Harrington UK Rare Disease Scholar Award Opens for Applications

Funding for UK researchers to advance promising research into novel treatments for rare diseases.

Fund For Cures UK is the registered UK charity of Harrington Discovery Institute (HDI), an international initiative that helps translate scientific discoveries into medicines that benefit society. Fund for Cures UK is issuing a call for proposals in the UK to support promising research into novel treatments for rare and ultra-rare diseases.

The call adopts the European Medicines Agency’s (EMA) definition of rare diseases, which is any disease or disorder affecting fewer than 5 in 10,000 people. Applications for projects examining rare variants of more common diseases are particularly encouraged.

Scholarships are available to enable postdoctorates to conduct therapeutic development projects. Devices, diagnostics or biomarkers will only be funded if they are in support of a drug, which is the main focus of intervention in the project. Funding is usually available for projects between the stage of Target Validation and clinical trials.

As well as grant funding, the awards will provide a range of non-financial support, including personalised discovery and development support from Harrington Discovery Institute’s Therapeutics Development team of advisers, and dedicated project management support. HDI will also facilitate introductions between commercial partners and the PI when the project is ready for commercial partnerships.

A project must have a single Principal Investigator (PI), who is responsible for project oversight and financial management. The PI should hold a PhD or MD and hold a faculty position at an accredited academic medical centre, university or research institution in the UK and conduct the majority of their research at that institution. Senior post-docs will also be considered.

PIs and universities may submit multiple applications for the award.

The two-year Harrington Scholar programme includes £100,000 guaranteed, with the potential to qualify for additional acceleration funding up to £400,000.

Funds can be applied to direct costs only. This includes the salary of the PI (up to 10% of total award amount) and collaborators in a proportionate amount to the time spent on the project.

Letters of Intent (LOI) should be submitted by the 16 May 2022 deadline.

Selected applicants will be invited to submit full applications by 29 July 2022.

(This report was the subject of a ResearchConnect Newsflash.)