We fund partnerships working to transform our understanding of population and systems medicine. Partnership grants are expected to support these research areas, although research itself is not supported through this route.
The Population and Systems Medicine Board funds research to unlock the complexity of human health and disease across the life course. Our remit includes population health and the impact of environmental factors including the social environment on health outcomes.
The research we support includes the physiology and pathophysiology of all the major organs and systems, with the exception of the brain and the immune system which are normally supported through our other research boards.
Research we fund includes, but is not limited to, the following areas:
- renal medicine and liver function
- endocrinology and reproductive health
- maternal health and the early origins of health and disease
- nutrition, metabolic regulation, diabetes and obesity
- trauma, acute medicine and surgery
- inflammation in relation to disease processes and the resolution of the inflammatory response
- medical sociology
- lifestyle, socio-economic and behavioural impacts on health
- health inequalities
- population and disease related cohorts.
Find out more about the science areas we support and our current board opportunity areas (MRC website).
We fund partnerships working to transform our understanding of molecular and cellular medicine. Partnership grants are expected to support these research areas, although research itself is not supported through this route.
We encourage you to contact us first to discuss your application, especially if you believe your research may cross MRC research board or research council interests. If your application fits another research board remit better then we may decide to transfer it there to be assessed.
We will fund partnerships between diverse groups of researchers. These partnerships must:
- establish new, high-value collaborative activities or capabilities
- add value to high-quality scientific programmes that are already supported by grants from MRC and other funders.
We will not fund stand-alone, hypothesis-driven research projects which are eligible for MRC research or programme grant funding.
Collaborative activities can include:
- networking and partnership activities:
- establishing multidisciplinary collaborative partnerships or consortia
- fostering and enabling a national/international strategy in this area
- enabling knowledge sharing or creation across institutions.
- infrastructure support for establishing a unique shared resource or helping to exploit it. For example, staff, systems, equipment, seminars, workshops
- activities such as specialist data and software platforms or resources.
We may support small scale, pump-priming projects but your focus should not be on specific research questions. These should be interdisciplinary, high-risk and high-gain projects that would exemplify your partnership’s novel capability.
Successful partnership grants usually include a combination of these components. We will reject applications for funding only networking activities.
We expect partnership grants to reach maturity by the end of the initial award. You should find alternative ways of funding any follow-on activities.
Resource requests will vary between partnerships so we advise you to discuss this with the relevant programme manager (MRC website) before you apply.
You can request funding for costs such as:
- a contribution to the salary of the principal investigator and key co-investigators, see details below
- support for other posts such as research and technical
- travel costs
- data preservation, data sharing and dissemination costs
- estates or indirect costs.
We will not fund:
- standalone hypothesis-driven research projects
- funding to use as a ‘bridge’ between grants
- publication costs.
If you are asking for funding to cover investigator time, you must:
- detail each named investigator’s input
- justify why the partnership needs this time commitment.
Usually we will fund only the principal investigator and a small number of co-investigators. Other co-investigators may be involved without funding. We do not expect to fund project partners for participating in the partnership.
You should request minimum resources for research. For example, we will support postdoctoral research positions only in exceptional cases. We may support technical posts if you can justify them.
You may use a partnership grant to buy equipment. You can also use it to cover the cost of essential infrastructure or to provide a platform for partnership activities.
We will fund the cost of working at an overseas research organisation if international collaboration is important to the success of your partnership. You must discuss this with the programme manager before you apply.