Life Science grants

For more information or to apply for any of the below funding opportunities, get in touch.

Alzheimer’s Research UK Grant schemes

Life science grants Various dates
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Alzheimer’s Research UK has a large number of different grant schemes through which you can apply for funding.

A brief overview of each of our schemes can be found below, with examples of some of our currently funded projects on the Research portfolio page.

Applications are made via our grant application website.

All applications must fall within Alzheimer’s Research UK’s remit which covers biomedical research in Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. Alzheimer’s Research UK funds research into cause, diagnosis/detection, prevention and treatment (disease modifying and symptomatic). Of particular importance is research which has translational potential for patient benefit. This includes basic preclinical as well as clinical research, but not care or service delivery research.

Get the latest grant deadlines and news about our grant schemes delivered direct to your inbox, sign up for our e-newsletter for researchers and professionals.

BBSRC ‘Stand Alone’ Link

Life science grants Closed
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LINK supports collaborative research projects between at least one company and one academic partner. At least 50% of the full project cost comes from industry. Applications should be for pre-competitive research that would not be undertaken in this form without LINK support. Funding is only available for organisations eligible for BBSRC support.

Partners must agree ownership and exploitation of intellectual property arising from the project at the outset. An appropriate management framework must be in place with defined scientific and commercial deliverables.

Essential criteria

  • The project involves collaborative research with at least one company and one research-base partner
  • Overall Government support for a project is no more than 50%
  • The application is for research that is pre-competitive in nature
  • Arrangements for ownership and exploitation of intellectual property arising from the project have been agreed by the partners
  • The project has an appropriate management framework and both the scientific and commercial deliverables are clearly defined

More information can be found here.

BBSRC Follow-on Fund

Life science grants Currently closed
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The Follow-on funding programme is designed to support the translation of fundamental research funded by us into practical application, including commercialisation. The aim of the programme is to help researchers maximise the societal and economic benefits of their research.

This programme is a proof-of-concept model where further work on an idea will take it through to the stage at which the route to application is clear, which may include a spin-out or licensing opportunity. The programme enables activities essential to preparing a robust business plan and secure, where appropriate, further funding and support to progress.

This programme includes:

  • Pathfinder Follow-on Fund (apply at any time)

Projects up to 6 months in duration

Valued at under £20k (FEC)

  • Standard Follow-on Fund (FOF)

Projects up to 12-18 months in duration

Valued at under £250k (FEC).

  • Super Follow-on Fund (SuperFOF)

Projects between 12-24 months in duration

Valued at between £0.25M and £2.0M (FEC)

Pathfinder Grants help researchers undertake the preliminary work required to put them in a position to apply for a Follow-On Fund Grant. This work typically focuses on evaluating the market potential for their research and the comparative strength of their intellectual assets and, if the technical feasibility of the project depends on it, the achievement of technical milestone 1.

A Follow-On Grant enables researchers who have a sound understanding of the market opportunity for their intellectual assets to execute a defined programme of work of up to two years in length that has clearly defined and complementary technical and business plan development milestones.

BBSRC funding is at 80% of FEC.

More information can be found here.

BBSRC Follow-on Fund Standard Scheme

Life science grants Next call opens: 10 July 2019
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Call status: Closed
Next call opens: 10 July 2019
Previous call: 23 January 2019 – 13 March 2019

Introduction

Our Follow-on Funding (FoF) supports the translation of research into practical application, including commercialisation. The aim of the programme is to help researchers maximise the societal and economic benefits of their research. The FoF is a proof-of-concept programme to support bioscience innovation and provide funding where further work on an idea will take it through to a stage at which the route to application is clear, which may include a spin-out, licensing opportunity or the creation of a social enterprise. The programme enables researchers to conduct activities essential to preparing a robust business plan and to secure, where appropriate, further funding and support to progress the project.

The FoF aims to bridge the funding gap between BBSRC-funded research and the point at which other non-BBSRC funding becomes available. By supporting early-stage projects, it also seeks to reduce the risk for future investors. The FoF should not duplicate other sources of public and private funding.

The programme

A FoF grant enables researchers who have a sound understanding of the market opportunity for their intellectual assets to execute a defined programme of work of up to two years in length that has clearly defined and complementary technical and business plan development milestones.

BBSRC funding is at 80% of FEC.

Please note, BBSRC does not provide funds to support patent filing costs.

Standard Follow-on Fund (FOF)

  • Projects 12-24 months in duration
  • Valued at under £250,000 (FEC).

Super Follow-on Fund (SuperFOF)

  • Projects 12-24 months in duration
  • Valued at between £250,000 and £800,000 (FEC).

Eligibility

Standard eligibility criteria apply, as described in section three of our grants guide.

In addition to fulfilling the standard eligibility criteria, the Principal Investigator (PI) must currently or previously have held BBSRC funding with demonstrable relevance to the application.

Follow-On Fund projects must draw substantially on previous research funding by us and fall within our portfolio. Proposed applications are not anticipated to extend research grant funding or to be applied research for commercial partners.

How to apply

This call is closed to applications.

Please make your applications to ‘BBSRC Follow-on Fund’ through the Je-S system.

https://bbsrc.ukri.org/funding/filter/follow-on/

Timetable

Status Call 1 Call 2
Call opens 23 January 2019 10 July 2019
Application deadline 13 March 2019 9 October 2019
Panel meeting 11 July 2019 27 February 2020

BBSRC Industrial Partnership Award

Life science grants Closed
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These are funded through our responsive mode grants.

Industrial Partnership Awards (IPAs) encourage and support collaboration between academic research groups and industry.

IPAs are academic-led, responsive mode grants that have significant industrial involvement and industry partner(s) contributes in cash at least equivalent to 10% of the full project costs. Additional in-kind contributions from industry are welcome but do not count against the industry contribution. Funding is only available for organisations eligible for BBSRC support.

Applications are assessed by our Research Committees, alongside standard applications, using the same criteria. IPA projects are normally funded in preference to standard grants of equivalent scientific merit.

More information can be found here.

Biomedical Catalyst: Regenerative Medicine Research Committee

Life science grants Closed
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Supports translation of fundamental discoveries toward benefits to human health.

The translation of the burgeoning knowledge in regenerative medicine into new treatment strategies is a key objective of the MRC’s strategic plan. The Biomedical Catalyst: Regenerative Medicine Research Committee (RMRC) provides support for high quality proposals that may underpin or progress the development of  regenerative medicine therapies to improve human health.

The RMRC:

  • Supports confidence in concept studies that if successful will promote the translation of fundamental discoveries toward benefits to human health, thereby accelerating the transition from discovery research to mature translational development projects
  • Funds preliminary work or feasibility studies to establish the viability of an approach, through addressing focussed research questions needed to unlock progress in pre-clinical development and/or early clinical testing of novel regenerative medicine therapies.

More information can be found here.

British Heart Foundation

Life science grants Preliminary outline deadline 15 April 2019, full application deadline 11 September 2019
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Translational Awards

To support the pre-clinical development of new cardiovascular medicines and technologies so that they are attractive for follow-on funding.

The award will help to bridge the funding gap between promising innovations and the clinic with the aim of accelerating advances in cardiovascular science for patient benefit.

More information can be found here

Cancer Research UK Drug Discovery

Life science grants Various dates
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Cancer Research UK Funding Schemes

Life science grants Various dates
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CW Discovering Startups Competition

Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences grants Discovering Start-Ups will re-launch early summer 2019
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Discovering Start-Ups will re-launch early summer 2019. Contact hello@cambridgewireless.co.uk for more information.

Discovering Start-Ups is a programme that connect ambitious start-ups, early stage companies and entrepreneurs to an elite panel of industry leaders and potential investors. Following an open application stage, ten finalists each year are selected to speed-pitch to these judges, followed by networking and technology demonstrations.

In 2018, the competition was run under the theme Connecting the Digital World, in order to provide particular exposure to those start-ups innovating in the field of connectivity. This broad subject encouraged applications from businesses positioned across any layer of the technology stack, from silicon to software. We looked forward to seeing innovations that will enhance digital communication across any industry, whether mobility as a service, autonomous vehicles, manufacturing 4.0 or smart cities.

ERC Proof of Concept

Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences grants Applications can be submitted at any time from the opening date of the call until the final deadline and will be evaluated and selected in three rounds, based on the cut-off dates.
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Have you already received an ERC grant for your frontier research project and now want to explore the commercial or societal potential of your work? The ERC Proof of Concept Grant could be for you.

icon_starting-grant_who2.pngWho can apply?

All Principal Investigators in an ERC frontier research project, that is either on going or has ended less than 12 months before 1 January 2019, are eligible to participate and apply for an ERC Proof of Concept Grant. The Principal Investigator must be able to demonstrate the relation between the idea to be taken to proof of concept and the ERC frontier research project (Starting, Consolidator, Advanced or Synergy) in question.

What proposals are eligible?

  • The funding can be used to:
    • Establish viability, technical issues and overall direction
    • Clarify intellectual property rights position and strategy
    • Provide feedback for budgeting and other forms of commercial discussion
    • Provide connections to later stage funding
    • Cover initial expenses for establishing a company
  • Location
    The project must be conducted in a public or private research organisation (known as a Host Institution/HI).
  • Host Institution
    The Host Institution must engage the Principal Investigator for at least the duration of the Proof of Concept project. Legally the Host Institution must be based in one of the EU Member States, (see also eligibility of UK legal entities) or one of the Associated Countries.
  • CriteriaThe ERC Proof of Concept funding is made available only to those who already have an ERC award to establish proof of concept of an idea that was generated in the course of their ERC-funded projects.The activities to be funded shall draw substantially on this scientifically excellent ERC-funded research. However the additional funding is not aimed at extending the original research or predominantly concerned with overcoming obstacles to practical application.

    The funding will cover activities at the very early stage of turning research outputs into a commercial or socially valuable proposition, i.e. the initial steps of pre-competitive development.

    How much?

    NEW feature for the ERC-2019-PoC call: The ERC is piloting the use of lump sums as a simplified funding mode for PoC. This will test efficiency and viability of such funding method compared to the current funding mode which is based on the declaration of actual costs.: The financial contribution will be awarded as a lump sum of € 150 000 for a period of 18 months.

    More than one Proof of Concept Grant may be awarded per ERC funded frontier research project but only one Proof of Concept project may be running at any one time for the same ERC frontier research project.

    How to apply?

    The calls are published once a year with three cut-off dates, a Principal Investigator may submit only one eligible application per call. Applications can be submitted at any time from the opening date of the call until the final deadline and will be evaluated and selected in three rounds, based on the cut-off dates.

    For an ERC grant application to be complete, it needs to include the administrative forms, the proposal and the supplementary documents. The completed proposal should be submitted by the specified closing date.

    Calls are published on this page, the European Commission’s Participant Portal and in the Official Journal of the European Union.

    NEW submission forms templates specific for the new ERC-2019-PoC Lump Sum Pilot call are available on the Participant Portal PoC call page.

Innovate UK Funding Competitions

Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences grants Open call
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Various funding competitions – you can apply for funding to test the feasibility of your idea, research and develop it and demonstrate it in a prototype.

If you’re a UK-based business or research organisation, you may be able to compete for government-backed funding to:

  • research and develop a process, product or service
  • test your innovation ideas
  • collaborate with other organisations

Use this service to:

  • search and apply for innovation funding
  • submit, track and manage your applications

Start now on the InnovateUK innovation funding finder

More information can be found here.

Invention for Innovation i4i advances healthcare technologies

Life science grants Various dates during 2019
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As a translational funding scheme, i4i advances healthcare technologies, devices and interventions for increased patient benefit in areas of existing or emerging clinical need.

We fund collaborative R&D projects in medtech SMEs, universities and the NHS that have demonstrated proof-of-principle and have a clear pathway towards adoption and commercialisation. The aim is to de-risk projects, making them attractive to follow-on funders and investors.

The expected i4i output is an advanced or clinically validated prototype medical device, technology or intervention.

All our awards are based on a two stage application process.

Product Development Awards and Connect: What we fund

  • Research and development of medical devices, active implantable devices and in vitro diagnostic devices as defined by the relevant EU directives, across all areas of existing or emerging healthcare needs
  • Product or technology development required to enable a technology for clinical use, which may include manufacturing, intellectual property protection, freedom to operate and market analysis or business case development
  • Research and development of techniques or technologies from a different industry sector, which could have a potential impact if applied in a healthcare setting
  • Feasibility studies if a technology from a sector other than health is being developed
  • Studies to provide data relating to safety and effectiveness of a device including first-in-man and pivotal studies
  • Health economic analyses and clinical utility studies looking at a device’s real-life implementation and use
  • CE marking and other regulatory requirements including any associated safety trials
  • Activities associated with the adoption of new technology
  • Training associated with the implementation of new technology

Projects must have already demonstrated ‘proof of principle’. Applicants are expected to have generated experimental data to support the case for further development and illustrate technical feasibility. Early stage research or discovery science is not fundable.

Work packages must not include animal studies or work on animal tissues. If animal studies are required as part of the project, we expect applicants to seek parallel funding to cover such studies, details of which can be provided in the application form.

Contact us

We offer a wide variety of assistance during all stages of the research process. If in doubt, please get in touch.

Isaac Newton Trust Research Grants

Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences grants Deadlines TBD – usually three rounds per year to coincide with Lent, Easter, and Michaelmas
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The Isaac Newton Trust provides financial support for high-quality research and educational projects across all subjects in the University of Cambridge.  Since its foundation in 1988, the Trust has funded many hundreds of researchers, mainly at postdoctoral level.

We have helped to secure millions of pounds in grant income and donations from external bodies by providing matching funding in a supple, responsive and innovative way.

The Trust has only modest resources (its annual spend on research is currently no more than about £4m in total) – for details of our budget and how we spent it last year, please see our Annual Report

Our grants, while generally small in comparison to those from the major external funding bodies, often create opportunities for individuals and projects that might otherwise be missed.

The Isaac Newton Trustees review their funding activities continually against an ever-changing background of research funding and educational needs.

Before applying

1)  Read our ‘Guiding Principles’ which apply to most of our research grants, across all categories

2)  See the summary outline of our research grant funding categories

3)  Find out more about the category that interests you

4)  Consult the comparative table of research grant categories

5)  Then go to How to apply

Go to ‘Guiding Principles’

Isaac Newton Research Grants:  timetable 2018-19

Emergency, Project and Equipment Grants: there are three rounds per year

Strategic Research Programme & Project Grants: there is one round per year  (Michaelmas) (selected applications will then be asked to submit a full application in Lent Term, following the timetable set out below)

 

APPLICATION TIMETABLE Michaelmas 2018 Lent 2019 Easter 2019
Submission of draft applications to Head of Department

 

28 September 2018 11 January 2019 26 April 2019
Deadline for submission of draft applications to the Newton Trust

(electronic copy)

5 October 2018 18 January 2019 3 May 2019
Deadline for submission of final applications to the Newton Trust

(electronic copy; hard copies to follow within a week)

19 October 2018 1 February 2019 17 May 2019
Trustees’ award meeting

 

29 November 2018 14 March 2019 4 July 2019
Announcement of application outcome

(letters sent to departments by this date)

7 December 2018 22nd March 2019 12 July 2019

 

MRC – Biomedical Catalyst: Developmental Pathway Funding Scheme (DPFS)

Life science grants Various dates
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The DPFS scheme is a key part of our Translational Research Strategy and supports the translation of fundamental discoveries toward benefits to human health. It funds the pre-clinical development and early clinical testing of novel therapeutics, devices and diagnostics, including “repurposing” of existing therapies.

DPFS is an ongoing scheme, with outline deadlines every 4 months.

More information can be found here.

MRC Confidence in Concept scheme – Flexible institutional awards for preliminary translational work

Life science grants Closed
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The Confidence in Concept scheme provides annual awards of £250k-£1.2m to institutions, to be used flexibly to support the earliest stages of multiple translational research projects. It is intended to accelerate the transition from discovery research to translational development projects by supporting preliminary work or feasibility studies to establish the viability of an approach.

The Confidence in Concept Scheme is part of our translational research strategy and is a component of the MRC/Innovate UK Biomedical Catalyst.

Ensuring that fundamental science is translated into new therapies, diagnostics and medical devices is central to our mission. The Confidence in Concept scheme aims to accelerate the transition from discovery science to the early stages of therapeutic/biomarker development by providing locally-administered, responsive and flexible funding to support preliminary translational work.

The award can be used flexibly by the institution to support a number of preliminary-stage translational projects. The projects supported should aim to provide sufficient preliminary data to establish the viability of an approach –– before seeking more substantive funding (e.g. from the Developmental Pathway Funding Scheme (DPFS).

Launch date 7 March 2019

Deadline for expression of interest 10 May 2019

Deadline for full proposal submission 5pm 23 May 2019

Joint panel meeting 18 June 2019

National Institute for Health Research Funding Opportunities

Life science grants Various dates
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Funding opportunities

The NIHR plays a key role in investing in the research fabric of the nation to support research in health, public health and social care.

We make this investment by funding NHS and research active organisations to provide research infrastructure or support, such as through our Biomedical Research Centres or Clinical Trials Units, or to address other NIHR priorities such as through our Research Schools, Research Design Service and Research Units with partner academic institutions.

On these pages you can find out more about how we support research and how to apply for any funding opportunities.

https://www.nihr.ac.uk/funding-and-support/

NERC Regional Impact from Science of the Environment (RISE) Programme

Life science grants Closed awaiting next round of funding
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The Regional Impact from Science of the Environment (RISE) initiative follows on from the Environmental Science Impact Programme (ESIP), with a continued focus on developing regional impact from environmental science. This ambition has also been clearly articulated in the recent Building our Industrial Strategy green paper and, as well as focusing on impact in their region, applications to RISE should look for opportunities to address the key ambitions of the industrial strategy.

RISE is dedicated to bringing research organisations together with businesses, policy bodies and other actors contributing to economic development specific to their location, to deliver significant regional impact from NERC environmental science.

NERC invites research organisations with a strong and substantial portfolio of NERC-funded research to apply through RISE calls for a five-year programme of activity with a NERC contribution of £2·5 million-£4 million at 80% full economic cost.

For more information click here

 

Research Professional Database

Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences grants Various dates
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The Research Professional Database contains various information regarding funding, and can be found here.

Royal Society Translation Award

Life science grants This scheme is currently closed for applications.
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This scheme is for scientists who wish to investigate the potential to commercialise an aspect of their research.

If the idea or concept is at a later stage of development, you should apply for the Royal Society Innovation Award, which provides funding for individuals or groups to develop an already proven concept or prototype through to the creation of a near-market product for commercial exploitation.

This award and the Royal Society Innovation Award are designed to promote innovation and fill the funding gap between scientific research and the exploitation of an idea through venture capital investment, they are replacing the Brian Mercer Award for Innovation and the Brian Mercer Feasibility Award.

The principal differences between the Royal Society Translation Award and the Brian Mercer Feasibility Award are:

  • The awards will be for £50,000 each.
  • There will be no restrictions on the subject areas for awards, within the natural sciences.
  • There will be two rounds per year.
  • A bespoke training and support package will be offered to successful candidates, to contribute towards the impact of the award.
  • There has been an increase in the number of awards available each year.

The scheme covers all the natural sciences.

More information can be found here.

Next deadline: This scheme is currently open for applications, and will close on 6 July 2017

UK Research and Innovation

Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences grants Round Four: October 2019
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Future Leaders Fellowships

The UK Research and Innovation Future Leaders Fellowships (FLF) will grow the strong supply of talented individuals needed to ensure that UK research and innovation continues to be world class.

Who can apply

This cross-UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) scheme will support early career researchers and innovators with outstanding potential in universities, UK registered businesses, and other research and user environments including research councils’ institutes and laboratories.

The FLF scheme welcomes applications from both UK and international applicants and individuals should use the person specification to assess and justify their suitability for the scheme. The support of the institution will be a critical component of all fellowships which will enable the fellow to transition to or establish their research/innovation independence in any area supported by UKRI.

The objectives of the scheme are:

  • to develop, retain, attract and sustain research and innovation talent in the UK
  • to foster new research and innovation career paths including those at the academic/business and interdisciplinary boundaries, and facilitate movement of people between sectors
  • to provide sustained funding and resources for the best early career researchers and innovators
  • to provide long-term, flexible funding to tackle difficult and novel challenges, and support adventurous, ambitious programmes.

These Fellowships support applicants from diverse career paths, including those returning from a career break or following time in other roles. We also encourage applications from those wishing to work part-time in order to combine the fellowship with personal responsibilities. Review panels will take into account time spent outside an active research or innovation environment, whether through career breaks, flexible working or as a consequence of working in other roles.

How to apply

There will be six calls for these fellowships; two calls per year between 2018-19 and 2020-21 (financial years), typically awarding at least 100 fellowships per call across UKRI’s remit (with the initial round being smaller, aiming to award ~50 fellowships).

This is a single scheme across the entire UKRI remit, with no ringfenced budgets for specific areas and no barriers to interdisciplinary or cross-sector research.

Timing for Second and Third Rounds

Outline Proposals (Expressions of Interest) are mandatory for each applicant intending to submit to the second round of this call. Host Organisation support for the submission of the Outline Proposal must be sought and agreed before the Outline Proposal is submitted. The call for Outline proposals for Round 3 will open on 2 April 2019.

  • Outline Proposals for applicants to be based at academic host organisations or business host organisations who are Je-S registered should be submitted via the Joint Electronic Submission system (Je-S) (available from 2 April 2019).
  • Outline Proposals for applicants to be based at business host organisations who are not currently Je-S registered should be submitted via an online form (available from 2 April 2019).
  • Full applications for Round 3 must be submitted via Je-S by 16:00 on 30 May 2019 or the second round of this call. Full details are available in the ‘Overview of the scheme’ and ‘Completing the application form’ documents below.Expected closing dates for future rounds:
    • Round Four: October 2019
    • Round Five: May 2020
    • Round Six: October 2020

 

Wellcome Innovator Awards

Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences grants Currently closed
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Innovator Awards: Digital Technologies

These awards support researchers who are transforming great ideas into digital healthcare innovations that could have a significant impact on human health.

Scheme at a glance

This scheme is now closed

Level of funding:

£500,000 to £1 million

Duration of funding:

Up to 2 years

 

 

Wellcome Trust: Seed Awards in Science

Life science grants This scheme is closed
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Seed Awards in Science help researchers develop novel ideas that will go on to form part of larger grant applications to the Wellcome Trust or elsewhere.

Scheme at a glance:

Career stage: Early, Intermediate, Returning to research

Where your host organisation is based: UK, Republic of Ireland, Low- and middle-income countries

Type of researcher: Basic, Clinical, Public health

Level of funding: Up to £100,000

Duration of funding: Up to 2 years

More information can be found here.

Wellcome: Innovator Awards: Digital Technologies

Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences grants Closed
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These awards support researchers who are transforming great ideas into digital healthcare innovations that could have a significant impact on human health.

Scheme at a glance

Level of funding:

£500,000 to £1 million

  • Scheme opens to applications

    1 October 2018

  • Applications deadline

    3 December 2018, 17:00 GMT

  • Shortlisting

    28 January 2019

  • Review

    28 February 2019

Contact us

Contact our information officers if you have a question about this scheme (eg eligibility or the application process).

If you have a question about the scope and content of your proposal, contact: