MRC call for proposals in experimental medicine

The Medical Research Council (MRC) has launched a Call for Proposals in experimental medicine today as part of its £15 million commitment to promote the translation of laboratory research into clinical practice for the benefit of patients.

The Call for Proposals follows the initial funding announcement in May 2005, when the MRC invited clinical researchers to register Expressions of Interest to help identify the specific research areas that the new funding should support. In total 957 Expressions of Interest were registered, spanning a wide range of disease areas. These were invaluable in informing the focus of this call as well as future initiatives.

The call for full proposals specifically invites innovative, exciting and high-quality applications for the early testing of novel treatments or interventions in human participants. It is anticipated the £15 million will be used to fund approximately 20-30 proposals, with the study costs estimated to range between £300,000 and £800,000.

Colin Blakemore, Chief Executive of the MRC said: "The MRC Expressions of Interest exercise has shown that the research community is enormously interested in this area of medical research. Analysis of the responses has revealed some important streams of research - particularly in biomarkers and public health research - which we intend to address with additional funding at a later date. The Call for Proposals represents an exciting opportunity to boost patient-based research in the UK."

The investment is part of a co-ordinated national initiative involving partners of the UK Clinical Research Collaboration (UKCRC), including the MRC, The Wellcome Trust, Wolfson Foundation, British Heart Foundation and the Health Departments, who together have committed £82 million to build capacity in experimental medicine in the UK.

To apply, full applications should be submitted by 17 November 2005 and funding decisions will be made in March 2006. To submit a full research proposal and for further guidance, visit the MRC website on www.mrc.ac.uk/experimental_medicine_call. Any queries relating to the proposal call should be emailed to [email protected]

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