Pre-Announcement of MRC New Unit Funding Opportunity

MRC new unit funding to tackle complex and interdisciplinary health challenges.

The Medical Research Council (MRC) has issued a preannouncement of an opportunity for new unit funding to enable UK research organisations to tackle complex and interdisciplinary health challenges.

The award will seek challenge-led applications that focus on distinct, disruptive, or interdisciplinary activity with the potential to prove transformative to the field within 14 years. These major investments should be outward facing and harness the best talent in the UK to provide a stimulating environment in which to train the next generation of researchers and technologists.

The new award will be an annual opportunity with identified themes, with two awards issued each year. The first round themes are as follows:

  • Mental health.
  • Multimorbidity.
  • Advanced therapeutics.

The full scope of the themes for the first round will be announced when the opportunity opens. Applicants should ensure their challenge-led mission is positioned in the context of investments across UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).

Applications can be from a single research organisation or in partnership and may include industry collaboration. Applicants must:

  • Have an employment contract at an eligible research organisation, including MRC institutes and units (including those in Gambia and Uganda).
  • Have the support of their research organisation.

International co-investigators can be included if they provide expertise that is not available in the UK. Further details about eligibility are available in the MRC guidance for applicants.

The opportunity will provide budgets of up to £3 million per annum at 80% full Economic Cost (fEC) for up to 14 years. Funding will be allocated over two periods of seven years with a review in year six. The full economic cost of a unit can be around £25,000,000 for the first seven years.

Outline proposals should be submitted between 7 November 2022 (9:00) and 21 February 2023 (16:00).

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