Funding opportunity

Funding opportunity: Predoctoral clinical research training fellowship

Start application

Apply for funding to undertake a PhD.

Your research can focus on any area of Medical Research Council (MRC)’s remit to improve human health.

You must:

  • be a registered healthcare professional
  • be at an appropriate point in your training to undertake a PhD
  • show plans to pursue a research career

We will fund your salary and project costs for three years. We will fund 100% of the justified costs.

You may also choose to apply for joint funding from one of the collaborating organisations.

This is an ongoing funding opportunity. Application rounds close every January, April and September.

Who can apply

Before applying for funding, check the eligibility of your organisation.

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) has introduced new role types for funding opportunities being run on the new UKRI Funding Service.

For full details, visit Eligibility as an individual.

Who is eligible to apply

Eligible professions

You can apply if you’re a registered healthcare professional. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • nurses
  • midwives
  • allied health professionals
  • healthcare scientists
  • pharmacists
  • clinical psychologists
  • doctors
  • dentists
  • general practitioners
  • veterinarians

Types of applicants

We welcome both predoctoral and postdoctoral clinical research training fellowship (CRTF) applicants. This funding opportunity is specific to you if you want to undertake a PhD or similar. If you already have a PhD or similar and want to apply for funding to reacquire research skills see the postdoctoral CRTF funding opportunity.

This funding supports clinically active healthcare professionals to undertake a higher research degree, such as a PhD or MD.

To be eligible for this funding opportunity you must:

  • be able to demonstrate ownership of your project and show ambition to follow a clinical academic career
  • be at an appropriate point in your clinical training to study for a PhD, with clear plans for completing your speciality training
  • want to request a minimum of 24 months funding full-time equivalent to complete your PhD
  • have the support of an eligible research organisation
  • intend to be clinically active during or after the award

You do not need to have registered for a PhD at the time of your fellowship application.
If you have spent more than one year on a PhD course in a full-time capacity, you must explain in your application why you are a suitable candidate.

If you have spent significantly more time than one year on your PhD course, we will consider your application only in exceptional circumstances.

You do not need to have held a position that includes formal research time, for example, an academic foundation or an academic clinical fellowship.

Doctors and dentists

We expect you to be undertaking your specialty training and have completed your membership of the Royal College of Physicians’ exams or equivalent.

You should consult your deanery about studying for a PhD and your plans for completing specialty training before you apply for a clinical research training fellowship.

If you are earlier or later in your clinical training, you will need to make a clear case for why now is the right time for you to undertake a PhD. We recommend discussing this with us by contacting

General practitioners (GP)

If you are a GP, you are considered to be at an appropriate career stage to apply for up to three years post-qualification.

Veterinarians

If you are a veterinarian, you may apply if you are a registered vet and a member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. Your proposed project must be relevant to human health.

Clinical psychologists

If you are a clinical psychologist, you must have a professional doctorate-level qualification in clinical psychology that is accredited by the British Psychological Society before starting the fellowship.

Non-medical healthcare professionals

If you are a non-medical healthcare professional, such as a nurse, midwife or allied health professional, you must have:

  • completed your professional training
  • hold a research master’s degree or equivalent postgraduate research-oriented qualification

International applicants

Applications are welcomed from applicants of all nationalities, including those not currently based in the UK.

This is subject to the fellowship being hosted by an eligible research organisation.

You will need to be registered with a regulatory body, such as the General Medical Council or the Health and Care Professions Council or have plans in place to hold the required registration by the proposed award start date.

Who is not eligible to apply

You are not eligible to apply if:

  • you have applied for this MRC fellowship within the last year
  • you have applied for this MRC fellowship twice before
  • you have applied for another UKRI fellowship and your application is being assessed

If you want to reapply within a year, you should request permission from the relevant programme manager before resubmission by emailing fellows@mrc.ukri.org

Equality, diversity and inclusion

We are committed to achieving equality of opportunity for all funding applicants. We encourage applications from a diverse range of researchers.

We support people to work in a way that suits their personal circumstances. This includes:

  • career breaks
  • support for people with caring responsibilities
  • flexible working
  • alternative working patterns

Find out more about equality, diversity and inclusion at UKRI.

We are supportive of you wishing to combine your research training with caring responsibilities. All of our fellowship awards may be held on a part-time basis or within flexible working arrangements.

Read MRC flexible working practices.

Further fellowship guidance

Further information related to all aspects of the fellowship application process, can be found in the MRC guidance for fellowship applicants.

If you’re unsure whether you are eligible to apply, email fellows@mrc.ukri.org before beginning your application.

What we're looking for

Scope

We welcome applications from across all areas of our remit to improve human health. This may range from basic studies with relevance to mechanisms of disease, to translational and developmental clinical research.

We expect your clinical work will help to inform and strengthen your research work.

Our science areas include:

  • infections and immunity
  • molecular and cellular medicine
  • population and systems medicine
  • neurosciences and mental health
  • translation
  • global health
  • methodology
  • public health

You can explore MRC’s areas of scientific remit.

We also welcome applications for interdisciplinary approaches or research which will address global health issues and be of benefit to those living in low and middle-income countries.

Requirements

You must be able to:

  • explain why a fellowship is the best way to support your plan to pursue a research career
  • show how your skills and experience match those of the training career stage in our applicant skills and experience criteria

You also must be able to identify at least one supervisor, who:

  • is a member of the department where you are applying to host your fellowship
  • will have academic responsibility for you
  • has expertise in the research area and acts as guarantor for the quality of the proposed work, suitability of you as a fellowship candidate and the quality of training and development you will receive
  • other supervisors can be named if necessary to support all areas of the proposed work and may be from other organisations

What the fellowship gives you

This fellowship provides a competitive salary, giving you the chance to concentrate fully on your research, training and development. You may:

  • spend up to six hours a week (pro-rated for part-time fellowships) on other commitments such as teaching, demonstrating, other funded projects
  • undertake up to two clinical sessions a week

Read MRC’s guidance on research staff development.

We recognise the challenges faced by clinicians in combining research training with the demands of a clinical career.

We operate this fellowship as flexibly as possible. This gives you the chance to negotiate the extent of your clinical commitment depending on your specialty and your research needs.

If you are planning to undertake more than two clinical sessions a week during your fellowship or request more than three years’ funding, we advise you email fellows@mrc.ukri.org before applying.

Find out more about what to expect as an MRC fellow.

Duration

Clinical research training fellowships usually last three years but never less than two years.

For patient-oriented projects where additional time is needed to collect patient samples and complete follow up assessments, you may request up to four years funding.

These periods are based on full-time equivalents. You may hold an award on a part-time basis to meet personal commitments, but not because of other professional commitments.

We will consider requests from GPs, nurses, midwives, allied health professions and other non-medic healthcare professionals to undertake a part-time award to continue professional clinical responsibilities during the fellowship.

If you are medically qualified, you may not apply for a part-time award in order to continue higher specialist training during the fellowship.

We expect you to take up your fellowship no more than six months after the date of the interview.

Funding available

Your application must be for an amount that:

  • is appropriate to the project
  • you can justify in order to deliver the objectives of the proposed research

We will fund 100% of the justified costs and all costs should be entered as exceptions in the application resources and cost justification section.

This fellowship is not subject to full economic costing.

Find out more about full economic costing.

What we will fund

This fellowship provides:

  • a salary appropriate to your level of training, up to but not including NHS consultant level
  • tuition fees at standard home student rate (set by the research organisation) or supervisors’ time
  • up to £25,000 each year to cover consumables, equipment and travel

Supervisor costs can only be requested in exceptional circumstances and must be justified, the request should not exceed 5% of their time (or a total of 5% FTE across all supervisors if more than one is named). You may request costs to support supervisors’ time or PhD tuition fees, but not both.

Staff costs will only be funded in exceptional circumstances where the delivery of the project requires additional staff costs, these must be requested within the £25,000 each year limit.

You may be able to request extra funding for:

  • the cost of training at an overseas or second centre or industry placement
  • the purchase and maintenance cost of animals, excluding experimental costs, related consumables or project licences
  • the costs associated with healthy volunteer studies, where costs for patient studies would be met by local clinical research networks
  • the costs associated with an experimental intervention or challenge in humans and human medical imaging (such as magnetic resonance imaging), where costs cannot be met by local clinical research networks

Only these costs can be applied for above the £25,000 each year limit.

If you are requesting costs above the £25,000 each year limit you should be mindful of the scope and aims of the fellowship, with the proposed project demonstrating an appropriate level of ambition.

What we will not fund

We will not fund:

  • estates and indirect costs
  • publication costs
  • costs for mentors

Joint funders

We collaborate with royal colleges and charity funders to offer jointly funded clinical research training fellowships.

These awards offer the prestige of having the relevant organisation co-fund your fellowship and may offer additional opportunities to report on your project, present your work at meetings and take part in professional networking.

We are inviting applications for the following jointly funded clinical research training fellowship opportunities:

  • The Borne Foundation
  • British Association of Dermatologists and British Skin Foundation
  • British Journal of Anaesthesia
  • British Lung Foundation and Mick Knighton Mesothelioma Fund
  • Cystic Fibrosis Trust
  • DEBRA
  • Diabetes UK
  • The Encephalitis Society
  • Epilepsy Research UK (ERUK)
  • Fight for Sight
  • Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation
  • Kidney Research UK
  • Leukaemia UK
  • Medical Research Foundation
  • MND Association Lady Edith Wolfson Fellowship
  • Multiple Sclerosis Society
  • Pancreatic Cancer UK
  • Parkinson’s UK
  • Prostate Cancer UK
  • Royal College of Radiologists
  • Scleroderma & Raynaud’s UK
  • Stroke Association
  • Target Ovarian Cancer

We will offer all jointly funded fellowships under standard UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and MRC terms and conditions, except where the co-funder has specified additional terms and conditions.

See additional information for further details of the joint funders.

Team project partner

You may include team project partners that will support your fellowship through cash or in-kind contributions, such as:

  • staff time
  • access to equipment
  • sites or facilities
  • the provision of data
  • software or materials

Each project partner must provide a statement of support. If your application involves industry partners, they must provide additional information if the team project partner falls within the industry collaboration framework.

Find out more about subcontractors and dual roles.

Who cannot be included as a team project partner

The individual named as the contact for the project partner organisation cannot also be a named applicant, such as those with a role of fellow and any other named member of staff.

Supporting skills and talent

We encourage you to follow the principles of the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers and the Technician Commitment.

International collaboration

If your application includes international applicants, project partners or collaborators, visit UKRI’s trusted research and innovation for more information on effective international collaboration.

Find out about getting funding for international collaboration.

How to apply

We are running this funding opportunity on the new UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Funding Service. You cannot apply on the Joint Electronic Submissions (Je-S) system.

The fellow is responsible for completing the application process on the Funding Service, but we expect all team members and project partners to contribute to the application.

Only the lead research organisation can submit an application to UKRI.

If the lead research organisation is an NHS organisation check it is available in the Funding Service, you are encouraged to check this early as there may be addition steps for the organisation to be set up before you can apply.

To apply

Select ‘Start application’ near the beginning of this Funding finder page.

  1. Confirm you are the fellowship applicant.
  2. Sign in or create a Funding Service account. To create an account, select your organisation, verify your email address, and set a password. You will be prompted to select the organisation you are applying with to host the fellowship before you start your application. If you are not currently based at that organisation, ensure the research office are aware of your application. If your organisation is not listed, email support@funding-service.ukri.org
    Please allow at least 10 working days for your organisation to be added to the Funding Service.
  3. Answer questions directly in the text boxes. You can save your answers and come back to complete them or work offline and return to copy and paste your answers. If we need you to upload a document, follow the upload instructions in the Funding Service. All questions and assessment criteria are listed in the ‘How to apply’ section on this Funding finder page.
  4. Allow enough time to check your application in ‘read-only’ view before sending to your research office.
  5. Send the completed application to your research office for checking. They will return it to you if it needs editing.
  6. Your research office will submit the completed and checked application to UKRI.

Where indicated, you can also demonstrate elements of your responses in visual form if relevant. You should:

  • use images sparingly and only to convey important information that cannot easily be put into words
  • insert each new image onto a new line
  • provide a descriptive legend for each image immediately underneath it (this counts towards your word limit)
  • ensure files are smaller than 5MB and in JPEG, JPG, JPE, JFI, JIF, JFIF, PNG, GIF, BMP or WEBP format

Watch our research office webinars about the new Funding Service.

For more guidance on the Funding Service, see:

Deadline

We must receive your application by 3 April 2024 at 4:00pm UK time.

You will not be able to apply after this time.

Make sure you are aware of and follow any internal institutional deadlines.

Following the submission of your application to the funding opportunity, your application cannot be changed, and applications will not be returned for amendment. If your application does not follow the guidance, it may be rejected.

Personal data

Processing personal data

MRC, as part of UKRI, will need to collect some personal information to manage your Funding Service account and the registration of your funding applications. We will handle personal data in line with UK data protection legislation and manage it securely. For more information, including how to exercise your rights, read our privacy notice.

If you apply for a jointly funded fellowship we will need to share the application and any personal information that it contains with the joint funder so that they can participate in the assessment process. For more information on how the joint funders use personal information, visit their websites.

Publication of outcomes

We will publish the outcomes of this funding opportunity at board and panel outcomes.

If your application is successful, we will publish some personal information on the UKRI Gateway to Research.

Summary

Word limit: 550

In plain English, provide a summary we can use to identify the most suitable experts to assess your application.

We may make this summary publicly available on external-facing websites, so make it suitable for a variety of readers, for example:

  • opinion-formers
  • policymakers
  • the public
  • the wider research community

Guidance for writing a summary

Clearly describe your proposed work in terms of:

  • context
  • the challenge the project addresses
  • aims and objectives
  • potential applications and benefits

Core team

List the key members of your team and assign them roles from the following:

  • specialist
  • professional enabling staff (assign your supervisor this role)
  • research and innovation associate
  • technician
  • fellow

Only list one individual as fellow.

You must list at least one supervisor and assign them as professional enabling staff.

Other roles are only used if additional staff costs can be exceptionally justified to deliver the project.

Mentors should not be listed in the core team.

Find out more about UKRI’s core team roles in funding applications.

Application questions

Vision

Word limit: 500

What are you hoping to achieve with your proposed work?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Explain how your proposed work:

  • is of excellent quality and importance within or beyond the field(s) or area(s)
  • has the potential to advance current understanding, or generate new knowledge, thinking or discovery within or beyond the field or area of its focus
  • is timely, given current trends, context, and needs
  • impacts world-leading research, society, the economy or the environment

Within the Vision section we also expect you to:

  • identify the potential direct or indirect benefits and who the beneficiaries might be
  • identify potential improvements in human or population health, whether through contributing to relieving disease or disability burden, improving quality of life or providing benefit to the health service or health-related industry
  • outline your plans for engagement, communication and dissemination about your research and its outcomes with the research community and, where appropriate, with potentially interested wider audiences

You may demonstrate elements of your responses in visual form if relevant. Further details are provided in the Funding Service.

Approach

Word limit: 2,000

How are you going to deliver your proposed work?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Explain how you have designed your work so that it:

  • is effective and appropriate to achieve your objectives
  • is feasible, and comprehensively identifies any risks to delivery and how you will manage them
  • uses a clearly written and transparent methodology (if applicable)
  • summarises the previous work and describes how you will build on and progress this work (if applicable)
  • will maximise translation of outputs into outcomes and impacts

Within the Approach section we also expect you to:

  • demonstrate access to the appropriate services, facilities, infrastructure, or equipment to deliver the proposed work
  • provide a detailed and comprehensive project plan, including milestones and timelines in the form of a chart or diagram
  • explain who you intend to collaborate with at the host organisation and your plans for wider research collaborations (project partner details should be provided only in that section)
  • include details of work that will take place as part of the proposed fellowship at a second UK or overseas centre (if applicable)
  • explain and justify how you will approach diversity and inclusion in the study population and follow the MRC embedding diversity in research design policy (if applicable)
  • show how you will use both sexes in research involving animals and tissues and cells (if applicable). If you are not proposing to do this justify why

You are encouraged to use 500 words to provide information about reproducibility and how you will ensure reliability and robustness of your work, such as further details of statistical analyses, methodology and experimental design. If this information is not applicable, then you should not use this space to expand on other areas of your approach and your response to this section should be around 1,500 words.

The reproducibility information should be clearly identified using the heading ‘Reproducibility and statistical design’. We expect you to seek professional statistical or other relevant advice in preparing your response, which may include:

  • experimental approach to address objectives
  • sample and effect sizes
  • planned statistical analyses
  • models chosen (for example animal model, cell line)

Refer to the MRC guidance for applicants for further information on reproducibility and statistical design, examples and online tools.

If your proposed work involves animals, and you provide information on animal sample sizes and statistical analyses in the approach, you should not duplicate it in the ‘Research involving the use of animals’ section. Use the ‘Research involving the use of animals’ section to provide information on the rationale for using animals, choice of species, welfare and procedure severity.

You may demonstrate elements of your responses in visual form if relevant. Further details are provided in the Funding Service.

Career development

Word limit: 1,000

Why is this fellowship the right way to develop your career?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Ensure that you have identified:

  • career development goals appropriate to the fellowship funding opportunity
  • how the fellowship will provide a feasible and appropriate trajectory for your personal development and to achieve your stated career development goals (as appropriate to your career stage and field)
  • how you will instigate positive change in the wider research and innovation community, for example through Equality Diversity and Inclusion (EDI), advocacy or advisory roles, stakeholder engagement, participation in peer review, influencing policy, public engagement, or outreach

Within the Career Development section we also expect you to describe:

  • how the proposed work will provide a feasible and appropriate trajectory for you to acquire additional skills, like research, leadership, communication and management

Applicant capability to deliver

Word limit: 1,500

Why are you the right individual to successfully deliver the proposed work?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Evidence of how you have:

  • the relevant experience (appropriate to career stage) to make best use of the benefits presented by this funding opportunity to develop your career
  • the right balance of skills and aptitude to deliver the proposed work
  • contributed to developing a positive research environment and wider community
  • the appropriate team working or leadership skills (appropriate to career stage)

You may demonstrate elements of your responses in visual form if relevant. Further details are provided in the Funding Service.

The word count for this section is 1,500 words, 1,000 words to be used for R4RI modules and, if necessary, a further 500 words for Additions.

Use the Résumé for Research and Innovation (R4RI) format to showcase the range of relevant skills you have and how this will help to deliver the proposed work. You can include specific achievements and choose past contributions that best evidence your ability to deliver this work.

Complete this section using the following R4RI module headings. You should use each heading once, see the UKRI guidance on R4RI. You should consider how to balance your answer, and emphasise where appropriate the key skills you bring:

  • contributions to the generation of new ideas, tools, methodologies, or knowledge
  • the development of others and maintenance of effective working relationships
  • contributions to the wider research and innovation community
  • contributions to broader research or innovation, users and audiences, and towards wider societal benefit
Additions

Provide any further details relevant to your application. This section is optional and can be up to 500 words. You should not use it to describe additional skills, experiences, or outputs, but you can use it to describe any factors that provide context for the rest of your R4RI (for example, details of career breaks if you wish to disclose them).

You should complete this section as a narrative. Do not format it like a CV.

Degree registration

Word limit: 250

Have you registered for your PhD?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

If you are not currently registered for a higher degree then answer ‘No’.

If you are registered for a higher degree answer ‘Yes’ and state your registration date and the percentage of time you are registered (full time or part time).

Clinical activities and training

Word limit: 500

Do you intend to be clinically active during or after the fellowship and what level of clinical training do you have?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Explain your clinical activities and training and how these relate to the proposed fellowship, including:

  • your professional registration number (name of body and registration number for example, HCPC or GMC 1234567)
  • your clinical speciality or profession
  • your current training stage or nearest equivalent (foundation, speciality registrar with grade, consultant)
  • your completion of training date
  • Royal College examination, with name of exam and date or anticipated date
  • if you intend to be clinically active during or after the fellowship
  • if you will seek an honorary clinical contract
  • the percentage of your time you will spend on clinical duties, you may spend up to 20% of your time on clinical duties as part of a full-time fellowship (two clinical sessions a week)
  • the percentage of this time that will have direct relevance to your proposed work

Download the template (DOCX, 43KB), complete the table and paste it into the text box.

References

Word limit: 1,000

List the references you have used to support your application.

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Include all references in this section, not in the rest of the application questions.

You should not include any other information in this section.

We advise you not to include hyperlinks, as assessors are not obliged to access the information they lead to or consider it in their assessment of your application.

If linking to web resources, to maintain the information’s integrity, include persistent identifiers (such as digital object identifiers) where possible.

You must not include links to web resources to extend your application.

Host organisation support

Word limit: 3,000

How will the host organisation support your fellowship?

What the assessors are looking for in your response
  • provide evidence detailing how the host organisation will support you, as appropriate for your career development and the vision and approach of the fellowship
  • who you have engaged with in your host organisation (name and role)
  • how your research environment will contribute to the success of the work, in terms of suitability of the host organisation and strategic relevance to the project
  • how the host organisation will ensure your time commitment to the fellowship is protected
  • what development and training opportunities will be provided and how they form a cohesive career development package tailored to your aims and aspirations
  • what financial or practical support, such as access to the appropriate services, facilities, infrastructure, or equipment, is being provided and how this strengthens your application

Within the Host organisation support section we also expect you to describe:

  • evidence of support from the head of department of the proposed host research organisation, a statement confirming their assessment of your suitability for an MRC fellowship, the suitability of the organisation for your fellowship and their commitment to support you
  • details of the fellowship work to be conducted at another UK or overseas host organisation and how they will support you (if applicable)

If applicable, you must also provide information relating to:

  • second host organisation: if a second host organisation is involved in your fellowship application you must also include a statement from the industrial partner or second research organisation head of department, confirming their commitment to support you
  • previous head of department: if you have recently moved department or plan to undertake your fellowship at a different department to your current affiliation, a statement of support should be included from your previous or current head of department, with their assessment of your suitability for an MRC fellowship

A support statement should be up to 1,000 words, only use the full word count if you have statements from a second host organisation and previous head of department.

Supervisors

Word limit: 3,000

Provide details of your supervisors and their support.

What the assessors are looking for in your response

A statement must be provided by at least one supervisor who has academic responsibility for you. The first supervisor should be from the host department. Other supervisors can be named if necessary to support all areas of the proposed work and may be from other organisations.

A supervisor statement should be up to 1,000 words, only use the full word count if you have multiple supervisors.

A supervisor should have expertise in the research area of the application and will act as guarantor for the quality of the proposed research, suitability of you as a fellowship candidate and the quality of training and development you will receive.

You must list your supervisors and assign them as professional enabling staff within the ‘Core team’ section of your application.

An entry should be included for each supervisor, detailing:

  • the supervisor’s name and current position
  • in what capacity they know you
  • how long they have known you
  • their views on your research ability and suitability for this fellowship
  • measures of research activity where you will be based, such as the number of academic staff
  • the suitability and quality of the support, training and skills that you will receive, including how your research area fits with the priorities of the research environment
  • their suitability and experience to oversee your fellowship
  • evidence of their track record in supporting candidates to complete a PhD/MD

Download the template (DOCX, 47KB), complete the table for each supervisor and paste it into the text box after their statement.

Mentors

Word count: 500

How will you be mentored during the fellowship?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Explain your proposed mentoring arrangements.

If a mentor has been identified, they should be named in the response to this question and provide a statement of support detailing how they will support you.

Project partners

Add details about any project partners’ contributions. If there are no project partners, you can indicate this on the Funding Service.

A project partner is a collaborating third party organisation who will have an integral role in the proposed research. This may include direct (cash) or indirect (in-kind) contributions such as expertise, staff time or use of facilities.

Important note: If your application includes industry project partners, you will also need to complete the Industry Collaboration Framework (ICF) section. Find out more about ICF.

You must ensure that any third party individual or organisation you include within the Funding Service as a project partner, also provides you with a supporting email or letter of support (see next section ‘Project partners: letters or emails of support’).

The individual named as the project partner contact, cannot be included in your application as a member of the core team, in any core team role.

The project partner organisation cannot be an applicant organisation, where any member of the core team is based. For example, you cannot include a different department based within the applicant organisation as a project partner.

If an individual or organisation outside the core team is responsible for recruitment of people as research participants or providing human tissue for this project, list them as a project partner.

Add the following project partner details:

  • the organisation name (searchable via a drop-down list or enter the organisation’s details manually, as applicable)
  • the project partner contact name and email address
  • the type of contribution (direct or in-direct) and its monetary value

If there are specific circumstances where project partners do require funding for minor costs such as travel and subsistence, these project partner costs should be claimed and justified within the resources and cost justification section of your application.

Important information when completing the project partners section within the Funding Service

If a detail is entered incorrectly and you have saved the entry, remove the specific project partner record and re-add it with the correct information.

For audit purposes, UKRI requires formal collaboration agreements to be put in place if an award is made.

Project partners: letters or emails of support

Word limit: 10

Upload a single PDF containing the letters or emails of support from each partner you named in the ‘Project partners’ section. These should be uploaded in English or Welsh only.

If you do not have any project partners, you will be able to indicate this in the Funding Service.

What supporting statements we are looking for

Important note: We are only looking for you to provide project partner letters or emails of support from the following:

  • a third party individual
  • a third party organisation

Third party means the individual and organisation must not be involved in the application core team. You must ensure that any project partners providing a supporting document, are also added to the ‘project partners’ section within the Funding Service.

Ensure you have prior agreement from project partners so that, if you are offered funding, they will support your project as indicated in the ‘Project partners’ section.
For audit purposes, UKRI requires formal collaboration agreements to be put in place if an award is made.

What supporting statements we are not looking for

We are not looking for you to provide any letters or emails of support from individuals or organisations included in your application core team (this includes other departments within the same organisation). Any individual or organisation included in your application with a core team role cannot also be a project partner.

Do not include any other statements or any other type of information we have not requested, including letter or emails of support from colleagues simply expressing supportive opinions. We only expect letters or emails of support from your third party project partners to be uploaded to this section.

If you include any information not requested by MRC, your application will be rejected.

Supporting document guidance for third party project partners

Each project partner supporting letter or email you provide, should:

  • be no more than two A4 pages
  • confirm the partner’s commitment to the project
  • clearly explain the value, relevance, and possible benefits of the work to them
  • describe any additional value that they bring to the project
  • include the name of the project partner organisation and contact information (this should match the partner contact and organisation name details you must add to the ‘Project partners’ section)

Project partners letters and emails of support are not required to be on headed paper or include handwritten signatures (electronic signatures are acceptable from the nominated partner contact).

When you have uploaded your ‘Project partners’ PDF, enter the words ‘attachment supplied’ within the text box.

Project partner responsibility for the recruitment of people

If the project partner is responsible for the recruitment of people as research participants or providing human tissue their letter or email of support should include:

  • agreement that the project partner will recruit the participants or provide tissue
  • confirmation that what is being supplied is suitable for the proposed work
  • confirmation that the quantity of tissue being supplied is suitable, but not excessive for achieving meaningful results (if applicable)
Multiple project partners

If you have multiple project partners, you should:

  • ensure each separate letter or email of support, does not exceed two pages of A4
  • consolidate all the supporting documents provided by each project partner into a single PDF file before uploading
  • ensure the PDF does not exceed the maximum file size of 8MB

For the file name, use the unique Funding Service number the system gives you when you create an application, followed by the words ‘Project partner’.

Industry Collaboration Framework (ICF)

Word limit: 1,500

Does your application include industry project partners?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

If industry collaboration does not apply to any of your project partners, or you do not have any project partners, simply add ‘N/A’ into the text box.

If your research project involves collaboration between an academic organisation and an industry or company, you are likely to need to follow the ICF framework and answer this question, check using the ICF decision tree.

Important note: You must also add any industry or company collaborator to both ‘Project partners’ and ‘Project partners letters or emails of support’ sections of your application, when they are included under ICF.

By ‘industry or company’ we mean an enterprise that puts goods or services on a market and whose commercial activities are greater than 20% of their overall annual capacity.

The assessors are looking for information relating to the nature, goals and conditions of the collaboration and any restrictions or rights to the project results that could be claimed by the project partner.

Find out more about ICF, including:

  • collaboration agreements
  • definitions of basic or applied research
  • internationally based companies
  • subsidy control
  • intellectual property (IP) arrangements
  • fully flexible and gated contributions
  • the ICF assessment criteria

In addition to the project partner information completed in the previous section, confirm your answers to the ICF questions in the text box, repeat this process for each ICF project partner:

  1. Name the industry or company project partner considered under ICF.
  2. Indicate whether your application is either basic research or applied research.
  3. Explain why, in the absence of the requested UKRI funding, the collaboration and the planned research could not be undertaken.
  4. State whether your application is under the category of either fully flexible contribution or gated contribution (based on the IP sharing arrangements with the ICF partner).
  5. Outline the pre-existing IP (‘background IP’) that each project partner, including the academic partner, will bring to the collaborative research project and the terms under which project partners may access these assets.
  6. Outline the IP that is expected to be developed during the collaborative research project (‘foreground IP’) and briefly outline how it will be managed, including:
    • which project partners will own this IP
    • what rights project partners will have to use academically-generated foreground IP during and after the research project, for internal research and development or for commercial purposes
    • any rights of the academic partner to commercialise the foreground IP (including foreground IP generated by project partners)
  7. Outline any restrictions to dissemination of the project results, including the rights of the project partner to:
    • review, approve or delay publications, including the time period associated with such rights
    • request or require the removal of any information
  8. Declare any conflicts of interest held by the applicants in relation to the project partners and describe how they will be managed.
  9. If applicable, justify collaborating with an overseas industry or company under ICF.

Failure to provide the information requested for industry partners under ICF could result in your application being rejected.

You are recommended to discuss the goals and conditions of any collaboration with an industry or company project partner with your university technology transfer or contracts office before applying.

Facilities

Word limit: 250

Does your proposed research require the support and use of a facility?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

If you will need to use a facility, follow your proposed facility’s normal access request procedures. Ensure you have prior agreement so that if you are offered funding, they will support the use of their facility on your project.

For each requested facility you will need to provide the:

  • name of facility, copied and pasted from the facility information list (DOCX, 35KB)
  • proposed usage or costs, or costs per unit where indicated on the facility information list
  • confirmation you have their agreement where required

If you will not need to use a facility, you will be able to indicate this in the Funding Service.

Data management and sharing

Word limit: 1,500

How will you manage and share data collected or acquired through the proposed research?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Provide a data management plan which should clearly detail how you will comply with MRC’s published data management and sharing policies, which includes detailed guidance notes. Provide your response following the MRC data management plan template.

The length of your plan will vary depending on the type of study being undertaken:

  • population cohorts; longitudinal studies; genetic, omics and imaging data; biobanks, and other collections that are potentially a rich resource for the wider research community: maximum of 1500 words
  • for all other research, including less complex, the plan may be as short as 500 words

Ethics and responsible research and innovation (RRI)

Word limit: 500

What are the ethical or RRI implications and issues relating to the proposed work? If you do not think that the proposed work raises any ethical or RRI issues, explain why.

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Demonstrate that you have identified and evaluated:

  • the relevant ethical or responsible research and innovation considerations
  • how you will manage these considerations

Consider the MRC guidance on ethics and approvals.

You may demonstrate elements of your responses in visual form if relevant. Further details are provided in the Funding Service.

Genetic and biological risk

Word limit: 700

Does your proposed research involve any genetic or biological risk?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

In respect of animals, plants or microbes, are you proposing to:

  • use genetic modification as an experimental tool, like studying gene function in a genetically modified organism
  • release genetically modified organisms
  • ultimately develop commercial and industrial genetically modified outcomes

If yes, provide the name of any required approving body and state if approval is already in place. If it is not, provide an indicative timeframe for obtaining the required approval.

Identify the organism or organisms as a plant, animal or microbe and specify the species and which of the three categories the research relates to.

Identify the genetic and biological risks resulting from the proposed research, their implications, and any mitigation you plan on taking. Assessors will want to know you have considered the risks and their implications to justify that any identified risks do not outweigh any benefits of the proposed research.

If this does not apply to your proposed work, you will be able to indicate this in the Funding Service.

Research involving the use of animals

Word limit: 10

Does your proposed research involve the use of vertebrate animals or other organisms covered by the Animals Scientific Procedures Act?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

If you are proposing research that requires using animals, download and complete the Animals Scientific Procedures Act template (DOCX, 74KB), which contains all the questions relating to research using vertebrate animals or other Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 regulated organisms.

Save it as a PDF. The Funding Service will provide document upload details when you apply. If this does not apply to your proposed work, you will be able to indicate this in the Funding Service.

Conducting research with animals overseas

Word limit: 700

Will any of the proposed animal research be conducted overseas?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

If you are proposing to conduct overseas research, it must be conducted in accordance with welfare standards consistent with those in the UK, as in Responsibility in the use of animals in bioscience research, page 14. Ensure all named applicants in the UK and overseas are aware of this requirement.

If your application proposes animal research to be conducted overseas, you must provide a statement in the text box. Depending on the species involved, you may also need to upload a completed template for each species listed.

Statement

Provide a statement to confirm that:

  • all named applicants are aware of the requirements and have agreed to abide by them
  • this overseas research will be conducted in accordance with welfare standards consistent with the principles of UK legislation
  • the expectation set out in Responsibility in the use of animals in bioscience research will be applied and maintained
  • appropriate national and institutional approvals are in place
Template(s)

Overseas studies proposing to use non-human primates, cats, dogs, equines or pigs will be assessed during NC3Rs review of research applications. Provide the required information by completing the template from the question ‘Research involving the use of animals’.

For studies involving other species, select, download, and complete the relevant Word checklist or checklists from this list:

Save your completed template as a PDF and upload to the Funding Service. If you use more than one checklist template, save it as a single PDF.

Research involving human participation

Word limit: 700

Will the project involve the use of human subjects or their personal information?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

If you are proposing research that requires the involvement of human subjects, provide the name of any required approving body and whether approval is already in place.

Justify the number and the diversity of the participants involved, as well as any procedures.

Provide details of any areas of substantial or moderate severity of impact.

If this does not apply to your proposed work, you will be able to indicate this in the Funding Service.

Research involving human tissues or biological samples

Word limit: 700

Does your proposed research involve the use of human tissues, or biological samples?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

If you are proposing work that involves human tissues or biological samples, provide the name of any required approving body and whether approval is already in place.

Justify the use of human tissue or biological samples specifying the nature and quantity of the material to be used and its source.

If this does not apply to your proposed work, you will be able to indicate this in the Funding Service.

Resources and cost justification

Word limit: 1,000

What will you need to deliver your proposed work and how much will it cost?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Justify the application’s more costly resources, in particular:

  • significant travel for field work or collaboration (but not regular travel between collaborating organisations or to conferences)
  • any significant equipment
  • any consumables beyond typical requirements, or that are required in exceptional quantities
  • all facilities and infrastructure costs
  • all resources that have been costed as ‘Exceptions’
  • tuition fees at standard home student rate (set by the research organisation)
  • supervisor costs, justifying the exceptional circumstances why these are needed instead of tuition fees
  • staff costs, justifying the exceptional circumstances why these are needed to deliver the project
  • all allowed costs above the £25,000 each year limit

Assessors are not looking for detailed costs or a line-by-line breakdown of all project resources. Overall, they want you to demonstrate how the resources you anticipate needing for your proposed work:

  • are comprehensive, appropriate, and justified
  • represent the optimal use of resources to achieve the intended outcomes
  • maximise potential outcomes and impacts

This fellowship is not subject to full economic costing. We will fund 100% of the justified costs and all costs should be entered as exceptions.

Clinical research in the NHS, public health or social care

Word limit: 250

Will your research take place in an NHS, public health or social care setting?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

If not, enter ‘N/A’ into the text box.

Researchers applying for clinical research in the NHS, public health or social care need to complete a Schedule of Events Cost Attribution Tool (SoECAT) to be eligible for the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Clinical Research Network (CRN) portfolio. This is the route through which support and excess treatment costs are provided in England.

You must answer ‘Yes’ and complete and upload a SoECAT if you are applying for clinical research funding, and:

  • you will carry out your research in the UK
  • it is intended for the NIHR CRN portfolio. This may include studies in a social care or public health setting
  • the research requires approval by Health Research Authority (England) or its equivalents in Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales
  • your research will use NHS resources

You must complete a SoECAT even if you do not think your clinical research will involve excess treatment costs (ETCs).

See MRC guidance 3.5.1 on who needs to complete a SoECAT.

If you are applying for clinical research in the NHS, public health or social care and do not think you need to complete a SoECAT, answer ‘Yes’ and explain why a SoECAT is not necessary.

We want to know that you have taken the appropriate steps for the full costs of your research to be attributed, calculated and paid.

We want to see the expected total resources required for your project, such as Excess Treatment Costs (ETCs), to consider if these are appropriate.

How to complete a SoECAT

SoECAT guidance can be found on the NIHR website.

These are the steps you need to take:

  1. Contact an Attributing the costs of health and social care Research and Development (AcoRD) specialist as early as possible in the application process.
  2. Complete an online SoECAT. Excel versions of the form have been discontinued. If you do not have an account for NIHR’s Central Portfolio Management System (CPMS) you will need create and activate one. See the user guide for instructions.
  3. Request authorisation of your SoECAT.
  4. Once authorised convert the ‘study information’ and the ‘summary’ pages from the ‘Funder Export’, combine them as a single PDF and upload it to your application.

Applications that require a SoECAT but have not attached the SoECAT funder export study information and summary may be rejected.

Contact fellows@mrc.ukri.org if you have questions about the UKRI aspects of this process or have concerns that your SoECAT may not be authorised in time for the application deadline.

Related applications

Word limit: 500

Is this application related to another application to MRC or other funding organisation?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

If not enter ‘N/A’.

If yes, explain how this new application is related to the other application.
You are allowed to apply for fellowship funding from other funders or research organisations at the same time as this application. If the related application was submitted to another funder you should identify the name of the funder and when you applied.

If this is a resubmission include the reference number of your previous MRC application. Describe how this application differs from the previous application and how feedback on the previous application has been considered and acted on.

You may only apply twice for any MRC fellowship, regardless of the extent of changes to the application. Changing your organisation or project does not reset your number of previous applications.

Joint funders

Word limit: 20

Are you applying for a jointly funded fellowship?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

If not, enter ‘N/A’ into the text box.

If you are applying for a jointly funded fellowship, we want to know the name of the joint funder. If applicable, select your joint funder from the below list and copy it in the text box:

  • The Borne Foundation
  • British Association of Dermatologists and British Skin Foundation
  • British Journal of Anaesthesia
  • British Lung Foundation and Mick Knighton Mesothelioma Fund
  • Cystic Fibrosis Trust
  • DEBRA
  • Diabetes UK
  • The Encephalitis Society
  • Epilepsy Research UK (ERUK)
  • Fight for Sight
  • Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation
  • Kidney Research UK
  • Leukaemia UK
  • Medical Research Foundation
  • MND Association Lady Edith Wolfson Fellowship
  • Multiple Sclerosis Society
  • Pancreatic Cancer UK
  • Parkinson’s UK
  • Prostate Cancer UK
  • Royal College of Radiologists
  • Scleroderma & Raynaud’s UK
  • Stroke Association
  • Target Ovarian Cancer

By selecting a joint funder, you agree to us sharing this application and your personal information with the chosen joint funder or funders.

How we will assess your application

Assessment process

We will assess your application using the following process.

Peer review

We will invite experts to review your application independently, against the specified criteria for this funding opportunity.

You will not be able to nominate reviewers for applications on the new UKRI Funding Service. Research councils will continue to select expert reviewers.

We are monitoring the requirement for applicant-nominated reviewers as we review policies and processes as part of the continued development of the Funding Service.

Shortlisting

We will review the comments and scores for each application. Shortlisted applications will go to an interview panel who will make a funding recommendation.

If your application passes the shortlisting stage, we will invite you to interview and send you the review comments. You may respond to the review comments in your interview.

If your application is not shortlisted, we will send you the review comments as feedback. You will not be able to respond to the comments.

We aim to communicate decisions within ten days of the shortlisting panel meeting.

Interview

For shortlisted applications, an expert interview panel will conduct interviews with you after which the panel will make a funding recommendation.

Interviews with the clinical training and career development panel will usually last 30 minutes. We will contribute towards the cost of your return travel, modest subsistence costs and reasonable additional family care costs.

We expect interviews to be held on 13 and 14 November 2024.

MRC will make the final funding decision.

Timescale

We aim to complete the assessment process within six months of receiving your application.

Feedback

If your application was discussed by a panel, we will give feedback with the outcome of your application.

We will let you know as soon as possible after we have made a final decision about your application. This is usually within ten working days of your interview.

If you reach the interview stage, we will send you feedback and let you know the reasons for the panel’s decision.

If you are not invited to interview we will send you the review comments as feedback.

Find out more about the MRC fellowship assessment process.

Read an overview of the MRC peer review process.

Principles of assessment

We support the San Francisco declaration on research assessment and recognise the relationship between research assessment and research integrity.

Find out about the UKRI principles of assessment and decision making.

Sharing data with co-funders

If you apply for a jointly funded fellowship MRC, as part of UKRI, will need to share the application and any personal information that it contains with the joint funder so that they can participate in the assessment process. For more information on how the joint funders use personal information, visit their websites.

Assessment of jointly funded fellowships

Joint funding does not alter the assessment process.

If you apply for a jointly funded fellowship that is not available for any reason, we will automatically consider you for the standard MRC fellowship instead.

We reserve the right to modify the assessment process as needed.

Assessment areas

The assessment areas we will use are:

  • vision for the fellowship
  • approach to the fellowship
  • career development
  • your capability to deliver the fellowship, related to the skills and experience needed to win support at this career stage
  • support for the applicant
  • ethical and responsible research and innovation considerations
  • resources requested to do the fellowship

We will take into account any career breaks, flexible working and changes in discipline when assessing your career development and capability to deliver the project.

Predoctoral clinical research training fellowship (CRTF) applications are considered in open competition with postdoctoral applications.

Find details of assessment questions and criteria under the ‘Application questions’ heading in the ‘How to apply’ section.

Contact details

Get help with your application

If you have a question and the answers aren’t provided on this page

Important note: The Helpdesk is committed to helping users of the UKRI Funding Service as effectively and as quickly as possible. In order to manage cases at peak volume times, the Helpdesk will triage and prioritise those queries with an imminent opportunity deadline or a technical issue. Enquiries raised where information is available on the Funding Finder opportunity page and should be understood early in the application process (for example, regarding eligibility or content/remit of an opportunity) will not constitute a priority case and will be addressed as soon as possible.

Contact details

For help and advice on costings and writing your proposal please contact your research office in the first instance, allowing sufficient time for your organisation’s submission process.

For questions related to remit and scientific aspects of this specific funding opportunity please contact fellows@mrc.ukri.org

For general questions related to MRC funding including our funding opportunities and policy please contact rfpd@mrc.ukri.org

Any queries regarding the system or the submission of applications through the Funding Service should be directed to the helpdesk.

Email: support@funding-service.ukri.org
Phone: 01793 547490

Our phone lines are open:

  • Monday to Thursday 8:30am to 5:00pm
  • Friday 8:30am to 4:30pm

To help us process queries quicker, we request that users highlight the council and opportunity name in the subject title of their email query, include the application reference number, and refrain from contacting more than one mailbox at a time.

Find out more information on submitting an application.

Sensitive information

If you or a core team member need to tell us something you wish to remain confidential, email fellows@mrc.ukri.org

Include in the subject line: [the funding opportunity title; sensitive information; your Funding Service application number].

Typical examples of confidential information include:

  • individual is unavailable until a certain date (for example due to parental leave)
  • declaration of interest
  • additional information about eligibility to apply that would not be appropriately shared in the ‘Applicant and team capability’ section
  • conflict of interest for UKRI to consider in reviewer or panel participant selection
  • the application is an invited resubmission

For information about how UKRI handles personal data, read UKRI’s privacy notice.

Additional info

Background

Joint Funders

The Borne Foundation

The Borne Foundation supports research into pregnancy and the factors and conditions that may lead to preterm birth. We fund research programmes and projects that examine the biological processes of pregnancy and childbirth to understand changes in the maternal environment and their significance, and the mechanisms involved in normal and abnormal labour.

To encourage the development of the best scientific ideas and new projects from the field, we jointly fund project grants for scientists with Action Medical Research.

We offer joint funding opportunities with MRC administered through the Clinical Research Training Fellowship and Career Development Award schemes. These support bright clinicians looking to develop their academic careers in the area of obstetrics and postdoctoral academics with their transition to independence.

For further information regarding Borne and its work, please visit the Borne Foundation website.

British Association of Dermatologists and British Skin Foundation

Each year, one clinical research training fellowship will be awarded jointly by MRC and the British Association of Dermatologists and the British Skin Foundation.

The British Association of Dermatologists and the British Skin Foundation support and promote all aspects of dermatology research to improve the understanding, diagnosis and management of skin disease.

British Journal of Anaesthesia

Up to four fellowships will be awarded each year under this new scheme, jointly funded by MRC and British Journal of Anaesthesia. The fellowships are aimed at trainee anaesthetists who wish to pursue research into understanding and improving any aspects of anaesthesia, peri-operative care, critical care and pain.

The British Journal of Anaesthesia is the oldest and largest independent journal of anaesthesia and is the highest ranked journal in anaesthesia in Europe.

If you have any queries about the fellowship or your proposed research area, please email h.f.galley@abdn.ac.uk

British Lung Foundation and Mick Knighton Mesothelioma Fund

One clinical research training fellowship will be awarded jointly by MRC, British Lung Foundation (BLF) and Mick Knighton Mesothelioma Fund (MKMF).

The BLF is the only UK charity working for everyone affected by lung disease. The BLF focuses its resources on providing support for people affected by lung disease today. It works in a variety of ways, including funding world-class research, to bring about positive change to improve treatment, care and support for people affected by lung disease.

The MKMF aims to raise awareness of mesothelioma, fund crucial research projects, and improve diagnosis, treatment and care for mesothelioma sufferers. You must focus your work on mesothelioma.

The BLF’s research strategy, which details its research priorities, can be found on their Best Lungs website.

Cystic Fibrosis Trust

The purpose of this fellowship is to provide an opportunity for the scientific training of a young clinician who wishes to pursue research into the pathogenesis and treatment of Cystic Fibrosis (CF).

The Cystic Fibrosis Trust funds a broad and dynamic portfolio of world-class innovative research that ensures that every person with CF in the UK can live a long and full life. Through this co-funded clinical training fellowship, the trust particularly wishes to support translational research that is likely to have an impact on the clinical care of people with cystic fibrosis in the near future.

Please visit the Cystic Fibrosis Trust website for further information or email any specific questions to: researchgrants@cftrust.org.uk

DEBRA: The Butterfly Skin Charity

Each year, one clinical research training fellowship will be awarded jointly by MRC and DEBRA UK, the national charity and patient support organisation for people living with the genetic skin blistering condition, epidermolysis bullosa (EB).

The 2023 fellowship will be entitled the Oliver Thomas MRC EB Fellowship, in memory of Oliver Thomas, who sadly passed away from dystrophic EB in December 2021.

Through this fellowship, funding will be made available to support the continued growth of EB research, and to build a strong community of highly trained, innovative researchers with a clear career pathway into and through EB research.

DEBRA, the largest UK funder of EB research, will be there to provide support at every stage: to attract, retain and support existing researchers and to bring new researchers into the field. This will ensure we inspire the next generation of EB researchers to become leaders of a future where no one suffers with the pain of EB.

Our new strategy puts patient outputs front and centre, with a focus on translational research that will have a positive impact on those with EB today. Our ambition is to find and fund treatments that lessen the day-to-day impact of EB and improve overall quality of life.

If you wish to discuss the fellowship or your proposed research area, please contact Dr Sagair Hussain, Director of Research at DEBRA: sagair.hussain@debra.org.uk

Find out more about DEBRA and their research strategy.

Read ‘A Life Free of Pain – Oliver’s Story’.

Diabetes UK

Diabetes UK is leading the fight against the UK’s biggest and growing health crisis. Our vision is a world where diabetes can do no harm and we fight diabetes through support, information, campaigning and research. As part of our research ambitions, we’re committed to attracting new research talent and retaining expertise so that we are growing the next generation of the future leaders.

We are partnering with MRC on a suite of research training fellowships to help grow investment in diabetes research careers. These include:

  • clinical research training fellowship
  • clinical scientist fellowship
  • senior clinical fellowship
  • career development award
  • senior non-clinical fellowship

We will jointly fund up to one fellowship annually across these funding schemes. We will consider high quality applications into any aspect of diabetes and its related complications.

For further information regarding the charity’s work, including the research strategy, please visit the Diabetes UK website.

The Encephalitis Society

Encephalitis is an often devastating disease of brain inflammation which can be due to infectious, autoimmune, or yet undefined causes.

The Encephalitis Society is dedicated to driving forward support, awareness, and research across the translational spectrum, from basic science and disease modelling, through to epidemiological, clinical descriptive, and outcomes-based investigations.

The Encephalitis Society will support one clinical research training fellowship to undertake UK-based research that contributes to improving the detection, diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of patients. To be suitable to apply, you will be in clinical training in neurology, infectious diseases, neurorehabilitation, or allied specialities.

As a successful fellow, you will be expected to:

  • produce an annual written report to the Chief Executive and Scientific Advisory Panel of The Encephalitis Society
  • to present their work at the annual international encephalitis conference
  • to engage in the life and events of the charity
  • to support The Encephalitis Society’s broader mission to engage with both patients and the public in order to raise awareness and support for the condition
Epilepsy Research UK (ERUK)

ERUK is dedicated to funding UK-based research into the causes, treatment, prevention and psychosocial aspects of epilepsy. Here we invite clinicians to submit high-quality applications that have real potential to benefit people who are affected by the condition.

As part of this jointly-funded award, you are required to submit annual and end-of-grant reports to ERUK, and we encourage you to submit at least one abstract from your work to the ILAE UK chapter annual scientific meeting.

We also ask that you attend a supporter engagement reception soon after their grant is awarded. You will sometimes have the opportunity to represent ERUK at local fundraising events during the course of their grants, and you are very welcome to take part in or support our sporting events.

For information about ERUK’s other funding opportunities, please visit the ERUK website’s apply for funding page.

You can also view ERUK’s research portfolio.

Fight for Sight

A clinical research training fellowship will be awarded jointly by MRC and Fight for Sight, the UK’s leading charity dedicated to funding research into the prevention and treatment of blindness and eye disease.

Applications for this joint award are invited from clinicians wishing to pursue a clinical scientist career in any area of vision research relevant to the charity’s aims. Nursing and allied health professional graduates (including optometrists and orthoptists) are also eligible to apply.

Please visit the Fight for Sight website for further information or email any specific questions to grants@fightforsight.org.uk

See also Royal College of Ophthalmologists/Novartis and Royal College of Ophthalmologists John Lee Fellowship.

Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF)

JDRF is the type one diabetes charity, improving lives until we find the cure. We’re completely focused on type one diabetes, and are run by people with type one diabetes, for people with type one diabetes.

We fund research to cure, treat and prevent type one diabetes. Internationally, we are the world’s leading charitable funder of type one diabetes research. We work with academia, industry and governments to make sure that the research we fund has the greatest possible impact on the lives of people with type one diabetes, now and in the future.

We welcome applications from clinicians whose research will address one of our priority areas. As part of a jointly funded award, you would be required to submit annual and end-of-grant reports to the charity. We would invite you to present your research at JDRF scientific meetings and at events for people affected by type one diabetes.

If you are interested, we can also offer you opportunities to enhance your communication skills by working with our dedicated research communication team.

For current opportunities and further information on our other funding schemes, please refer to the JDRF website.

Kidney Research UK

Kidney Research UK is the leading medical research charity that funds research dedicated to deliver change for people affected by kidney disease.

Clinical research training fellowships under this joint funding initiative awards will be for those who wish to pursue research that will help us drive forward our research strategy.

Applications that include an element of industry collaboration are welcomed, and Kidney Research UK may be able to assist potential applicants in establishing industrial contacts.

Kidney Research UK supports a wide range of research projects and career awards through open funding opportunities to UK academic clinicians and scientists.

We offer joint funding opportunities with MRC administered through the clinical research training fellowship, clinician scientist fellowship, and career development award schemes.

Additional benefits provided to successful applicants will include attendance at Kidney Research UK’s annual Driving Discoveries event.

For further information on our work, please visit the Kidney Research UK website or email grants@kidneyresearchuk.org

Leukaemia UK

MRC and Leukaemia UK will jointly award up to two clinical training fellowships each year.

Leukaemia UK is a leading UK charity dedicated to promoting life-saving research into leukaemia and related disorders. Our founder the late John Goldman was a renowned haematologist and a pioneer into the treatment of leukaemia for over 30 years and was associated with many major developments in the field.

Leukaemia UK continues to have a clear mission to accelerate progress to beat blood cancer through substantial, targeted investment in research. We work with doctors, scientists and clinicians whom we support in order to build the capacity vital to the advancement of new treatments and cures.

To help build critical mass in this field, applications are welcome for high quality research into haemato-oncology and related areas.

For more details about the charity and our priorities visit the Leukaemia UK website.

Medical Research Foundation

One clinical research training fellowship will be jointly awarded in the area of skin disorders relevant to adolescents.

Two clinical research training fellowships will be jointly awarded in the area of cancer pain.

The Medical Research Foundation is the charity of MRC, and aims to support research on the conditions and diseases that devastate lives where there is unmet need for new research, but a low research investment. We provide opportunities for emerging research leaders who will address the biomedical research questions of the future by supporting their cutting-edge research today.

As a Medical Research Foundation fellow, you will also have access to our package of support for fellows, including an annual meeting, mentoring support, and access to additional funding schemes focused on research dissemination.

To find out more about us or this opportunity, please visit the Medical Research Foundation website.

Motor Neurone Disease Association (MNDA)

MNDA’s Lady Edith Wolfson fellowships aim to support clinicians wishing to pursue research into the pathogenesis and treatment of motor neurone disease.

Awards under this scheme are available for clinical research training fellowships, senior clinical fellowships and clinician scientists fellowships.

If you have any questions about the fellowship or your proposed research area, please contact our director of research development Dr Brian Dickie at brian.dickie@mndassociation.org You can also visit the MNDA website for further information.

Multiple Sclerosis Society

One fellowship is awarded each year under this scheme, aimed at researchers who are involved in treating patients and who wish to pursue research into understanding and treatment of multiple sclerosis.

For more information about the charity visit the Multiple Sclerosis Society website.

Pancreatic Cancer UK

Pancreatic Cancer UK is the only national charity fighting pancreatic cancer on all fronts: support, information, campaigning and research. We’re committed to attracting new research talent and retaining expertise within the field, in order to build a critical mass of research expertise in the UK and support the research leaders of the future.

We welcome applications for clinical research training fellowships to be jointly funded between Pancreatic Cancer UK and MRC. We will consider high quality applications into any aspect of pancreatic cancer.

For more information, first visit Pancreatic Cancer UK. If you then have any questions email research@pancreaticcancer.org.uk

Parkinson’s UK

Parkinson’s UK is working hard to support and nurture a flourishing Parkinson’s research community in the UK. Up to two clinical research training fellowships will be awarded under this scheme, jointly funded by Parkinson’s UK and MRC.

We are focused on finding new and better treatments for Parkinson’s, and one day a cure. We’re also keen to fund research that improves quality of life in the shorter term.

As part of a jointly funded award, fellows would be required to submit annual and final reports to the charity and to submit grant evaluation data to Researchfish annually. Grant holders are also asked to host up to two engagement activities with people affected by Parkinson’s.

Please read our policies affecting grants before making an application.

Find out more about Parkinson’s UK research.

Prostate Cancer UK

Prostate Cancer UK aims to stop prostate cancer from being a killer. They invest in the most innovative research to transform our understanding of prostate cancer and develop better treatments and more effective approaches to diagnose this disease.

Their research strategy sets out three priority areas for funding. These are:

  • better diagnosis
  • better treatment
  • smarter use of data

Men deserve a future where they do not have to fear being harmed by treatments, not being diagnosed in time, or having their cancer return. They deserve a future where their lives are not limited by prostate cancer.

We invite clinical research training fellowship proposals that target at least one of these priorities. These jointly funded projects by Prostate Cancer UK and MRC intend to support high calibre clinical scientists in their early career development.

For further information regarding the charity’s work, including the research strategy, visit the Prostate Cancer UK website.

If you have any questions email research@prostatecanceruk.org

Royal College of Radiologists

One joint clinical research training fellowship (CRTF) is offered in each calendar year. This is open to clinical radiologists who are members or fellows of the Royal College of Radiologists, and who also meet the eligibility criteria for CRTFs set out by MRC.

More information is available on the Royal College of Radiologists website.

Scleroderma & Raynaud’s UK (SRUK)

SRUK is the only national charity dedicated to improving the lives of people affected by these conditions. We do this by investing in research, increasing awareness and providing information and support to all those affected.

We are committed to attracting new talent to support a flourishing Scleroderma research community in the UK and support the research leaders of the future.

We welcome applications for a clinical research training fellowship to be jointly funded between SRUK and MRC. We will consider high quality applications that will help deliver progress in one of the four key areas identified in our research strategy. These are early diagnosis, precision medicine, quality of life and understanding the cause.

For further information, visit the SRUK website. If you have questions email grants@sruk.co.uk

Stroke Association

Up to two clinical research training fellowships will be awarded jointly between MRC and the Stroke Association, the only national charity solely concerned with helping everyone affected by stroke. Our vision is to have a world where there are fewer strokes, and all those touched by stroke get the help they need.

The Stroke Association’s research strategy aims to increase the UK funding base and capacity for clinical stroke research across the full stroke care pathway. Applications from individuals wishing to pursue a career in clinical stroke research are welcomed.

For further information, please visit the Stroke Association website or email research@stroke.org.uk

Target Ovarian Cancer

One clinical research training fellowship will be awarded jointly by MRC and Target Ovarian Cancer.

Target Ovarian Cancer is the national charity dedicated to achieving a long and good life for every woman with ovarian cancer. Established in 2008, we have a clear mission to accelerate progress to beat this disease through substantial, targeted investment in research, education and advocacy throughout the UK.

In order to build critical mass in this field, applications will be welcome for high quality research aimed at improving the treatment of ovarian cancer.

For more details of our research priorities visit the research page on the Target Ovarian Cancer website.

Global Talent visa

MRC clinical research training fellows are eligible for a Global Talent visa under the ‘exceptional promise’ category for future research leaders.

Webinar for potential applicants and research offices

MRC hosted a webinar for applicants and research offices applying to MRC responsive mode board and fellowship opportunities. This webinar consists of a presentation with information and tips on using the new Funding Service followed by a question and answer session with MRC staff.

Watch the webinar

See the question and answer session (PDF, 120KB).

Research disruption due to COVID-19

We recognise that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused major interruptions and disruptions across our communities. We are committed to ensuring that individual applicants and their wider team, including partners and networks, are not penalised for any disruption to their career, such as:

  • breaks and delays
  • disruptive working patterns and conditions
  • the loss of ongoing work
  • role changes that may have been caused by the pandemic

Reviewers and panel members will be advised to consider the unequal impacts that COVID-19 related disruption might have had on the capability to deliver and career development of those individuals included in the application. They will be asked to consider the capability of the applicant and their wider team to deliver the research they are proposing.

Where disruptions have occurred, you can highlight this within your application if you wish, but there is no requirement to detail the specific circumstances that caused the disruption.

Supporting documents

Guidance for reviewers on career breaks and flexible working

Guidance on NHS costs

Fellowships clinical activities training template (DOCX, 43KB)

Fellowships supervisors template (DOCX, 47KB)

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