Research

Research Funding Opportunities

HTA funding opportunity 15/117 - Zoledronic acid to reduce fractures in patients with alcoholic liver disease

The HTA seeks to answer the question "Does a single administration of zoledronic acid to patients admitted to hospital with alcoholic liver disease (ALD) reduce the incidence of fractures and is it cost effective?" ALD has become one of the most frequent reasons for medical admission, accounting for 8% of all NHS medical admissions. It often affects relatively young people (mean age of admissions is 47 years) and carries significant mortality and morbidity. The costs to the NHS of fractures resulting from osteoporosis are huge, as is the expense of managing those with ALD. Patients with both ALD and osteoporosis therefore carry a double financial penalty for the NHS, and for society as a whole, especially in view of their relative youth.

Bone mineral density in ALD is reduced significantly. Fractures are globally four times as common in chronic alcoholics compared to age-matched controls; alcohol also increases the time to heal bone fractures and increases the risk of healing complications. The pathogenesis of the bone changes seen in alcohol abuse is still poorly understood so it is unclear if accepted treatments for osteoporosis will also work in the same way or as well in this patient group. Further details of the commissioning brief are available on the HTA website, along with guidance notes. The deadline for applications is 1pm on 24 September 2015.


Reminder: Funding deadlines approaching

Please note the deadline for the MRC Biochemical Catalyst: Developmental Pathway Funding Scheme (28 July). Further details are listed further down this page. The next EME researcher-led funding opportunity opened on 2 July 2015.


Proposed research areas for 2014/15 EME commissioned calls - updated 23 July 2015

Research in the following broad areas is likely to be commissioned during the next year, although the titles and timings may be subject to change. The individual commissioning briefs, which will be published when the calls open, will define the details of the calls.

Use of cell therapies: anticipated opening date now November 2015

Delirium: anticipated opening date TBC

Graft vs host disease: anticipated opening date TBC


Proposed research areas for 2015 HTA commissioned calls - updated 23 July 2015

The HTA Programme is considering the following topic areas for future commissioned research. Please note that not all of these topics will ultimately be advertised, but if they are it is likely to be within the next 6 to 12 months. Please also note that topic areas and timings are subject to change. The individual commissioning briefs, which will be published when the call opens, will define the details of the call.

Selective gut decontamination in critically ill children

Pharmacological management of diarrhoea in patients with ulcerative colitis

The clinical and cost effectiveness of intravenous zoledronic acid in patients with osteoporosis due to alcoholic liver disease - now being commissioned as HTA 15/117

In patients with major bleeding, is a liberal treatment strategy with early fibrinogen concentrate, or fibrinogen containing plasma products, more effective than a more restrictive strategy - no longer listed as proposed and not yet listed as commissioning

Treatment for people in remission from mild to moderate ulcerative colitis (UC) - no longer listed as proposed and not yet listed as commissioning

Management of gastroschisis - no longer listed as proposed and not yet listed as commissioning

To comment on any of these ideas, please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Coeliac UK - Funding opportunity

Coeliac UK, the leading national charity for people with coeliac disease and dermatitis herpetiformis, is launching a new round of research grant awards with up to £100k of funding available. Deadline for submission 21 September, 2015

Researchers from all scientific disciplines are invited to submit applications that can demonstrate how their proposal will advance our understanding of the disease and improve the lives of those living with the condition.

There is also a further £30k for research into the epidemiology of coeliac disease and dermatitis herpetiformis in the UK. Deadline for submission 5 October, 2015.

Please visit the Coeliac UK website for further information and to download the latest application form.

If you have any queries please contact Dr Heidi Urwin, Research Manager at Coeliac UK: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or by telephone on 01494 796138

Clinical Research Training Fellowship

Coeliac UK has joined forces with the Medical Research Council to offer jointly funded Clinical Research Training Fellowships. Our aim is to build a funding programme that will support the creation of the next generation of researchers focusing on coeliac disease. We wish to attract clinically active professionals within the UK and encourage them to embark on an early career in coeliac disease.

For further information and to submit an application, please visit the Medical Research Council. The Medical Research Council provides the most up to date list of deadlines, including interview and take up dates.


The Crohn's in Childhood Research Association offers the following Research Opportunities

Research Fellowship in Paediatric Gastroenterology: Applications are invited from interested Paediatric Gastroenterology Centres in the UK for a 2 or 3 year clinical/scientific training post for paediatricians in training seeking to specialize in paediatric gastroenterology with an interest in IBD. Closing date for receipt of applications - Friday 16th October 2015.

PhD studentship: CICRA invites applications from research groups with a proven track record of high quality output in gut immunology and inflammation or IBD genetics. Fees and stipends in line with MRC rates. Closing date for receipt of applications - Friday 16th October 2015.

Project grant: CICRA invites high quality research applications relevant to Crohn's disease or Ulcerative Colitis in childhood for a 1 or 2 year Project Grant of up to £100,000 p.a. Closing date for receipt of applications: Friday 16th October 2015.

New for 2015

2 year post doctoral Fellowship: Applications are invited from non-clinician scientists with a PhD wishing to undertake scientific research that must be relevant/involve children with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) This initiative is designed to attract basic scientists (e.g. immunologists, microbiologists, geneticists etc) in the field of IBD relevant to children. Closing date for receipt of applications Friday 16th October 2015.

In addition to the four main funding streams CICRA also gives:

Bursary grants of up to £400 (up to a total amount of £5,000pa) to enable UK based young doctors still in training/nurses/final year medical students and similar persons with an interest in the area of Crohn's and colitis (IBD) to support attendance at national, international scientific/educational congresses and if considered appropriate IBD related training courses. Also a £1000 annual bursary for travel/registration at national and international meetings for doctors in training to become paediatric gastroenterologists.

Application forms and further information can be obtained from the CICRA website: http://www.cicra.org/what-we-do/research/grant-applications


World Cancer Research Fund International Regular Grant Programme 2015/2016

On Monday 13 July 2015, the 2015/2016 cycle will open for applications on the effects of diet, nutrition (including body composition) and physical activity on cancer. Applicants can be based in any country outside the Americas. More information on the eligibility and the scientific scope of the grant call is available. Please ensure you read the ‘Guidelines for research grant applicants & award recipients’ carefully before applying. The deadline for applications is 9 October 2015.


EME funding opportunity 15/75 - Mechanisms of action of health interventions

Proposals are sought for translational research into the underlying mechanisms of action of clinical and public health interventions. Studies must utilise patients or samples from current or completed NIHR-funded or NIHR-managed studies in any setting. Proposals will be accepted across a wide range of interventions, including behavioural, pharmaceutical, psychological, surgical and public health interventions. The research should be relevant to the intervention and outcomes proposed by the original study and add significantly to the scientific understanding of the mechanisms of action of the intervention.

The proposed research may involve the analysis or reanalysis of previously stored specimens or data, or the collection of new specimens or new data for additional analysis, provided it is obtained from study participants. Discovery of new biomarkers is not within the remit of the EME Programme.

Applicants will need to make a strong case for how a better understanding of the mechanisms of action will potentially contribute to the future use or development of the technology, future wealth creation and for the ultimate benefit of individual patients’ or the wider NHS.

Further details of the commissioning brief are available to download, along with the guidance notes. The deadline for applications is 1pm on 10 November 2015. There is a webinar on 31 July 2015 from 11:00 to 11:45 to support the application process; click here to register.


EME funding opportunity 15/74 - Novel diagnostics and treatments for irritable bowel syndrome

A call has been made for proposals focussed on the diagnosis or treatment of irritable bowel syndrome. Applicants are encouraged to include a hypothesis-driven mechanistic element embedded within the main efficacy study to help better understand the mechanisms of the disease process or the proposed intervention are particularly encouraged. In the light of recent calls, applications for probiotics and faecal transplant therapies will not be favoured. Applications may investigate novel or repurposed interventions and technologies.

Further details of the commissioning brief are available to download, along with the guidance notes. The deadline for applications is 1pm on 10 November 2015..There is a webinar on 01 September 2015 from 12:00 to 12:45 to support the application process; click here to register.


EME funding opportunity 15/73 - Markers of early treatment response in non-cancerous conditions

A call has been made for translational research proposals into the early use of markers to assess and predict the further response to treatment of patients with non-cancerous conditions. This will contribute to the development of a personalised medicine approach to healthcare and help inform patient management decisions by enabling stratification of patients following initiation of treatment. Applications must concentrate on determining the clinical efficacy of the marker early in treatment. Applications to this call could focus on either the test or the use of a test to change the care pathway of patients.

Further details of the commissioning brief are available to download, along with the the guidance notes. The deadline for applications is 1pm on 10 November 2015. There is a webinar on 27 July 2015 from 13:15 to 14:00 to support the application process; click here to register.


HTA researcher-led funding opportunities - updated 18 May 2015

The researcher-led workstream welcomes proposals on topics or research questions identified by researchers within the programme’s remit. The HTA can verify this for you if you complete and submit a remit check form. The deadlines for the next two rounds (15/57 Researcher-led Expressions of Interest and 15/58 Researcher-led Evidence Synthesis Full) are both 1pm on Thursday 3 September 2015. Details can be found on the HTA website. Please note that the guidance notes have been updated since the researcher-led call launch in September 2014. Make sure you use the latest version as there have been changes to the advice on technical use of the form and costings for studies.


MRC Biochemical Catalyst: Developmental Pathway Funding Scheme - reminder

The DPFS scheme is a key part of the MRC's Translational Research Strategy and supports the translation of fundamental discoveries toward benefits to human health. It funds the pre-clinical development and early clinical testing of novel therapeutics, devices and diagnostics, including “repurposing” of existing therapies. DPFS is an ongoing scheme, with outline deadlines every 4 months. The next deadlines for outline proposals are 4pm on 28 July 2015 and 4pm on 2 December 2015. Please note that full submissions to DPFS are by invitation only; submission to the full call is contingent upon prior submission and shortlisting of an outline proposal. Further details are available from the MRC website.


Pump prime funding for initial feasibility studies

NIHR Enteric HTC aims to identify and address unmet clinical need in the diagnosis and management of disorders of the gastrointestinal tract and bowel function. The HTC seeks new ideas for medical device innovations and offers the opportunity to apply to NIHR Enteric HTC for pump prime funding for initial feasibility studies on potential new medical technologies within the field of digestive diseases and GI surgery.


MRC Public Health Intervention Development Scheme (PHIND)

The Public Health Intervention Development scheme (PHIND) is a new MRC funding scheme designed specifically to provide support for early phase development of public health interventions. This rapid response funding scheme is aimed at improving the initial evidence on which the development and evaluation of public health interventions are based. Studies should address an important UK or global public health issue and offer an innovative approach to intervention development or applying an existing intervention in a new setting.

The scheme's remit ranges from primary research developing and designing the intervention to feasibility studies, encompassing:

  • developing theory
  • modelling process and outcomes
  • assessing feasibility

Systematic reviews, meta analyses and pilot studies are outside the remit of the PHIND scheme. Applicants can apply for up to £150K for a maximum of 18 months and the scheme will operate three times a year. For further information, please see the MRC website.