News Alert:

Funding opportunities

Patient Benefit (RfPB) programme 

Deadline: 26 June 2024

Funding: Not specified

Reducing compound pressures on the NHS and social care The NIHR RfPB programme are participating in the following themed call: Reducing compound pressures on the NHS and social care. This cross-programme call for research supports the recently published Department of Health and Social Care Areas of Research Interest which calls for high quality evidence to support those who plan, commission, manage, deliver and use services across the health, public health and social care sector.
Protecting the health of vulnerable people & reducing avoidable hospital admissions : Interventions to protect the health of vulnerable people such as population level falls preventions (e.g. slip + trip free public spaces, lighting, targeted physical activity, food delivery services) is included for funding.

Developmental Pathway Funding Scheme

Deadline: July 2024  (Future round open for stage one applications – 10 June 2024)
Funding: Total fund of £30,000,000

Apply for MRC’s funding to develop and test novel therapeutics, medical devices, diagnostics and other interventions. You must be based at a UK research organisation (includes NHS bodies) eligible for UKRI funding. You can apply for academically-led translational projects that aim to either:

  • improve prevention, diagnosis, prognosis or treatment of significant health needs
  • develop research tools that increase the efficiency of developing interventions

Project should focus on at least one of the following stages of development:

  • early development and design
  • pre-clinical testing
  • early-phase clinical studies and trials (up to phase 2a).

There’s no limit on the amount of funding you can apply for, typically fund 80% of the full economic cost. This is an ongoing scheme, application rounds close every March, July and November.

Funding for early stage development of new healthcare interventions

Deadline: July 2024 (Future round open for applications – 1 May to 10 July 2024)
Funding: £50,000 – £300,000

Apply for MRC funding to the Developmental Pathway Gap Fund (DPGF), to generate critical preliminary data to build confidence in the development strategy for a new medicine, repurposed medicine, medical device, diagnostic test, or other medical intervention development. The idea for a new product that can improve human health should have already been conceived and supported by other funding. This should be utilised to produce the critical preliminary data needed to support the onward development of the product. The Gap fund sits beyond the smaller and shorter Impact Accelerator funding and before the substantive and longer Developmental Pathway Funding Scheme.

You can apply for academically led translational projects that aim to undertake a focused package of work that will bridge the gap between inception of a new idea and substantive funding through schemes such as the MRC Developmental Pathway Funding Scheme to:

  • help prevent disease
  • help improve speed and accuracy of diagnosis of disease
  • develop new treatments of disease
  • help to improve outcome monitoring of patients receiving treatment
  • help to improve the management of diseases and conditions

Your project should have already explored a new concept and generated some data in support of the approach. This fund will provide small scale funding to generate critical data needed prior to seeking more substantive funding. A non-exhaustive list of examples of the types of projects that could be supported include:

  • elements of therapeutic discovery, quantification, and validation
  • development of an initial prototype
  • early prototype testing
  • initial biomarker validation
  • vector identification or optimisation
  • hit expansion medicinal chemistry

All human diseases and medical interventions are eligible for support, both in the context of UK healthcare and addressing global health issues. The principal investigator (PI) must be based at the lead organisation, which should be one of the following six types of organisation.

  • Higher education institutions
  • Independent research organisations (IROs) and NHS bodies
  • Public Sector Research Establishments
  • MRC institutes (MRC Harwell, MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences and MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology)
  • MRC units and partnership Institutes
  • Institutes and units funded by other research councils

This is an ongoing funding opportunity. Application rounds close every March, July and November.

Public Health Intervention Development (PHIND)

Deadline: Future round of applications opens from 25 July to 12 September 2024
Maximum award of £150,000

Apply for funding for the early-stage development of an intervention that seeks to address a UK or global public health challenge. This might include qualitative and quantitative primary research and the development of theory and logic models. However, emphasis should be placed on developing the intervention.

You must be a researcher employed by an eligible research organisation.

MRC will fund up to £150,000, for a maximum of 18 months.

Funds requested by UK research organisations will be funded at 80% of the full economic cost, in which case the full economic cost of your project can be up to £187,500. Overseas costs will be funded at 100% of the full economic cost.

Artificial intelligence, engineering biology and quantum technologies

Deadline: 31 March 2025 (4:00 pm UK time)

Funding: Not specified

During the highlight period MRC particularly welcomes applications from teams that are applying AI, engineering biology or quantum technologies, to better enable them to meet relevant MRC board and panel and cross-cutting themes. MRC will usually fund up to 80% of your project’s full economic cost.

Artificial intelligence (AI) : You should be clear on the biomedical research challenge to be addressed, how use of AI will deliver impact beyond incremental optimisation of current systems, and where, if applicable complementarity exists with UKRI strategies (for example Transforming our World with AI) and existing investments in the same area (for example Responsible AI UK).

Engineering biology : The design and fabrication of biological components and systems, from modifications of natural systems through to artificial biology, in order to enhance our understanding of human health and disease or in the development of novel diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines

Quantum technologies : Applications focused on utilisation of quantum sensing technologies aimed at improving diagnostics for early detection of disease, biomarker identification and increasing understanding of physiological systems in diseased states. You should also consider, where applicable, how the AI tools developed will act as a platform for future applications in biomedical research, for example underpinning future research or infrastructure, including through generalizable approaches.

Tackling obesity

Deadline: Open – no closing date

Funding: Not specified

Apply for funding to develop effective strategies to tackle overweight and obesity. ‘Tackling obesity’ is open to applications submitted to the Population and Systems Medicine Board.

Before applying for funding, check the following:

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) has introduced new role types for funding opportunities being run on the new UKRI Funding Service from 22 May 2023. For full details, see eligibility as an individual. There is no limit to the funding you can apply for, but it should be appropriate to the research project. We will usually fund up to 80% of your project’s full economic cost. This is an ongoing funding priority for the Population and Systems Medicine Board. Application rounds close every January, May and September.

Research remit: MRC is seeking multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary applications to tackle overweight and obesity. The research should support evidence-based approaches to improve health in real-life settings. In particular,  to better understand what makes an effective intervention. We aim to do this by encouraging greater integration and synergy across existing pockets of expertise in the biological, behavioural, psychological, environmental and social sciences. Applications should be innovative, cross-disciplinary and collaborative, and include partnerships between basic, clinical and social scientists, and with other stakeholders.

Applications should provide robust evidence to improve public health in real-life settings by providing a holistic understanding of the important factors influencing obesity and developing effective strategies (individual, societal, or both) to tackle overweight and obesity.

Applications should aim to:

  • provide new insights on obesity by combining and building on:
    • existing resources (for example, cohorts, epidemiological studies, clinical trials, intervention studies, NHS and other data)
    • strengths in data linkage expertise
  • achieve greater understanding of the dynamic systems which lead to obesity by:
    • enhancing and merging data resources from different domains
    • engaging with a range of relevant stakeholders (for example, local authorities; councils; the public; a broad set of relevant industries such as pharma, food and retail industries, new technologies, artificial intelligence and social media)

Creative England Investments 

Deadline: None specified
Funding: £100,000 – £1m

Creative Growth Finance is providing vital scale up finance to a portfolio comprising some of the UK’s most promising creative businesses.  Finance will be directed to post-revenue creative businesses presenting promising growth potential and who:

– bring change, disruption and new IP to the creative industries

– harness creativity with technologies and supporting businesses

– are talent led


  • Loans of £100,000 – £1m across all UK regions 
  • Long-term specialist support  
  • Access to investment and creative networks 
  • Access to support programmes 

Researching motor neurone disease

Deadline: None specified
Funding: Discretionary

Through this highlight notice, applicants are invited to submit innovative research proposals to MRC that aim to:

  • improve the mechanistic understanding of MND, including identification and validation of new biomarkers
  • investigate potential new therapeutic avenues

Apply for funding to research motor neurone disease (MND). You can get funding through any:

  • grants from MRC research boards or panels
  • MRC fellowships

You should apply through the existing funding opportunity that is most relevant to your science area and career stage.

Global Innovation Fund

Deadline: None specified
Funding: Discretionary

The Global Innovation Fund is a non-profit innovation fund headquartered in London with an office in Washington D.C. that invests in the development, rigorous testing, and scaling of innovations targeted at improving the lives of the world’s poorest people. Through our grants and risk capital, we help breakthrough solutions to global development challenges from for profit firms, non profit organisations, researchers, and government agencies to maximise their impact and affect meaningful change.

NIHR: Health Technology Assessment

Deadline: None specified
Funding: Discretionary

The Health Technology Assessment (HTA) Programme funds research about the clinical and cost-effectiveness and broader impact of healthcare treatments and tests for those who plan, provide or receive care from NHS and social care services. They have a number of themed calls, please refer their website for more information.

NIHR: Efficacy and Mechanism Evaluation Programme

Deadline: None specified
Funding: Discretionary

The EME Programme primarily supports clinical trials, and other robustly designed studies that test the efficacy of interventions. The interventions should have the potential to improve patient care or benefit the public. The programme will only support studies where there is sufficient evidence that the intervention might work in man, i.e. that there is ‘proof of concept’. Current calls here include Cystic Fibrosis, Novel strategies to reduce overtreatment, Paediatric Care among others.

Nesta Impact Investment

Deadline: None specified
Funding: £1,000,000

Nesta Impact Investments is a £17.6m fund investing in life changing innovations that help tackle the major challenges faced by older people, children and communities in the UK.

New Horizons Grants – Cardiovascular research

Deadline: None specified
Funding: Up to £300,000 per project

Funding from BHF to encourage scientists from outside traditional cardiovascular biology to engage in cardiovascular research and bring novel expertise to the field to develop new technologies, models or methodologies and explore novel concepts. The principal investigator will be a senior researcher working in an established research institution in the UK. Early-stage concept development and testing, which may later lead to translational research, is appropriate for the New Horizons scheme. The proposed research plan should contain elements of developing novel technologies, models, applications or methodologies utilising the multidisciplinary background of the applicants.

Digital Health.London’s Accelerator programme

Deadline: None specified
Funding: Discretionary

DigitalHealth.London’s Accelerator programme aims to speed up the adoption of technology in London’s NHS, relieving high pressure on services and empowering patients to manage their health.

Companies successful in gaining a place on the programme usually have a product or service that has already been piloted in the NHS and is ready to scale.

Innovate UK Scale Up programme

Deadline: None specified
Funding: Not specified

Innovate UK EDGE’s highly regarded Scaleup Programme provides oneto-one, bespoke and fully funded support centered around innovative scaleups’ specific needs. It is available to those companies achieving, or with the potential for, 50% compound annual growth rates (CAGR) and over. The Scaleup Programme helps the highest potential businesses realise their ambitions. Delivering growth at scale is at the heart of Innovate UK’s emerging strategy for business innovation in the UK. Innovate UK EDGE is a key enabler of this strategic priority and through the Scaleup Programme, helps the highest potential businesses realise their ambitions.

The British Heart Foundation (BHF)

Deadline: None specified
Funding: Not available

BHF provide personal support for clinical and non-clinical cardiovascular researchers at all stages of their career. They also provide grants for short and long term research projects, essential infrastructure and strategic initiatives.


Stay in Touch:

Keep up to date with all HTE news and events.

Subscribe to our mailing list