New investigator research grant (NIRG) - MRC



The New Investigator Research Grant (NIRG) is aimed at researchers who are capable of becoming independent principal investigators and who are now ready to take the next step towards that goal.

You can apply across all areas of the MRC’s remit. All successful new investigator research grant holders are eligible to register for the Academy of Medical Sciences (AMS) mentoring scheme.

We want to help early career researchers applying to our NIRG scheme by explaining what we expect from a great NIRG application in this short video:

Video credit: MRC. On-screen captions and an autogenerated transcript is available on YouTube.

Applicants are expected to combine time spent on the NIRG with a portfolio of other activities, such as time spent on other research grants or clinical duties, teaching, administration duties, or other time spent in faculty (this list is not exhaustive). As such, applicants are normally expected to request up to, but no more than, 50% of their contracted working time on the NIRG.

A NIRG is normally of three years’ duration and is not renewable. Exceptionally, applications for a longer period of time may be accepted if the case supporting the transition to independence and scientific rationale is sufficiently justified.

NIRGs do not normally last for less than three years as it is unlikely a shorter period of time will fully enable the transition to independence to be achieved.

The scheme does not cover research involving trials of clinical treatments. If your proposed research will lead directly to a separately funded clinical trial, you must contact an MRC programme manager to discuss your eligibility.

Further advice on how to prepare for and write a successful NIRG application provided by MRC Programme Managers and two successful NIRG applicants can be found in this recording of a NIRG webinar in January 2022:

Video credit: MRC. On-screen captions and an autogenerated transcript is available on YouTube.

Last updated: 25 July 2023

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