Funding opportunity

Funding opportunity: Researching motor neurone disease: highlight notice

Apply for funding to research motor neurone disease (MND).

You can get funding through any:

  • grants from MRC research boards or panels
  • MRC fellowships

You should apply through the existing funding opportunity that is most relevant to your science area and career stage.

We will usually fund up to 80% of your project’s full economic cost.

Who can apply

You must meet the criteria for the specific funding opportunity you are applying to.

To get advice on suitable funding opportunities, contact

What we're looking for

MRC in partnership with NIHR are seeking to encourage high-quality funding applications in MND to any of our research board or panel grant or fellowship opportunities.

About MND

MND is a devastating neurodegenerative disease, characterised by loss of motor neurone function. In patients suffering with MND, signals from the motor neurones gradually stop reaching the muscles causing them to weaken, stiffen and waste.

MND affects adults of any age but is more likely to affect people over the age of 50.

Currently, there are approximately 5,000 people living with MND in the UK, and the lifetime risk of developing MND is 1 in 300.

The average life expectancy of someone with MND from diagnosis is just 18 months and there is currently no cure. Treatments for MND therefore focus on helping reduce the impact MND has on a person’s daily life.

Research on MND is at an exciting juncture. Significant advances in understanding disease pathogenesis and identifying therapeutic targets are attracting unprecedented interest from industry and a genuine optimism that this disease is tractable.


Through this highlight notice, applicants are invited to submit innovative research proposals to MRC that aim to:

  • improve the mechanistic understanding of MND, including identification and validation of new biomarkers
  • investigate potential new therapeutic avenues

Find out about NIHR’s specific remit requirements.

Through this highlight notice, MRC and NIHR are encouraging applicants to work in partnership across the MND research community and with researchers in other relevant and aligned areas. Applicants will thereby continue to build upon the neurodegenerative research ecosystem.

How to apply

If you are considering submitting an application, please first contact who will advise you on suitable funding opportunities.

Please then follow the application process of the most appropriate opportunity based on the scientific or clinical area of your research and your career stage.

Specifics for applying to this highlight notice

All applicants are requested to reference this highlight notice in their ‘objectives’ and the ‘case for support’.

How we will assess your application

All applications received under this highlight notice will be assessed by the relevant MRC research board or panel through MRC’s standard assessment procedure.

Contact details

Ask about this highlight notice

Natasha Jardine, Programme Manager for Neurodegeneration


This is the website for UKRI: our seven research councils, Research England and Innovate UK. Let us know if you have feedback.