Funding Opportunities – June 2021
A variety of funding programmes operate in Scotland, designed to support and inspire the development of high-quality research, innovation and collaboration.
Edinburgh BioQuarter has prepared an introduction to a selection of these programme to provide an easy access starting point for researchers.
This list (Q2 – June 2021) is not exhaustive and if you are aware of health-related funding initiatives that would be of benefit to our research community, please contact us.
A strong infrastructure and ethos of partnership between NHS, academia and industry enhances world-class research, clinical and commercial opportunities in Scotland. Working together we can ensure that Scotland remains a leader in the life sciences and in addressing global health challenges.
BIOMEDICAL CATALYST 2021: EARLY AND LATE STAGE AWARDS
UK registered businesses (SMEs) can apply for a share of up to £18 million to develop innovative healthcare products, technologies and processes. This competition funded by Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, combines the early and late-stage strands of the Biomedical Catalyst.
The aim is to enable businesses to create a data package that can support the further development of their products.
Project can address (not an exhaustive list):
- disease prevention and proactive management of health and chronic conditions
- earlier and better detection and diagnosis of disease, leading to better patient outcomes
- tailored treatments that either change the underlying disease or offer potential cures
Project can include:
- experimental evaluation (at laboratory scale)
- use of in vitro and in vivo models to evaluate proof of concept or safety
- exploring potential production mechanisms
- product development planning
- intellectual property protection
- demonstrating of clinical utility and effectiveness
- demonstrating of safety and efficacy (including phase 1 and 2 clinical trials)
- regulatory planning
Project must focus on the development of a product or process that is an innovative solution to a defined health or care challenge. It must have total eligible costs between £250,000 and £4 million, start from 1 April 2022 and last between 12 and 36 months.
Closing date: 26 August 2021, 11:00am
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SCOTTISH SEEDCORN FUND FOR NEUROLOGICAL RESEARCH
The Chief Scientist Office and the RS Macdonald Charitable Trust have provided funds for ‘seedcorn grants’, administered by the University of St Andrews, to enable researchers to test innovative ideas related to neurodegenerative or neurodevelopmental conditions
The collaboration is keen to award funding across three general themes:
- fundamental science
- practice-based research and caring sciences
It is hoped to enable researchers to develop ideas that may otherwise be difficult to fund, and grants are expected to be up to £15,000. The fund welcomes opportunities to be part of a co-funded arrangement.
To be eligible for an award applications must be from at least two academic centres (Scottish HEI or NHS), principal investigators must be PhD/PDRA/ECR, applications must be for research into the causation, prevention, treatment, and/or management of neurodegenerative or neuro developmental disorders.
Closing date: 30 June 2021, 12 noon
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DIGITAL TECHNOLOGIES FOR HEALTH AND CARE
Develop research ideas for novel digital technologies to monitor, diagnose and treat the population remotely.
Applications from any research area and must be eligible for Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) research grant funding (total fund £1,500,000).
First stage of the process is a ‘sandpit’ three-day online event working with other researchers to develop ideas for proposals.
Closing date: 21 July 2021, 4:00pm
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MULTIMODAL RESEARCH ACROSS SCALES TO UNDERSTAND HUMAN DISEASE
Funding (total fund £5,000,000) to support the development of a new research collaboration to expand understanding of human disease or dysfunction.
Proposed study must integrate different modes and scales of biomedical research and must be eligible for Medical Research Council (MRC) funding.
Closing date: 6 August 2021, 4:00pm
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MEDIAL RESEARCH COUNCIL EARLY CAREER RESEARCHER GRANTS
To help newly-established Early Career Researchers develop their own independent programme of research. They can be used for new research projects, critical pilot studies, critical replications, proof-of-concept work or to supplement other research programmes, whether funded by other grants or not.
Closing date: 8 July 2021, 5:00pm
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BARCLAYS VENTURES AND EAGLE LABS HEALTHTECH RESPONSE
Barclays Ventures and Eagle Labs partner with organisations who share belief in open collaboration.
The University of Edinburgh, UCL and CodeBase have opened a collaborative effort on how technology, innovation and their connected networks can quickly help support the NHS response to the current COVID-19 crisis.
This partnership is particularly focused on ways that existing tech solutions can address the isolation of the vulnerable, reduce non-critical demand into the NHS and aid diagnostics and treatment. Seeking innovations that can slow the spread of COVID-19, enable home-based care, support the wellbeing and morale of NHS staff, and assist those who are most vulnerable and in self-isolation.
Closing date: unspecified
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SOURCES FOR FUNDING
NHS RESEARCH SCOTLAND
NHS Research Scotland is committed to strengthening the research culture in Scotland. Researchers can access a range of partner funding schemes, including those managed by the NIHR Evaluation, Trials and Studies Coordinating Centre (NETSCC) programmes.
Studies should follow the AcoRD Guidance on identifying and attributing costs.
NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR HEALTH RESEARCH (NIHR)
The NIHR offers ten different research programmes that researchers can apply to, each of which funds different types of research.
These broad research areas are: Public Health, Health Services and Organisation, Clinical Evaluation and Translation, Technology development, Social Care. In addition, Themed Calls are funding opportunities focusing on a particular research area in which all NIHR programmes participate.
CHIEF SCIENTIST OFFICE (CSO)
NHS Research Infrastructure Funding is provided by the Chief Scientist Office of the Scottish Government Health Directorates to Scottish NHS Boards to enable the provision of a robust research support infrastructure in order to successfully deliver trials and studies.
CSO work closely with NHS Research Scotland, and is in close contact with other health research funding organisations across the UK.
LifeArc’s offices in Scotland are located at NINE, Edinburgh BioQuarter.
LifeArc is a charity helping turn promising science into benefits for patients and fund collaborations and science projects directly to support the early translation of biomedical innovations.
The Seed Fund is aimed at developing new therapeutics and biological modalities. LifeArc has allocated an initial £25m to be invested over a four-year period.
The Philanthropic Fund provides grants for rare disease science, irrespective of commercial viability. LifeArc will award £5 million in grants to support medical research projects focused on translation of rare diseases research.
The Development Gap Fund (DGF) is an MRC Fund administered by LifeArc which supports small-scale studies, building upon research undertaken in MRC Units and Institutes, to provide proof of concept for translational projects. Projects from MRC University Units may be considered on a case by case basis.
SCOTTISH HEALTH INNOVATIONS LTD (SHIL)
SHIL fund innovation through the process of research, development and commercialisation on meeting established criteria and have strong links with academia and with investors and funders of health and medical technology innovation.
RESEARCH INNOVATION SCOTLAND (RIS)
The Scottish Funding Council (SFC) Scottish Research Pools are collectively coming together with SFC-funded partners, Innovation Centres and Interface, to intensify efforts around interdisciplinary research and innovation to support economic recovery and societal change.
Scottish Research Pools facilitate collaborative research and development working across sectors and provide various opportunities for funding awards for academic and research staff, and students within their member Universities, to promote and encourage networking, collaboration and knowledge exchange within Scotland and beyond.
Find out more about Research Innovation Scotland.
MEDICAL RESEARCH COUNCIL (MRC)
The Medical Research Council (MRC) works to improve the health of people in the UK – and around the world – by supporting excellent science and in co-coordinating and funding medical research in the UK.
The Wellcome Trust believe in the power of ideas to improve health and offer funding schemes supporting thousands of scientists and researchers in more than 70 countries.
Funding schemes support individuals, teams, resources, seed ideas, places and major initiatives in the following areas:
- biomedical science
- population health
- product development and applied research
- humanities and social science
- public engagement and creative industries
UK RESEARCH AND INNOVATION
UKRI is committed to funding projects and programmes in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
COVID-19 research and innovation proposals supported by UKRI
- Repurposing existing funding for COVID-19 research
- Addressing the COVID-19 challenge in the UK and internationally
Find out more about UKRI COVID-19
INDUSTRIAL STRATEGY CHALLENGE FUND
The Government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund brings together leading research and business to tackle the big societal and industrial challenges today.
Health and social care related fund examples:
From data to early diagnosis and precision medicine
The government’s challenge to industry and research to use existing health data to improve early diagnosis and precision treatment of disease.
The healthy ageing challenge asks industry and researchers to develop products and services to help people remain independent, productive, active and socially connected for longer.
The government’s challenge to industry and research to develop and manufacture new medicines and digital health products and technologies.
MEDICAL RESEARCH CHARITIES
Funding opportunities also regularly become available via Medical Research Charities.
Medical Research Scotland
Medical Research Scotland is an independent medical research charity which provides funding for research which aims to improve the diagnosis, treatment or prevention of any disease; to understand basic disease processes; or to develop medical technology.
MND Scotland is a Scottish charity providing care and support to people affected by Motor Neurone Disease (MND), as well as funding ground-breaking MND research in Scotland and across the UK, into finding a cure.