MMU Research and Knowledge Exchange Blog

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

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RCUK Joint Calls under the Global Challenges Research Fund

Translating Cultures and Care for the Future Innovation Awards on International Development

The call aims to support projects that take innovative approaches to the following research strands: Languages, cultural exchange and development assistance; Pressures in global mobility; Cultures and development; Cultural heritages, interpretation and representation. Proposals should clearly demonstrate the value of arts and humanities research to international development issues and provide a platform for further research in the relevant area.

Deadline for proposals: 21 July

GCRF Foundation Awards for Non-Communicable Disease (NCDs)

The aims of this call are to both address new research opportunities and develop capability and capacity to particular research areas, such as: Cardiovascular and metabolic research; Cancers of high prevalence in LMICs; Mental health and neurocognitive development; Adolescent, maternal, and childhood health; Impacts of demographic/behavioural changes across the lifecourse; Environmental change; Technologies, designs and methods suited to LMICs.

Deadline for proposals: 22 June

GCRF Foundation Awards for Infection Research

This call will develop new or expand existing strands of ODA applicable research and partnerships targeting LMIC infectious disease priorities. Areas of opportunity include: Detection and diagnostic development; Epidemiology; Cultural, social, economic, environmental and political influences on the emergence and spread of infections; Modelling; and many more.

Deadline for proposals: 22 June

GCRF Foundation Awards for Global Agricultural and Food Systems Research

This call highlights five broad research challenges as follows: Systems that deliver safe and nutritious food for all; Resilience of the food system to climatic variability; Reducing losses throughout the agri-food chain and reusing unavoidable food waste; Agriculture within the context of the wider landscape; Urban agriculture.

Deadline for proposals: 22 June

Tackling antimicrobial resistance: behaviour within and beyond the healthcare setting

The call aims to expand understanding of how the behaviour of public, professionals and organisations impacts on AMR: how it can enhance or control the spread of AMR; how it is affected by social, psychological and organisational context, cultures and history; and how it can be influenced to create different future scenarios.

Deadline for proposals: 20 July (Pump priming grants), 27 July (EOI for collaborative grants)

ESRC/AHRC Call for proposals on Forced displacement

This is a joint call for innovative, interdisciplinary projects focusing on the experiences of the forced displaced (both internationally and internally) whether due to poverty, war, conflict, persecution or human rights violations.

Deadline for proposals: 7 July

GCRF / PaCCS: Inter-Disciplinary Research Innovation Awards on Conflict and International Development

This call aims to support inter-disciplinary research innovation and international collaboration focussed on the interconnections between conflict and international development and with the potential to contribute to the welfare (broadly defined) and/or economic development of Low and Middle Income Countries (LMICs).

Deadline for proposals: 28 July

For support with your application, please contact Research Development.


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MRC Publish Delivery Plan 2016/17-2019/20

MRC have just published their Delivery Plan 2016/17-2019/20. All Research Councils publish Delivery Plans as a final product of Government Spending Review. The Plans set out each Council’s funding priorities and outline the activities that they intend to undertake over a given period i.e. this is the document gives some genuine signposts as to what is coming up over next couple of years. We’ve provided a summary below.

The full document is available HERE.

  • An outline of Priority Challenges: Infections (including a £30M Antimicrobial Resistance initiative); Lifelong Mental Health and Dementia (a new £150M UK Dementia Research Institute); Prevention; and Regenerative Medicine.
  • Technology Touching Life (TTL) will be taken forwrd as a highlighted priority to foster interdisciplinary technology development research.
  • The Stratified Medicine Initiative will: establish further consortia in disease areas that benefit from stratification but are currently under-represented; maxismise the scientific impact of the existing stratified medicine consortia and molecular pathology nodes; and link our consortia with MRC informatics investments.
  • Continued investment in lat phase global health research to support phase studies wither partners e.g. Wellcome Trust, DFID, EDCTP and Global Alliance for Chronic Disease.
  • Continued support for next generation of researchers.

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Knowledge Exchange Workshop – Participant engagement in longitudinal studies

Participant engagement is a major concern for longitudinal studies, however opportunities to share best practice and learning on this issue are few and far between. The MRC/ESRC-funded CLOSER consortium is seeking to address this gap by hosting an informal knowledge exchange workshop on participant engagement for longitudinal studies in the UK and abroad.

Friday 29 January 2016, 10:00 to 17:00.

20 Tavistock Square, London, WC1H 9HQ

For mroe information and to book, please visit:

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Study shows beneficial effects of blocking brain inflammation in an experimental model of Alzheimer’s

Take a look at this article detailing new research on Alzheimer’s disease funded by the MRC and Alzheimer’s Research UK.

A study, published today in the journal Brain, has found that blocking a receptor in the brain responsible for regulating immune cells could protect against the memory and behaviour changes seen in the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. The research was jointly funded by the MRC and Alzheimer’s Research UK.

It was originally thought that Alzheimer’s disease disturbs the brain’s immune response, but this latest study adds to evidence that inflammation in the brain can in fact drive the development of the disease. The findings suggest that by reducing this inflammation, progression of the disease could be halted.

The team hope the discovery will lead to an effective new treatment for the disease, for which there is currently no cure.

To read more, please visit:

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Medical Research Council Funding Calls Deadline Dates


Molecular & Cellular Medicine Board

Opening date                                                    Closing date
29th July 2015                                                      9th September 2015
20th November 2015                                           6th January 2016
23rd March 2016                                                  4th May 2016


Infections and Immunity Board

Opening date                                                    Closing date
29th July 2015                                                      23rd September 2015
20th November 2015                                           13th January 2016
23rd March 2016                                                  18th May 2016


Population & Systems Medicine Board

Opening date                                                    Closing date
29th July 2015                                                      30th September 2015
20th November 2015                                           20th January 2016
23rd March 2016                                                  25th May 2016

Neurosciences & Mental Health Board

Opening date                                                    Closing date
29th July 2015                                                      6th October 2015
20th November 2015                                           3rd  February 2016
23rd March 2016                                                  1st  June 2016

Remember the RKE office are here to help you develop your bids! If you are interested in applying, please contact your RDM. Or email

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New commissioned funding opportunities from MRC and NIHR

MRC and NIHRThe Efficacy and Mechanism Evaluation Programme (EME) is accepting applications to its commissioned workstream for the following topics:

  • 15/18 Diagnosis and treatment of allergies
  • 15/19 Metabolic liver disease (including NAFLD)
  • 15/20 Pancreatitis
  • 15/21 Surfactant therapy for bronchiolitis in critically ill infants and children
  • 15/22 Very low energy diets
  • 15/23 Mechanisms of action of health interventions

The deadline for applications is 1pm, 16 June 2015. For more information and to apply, please visit the EME commissioned call webpage.

Please contact RKE/your faculty Business Development Manager for support if you are interested in putting in a bid.


Tips for success

Step 1: Register for a webinar to learn more about these calls and have the opportunity to ask questions:

  • 15/18 Diagnosis and treatment of allergies: 10 March 2015, 15:00-15:45
  • 15/19 Metabolic liver disease (including NAFLD): 13 April 2015, 12:00-12:45
  • 15/20 Pancreatitis: 14 April 2015, 13:30-14:15
  • 15/21 Surfactant therapy for bronchiolitis in critically ill infants and children: 20 April 2015, 13:00-13:45
  • 15/22 Very low energy diets: 29 April 2015, 1:30-12:15
  • 15/23 Mechanisms of action of health interventions: 30 April 2015, 13:00-13:45

Step 2: Read the EME Programme remit and the commissioning brief to check if your innovation fits.

Step 3: Watch the tips for success videos for advice on making an application

Step 4: Collaborate and plan – successful EME applications generally involve strong collaborations between an academic unit and/or NHS organisation and/or industry. It is suggested that you build a strong team and start to prepare your bid with them using your combined expertise.

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TSB and MRC call: Biomedical Catalyst – Late stage award


MRC - Medical Research Council




In order to meet the challenges faced by healthcare systems, both companies and academics must recognise the drivers behind them and work together towards developing innovative technologies and processes which provide solutions for:
  • disease prevention and proactive management of health and chronic conditions
  • earlier and better detection and diagnosis of disease leading to marked improvements in patient outcomes
  • highly effective treatments that are tailored to patients’ needs and either modify the underlying disease or offer potential cures.
Supporting businesses (SMEs only) and academics to develop solutions to these challenges, the Medical Research Council (MRC) and the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) are working together to deliver the Biomedical Catalyst scheme. This scheme will provide responsive and effective support for the best life science opportunities arising in the UK.
Support is available for projects arising from any sector or discipline that are aimed at addressing healthcare challenges. Example solutions may include (but are not limited to):
  • Stratified healthcare (both therapy and diagnostic components)
  • Regenerative medicine
  • Diagnostics
  • eHealth and mHealth solutions
  • Enabling medical technologies and devices.
This grant takes a well-developed concept and demonstrates its effectiveness in a relevant environment through:
  • initial human proof-of-concept studies
  • demonstration of clinical utility and effectiveness
  • demonstration of safety and efficacy (including phase I and II clinical trials)
  • development of production mechanisms
  • prototyping
  • market testing
  • intellectual property protection.

Proposals must be business led, but University partners can claim up to 50% of the total budget. Projects can be for up to three years, and the maximum grant is £2.4 million. SMEs can claim up to 60% of eligible project costs; Universities can claim 80% of full Economic Costs.

Applicants will follow a 3-stage process involving an Expression of Interest, a Full Stage proposal and final presentation and interview in front of a committee. Progression between stages will be by invitation only and informed by independent expert review. The deadline for Expressions of Interest is 01 October 2014.
For University-led proposals please see the linked MRC call for the Biomedical Catalyst: Developmental Pathway Funding Scheme (DPFS). Details of this call can be found here:
There will be additional TSB calls  for Early-stage and Feasibility applications that will open on 02 October 2014. The application deadline will be 28 January 2015.