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Funding Opportunities – September 2022


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 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.



Alzheimer’s Society, Innovate UK and the Medical Research Council (MRC) have together announced a new £4.1m Longitude Prize on Dementia, that will incentivise assistive technologies to help people remain independent in their homes – an effective way to slow the disease’s progression.

Innovators will be challenged to develop technologies that learn about the lives of people with early-stage dementia, employing novel and emerging technologies to bridge cognitive gaps that develop as their condition progresses.

The £4.1m Longitude Prize on Dementia, to be delivered by innovation challenge prize experts Challenge Works, will award £3.1 million in seed funding and grants to the most promising innovators, with a £1 million prize awarded to the winner in early 2026.

In addition, wider support has been funded to provide innovators with crucial insight and expertise, facilitating whatever they need to bring their ideas to life – like access to data, collaborations with people living with dementia and dementia organisations in the UK and around the world, advice on product design, user experience and business mentoring.

Launch Date: 26 September 2022
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This fund has been created to support engagement with external organisations to build and/or maintain collaborative partnerships.

Engagement activities should support and enable the translation of research into new therapies, diagnostics, medical devices and technologies to benefit human health:

  • Meetings with potential industrial, clinical, public sector or non-governmental organisation partners
  • Meetings with potential investors/funders
  • Attendance at industry/healthcare care sector events
  • Stakeholder engagement
  • Funding will not directly support research activity.

Funding limit is £2,000 per application and is suited to developing and sustaining collaborative activity leading to future funding applications (e.g. to MRC IAA or equivalent fund) or increase external engagement with currently funded projects.

To apply for funding, complete a MRC IAA Engagement Fund application form and submit to Lorraine Jackson. Funding decisions will be taken by the MRC IAA Programme Team with applicants notified of the outcomes within 2 weeks of submission.

Open Call
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Innovate UK, as part of UK Research and Innovation, is offering up to 50 Women in Innovation Awards to women entrepreneurs across the UK. The winners will receive a £50,000 grant and a bespoke package of mentoring, coaching and business support.

The aim of this competition is to find women with exciting, innovative ideas and ambitious plans that will inspire others. The awards are for women founders, co-founders or senior decision makers working in businesses that have been operating for at least one year.

Applicants must be confident, with the support of an award, that they can make a significant contribution to a pressing societal, environmental or economic challenge through their innovative project.

The competition is split into 2 phases. In the application phase 1, the awards will be assessed by independent experts. In the interview phase 2, the shortlisted applicants will be interviewed by a panel of experts.

Closing Date: 19 October 2022
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The Royal Society of Edinburgh Research Awards autumn 2022 programme is now open and provides funding opportunities for all academic disciplines, across all career stages.

There are eight different research funding opportunities designed to support Scotland’s academics to realise their potential, stimulate research in Scotland, and promote international collaboration.

Supporting Scotland’s vibrant research sector will have a lasting benefit to the individuals and communities concerned and to broader society.

This RSE programme runs twice a year, in spring and autumn.

Closing Date: 27 October 2022
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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.


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.

Funding Opportunities

Themed Calls – Funding opportunities focusing on a particular research area in which all NIHR programmes participate.


The Health Technology Assessment (HTA) Programme is accepting stage one applications to this funding opportunity. The programme is interested in receiving applications to meet recommendations in research identified in NICE guidance that has been published or updated since 2015.

Proposals must be within the remit of the HTA Programme and the primary outcome measure must be health related. This call is also open in the Public Health Research (PHR), Efficacy and Mechanism Evaluation (EME), and Health and Social Care Delivery Research (HSDR) programmes for proposals which fall within the remit of those programmes – applicants should apply directly to the relevant programme.

Closing Date: 4 January 2023, 1pm
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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.


Response mode funding scheme, limit £300k. Applications to the Chief Scientist Office will be assessed by one of two research advisory committees:

Closing Date: 6 January 2023, 5pm (for outline applications) 
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The aim of this scheme is to build research capacity in the Scottish NHS as such it provides the opportunity for clinical professionals early in their career to undertake a PhD. The eligibility for this scheme includes doctors and dentists in training, GPs, GDP’s, NMAHPS, Healthcare scientists and Pharmacists.

As the scheme is designed to support people early in their career there are limits around salaries payable which are outlined in the guidance document.

Please direct any questions about the scheme to julie.simpson@gov.scot

Closing Date: 12 October 2022
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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.

LifeArc Ventures aims to drive positive impact for patients and deliver financial returns to sustain LifeArc’s charitable activities. This strategy encourages early-stage investment into innovative therapeutics, medical devices, healthtech and diagnostics companies. LifeArc invest in Seed and Series A investment rounds, with significant follow-on investment reserved for successful portfolio companies.

The Philanthropic Fund awards grants to academics who have promising projects focused on research into therapeutics, devices or diagnostics that could support people who are living with a rare disease. As of August 2021, the LifeArc Philanthropic Fund has awarded £9.3 million to 30 research projects since 2017.

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.


InnoScot Health has been working in partnership with NHS Scotland for 20 years to inspire, accelerate, and commercialise impactful healthcare innovations.

Working with staff across a range of roles and medical specialties, we have formed seven spin-out companies and brought a range of medical devices, products and technologies to market.


InnoScot Health is seeking forward-thinking ophthalmic solutions that can help support NHS Scotland to strengthen and make meaningful change in this priority area of its recovery plan.

Encouraging NHS Scotland’s diverse workforce to come up with new ideas that achieve better outcomes in pressured ophthalmology is vital and at the heart of this  innovation call.

Find out more

Online Briefing Event on 13 October 2022, 10am
This event will give attendee’s more information on the ophthalmology themed call and outline the support available to health and social care staff submitting their idea.


InnoScot Health is seeking ideas from health and social care professionals that can help transform the quality of life for people living with frailty, while helping NHS Scotland adapt to changing demographics and increase in service use as people become frailer.

Ideas may range from wearable tech that could predict falls in vulnerable people, assistive technology to make daily life or a specific task easier, a device or tool to help people self-manage their condition or diagnostic devices to simplify home monitoring of conditions.

Closing Date: Ongoing
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InnoScot Health is seeking sustainable, forward-thinking ideas from health and social care professionals that can help support NHS Scotland to adapt, develop and strengthen in response to climate change.

Encouraging NHS Scotland’s diverse workforce to come up with new ideas that achieve sustainable outcomes is vital, and at the heart of this innovation call.

Closing Date: Ongoing
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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

Find out more 


UKRI is funding and support across all academic disciplines and industrial areas including the medical and biological sciences.


Funding to investigate the causes, progression and treatment of human disease for projects that must:

  • include an experimental intervention or challenge in humans
  • focus on a mechanistic hypothesis
  • be academically-led

You must be based at an eligible research organisation. Any researcher employed by an eligible research organisation, including MRC institutes and units can apply for this funding opportunity. In addition to usual eligibility criteria, you can apply if you hold a fellowship or lectureship.

There is no limit to the amount of funding you can apply for or the length of your project and 80% of your project’s full economic cost will be funded.

This is an ongoing scheme with an annual budget of £10 million. Application rounds open every six months, closing in April and October.

Closing Date: 5 October 2022
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Funding to research COVID-19 as part of normal UKRI funding streams and opportunities. UKRI is currently interested in funding research and innovation that:

  • has a clear impact pathway with the potential to deliver a significant contribution to the understanding of, and response to, the COVID-19 pandemic and its impacts
  • supports the manufacture or wide-scale adoption of an intervention with significant potential for COVID-19
    gathers time-critical data and resources related to COVID-19 quickly and secures them for future research use
  • builds capability in areas that will be necessary to deliver a significant contribution to the understanding of, and response to, the COVID-19 pandemic and its impacts in the future.

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Funding to develop and test novel therapeutics, medical devices, diagnostics and other interventions.

You must be based at a research organisation eligible for MRC funding. The project can start and finish at any stage on the developmental pathway from early development, through pre-clinical refinement and testing to early-phase clinical studies and trials (up to phase 2a).

There’s no limit on the amount of funding you can apply for and UKRI will typically fund 80% of the full economic cost. This is an ongoing scheme with a budget of approximately £30 million a year. Application rounds open three times a year, in February, June and October.
Opening Date: 14 October 2022
Closing Date: 23 November 2022, 4pm

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Funding to develop research interests through a collaborative partnership, with a research focus on any area of MRC’s or NIHR’s remit. You must however:
  • be a registered healthcare professional
  • have a PhD, MD or equivalent
  • be working at a senior level with specialised knowledge and demonstrable capacity for professional independence and leadership
  • have a research partner based at an eligible research organisation
MRC will fund 20% to 50% of  salary and project costs for one to three years and UKRI will fund 80% of the full economic cost.
Closing Date: 17 November 2022, 4pm
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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:

Healthy ageing
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.

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.

Leading-edge healthcare
The government’s challenge to industry and research to develop and manufacture new medicines and digital health products and technologies.


Funding opportunities also regularly become available via Medical Research Charities.


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 leading 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.


The purpose of this grant is to enable Health and Social Care professionals and researchers, with an interest in MND, to attend conferences and training courses which, for financial reasons, they would not otherwise be able to attend.

This grant may award up to £3,000, over three years, to help MND professionals meet the costs of attending training courses or conferences. It may only be used to cover conference registration/course fees, travel and accommodation costs and may also be used to assist in covering some of the costs of hosting training sessions, including the dissemination of information and cascading of training that furthers the aim of improving MND care.

Individuals can apply for up to £1,500 in any one year and a maximum of £3,000 in any three year period. The grant does not cover subsistence costs and cannot be awarded retrospectively, this includes costs that have been incurred prior to MND Scotland approving a grant application.

Closing date: Ongoing
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