Medical Research Council Launches Transition Support Pilot Scheme

The Medical Research Council (MRC) has launched a pilot scheme to help facilitate the transition of existing intermediate MRC fellows to research leadership positions. The scheme is designed to provide fellows with the flexibility needed to enable them to: transition into secure posts beyond their fellowship; go on to establish substantive research programmes; and help maximise the potential of their work and the MRC’s investment.

The pilot will provide short-term support, in conjunction with commitment from the host research organisation, to candidates who have made good progress with their fellowship project but have not yet achieved outputs suitable to secure follow-on funding via other routes. The scheme will target fellows who are nearing the end of their award and are at risk of being unable to realise the full potential of their fellowship. While therefore not a fellowship in its own right, the scheme will provide financial and job security so that fellows can deliver outputs for securing their next substantive research grant.

Fellows may choose to remain at their current research organisation or move institution for the period of Transition Support. The research organisation at which the fellow will be based must provide a letter of support which commits to protected research time, an upfront salary commitment and commitment to appointing to an open-ended post if awarded.

The Transition Support pilot scheme is currently only open to existing MRC Career Development Award or Clinician Scientist Fellowship holders. Whether wider groups could benefit from similar support will be assessed as part of the evaluation of the pilot. There are no strict criteria on when fellows may apply, but it is anticipated that typical applicants will be in the final 12-18 months of their fellowship.

Fellows who already have an open-ended post are explicitly eligible to apply and costs toward salary contribution to cover backfill will be considered where they are justified in order to protect research time for the fellow. To ensure research continuity, support for other staff salaries will also be considered. 

A total of £4 million is available for this scheme. All fellows considering applying to this scheme should contact the MRC to confirm their suitability prior to submitting an application.

Applications for Transition Support should be made by the 26 September 2019 (17:00) deadline.

More information about this research funding opportunity and the application process is available on the RESEARCHconnect funding information platform. RESEARCHconnect provides up-to-the minute content, insight and analysis on research funding news and policy. To find out more about how RESEARCHconnect can keep you in the know, and subscription fees, contact us today.