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Medical Research Council Awards

Newcastle University holds two Medical Research Council awards to support our research.

For more than a hundred years the Medical Research Council has funded research that benefits human health. They support the entire spectrum of medical sciences. This includes basic science research, and clinical and population level projects.

Newcastle University holds two institutional level MRC awards. They are the Impact Accelerator Award - Confidence in Concept Fund and the Proximity to Discovery Fund.

The former supports the accelerated translation of basic science into clinical research. The latter promotes collaboration and engagement between colleagues in academia and industry.

Impact Accelerator Award - Confidence in Concept

Confidence in Concept awards encourage discovery research to progress to translational development projects. They support preliminary work or feasibility studies to establish the viability of an approach. The scheme encourages relationship development between academic and industry partners.

Newcastle has held CiC funding since 2014. We target funds to our areas of internationally recognised research strengths. These include basic discovery science and experimental medicine.

Awards have supported clinical trials in rare diseases such as:

  • mitochondrial and neuromuscular
  • liver disease
  • cancer
  • respiratory disease

Delivered CiC projects include those in:

  • diagnostic technologies
  • drug discovery
  • early phase clinical trials

For further information, please contact

Proximity to Discovery

The Medical Research Council manages the Proximity to Discovery: Industry Engagement Fund. Its aim is to provide flexible funding enabling the development of academic-industry collaborations.

At Newcastle we use the fund to:

  • support the NU Innovates Seminar series
  • support applications made via a reactive funding scheme
  • case events in Oncology and Dermatology
  • help incoming and outgoing placements
  • develop technology jumping


This scheme is open to receive applications at any time. It helps to:

  • fund travel
  • accommodation costs
  • meeting expenses (where no external funding schemes exist for this purpose)

This allows researchers to work towards collaborating with industry and pharma contacts. Typical awards could reach up to £5,000.

We contact applicants as soon as we reach a decision, and within one month of submission. Each applicant receives feedback.

The following consider all applications:

  • Professor Mark Birch-Machin, Chief Investigator on the Medical Research Council Institutional award
  • Geraint Lewis, Head of FMS Enterprise
  • Diane Livingstone, Programme Manager
  • other members of the Faculty's Enterprise team

Get in touch

Informal enquiries to