You can apply for academically-led experimental medicine projects that are conducted in humans. Your project should be based round a clearly articulated gap in understanding of human pathophysiology and have a clear path to clinical impact.
Successful projects will produce new mechanistic insights, including those that may:
- identify opportunities to modify disease pathways
- enable the future development of novel therapeutic or diagnostic approaches.
The panel welcomes all disease areas and interventions.
Before submitting an application, we encourage you to contact the experimental medicine team to arrange a discussion with the programme manager around remit suitability.
There is no limit to the amount of funding you can apply for or the length of your project. You should instead justify the timescale and resources needed in the context of the proposed work.
What your application must include
Your application must involve an experimental intervention or challenge in humans, which has been designed to validate a mechanistic hypothesis. The challenge may be, but is not limited to:
Activities we support
The following types of proposals are eligible for support:
- the use of novel readouts or technologies related to early evaluation of clinical efficacy or pathogenic mechanism
- the use of drugs, other interventions or measures with established safety profiles in new settings or conditions (for example, repurposing drugs as tool compounds to probe disease mechanism)
- characterisation or phenotyping of subjects using samples from clinical studies may be included where there is a clear link to a current treatment strategy but should not be the sole focus of the proposal:
- limited, hypothesis-driven, retrospective sample analysis may be included at the start of the project to improve the design of the interventional, experimental medicine study
- milestone criteria should clearly detail what data is required from the confirmatory analysis for the project to progress.
Prospective, nested studies within a larger cohort trial may be eligible provided they:
- can demonstrate added value
- are exploring disease mechanisms
- test a novel hypothesis
- address a different question to the main study.
Competitive proposals will aim to address a clear mechanistic question and provide strong rationale to justify the suitability of the experimental system proposed to test the presented hypothesis. Proposals which are predominantly descriptive will not be shortlisted.
Activities we do not support
The following activities are ineligible for support:
If you’re thinking of resubmitting a previously declined application, please first contact the programme manager and check the guidance on the MRC resubmission process.
Applications including partnerships with charities or industry are encouraged where these add value to the project, for example in terms of access to expertise, technologies, reagents or funding. Please note that industrial collaboration is not a prerequisite for application.
Applications involving collaboration with industry should adhere to the MRC industry collaboration framework guidance. The lead applicant must be the academic partner, and the project must be academically led. Please note that we do not fund the work of your industrial partners.