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Confidence in Concept Fund

Confidence in Concept Fund

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.

This fund will support investigators undertaking development of an idea that is close to translation. It establishes the scientific and/or commercial potential of a concept.

Current Call

We invite expressions of interest for the 2020 call. We must receive these by 31 July 2020.


We accept applications from:

  • Newcastle University researchers and academics (including NHS staff with honorary University contracts)
  • basic scientists
  • clinician scientists

We will considered applications relevant to any area of translational research. Projects should have strong potential for near-term impact. They should also have the ability to attract extra investment.

We give priority to those that are likely to align with applications to the Global Challenges Research Fund. Projects should aim to form partnerships for future translational funding opportunities.

The award will not fund:

  • entire translational projects
  • admin costs
  • industrial partner costs
  • staff between posts/funding or PhD studentships
  • continuation of normal research grants
  • costs related to the protection of IP
  • staff exchange into a Newcastle University spin-out company

Projects should be no more than 12 months in duration and must finish by 30th March 2022. We will not permit extensions beyond this date.

Awards will be £50-100K.

Application process

There is a two-stage application process:

1. Expression of interest

The review panel will include:

  • a clinician scientist
  • a non-clinician scientist
  • an industry representative
  • a representative from the University’s Global Challenges Academy

Successful expressions of interest will move to stage 2.

2. Full application

Three panel members review the applications, and then discuss it with the full panel. Membership includes experts in:

  • methodology
  • clinical governance
  • clinical trial design
  • delivery
  • statistics

Assessment criteria

We assess applications on scientific grounds.

Project proposals should aim to attract downstream translational research grants. This is a key consideration of all applications.

The criteria includes:

  • quality
  • impact
  • productivity

Projects should be no more than 12 months in duration and must finish by 30th March 2022. We will not permit extensions beyond this date.


We should receive expressions of interest by 31 July 2020. Please contact for an application form and guidance.

Project Management

We will arrange a project set-up meeting to review the stated aims, methodology and its milestones. It will confirm the funding and budget set-up requirements.

Progress reporting

Regular meetings will ensure effective monitoring of research progress. The allocated translational development manager will help develop follow-on funding applications.

Outcome reporting

Project end

There is a requirement to submit a short report once the project is complete. The business and translational development teams will advise with ongoing support. They will build external collaborations and develop follow-on funding applications.

Annual report

This report must include:

  • follow-on funding applications (submitted/awarded)
  • publications
  • patents (applications/published)
  • impact activities
  • industry collaborations
  • spin-out companies related to the project

This is a requirement by the Medical Research Council for the annual Researchfish submission. We use the report for the University’s annual renewal application for Confidence in Concept funding.