Faculty of Medical Sciences

Advancing Clinical Immunology in Serbia

Advancing Clinical Immunology in Serbia

Newcastle University is pleased to announce funds of up to £3000 to support clinical immunology initiatives between Newcastle, UK and Serbia.

The call is now open for applications to the Lilic-Abinun fund to enable and enhance the practice and advancement of clinical immunology in Serbia, specifically:

  • adult and paediatric clinical immunology
  • clinical immunology diagnostic services
  • clinical immunology research


Project proposals and/or educational activities should support the reciprocal exchange of knowledge, visits, interactions and forging of contacts between candidates from Serbia and candidates from Newcastle, UK. Special consideration will be given to projects promoting collaboration of clinical/ diagnostic/ research aspects of clinical immunology

Proposals from Serbia-based candidates coming to Newcastle, UK include:

  • candidates (medical staff including doctors, nurses, technicians etc) attending as visiting clinical observers to participate in patient care, management and accreditation of clinical services, prioritising Primary Immune Deficiencies (PIDs) both adult and paediatric, but not excluding other areas of clinical immunology
  • candidates visiting clinical diagnostic laboratories to acquire new skills, novel diagnostic techniques, new technologies and management including quality control and accreditation
  • candidates participating in ongoing research projects relating to PIDs
  • acquiring equipment and/or reagents for the advancement of research and/or diagnostic procedures in clinical immunology laboratories in Serbia (excludes consumables for routine work)
  • attending educational events with participation of Newcastle University (currently, ‘Advances in Primary Immunodeficiency’ workshop taking place in Windsor, Berkshire, UK from the 4-6 March 2020. Funds can be used for any costs incurred as part of the visit: registration, travel, visa, accommodation, subsistence, etc. 

Proposals from Newcastle-based candidates going to Serbia include:

  • organising workshops and training courses in Serbia
  • organising and setting up standardisation procedures, quality control schemes and promoting accreditation of clinical and laboratory services in Serbia
  • candidates from Newcastle to take part in ongoing research projects in Serbia


Candidates are invited to apply for sums of up to 3000GBP. Projects are expected to be concluded within a maximum period of 6 months. The support and duration are flexible but must be justified in the project proposal. Possible changes are at the discretion of the selection panel.


Eligible candidates include medical staff/clinical scientists/scientists /academics working in the field of clinical immunology, prioritising primary immune deficiencies (PIDs) but not excluding other areas of clinical immunology/immune pathology.

Candidates should be Serbian or UK nationals / residents, working in Serbia or Newcastle, proposing to work with host institutions in the alternate location. There is no age restriction, but candidates already established in their field will have preference.

Host institutions

Applicants must have been in contact with their proposed host organisation and have an agreement in principle support the proposal. 
Newcastle: Newcastle University Faculty of Medical Sciences and linked NHS Teaching Hospitals in Newcastle and the North East.
Serbia: Medical Faculties at accredited Universities and linked teaching hospitals throughout Serbia, presently in Belgrade, Novi Sad, Nis, and Kragujevac. 

How to apply

Candidates should complete the online application form using the link below. In order to complete the application, applicants will need:
- Details of the host organisation, a named sponsor from the organisation and a letter of support from the host. 
- A letter of support from the applicant's home institution.
- An up to date CV.
- Project proposal, 1000 word maximum. This must include clearly defined aims, objectives and outcome measures. 
- Statement of anticipated impact for the advancement of clinical immunology, maximum 200 words.
- Detailed justification of funds requested, maximum 500 words.

A final report must be submitted within 6 months of project completion to the Selection Panel and Host Institution for assessment against anticipated objectives and outcomes. The report will be made publicly accessible on this website.

The award selection panel will be made up of members from the Newcastle Host Institutions, including: adult and paediatric clinical immunologists (medical doctors and nurses), clinical scientists in diagnostic laboratories relevant to clinical immunology, and scientists/ academics conducting research in the field of clinical immunology.  


  • Proposals should be submitted no later than 27 March 2020.

About the fund

Associate Professors Desa Lilic and Mario Abinun qualified as medical doctors at Belgrade and Sarajevo University respectively in the former Yugoslavia. From the very beginning, both focused their clinical and research interests on immunology and were active participants of the prestigious Yugoslav Immunology Society and were founding members of the European Society for Immune Deficiency (ESID).

In 1990, Professor Abinun and his team conducted the first bone marrow transplantation (BMT) in a child with severe combined immune deficiency (SCID) in former Yugoslavia. The bone marrow was prepared by Professor Lilic and her team.

In 1992, both came to Newcastle, UK. Professor Abinun to the newly set up NHS paediatric Bone Marrow Transplantation Unit. Professor Lilic established her research group at Newcastle University. She also set up the Clinical Immunology Diagnostic Laboratories at the James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough and University Hospital of North Durham. She also established specialised Candidiasis clinics at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle for patients with Chronic Candidiasis, the focus of her academic research.

Associate Professors Desa Lilic and Mario Abinun sign the donation agreement for the clinical immunology fund to support clinical immunology initiatives in Serbia
Associate Professors Desa Lilic (L) and Mario Abinun (R) sign the donation agreement