Translational funding available

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Dear colleagues,

Over £500k of translational funding is now available through the Wellcome Early Concept Development (ECD) scheme (part of the University of Glasgow’s Wellcome Institutional Translational Partnership Award) and MRC’s Confidence in Concept award.

The purpose of the funding is to accelerate the transition from discovery research to translational development projects, by supporting preliminary work or feasibility studies to establish the viability of an approach.

The new Wellcome ECD scheme is intended to support smaller-scale developmental projects that are at an earlier stage than MRC CiC, however the application process is the same for both funding streams. The Translational Research Initiative (TRI) review panel will help align your application with the most appropriate fund.

Wellcome Early Concept Development (ECD)

The aim of the ECD scheme is to support translational projects, including novel diagnostics, devices, therapeutics and repurposed therapeutics, at an early stage of development to generate sufficient evidence for a subsequent MRC CiC application, or similar. In particular, we would like to support projects with collaborative links to industry or which bridge research disciplines.

Principle Investigators and postdoctoral researchers, including those funded by Wellcome, are invited to apply. High quality translational projects with no current Wellcome funding, but with a clear link to the Wellcome science remit, will also be considered by the TRI review panel. Please note that ECD funding is not intended to support:

  1. Fundamental/basic research activities
  2. Administration cost
  3. Industrial partner costs
  4. Bridging funds for staff between posts/funding
  5. Projects that have no clear translational agenda or applied outcomes
  6. The continuation of normal research grants
  7. IP costs

Project awards are expected to be in the region of up to £20k with objectives completed within 3-6 months of the award date.

MRC Confidence in Concept (CiC)

The aim of the CiC scheme is to ensure that fundamental science is translated into new therapies, diagnostics and medical devices. CiC aims to accelerate the transition from discovery science to the early stages of therapeutic/biomarker development by providing locally administered, responsive and flexible funding to support preliminary translational work.

The projects supported should aim to provide sufficient preliminary work or feasibility studies to establish the viability of an approach before seeking more substantive funding, for example from the Developmental Pathway Funding Scheme (DPFS).

Please note that CiC funding is not intended to support:

  1. Entire translational projects
  2. Fundamental/basic research activities; rather it is intended to support the further development of more advanced proof of concept data around a technology
  3. Administration costs
  4. Industrial partner costs
  5. Bridging funds for staff between posts/funding
  6. IP costs

Please also note that the CiC scheme is intended to support the progression of a technology along the translational pathway. Applicants will be asked to demonstrate how the CiC award would facilitate this and clearly identify the next steps in the translational pathway after completion of the CiC-funded work.

Project awards are expected to be in the region of £50k-£80k with objectives completed within 6-12 months of the award date.

Timing and Application Process

This is an open call, which will commence on 29th May 2020. It is anticipated that the initial tranche of applications will be reviewed in July 2020. Applications should be made via the Development Grant Application Form which can be emailed to Please note that the start date of funded projects will be contingent upon lifting of current pandemic restrictions.

Applicants may be invited to an interview and also asked to submit an invention disclosure form, which will be evaluated by the University's Technology Transfer Office. The TRI team can offer advice to support the drafting of the disclosure, if necessary.

Successful Applicants

Applicants will be notified of the preliminary decision via email in the first instance. Official confirmation and the start date of the project will be communicated via an Award Letter. Successful applicants will be asked to report project outcomes, via the TRI, to the MRC/Wellcome Trust and via ResearchFish. Any employees funded under the ECD/CiC schemes will be jointly managed by both the awardee and Professor Carl Goodyear from the TRI Management Team.

Other Information

For further information, see the Translational Research Initiative pages or contact Chris Mort or Louise Mason.

First published: 3 June 2020