MMU Research and Knowledge Exchange Blog

Funding opportunities, news and guidance from RKE at Manchester Met

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Tackling Multimorbidity at Scale: Understanding Disease Clusters, Determinants & Biological Pathways

The MRC have released a new funding opportunity on tackling multimorbidity. This area of research has been identified as an urgent priority for the UK and globally following the Academy of Medical Sciences’ (AMS) report. Multimorbidity is defined as the co-existence of two or more chronic conditions in a single individual, including mental and physical conditions and long duration infectious diseases.

The objective of this funding call is to bring together world-leading multi-disciplinary expertise in epidemiological research, mechanistic and data science to catalyse multimorbidity research nationally and at scale through supporting portfolio of Research Collaboratives. There are two different streams available:

Consolidator Grants

A pot of up to £1.5 million is available to support projects of 6 months duration with a maximum budget of £100k. Awards must be collaborative and multidisciplinary in nature and used to:

  • Consolidate partnerships and bring in experts who might not traditionally view themselves at multimorbidity researchers.
  • Perform rapid linkage and analyses of existing data including, for example, health data, population and environmental datasets.
  • Obtain preliminary data or proof of principle evidence.
  • Identify ket gaps that would be addressed at the full Research Collaborative stage.
  • Verify their approaches towards addressing those gaps.

Research Collaborative Award

Research groups with more mature collaboration links; ownership or existing access to the relevant datasets; and sufficient evidence, unerpinned by strong preliminary data, of their ability to perform multimorbidity research at scale, can apply for the Wave 1 Research collaborative awards, bypassing the consolidator stage.

These awards will provide substantial investment to support ambitious studies (where appropriate involving industrial partners). The competition seeks to support a balanced potfolio of several Research Collaboratives for 2-4 years (£3-5m each).

Deadline for both streams: 11th February 2020, 4pm

For further details please visit the MRC website.

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NIHR Fellowships Now Open

NIHR have two Fellowships available which are now open for applicants.

Advanced Fellowship

This is a post-doctoral Fellowship and aimed at anyone with a PhD who hasn’t yet been awarded a chair. Whether you’re someone who has recently been or about to be awarded a PhD, or someone with several years of post-doc experience you will be eligible to apply for an Advanced Fellowship.

Deadline: Tuesday 3rd December

Doctoral Fellowship

This Fellowship supports individuals to undertake a PhD in an area of NIHR research. These are 3 years in duration and may be taken up on a part time basis between 50 and 100% FTE.

Deadline: Tuesday 17th December

Partnership Fellowships

As part of the new structure of NIHR Fellowships, the NIHR has partnered with a number of charitable organisations to offer jointly funded NIHR Charity Partnership Fellowships including:

  • Castang Foundation
  • Chartered Society of Physiotherapy Charitable Trust
  • Diabetes UK
  • Kidney Research UK
  • Moorfields Eye Charity
  • MS Society
  • Muscular Dystrophy UK

For further details of each of these calls, including eligibility, please visit the NIHR website.

If you would like to apply for any of these schemes please contact your Research Development Team.

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Latest Funding Opportunities from NIHR

The following new funding opportunities are now available:


Public Health Research Programme

Research for Patient Benefit Programme

NIHR Senior Investigators

Systematic Reviews Programme

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Research & Innovation in the NHS Long Term Plan

Last week the NHS released their long term plan with funding of £20.5 billion backing the new plans up to 2023, of course research and innovation features within the plan which is summarised below.

Research and innovation are key to both the NHS and UK economy. ‘Research-active’ hospitals have lower mortality rates with patients benefiting from earlier diagnosis, more effective treatments and faster recovery. The government plans to treble it’s industry contract and R&D collaborative research with the NHS over the next ten years to nearly £1 billion.

The NHS will be working to increase the number of people registered to participate in health research to 1 million by 2023/24, one way of doing this will be by allowing people to register their interest via an app by 2020.

There is a particular focus on investing in genomics research with the aim to be the first national health care system to offer whole genome sequencing as part of routine care. During 2019 seriously ill children who are likely to have rare genetic disorders, children with cancer, and adults suffering from certain rare conditions or specific cancers, will begin to be offered whole genome sequencing.

Uptake of proven, affordable innovations will be accelerated through a new Medtech funding mandate. This applies to health tech products (other than pharmaceuticals) assessed as cost saving by NICE. The number of NICE evaluations will also be significantly increased giving greater scope for assessment of digital products in particular.

For more information about the NHS long term plan you can visit the plans here.

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The Year Ahead for Biomedical Science & Biotechnology

A version of this article first appeared on Research Professional 04/01/2019.  

biomedical science

The long-term NHS plan is expected to be published within the next month with medical charities, and medical research organisations hoping it will make it easier for clinicians to conduct research. Meanwhile Industry and Government will start to implement the second life sciences sector deal, including the £1.3 billion investment in UK life sciences.

The Nuffield Council for Bioethics will be replacing members of their council, as their terms come to an end – you have until 28th January to apply (have a look here!). Towards the end of the year they will also be publishing a report on the ethical challenges of global health emergencies.

The MRC will be hiring a clinical director and along with the other eight bodies of UKRI will publish their first strategic delivery plans by the spring.

The Wellcome Trust have updated their priority areas – more to follow on this.

The Academy of Medical Sciences is expected to announce their first cohort of “future leaders” this month for their FLIER leadership programme. They will also be hosting a UK-India antimicrobial resistance symposium in February.

The NHS are hoping to sequence 1 million whole genomes in fives years and the Nuffield Council on Bioethics will be exploring the ethical issues with genome editing farmed animals.

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Health Research Authority (HRA) Researcher Training Day


On the 24th February 2017, Manchester Metropolitan will welcome the Health Research Authority (HRA) to conduct training for University staff and students.


• To introduce researchers to the HRA and making applications to undertake research within the NHS
• Series of presentations and interactive sessions designed to give researchers insight into the ethical issues considered by RECs
• To help researchers anticipate the ethical concerns RECs may raise
• To outline guidance on consent and patient/participant information sheets


• Academic researchers, postgraduate student researchers and their academic supervisors from Manchester Metropolitan University only
• Researchers undertaking research with NHS patients or their data

To view the agenda and register for the event, please visit the Eventbrite.

We would encourage you to attend the whole day to maximise your understanding of research ethics and the HRA application process.

Certificates of attendance will be issued at the end of the day.

Lunch and refreshments will be provided.

Please indicate any special dietary requirements when registering. If you have any special requirements in terms of access, please contact Mark Dyer.

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Funding opportunity with the PHR Programme: Public Mental Health

NiHR for Public Mental Health

NIHR are interested in receiving applications for research into the evaluation of public health interventions to improve mental health.

They are looking to fund research on the effectiveness of mental health promotion or mental illness prevention interventions across the life course at a (sub) population level. All areas of public mental health are covered by this funding opportunity.

Areas of particular interest include:

  • workplace interventions to promote mental health
  • interventions to reduce social isolation
  • interventions to prevent bullying

The deadline for applications is 1pm, 30 July 2015. For more information and to watch a webinar about this funding opportunity, please visit NIHR website.

For further assistance with your application  please email: