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.

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.

Grant schemes

BBSRC ‘Stand Alone’ Link

Life science grants 29 April 2020, 16:00

Call status: Open
Application deadline: 29 April 2020, 16:00

Funded through responsive mode

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.

Applications are assessed by our Research Committees, alongside standard applications, using the same criteria. We would expect to give a LINK project a significant uplift, but pressures on our funding mean that we cannot guarantee the extent nor effect of this uplift.

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.

BBSRC Industrial Partnership Award

Life science grants 29 April 2020, 16:00

Call status: Open
Application deadline: 29 April 2020, 16:00

Funded through responsive mode

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.

Before applying

The company partner should be registered in the UK or have a UK R&D or manufacturing site. Where a suitable company cannot be found in the UK, an overseas company may be used. However, such collaborations are judged on a case by case basis, and clear justification must be provided. We strongly encourage you to contact us (contact details below) prior to submission if you wish an overseas company to be an industrial partner under this scheme.

In order for an application to be eligible under the IPA scheme, industry partners must make a cash contribution that is at least equivalent to 10% of the balance of the project costs minus the industry contribution.

British Heart Foundation

Life science grants application deadline – 14th September 2020

Translational Awards

Translational Awards aim to progress the development of novel, innovative technologies towards benefits to human cardiovascular health. The scheme supports the development of technologies with transformative potential from the proof-of-concept stage to being ready for the commercial market.

Proposals are expected to demonstrate a strong intellectual property position and a development proposition that could attract follow-on investment.

Who can apply

  • The principal investigator will be a researcher working in an established research institution in the UK.
  • Individuals or teams from commercial organisations can apply as collaborators.

Level of funding

  • Up to £750,000 with clearly defined progression milestones. Applicants should note that continued funding will be subject to the achievement of the relevant milestones.

Grant duration

  • Up to 3 years.

November 2020 round

  • Preliminary application deadline – 14th September 2020 (submit through Flexi-Grant® from January 2020)
  • Full application deadline – 14th September 2020 (submit through Flexi-Grant® from January 2020)

Applications must be received by 17:00 on the deadline date. Late submissions will not be considered. We will acknowledge receipt of your application within 48 hours and advise when you can expect the result.

Cancer Research UK Drug Discovery

Life science grants Various dates

At Cancer Research UK we have a strong track record of therapeutic discovery. And thanks to our extensive portfolio of basic research and our strengths in drug development, we ensure that innovation in cancer treatment benefits patients sooner.

To support translational research we fund investigator-led projects and programmes through our Drug Discovery Committee:

We have also made extensive investment in the infrastructure of drug discovery, and our specialist laboratories are available to support CRUK researchers.

Cancer Research UK Funding Schemes

Life science grants Various dates

CW Discovering Startups Competition

Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences grants Please register your interest to keep up to date with new activities as they are released.

CW is revising the Discovering Start-Ups programme in 2020 to make it more valuable for all participants. In the meantime, we are still keen to hear from companies looking to scale their technology businesses. Please register your interest via the link above to keep up to date with new activities as they are released, or contact the CW team for a more detailed conversation about your growth plans.

ERC Proof of Concept

Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences grants 17 September 2020

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.

Who 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 2020, 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.

Notice for UK applicants: The Withdrawal Agreement foresees that the UK will continue to participate in the current 2014-2020 EU programmes, including ERC Grants, as if the UK was an EU Member State until the closure of the programmes. This means that UK beneficiaries can continue to take part in grants awarded under the current Multi-Annual Financial Framework (MFF) until their end date, even if it is after 2020.
See also the general notice for UK applicants.

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.


Eligibility Committee

Remote Evaluation:
deadline for Experts reviews *

Expected Feedback to Applicants

21 January 2020

End February 2020

February – March 2020

May 2020

23 April 2020

End May 2020

May – June 2020

July 2020

17 September 2020

Mid October 2020

October – November 2020

December 2020

Innovate UK Funding Competitions

Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences grants Various

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

i4i Product Development Awards (PDA) support innovations at any stage of the translational research and development pathway, including the clinical development of laboratory-validated technologies or interventions.

This funding stream is researcher-led and does not specify topics for research.

Research proposals must include applicants from two organisation types: an NHS Trust, higher education institution or small-to-medium-sized enterprise (SME).

There is no upper funding limit for Product Development Awards, but costs must be fully justified. Projects can be up to three years in duration.

Product Development Awards have two funding opportunities a year.  See the dates for our funding competitions.

Applications should be submitted through the online Research Management System (RMS). We supply template application forms for stage 1 and stage 2 to help researchers prepare their proposal ahead of submission.

Potential applicants can seek advice on their proposal from the programme team through the pre-submission engagement form. More information for applicants is available in our Stage 1 and Stage 2 application guidance and our supporting information.

See link below for competition dates

Isaac Newton Trust Research Grants

Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences grants Michaelmas Term
  • Project Grants – initial partner funding for new research projects; plus grants for unconventional, innovative forms of research & scholarship
  • Emergency Grants – bridging for salary costs / brief underwriting / start-up grants
  • Equipment Grants – use of shared equipment, or small equipment needs as part of a specific project.   NB  the Trust will no longer offer contributions to the cost of major items of equipment.

Please note that there will be a single round for Research Grant applications per annum, in the Michaelmas Term.  Applications for emergency cover will continue to be considered at any of the Trustees’ meetings.  See:  Research Grants

2) Strategic Research Grants

In exceptional circumstances, the Trustees may consider an application for support for a large, institutional, perhaps interdisciplinary, programme of strategic value to the University for the promotion of education or research.  This would normally be in response to the possibility of securing a major grant from an external funding body.

3Other research grants funded partly by the Trust

The Isaac Newton Trust funds research in collaboration with the Schools – our ‘Joint Schools’ programmes.

INT support for Early Career Researchers includes Research Fellowships partnered with external institutions (namely the Leverhulme Trust and the Humboldt Foundation) and with Colleges, and start-up research funding partnerships with the Schools.

MRC – Biomedical Catalyst Funding

Life science grants Various dates

The Biomedical Catalyst (BMC) is a unique partnership between the MRC and Innovate UK, providing responsive and effective support to the most innovative life sciences opportunities regardless of scientific approach. The BMC aims to de-risk innovative science and commercialise ideas arising out of academia and industry helping UK SMEs to develop into competitive and sustainable organisations.  This accelerates the progress of novel products to market, facilitates onward investment and bridges “the valley of death”.

MRC supports academically-led feasibility research through the Confidence in Concept which is open to institutions but not individual researchers. Academic-led applications for Early and Late Stage awards are primarily administered through the Developmental Pathway Funding Scheme (DPFS).

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.

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.