Funding opportunity

Funding opportunity: Neuroimmunology Data Generation Award for Early Career Researchers: Oct 2020

  • Applicants must be early career researchers.
  • Applications must demonstrate this is a multidisciplinary team including at least one researcher with expertise in neuroscience/mental health and one researcher with expertise in immunology and justify the complementarity offered by the proposed collaboration.
  • These awards support projects up to a maximum duration of 24 months.
  • We encourage high-risk projects aimed at generating data to provide a strong evidence base and clear rationale for larger programmes of research.
  • 80% of the full economic cost of the project can be requested up to £200k.

Who can apply

  • There are no eligibility rules based on years of post-doctoral experience, however applicants must not have previously received substantial grant income as a Principle Investigator
  • Applicants should aim to start their project in Spring 2021
  • To build capacity in this area of research, applications will be restricted to early-stage career researchers only.
  • Applications can include an industry partner(s). Applicants with an industrial partner(s) will need to include MICA: as a prefix to their project title and, if invited to submit a full Je-S application after the expression of interest stage, complete the Project Partner section in Je-S and submit a MRC Industry Collaboration Agreement (MICA) Form and Heads of Terms.

What we're looking for

Examination of the cross-talk between the nervous and immune systems in pathophysiological conditions will result in valuable and unique insights into mechanisms of disease. In time this will allow for the development of targeted therapeutic interventions for neurological disorders and mental illness where the immune system plays a significant role.

This funding opportunity aims to provide funds to support pilot data generation, hypothesis-driven, mechanistic studies which examine the role played by inflammatory and immune processes in neurological conditions and mental illness.

Epidemiological and genome-wide association studies (GWAS) will be excluded from the funding opportunity. Additionally, studies focussing solely on multiple sclerosis are excluded due to significant existing MRC-funded activity in this area.

The awards are for up to £200,000 to support projects up to a maximum duration of 24 months. These may be used to generate data that would provide a strong evidence base and clear rationale for larger programmes of research at a later date. Support can include:

  • the salary of the principal investigator and co-investigators
  • support for additional posts: research, technical or other consumables
  • equipment
  • travel costs
  • data preservation, data sharing and dissemination costs.

The MRC will usually fund on the basis of 80 per cent of the full economic cost of your research to your institution. Your proposal must show 100 per cent of the full economic cost throughout.

Please note that the MRC does not provide funding for use as a ‘bridge’ between grants under any of its grant schemes.

Costs for PhD studentships cannot be requested.

How to apply

Council: MRC Infection and Immunity

Document type: At the expression of interest stage we request the following information, which should be provided on the application form:

  • Lead research organisation
  • Principle investigator
  • Co-investigator(s)
  • CV and one page list of key publications (principal investigator only)
  • Project summary (max one page)
  • Case for support (max two pages)

Applicants who are invited to make a full applications will do so via the Je-S system (once invited after an initial triage process):

  • Scheme: Infections and Immunity and Neuroscience and Mental Health
  • Call/type/mode: Grants, Researcher-led

How we will assess your application

Expressions of interest will be peer reviewed by a panel of independent scientific experts from the UK and overseas.

Reviews are based around three core criteria:

Importance: how important are the questions, or gaps in knowledge, that are being addressed?

Scientific potential: what are the prospects for good scientific progress? Could pilot data generated in this study lead to significant future work?

Resources requested: are the funds requested essential for the work, and do the importance and scientific potential justify funding on the scale requested?

This is the website for UKRI: our seven research councils, Research England and Innovate UK. Let us know if you have feedback or would like to help improve our online products and services.