Funding for biomedical research and innovation - MRC

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Transition to independence awards

Funding for individual post-graduate researchers, to lead their own research plans and establish their own research team to make the transition from post-doctoral researcher to independent investigator. These awards often include career development opportunities like training, mentorship and international placements.

Funding options available

Alzheimer’s Research UK: Senior research fellowships
These fellowships are for researchers who have the potential to become leading principal investigators, but have not attained tenure.
Funding: Salary, support staff and animal, travel and running costs
Duration: Up to fours years with the possibility of a one year extension

Alzheimer’s Society: Senior fellowships
A senior fellowship is for post-doctoral or other successful researchers who wish to build on a number of successful years of dementia research, and who demonstrate the ambition and potential to be a leader in their research field at the end of the award.
Career stage: Applicants should be a minimum of five years from the date of PhD viva
Funding: Up to £400,000 to cover salary, consumables, technician/admin and conferences
Duration: Four years (or five part-time)

British Heart Foundation: Intermediate basic science research fellowships
These fellowships are for talented postdoctoral researchers hoping to become future cardiovascular research leaders.
Career stage: Usually at least three to six years successful postdoctoral work
Funding: Salary, technician/research assistant, consumables, equipment, allowance for overseas visits
Duration: Five years plus a possible two-year extension

Cancer Research UK: Career development fellowships
The career development fellowship supports new group leaders who do not have a salaried independent position to establish their own independent research group.
Funding: Salary, research staff, consumables, equipment
Duration: Six years

Cancer Research UK: Career establishment awards
These offer support for outstanding scientists to set up their first independent research group.
Funding: For research staff, consumables, equipment
Duration: Six years

MRC: Career development award
These provide support for post-doctoral researchers to transition to independent investigators
Career stage: There are no eligibility rules based on years of postdoctoral experience
Funding: Salary, research staff, consumables, equipment
Duration: Five years with part time options

MRC: New investigator research grants
These provide support for postdoctoral researchers to transition to independent investigators. Career stage: There are no eligibility rules based on years of postdoctoral experience
Funding: Up to 50% salary, research staff, consumables, equipment
Duration: Three years with part time options

National Institute for Health Research: Advanced fellowship
These are post-doctoral fellowships aimed at anyone with a PhD who hasn’t yet been awarded a chair.
Career stage: There are no eligibility rules based on years of postdoctoral experience
Funding: Fully funded including salary
Duration: Two to five years, part time accepted 50-100% whole time equivalent

Wellcome Career Development Awards
This scheme provides funding for mid-career researchers from any discipline who have the potential to be international research leaders.
Career stage: You must have completed one or two substantial periods of research after your initial training.
Funding: Salary, research staff and research expenses
Duration: Eight years

Last updated: 15 November 2021

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