The Medical Research Council's (MRC) Confidence in Concept scheme forms part of its Translational Research Strategy. The scheme's aim is to accelerate the transition from discovery science to the early stages of therapeutic/biomarker development through providing locally-administered, responsive and flexible funding to support preliminary translational work.
Awards can be used flexibly by institutions to support a number of preliminary-stage translational projects. Projects supported should aim to provide sufficient preliminary data to establish the viability of an approach before seeking more substantive funding. Applicants are encouraged to explore how awards could be used to develop academic-industry interactions.
For the 2019 round, MRC is piloting an additional feature of the grants in recognition of the fact that there is a need to support the initial phases of academic-industry engagement. Applicants may therefore flexibly use up to 15% of the award to support early academic-industry engagement activities and people exchanges not specifically aligned with a translational project aim.
The normal MRC “response mode” eligibility rules apply. It is expected that applications will be led by one or more senior members of the institution (eg Dean of Medical School or equivalent).
Only one application per institution is permitted. However, where there is scientific justification, an institution can apply as part of a focused collaborative application in addition to their individual institutional application. Consortia can be broad in scope or focused on a particular therapeutic area or intervention modality.
Institutions can apply for awards of up to £1 million. It is anticipated that individual projects funded from an institution’s award will be of the order of £50,000 to £100,000 and take around 6 to 12 months, although this will be dictated by the needs of each project. Institutional awards are of 24 months duration.
Applicants should submit an application form by the 5 February 2020 deadline.
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