Faculty of Medical Sciences

MRC Proximity to Discovery

Proximity to Discovery

The Medical Research Council describe the Proximity to Discovery: Industry Engagement Fund as being “designed to provide flexible funding for innovative ways to enable the initial development of academic-industry collaborations.”

  At Newcastle we use this in the following ways:

  • To support the NU Innovates Seminar series;
  • To support applications made via the Reactive scheme.

We have supported Showcase events in subject areas as diverse as Oncology and Dermatology; to facilitate incoming and outgoing placements, and to enable academic colleagues to visit industry collaborators.  We have also provided project funding for Technology Jumping and prototype development.


The governance for the Reactive P2D scheme allows us to quickly and fairly provide feedback to all applicants. 

All applications are considered by:

Chief Investigator on the MRC Institutional award - Professor Mark Birch-Machin

Head of FMS Enterprise – Geraint Lewis

P2D Programme Manager - Diane Livingstone

At least one member of the FMS Enterprise team. 

Applicants will be contacted as soon as a decision has been made, and within one month of submission.  Feedback will be provided from the panel that considered the application.

Current Call

We currently have one scheme open for applications:

Reactive Funds providing funding to cover travel, accommodation costs and meeting expenses (where no external funding schemes exist for this purpose) to allow researchers to engage with industry and pharma contacts with a view to developing future collaboration. Typical awards will be of a maximum £5,000.

This is a reactive scheme, so applications can be received at any time, and funds will be distributed until they run out.

Informal enquiries can be directed to Diane via email or on (0191 20) 86944.