MMU Research and Knowledge Exchange Blog

Funding opportunities, news and guidance from RKE at Manchester Metropolitan University

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2019 Skills and Knowledge Transfer grant scheme: a new collaboration with Cancer Research UK







This year marks the beginning of a new collaboration between Cancer Research UK (CRUK) and the NC3Rs as they offer joint awards to support the sharing of 3Rs skills, tools and technologies within cancer research.

The UK continues to lead the way in scientific excellence through the development of pioneering 3Rs technologies and methods. However, concerns about issues such as comparison with historic data or access to specialist skills and/or equipment can mean that researchers are reluctant to take up new 3Rs approaches.

To help researchers overcome these barriers and de-risk the adoption of 3Rs methods, NC3Rs and Cancer Research have come together to develeop a new Skills and Knowledge Transfer scheme. This scheme gives researchers the resources they need to implement new 3Rs tools and technologies, the opportunity to learn new career advancing skills to complement their research, and in turn build confidence and capacity in the use of 3Rs approaches.

Awards are for up to 24 months with the amount requested dependent on the science and limited to a maximum of £75k (80% FEC). This competition is run annually and the budget for the 2018/19 call is £400k.

Deadline for outline proposal – 23rd November, 2018

Deadline for full application – 6th February, 2019

If you would like to discuss this opportunity, please contact your relevant research development officer (


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Developing funding proposals in applied health and social care: first grants


Registration is now OPEN for the NIHR Research Design Service North West (RDS NW), Developing funding proposals in applied health and social care: first grants. The event is for health and social care professionals and researchers in the North West of England who want to develop and submit a funding application.

The event is intended for people who are less experienced at applying for research funding and may be considering their first research grant submission. This event is not suitable for anyone who has previously had a research grant. This event will also focus on NHS and Social Care Staff or academic staff working with NHS staff to support them on their first grant. Attending the event will help to make your application stronger and increase your chance of getting your research idea funded.

The event will be held on the 11th October, 2018, 9am – 3pm, at The Story Institute, Lancaster, LA1 1TH.

For more information, or to register, click here. 

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The Health Technology Assessment (HTA) Programme


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.  HTA research is undertaken where some evidence already exists to show that a technology can be effective and this needs to be compared to the current standard intervention to see which works best.

Research can evaluate any intervention used in the treatment, prevention or diagnosis of disease, provided the study outcomes lead to findings that have the potential to be of direct benefit to NHS patients.

The researcher-led workstream offers researchers the opportunity to submit proposals on topics or research questions within the programme’s remit.

The commissioned work stream invites applications in response to calls for research on specific questions which have been identified and prioritised for their importance to the NHS and patients. Proposals may include primary research, evidence synthesis, or feasibility and pilot studies. See the current funding opportunities or download a list of potential future research topics currently being developed.

For more information, please contact your relevant Research Development Manager or visit the website here.

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Multimorbidity in the UK population: understanding disease clustering


The Medical Research Council (MRC) and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) are issuing a joint call for research projects into disease clustering in multi-morbidity. Awards of up to £600,000 (funders’ contribution) are available for up to 36 months. Funding is available for exploratory or hypothesis-driven research that will systematically identify or explore common disease clusters, their distributions in diverse groups, multi-morbidity trajectories and/or the underpinning mechanisms across the life course. Applications from cross-disciplinary and cross-institutional teams are encouraged to develop research in this important field.


The scope of the call includes, but is not limited to the following research topics:

  • disease clustering in defined population/patient groups
  • addressing prevalence and changes in multi-morbidity during the life course (such as in childhood, during pregnancy or postpartum period)
  • social patterning and health inequalities associated with multi-morbidity
  • shared mechanistic pathways in common co-morbidities
  • multi-morbidity bio-markers, early predictors and genetic associations
  • innovative methodological approaches, tools and technologies for capturing and measuring patients’ complexities in the context of multi-morbidity
  • enriching data for established population and clinical cohorts.

Deadline: 9th October, 2018. For full details, click here. If you would like to discuss this further, please contact your relevant Research Development Manager.

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2018 CRACK IT Challenges Announced


The 2018 CRACK IT Challenges are now live. This year’s competition consists of three Challenges identified jointly by the NC3Rs and Sponsors. Funding is provided by the NC3Rs with co-funding provided by EPSRC (RaTS) and in-kind contributions are provided the Sponsors. There are four Sponsors (Galvani Bioelectronics, GSK, MRC Harwell Institute and Sanofi Pasteur EU).

The challenges will be launched at an event held on the 6th September in central London. The challenges are detailed in the Challenge briefs which include a description of the problem to be solved, the 3Rs benefits, the names of the Sponsors and the nature of their proposed in-kind contributions, the notional financial cost of the project (the sum to be awarded by the NC3Rs), the potential timescale of the work and proposals for the organisation of the project. The 2018 Challenges are listed below (click on the challenge for more details):

For more details of the launch event, click here. If you would like to discuss this further, please contact your relevant research development manager.

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Erasmus+ Calls in 2019

The British Council is already looking forward to its 2019 calls for Erasmus+ Key Action 2 Strategic Partnerships.  These projects help EU-wide collaborations develop resources and networks to improve teaching/education in all disciplines and for all learners.

In 2019 we’re expecting the UK’s priority themes to be:

  • Tackling skills gaps and mismatches
  • Promoting and rewarding excellence in teaching and skills development
  • Promoting more flexible and innovative learning

Deadlines for Strategic Partnerships are expected to be the third week of March 2019.   The UK remains fully eligible for Erasmus+ in the coming year and in 2018 there was about a 1 in 3 chance of success for Strategic Partnership applications led by UK partners.  Further details will be published on the British Council website in due course and, of course, available from

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Brexit and Participation in EU-Funded Projects including Horizon 2020 and Erasmus+

There continues to be much discussion about the future of the UK in European Funding Schemes.  Below is a summary of what we know in order to provide reassurance that the UK can continue participating in projects funded by the EU.  A version can be downloaded here to share with partners and further details are available from

EU Summary July 2019 Image

[1] “UK Participation in Horizon 2020” (Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, March 2018)
[2] Joint Report from the Negotiators of the European Union and the United Kingdom Government (UK Government & European Commission, December 2017)
[3] Draft Agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community (European Commission, March 2018)
[4] Chancellor Philip Hammond guarantees EU funding beyond date UK leaves the EU (13 August 2016)
[5] Funding from EU programmes guaranteed until the end of 2020 (24 July 2018)
[6] PM speech on our future economic partnership with the European Union(2 March 2018)
[7] European Council (Art. 50) (23 March 2018) – Guidelines (European Council, March 2018)