We will consider proposals for programme grants from any researcher who can demonstrate they will direct the proposed research and be actively engaged in carrying it through. By the time the grant starts, the principal investigator (PI) must be based in the UK at the eligible research organisation at which the grant will be administered (the lead organisation). The PI must have a verified Joint Electronic Submission (Je-S) system account to apply.
The minimum formal qualification required is a graduate degree, though most applicants are also expected to have a PhD. For programme grants the PI should have a substantial record of successfully securing research funding and delivering high quality research.
Programme grants will usually (though not always) be based within an academic institution which has the variety of expertise and disciplines to undertake the programme.
MRC institutes are not eligible to apply. Core supported programme or group leaders from MRC units and the Francis Crick Institute may only apply in exceptional circumstances with prior agreement from MRC head office.
FAQ: Can a PI hold more than one programme grant at a time?
A: Only in exceptional circumstances. We would not normally expect anyone to be the PI on more than one MRC programme grant, this includes programme leaders at MRC units and institutes.
FAQ: Can my application include industry partners?
A: Yes, the MRC recognises the value that such partnerships can bring. For more information please refer to our guidance on MRC Industry Collaboration Agreement (MICA).
FAQ: As PI, I am planning to submit an application for a programme grant but I am due to retire during the tenure of the grant. What do I need to do?
A: Where a PI is due to retire before the grant has ended, then the grant must also include details of a costed replacement for the remaining period.