A key response to the UK SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has been the formation of new collaborations and ways of working.
This highlight notice offers the opportunity to apply for funding to build on and develop these newly established infrastructure, partnerships and resources, sustaining high-value collaborative activities and research capabilities arising from the pandemic response.
Full application stage
The full application stage will require your partnership application to demonstrate:
- significant novelty in infrastructure, partnerships and resources through previous COVID-19 funding that can be developed with a new award
- how further funding would enable collaborative activities or capabilities to add value to high-quality medical research programmes across the remit of MRC’s research boards.
You should include the following information in your application:
- how the new funding would leverage previously-funded COVID-19 infrastructure or relationships to build an enabling collaborative platform for future grant submissions around a compelling research question (a clear link to a scientific agenda will be critical)
- how existing COVID-19 funding has successfully delivered against objectives
- that existing funding has or would soon expire, limiting the long-term impact of the investment (existing funding could have been provided by MRC or other funders, providing the repositioned partnership is aligned with the MRCs four research boards)
- how the proposal sits within the current landscape.
Proposals should not duplicate ongoing work and the scheme is not designed to fund standalone, hypothesis-driven research projects, which may otherwise be eligible for MRC research or programme grant type funding.
Partnership grants are expected to reach maturity by the end of the initial award, with any follow-on activities supported through alternative mechanisms.
This is a cross-board opportunity and proposals must be within scientific remit of MRC’s four research boards.
Proposals do not need to fit into a singular board remit. Applications spanning board remits are welcomed. You should not seek to artificially tailor applications to a particular board. Please see the below areas of investment and support pages, to view the scope and activities within each research board:
Proposals seeking funding for longitudinal population studies (LPS) core infrastructure support, for both new LPS and renewals of existing studies, will typically be out of remit for this highlight notice. MRC partnership grant proposals require applicants to articulate a pathway to sustainability without further core funding within the grant period. Instead, LPS proposals should apply through our standard route, initially by submission of an outline application for joint review by the LPS-Strategic Advisory Panel (LPS-SAP) and the host research board.
You must speak to the relevant programme manager at least six weeks before the outline submission deadline to confirm the eligibility of your application.
If you wish to apply for associated research that will use existing LPS, or if the study draws its participants from a group with a specific disease or condition (for example, it is a clinical cohort), an outline application is not required. You should submit your research proposal directly to the relevant research board or funding opportunity.
Further information can be found on the LPS-SAP pages.