercises or meetings whose subject matter falls within the remit of the ethics and society programme. The maximum grant is £5,000. There is no closing deadline.

October is EU-tastic! The four sessions which give you all the EU funding info you need!

EU funding remains a bit of an enigma for most people. I remember how overwhelming I found it when I first began to unpick the tangle of the different funding strands, rules of participation, deadlines and conditions.Thankfully you don’t need to suffer in the same way. Horizon 2020 will be released soon (the replacement for FP7 and worth tens of billions of Euros) and I am here to guide you through it. As well as a Simple Guide to Horizon 2020 funding which I will release in early 2014 to demystify the funding schemes for you, I have arranged for four sessions to be held at BU in October to give you all the resources you need for your EU journey.

1. Health in Horizon 2020 

The European Commission National Contact Point for Health – Dr Octavio Pernas madea special trip to BU on October 7th to inform anyone interested in health research (from nursing care models to medical devices) of what to look out for under Horizon 2020 and expanding on other complementary funding programmes. The session detailed how you can make the most of the National Contact Points to help with your application. Slides from this presentation are available here: I:\R&KEO\Public\RDU\European Related\Horizon 2020\Health in H2020 Presentation.  

2. All things Horizon 2020 and 1-2-1s with UKRO

Bournemouth subscribes to information services from the fabulous UK Research Office (UKRO) and for many years they have been providing us with the latest EU information on funding calls, policy and providing advice on how to make a great application.

They will be visiting on October 9th to tell you in simple terms what Horizon 2020 is, the areas which will be funded within it and how you can make the most of UKRO by help with finding partners and gathering key bits of information. The two hour session will be followed by 1-2-1 appointments where you can get advice on your specific area of expertise and ask anything you want about EU policy making or funding. You can book your place for the information session here  and for the 1-2-1s by emailing Dianne Goodman.

 

3. All things Marie Curie

You can’t fail to have heard me banging on about how wonderful these fellowships are and how pleased I am that they will feature in Horizon 2020. These grants are absolutely the best way to kick start your EU career and you only need one non-UK partner to apply. You can either apply to have an academic come to the university from another country or you can go to another country as part of the fellowship scheme. You can have a fellowship with an academic or with an industrial partner and you can even apply for entire departments to be involved in exchanges. I’m proud of how engaged BU colleagues are with Marie Curie and the grants we already hold from this scheme.

The session is divided into two parts with both being held on October 16th. The first is a brief intro to the schemes and the second is a more detailed session on how to approach and structure your bid. You can book your place for either session here.

 

 4. The tricks of writing a winning Horizon 2020 proposal

Having already had sessions providing you with an overview of the various funding opportunities within Horizon 2020, you need to know the tricks of writing a winning bid. Writing bids for the European Commission is quite a different skill to writing for UK funders and this session on October 17th will guide you through the journey. We’ve had some fantastic feedback from this session in the past and attending will help get you on the right path to create your proposal. You can book your place for the information session here.

MRC to deliver talk at BU on Healthcare funding in Horizon 2020!

I am thrilled that the MRC will be making a special trip to BU to inform us of what will be released under the Health programme in Horizon 2020 on October 7th!

The session (10- 12:30) will provide you with the opportunity to hear the latest developments in Horizon 2020 and complementary funding programmes which are most relevant for healthcare researchers, businesses and SMEs, together with a landscape of the UK based support systems and networks for SMEs and industrial engagement.

As the programme is looking for specific academia-SME collaboration we have also invited a number of SMEs to this event. A networking lunch will be followed by several 30min one-to-one sessions (from 1:30)with the MRC representative.

Places are limited – you can reserve your space and book a one-to-one by emailing Dianne Goodman before October 1st.

Assisted Living Innovation Platform (ALIP)

Promoting physical activity in older age

Invitation for proposals: The cross-Research Council Lifelong Health and Wellbeing (LLHW) programme wishes to support research into the physiological effects and behaviours associated with physical activity and sedentary behaviour in the older population.

This nine funding partner call is issued under the auspices of the cross-Research Council Lifelong Health and Wellbeing (LLHW) programme and is led by the Medical Research Council on behalf of the BBSRC, the ESRC, the EPSRC and the UK health departments: Chief Scientist Office of the Scottish Government Health Directorates, NIHR, Health and Social Care Research and Development Office, Northern Ireland and the National Institute for Social Care and Health Research, Wales.

Despite wide spread recognition of the physical and mental health benefits of physical activity at all ages, activity levels commonly decline in older age, whilst the prevalence of sedentary behaviour increases. The cross-Research Council Lifelong Health and Wellbeing (LLHW) programme wishes to support research into the  physiological effects and behaviours associated with physical activity and sedentary behaviour in the older population, which will inform the future development of effective interventions to motivate and sustain activity in this target population.  Approximately £5M is available to support research arising from this call. Applicants may apply for up to £1 million (80% fEC) for a maximum period of three years.

Key dates

   
Call open for applications in Je-S Monday 17th September 2012
Deadline for full proposals 4pm, Thursday18th October 2012
Potential triage of proposals November 2012
Commissioning Panel meeting March 2013
Decisions to applicants By end March 2013

Contact

In addition to this document, applicants should read the MRC Applicant Guidance and Frequently Asked Questions for this call.

Dr Katie Finch

MRC programme Manager for Lifelong Health and Wellbeing, E-mail: llhw@headoffice.mrc.ac.uk, Tel: 01793 416350

 The RKE Operations team can help you with your application.

MRC – PET neuroscience specialist postdoctoral training programme 2012

Background

PET is a technology of key importance for understanding physiology and pharmacological mechanisms and for translation of discoveries through to the clinic. PET imaging techniques have good potential to provide high impact in both diagnosis and therapy across a range of diseases.

This call is for proposals of up to four years in duration for neurosciences research that depends on the use of PET imaging. The goal is to address continuing shortfalls in specialist post-doctoral training to enable skills development for PET imaging. The call for proposals follows up on a previously successful pilot scheme which made three awards in 2009, which sought to address two principal challenges for PET imaging in neuroscience research.

These were that:

  • Major academic centres are establishing new PET centres in the UK even though difficulties already exist in recruiting scientists with the necessary radiochemical, analysis or applications expertise;
  • It is difficult to develop or gain access to novel molecular probes for innovative applications of PET imaging.

These issues remain pertinent for the field, and this new call will seek to build further capacity in the field. Those Institutions successful under the pilot scheme will be welcome to bid under this open competitive call, where they will be assessed on an equal basis with other applicants. There is no assumption that the awards previously made will automatically continued.

Through the MRC the community is working with the MHRA to find ways to address the regulatory issues experienced by the community; this experts group includes representation from many UK Institutions engaged in PET research.

Objectives and remit

The scheme is being run through the MRC Neurosciences and Mental Health Board (NMHB) and is intended to allow suitably qualified post-doctoral researchers to both train in specialist PET-related disciplines and then potentially contribute towards the development of novel PET molecular imaging methodologies (for example, new molecular probes) that will benefit the neurosciences. It is hoped that at least four awards each employing at least one post-doctoral research assistant will be made.

To be employed on these grants, the trainee PET researchers recruited by the Institution are expected to have a clinical or non-clinical PhD in one or more of the following scientific disciplines:

  • chemistry
  • neuropharmacology
  • mathematics
  • biological sciences with experience of working in clinical imaging or with animal or cellular models

Key elements will be:

  • The provision by the host institution of a good training environment; and
  • Evidence that following an appropriate period of skills training, the trainee will have opportunities for independent research using PET imaging in an academic or industrial scientific environment.

Each award will be made for up to four years, with at least two years specifically designated for appropriate skills training relevant to PET. After training, the following years would be designated for application of these acquired skills to a neuroscience imaging problem. These time periods are suggested as a guideline only; the NMHB will be flexible if a good case is made for a different approach to suit a particular project, candidate or environment.

Further details are provided, under general features, training requirements and scientific details.

Funding available

£2m is available from the MRC’s Neuroscience and Mental Health Board. Applications will be considered by NMHB at its meeting to be held on 6th and 7th March 2013. Applications must be submitted via the JeS system by 4pm on the 25th September 2012. Applications should be submitted as a Standard Proposal, a Research Grant, to the NMHB September call and should include prefix to the title – PET Call.

Interaction with industry partners will be desirable, and preference will be given to applications that can offer evidence of meaningful collaboration with partners who are able to complement the bid and strengthen the training component of the award or otherwise enhance potential for success.

Awards may be made either to the same or to different academic centres – this has not been pre-specified and will depend upon the quality of the proposals.

For more information on General Features, Training Requirements, Scientific Details, Networking, and Advice to Applicants, please click here

Assessment process

Applications must be submitted via the JeS system by 4pm on the 25th September 2012. Applications should be submitted as a Standard Proposal, a Research Grant, to the NMHB September call and should include prefix to the title – PET Call.

Applications will be assessed by reviewers in November and December 2012. A specially convened review panel will meet to make triage decisions on the applications. Following the triage meeting, applicants will be contacted with the outcome. Applications will either be declined or go forward for consideration at the Neurosciences and Mental Health Board (NMHB) in March 2013. The Panel’s triage decision is final and not open to appeal. For those proposals going forward to the Board, applicants will be invited to respond to the referee comments. The timeline for this will be relatively tight.

NMHB members will receive the applications, external reviewers’ comments and the applicant’s response. Awards by the Board at the March meeting will be made in competition with other proposals at the Board and only research proposals of high quality will be funded.

Final decisions will be made by the Board and applicants will be informed of the decision and provided with Board feedback in March 2013. The Board’s decision is final and not open to appeal.

In addition to using the standard assessment criteria, where appropriate, key considerations for the Panel will be:

  • Eligibility for the call;
  • Quality and suitability of the research environment and of the facilities for the proposed work;
  • Quality and suitability of the general training environment(s)
  • Arrangements for mentoring of the post-holder once the grant-funded post is offered and accepted
  • Evidence that following the award, the trainee(s) will have opportunities for independent research using PET imaging in an academic or industrial scientific environment
  • Suitability of the specific training proposal and project(s) for developing the trainee’s skills and career;
  • Potential importance of the specific research being conducted as part of the training;
  • Strength and clarity of any collaboration and the potential for collaborations to strengthen the PET community in the neurosciences
  • Value for money.

If you have a query about this call please email: Joanna Jenkinson

E-mail: joanna.jenkinson@headoffice.mrc.ac.uk

 The RKE Operations team can help you with your application.

Dept. of Health, NIHR, MRC – Efficacy and Mechanism Evaluation Programme

Researcher-led Calls

The EME programme’s researcher-led workstream is an ongoing research funding opportunity funded by the MRC. You are welcome to submit an outline application at any time, however there will be three cut-off dates each year. If you would like them to alert you by email about future funding opportunities please click here.

Call reference Deadline Research brief Guidance notes Apply
12/127 13 November 2012 by 1pm Access the research brief Access the guidance notes Apply now

*Please note that once you have logged in, you will need to click on the ‘Apply for Funding’ button and select the call that you wish to apply to from the list*

Resources for applicants

 The RKE Operations team can help you with your application.

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.

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.

Flexibility

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.

Rationale

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: sarah.main@headoffice.mrc.ac.uk

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.

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.

MRC call for Senior Non-Clinical Fellowship

The MRC senior non-clinical fellowship is a highly prestigious award that provides non-clinical researchers of exceptional ability with exceptional opportunities to develop themselves to be research leaders. Applicants will be proven independent researchers with a track record of excellence in their scientific field, and will demonstrate significant promise as future research leaders. Support is now provided for seven years.

Who can apply?

Applicants will normally hold a PhD/DPhil and have at least six years’ post-doctoral research experience in academia or the wider economy. Applications from current MRC Career Development Award holders are particularly welcome.

Proposals are encouraged across all areas of the MRC’s remit from basic molecular science to applied clinical research. Medically and other clinically qualified professionals who are clinically active are ineligible, and should consider MRC’s Clinical Fellowships or Population Health Scientist Fellowship schemes.

MRC fellowships are not available to individuals who hold a tenured academic or research position, in the UK or overseas, at the time of application. If you hold a tenured position you should instead apply for funding under one of the MRC grant schemes. Similarly, individuals without formal tenure who are already supported by their Research Organisation as research team leaders should seek MRC grant funding rather than support via an MRC fellowship. There are no residence eligibility restrictions for this fellowship.

As part of the MRC 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.

Funding provided

The award provides a competitive personal salary for the fellow, research support staff, research consumables expenses and capital equipment appropriate for the research project, travel costs, and other appropriate items under full economic costs at a UK research organisation.

However, a Fellowship is not merely a large personal “grant.” Now that the awards are for seven years, candidates must show a commitment to developing the breadth of their research careers as well as excellence in depth. We recognise that plans for the later stages of a fellowship may be less detailed than those for the earlier years. Nevertheless, applicants should have ambitious and credible ideas for developing themselves as research leaders – scientists with vision and the ability to drive change.

Applicants are encouraged to take advantage of the opportunity provided by the Senior Non-Clinical Fellowship to spend time in an overseas research centre, a second UK research centre or a UK industrial centre. The aim is to provide a concentrated period of training that cannot be achieved as effectively within the academic host institution. MRC consider this period at a second centre to provide an invaluable opportunity to broaden fellows’ development towards becoming a research leader, and they would normally expect the Fellow to make one visit of up to 12 months. The interview panel may agree to requests for visits to more than one centre, if this can be justified on the grounds of training and development needs. These should not be simply collaborative visits. The Felllow should be prepared at interview to discuss in detail any visits proposed.

Tenure of award

An MRC Senior Non-Clinical Fellowship may be awarded for any period up to seven years. A mid-term review will be conducted by Panel members and MRC staff, to evaluate the fellow’s progress and institutional support, and also as an opportunity to provide mentorship and career advice for the fellow.

When applying, the case for support should describe a plan for seven years of research. However it is appreciated that during the tenure of the award, advances will be made and unexpected results may be produced which impact on the planned work, especially in the later years of the award. Consequently they encourage applicants to outline options for the last years of the fellowship rather than provide comprehensive details.

To account for the new longer duration, the case for support may be up to 12 pages in length.

Deadlines and submission details

This fellowship competition is held twice a year. There is no need to submit an outline application. Please see the schedule and deadlines for fellowships for closing dates.

Please apply for the Senior Non-Clinical Fellowship using the RCUK Je-S application system. Your proposal must be submitted through the MRC Je-S system by 4pm on the relevant deadline 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 senior non-clinical fellows and research support staff funded through full-time fellowships may spend up to six hours a week on teaching, demonstrating or other work. Payment for this work may be retained in full if this is the host institution’s normal policy.

Applications for other grant support

It is expected that senior fellows will seek grant support either from the MRC, through a research grant or other funding streams, or grants from other funding organisations. In applying for such funding, fellows should be mindful of their fellowship commitments (see above).

Guidance for applicants

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

 The RKE Operations team can help you with your application.

Technology Strategy Board and MRC call to address Healthcare challenges

The £180 million Biomedical Catalyst, announced by David Cameron in December 2011, will see the Medical Research Council and the Technology Strategy Board working together to provide responsive and effective support for the best life science opportunities arising in the UK.

Support through the Biomedical Catalyst is available to UK businesses (SMEs) and academics looking to develop innovative solutions to healthcare challenges either individually or in collaboration.

This joint programme between the MRC and TSB will offer three categories of grant:

Feasibility Award

Early Stage Award

 Late Stage Award

The categories are designed to support the maturation of an idea from concept to commercialisation. This will create a pipeline of projects encompassing the early stage exploration of commercial and technical potential through to proving utility in the field (which may involve human clinical trials) and development prior to commercialisation. Applicants may apply for the award category most appropriate for their work without having received a prior award.

Support will be available for projects arising from any sector or discipline that are aimed at addressing healthcare challenges. Example solutions may include (but are not limited to): stratified healthcare (both therapy and diagnostic components), regenerative medicine, diagnostics, eHealth and mHealth solutions, enabling medical technologies and devices. The Biomedical Catalyst will seek to support those opportunities which demonstrate the highest scientific and commercial potential irrespective of medical area.

Please see the Technology Strategy Board healthcare page for more information about their work in this area.

The Biomedical Catalyst will operate in response mode and will in essence be “always open”. However to assist the processing of applications there will be key submission and assessment dates which will differ depending on the category of award and applicant type, please see the links/dates below for further details. The assessment of Early and Late Stage awards will culminate in a panel assessment for both academic and business led applications enabling funding decisions to be made three times a year.

All applications will be subject to assessment by independent expert reviewers with short-listed applicants for Late Stage Awards being interviewed by a committee. Applicants for Late Stage Awards are advised to note that should they be successful in being invited to interview they should hold the dates of the next committee meetings as these are fixed and non-negotiable. Dates will be confirmed when applicants are sent their invitation to submit a full stage proposal (and will be posted on this page in due course).

Please note: If your application is led by an academic, you will need to apply on the Medical Research Council website.

If your application is led by a business, you should make your application on the TSB website.

Open date: 30 April 2012

Email: competitions@innovateuk.org

The RKE Operations team can help you with your application.

                                                                                                                                       

Find out about Dr Samuel Nyman’s research into the psychosocial aspects of falls and their prevention in older people

Research by Age UK estimates that falls amongst older people in the UK could be costing the NHS in excess of £4.6m a day, with up to one in three people over 65 falling each year. Falls account for over 50% of hospital admissions among the over 70s, with around 14,000 older people dying annually in the UK after a fall. Evidence suggests that if older people regularly take part in exercise specially designed to improve strength and balance then their risk of falls can be cut by up to 55%. Dr Samuel Nyman in the Psychology Research Group (DEC) undertakes research primarily focused on the psychosocial aspects of falls and their prevention in older people, and has a particular interest in helping older people become physically active to prevent falls. His work has focused on how internet-based falls prevention advice can be made more motivating and inspiring for older people, and he was invited as a guest speaker to present his research at Arthritis Research UK’s Musculoskeletal Educators Conference in June 2011.

Samuel is part of a multi-disciplinary team of researchers, led by Prof Marcus Ormerod at the University of Salford, who have been awarded funding from the MRC-led cross-council Lifelong Health and Wellbeing programme to conduct a year-long pilot study called: “Go Far (Going Outdoors: Falls, Ageing and Resilience)”. Go Far starts in January 2012 and will investigate the role of the outdoor environment in shaping health inequalities, explore older people’s experiences of falling outdoors, develop and test tools and techniques to evaluate the relationship between at-risk people and the outdoor environment, and develop a clear road map for future cross-disciplinary research in this area. The project will also involve experts from Age UK, the UK Health and Safety Laboratory, and Toronto Rehab.

Working with Dr Claire Ballinger (University of Southampton) and Prof Judith Phillips (Swansea University), Samuel’s contribution will be to explore through focus groups older people’s perceptions of the key risk factors for falling in the outdoor environment. This aspect of the project will lead to an understanding of the environmental risk factors which have yet to be accounted for in the current evidence base. Overall, the project will develop a greater understanding of the many factors involved in outdoor falls and create practical tools which will significantly help older people’s health and wellbeing.

Prior to this project Samuel undertook a systematic review of older people’s participation in falls prevention interventions. Earlier this year Samuel presented this research at a symposium in Italy for the European Congress of the International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics, which he also co-chaired. He will also present this work as one of the six selected oral presentations at the forthcoming 12th International Conference on Falls and Postural Stability to be held in Manchester on 9 September 2011. The work has also been published as two journal articles in Age and Ageing, a leading international geriatrics journal:

Samuel is currently developing a website to use with older people later this year with the aim of identifying further (with the use of psychological theory) what are the best ways of communicating falls prevention advice to older people to facilitate their ability to continue to lead healthy, independent, and active lifestyles.

Population and patient data sharing for mental health research funding available

The MRC invites proposals for a population and patient data sharing initiative for research into mental health. Projects should exploit high-quality existing data in novel ways to advance knowledge of factors affecting addiction and mental illness and inform research for new treatments. A total budget of £1 million is available; see the MRC website for more details.