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

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 Various dates

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

How to apply

Visit our ‘How to apply‘ page to submit your application through our electronic submission system.

For more specific guidance about applying to this scheme, please consult the FAQs (see downloads).


BBSRC Industrial Partnership Award

Life science grants 15 January 2020, 16:00

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.

British Heart Foundation

Life science grants Applications will re-open on new Flexi-Grant® GMS in January 2020

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.

  • The BHF will be moving to a new research Grants Management System.
  • We are not currently accepting applications for Translational Awards.
  • Applications will re-open on our new Flexi-Grant® GMS in January 2020.

Please note: We have made changes to the Translational Award. The maximum allowable budget for the overall project has increased to £750,000.

Who can apply

  • The principal investigator will be a researcher working in an established research institution in the UK.


Cancer Research UK Drug Discovery

Life science grants Various dates

Cancer Research UK Funding Schemes

Life science grants Various dates

Innovate UK Funding Competitions

Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences grants Open call

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 Closed

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

NB:  This information has been updated following the Trustees’ Triennial Strategic Review July 2019

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.  For details of our budget and how we spent it last year, please see our Annual Report.

The Trust has only modest resources and must be viewed as a funder of last resort.  The Trustees therefore expect all reasonable attempts to have been made by applicants to secure funding from other sources before an application is made to the Trust.

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. 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 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

2)  See the summary outline of our (updated) research grant categories

3)  Then go to How to apply


Go to Guiding Principles


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

Life science grants Various dates

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 – Flexible institutional awards for preliminary translational work

Life science grants Closed

Support and advance medical research, spending around £800 million each year.

We do this by providing research grants and career awards to scientists. Our funding opportunities are either:

  • Researcher-led: Regular, continuous funding opportunities. Proposals are reviewed at board and panel meetings. Funding is available for any area of science relevant to the MRC, to eligible groups and individuals, offering funding on a range of scales, across career stages, from fundamental to translational research.
  • MRC strategic: Funding opportunities in a specific research area defined by the MRC, usually for a one-off call or a time-limited period. Proposals may have special application and review mechanisms.

We also support research through our institutes, units and centres. Some are highly focused on specific science areas, others have a very broad research remit.

Browse funding opportunities

National Institute for Health Research Funding Opportunities

Life science grants Various dates

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.

Research Professional Database

Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences grants Various dates

The Research Professional Database contains various information regarding funding, and can be found here.

Wellcome Innovator Awards

Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences grants Ongoing

Innovator Awards

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

Scheme at a glance

Level of funding:

Up to £500,000, or up to £750,000 for multidisciplinary collaborations

Duration of funding:

Usually up to 24 months, or up to 36 months for multidisciplinary collaborations

Key dates

You can apply online at any time.

Shortlisting meetings happen every three months.

Grants awarded

Find out about some of the people and projects we’ve funded for this scheme.

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: