Types of grant

Pain challenge - 6 February deadline

Maximum duration: up to 60 months
Maximum costs: in the region of £50,000 up to £1 million
Outline application deadline: 6 February 2019
Full application deadline: 19 June 2019
Contact: research@versusarthritis.org

What is the pain challenge?

For many people with arthritis, pain has a substantial impact on all aspects of life, causing significant disability, morbidity and mortality. Despite recent advances, on-going moderate and severe chronic pain remains a substantial daily problem for a large proportion of people with arthritis. Through this call we seek to fund patient insight and investigator-driven research proposals which seek to address the priorities listed below.

  • Advancing our understanding of the complexity of musculoskeletal pain
  • Preventing musculoskeletal pain
  • Developing more effective and patient centric approaches to the identification, assessment, measurement, or evaluation of musculoskeletal pain
  • Developing or testing new approaches to treating and managing musculoskeletal pain
  • Exploring the impact and outcomes of musculoskeletal pain in the workplace.

Who can apply for Pain challenge research awards?

At least one of the applicants must have a tenured position within a UK university, hospital or recognised academic research institute. Applications can include lead applicants and/or co-applicants with expertise relevant to this initiative, but who do not have a track record of musculoskeletal research and we expect applications to take a collaborative and multidisciplinary approach to answering research questions.

Applications will be open for submission from 28th November 2018.

More details on how to apply to this call coming soon.

Clinical research fellowship - 16 January deadline

Maximum duration: 3 years

Deadline: 16:00 on Wednesday 16 January 2019

Contact: Shereen Sabbah and Julie Marsden at research@versusarthritis.org

What do clinical research fellowships provide?

Clinical research fellowships are our entry level scheme for talented medical and non-medical healthcare professionals. They're awarded to encourage clinically qualified professionals into an academic research career in rheumatology or any related field concerned with the treatment of musculoskeletal conditions (including surgery and general practice). They aim to provide training in clinical and/or laboratory research techniques leading to a higher degree (usually a PhD).

Who can apply for clinical research fellowships?

Applications are now open to both medical and non-medical healthcare professionals. Medical graduates are expected to apply usually during speciality training (including surgeons/surgical trainees), whilst non-medical healthcare professionals need to have at least 1 year's experience of clinical practice. Non-medical healthcare professions that are eligible to apply include: dentists, physiotherapists, nurses, occupational therapists, podiatrists, prosthetists and orthotists, psychologists, veterinary surgeons, radiographers and pharmacists.

All applicants should be associated with an established sponsor, within a multidisciplinary research group in a UK university department, hospital or research institute. Projects must demonstrate a clear relevance to our purpose.

What can you apply for?

Clinical research fellowships are normally awarded for three years and aren't renewable. We also encourage applications from candidates who wish to apply for less than three years' funding, due to having already secured part-funding towards a PhD, for example through receipt of a Royal College of Surgeons one-year research fellowship or similar from other funding bodies.

You'll be expected to register for a higher degree (usually a PhD). Applications for Masters degrees will not be accepted.

There's no formal limit on costs that can be applied for; however, detailed justification of costs requested should be provided in the fellowship application.

Salaries

  • Salaries should be requested according to experience on the appropriate clinical salary scale, including London weighting if relevant.
  • Consultant level salaries will not be funded.
  • NHS salaries above Band 7 will not be funded.

Expenses

  • Reasonable research expenses directly related to your proposal can be applied for; such as small pieces of equipment up to £30,000 in value and consumables. PhD tuition fees won't generally be provided.
  • Costs for the purchase and maintenance of laboratory animals can be applied for. Studies involving animals must provide adequate details on the number, species, strain and associated costs of animals to be used in the study. Justification for the use of animals and why a suitable alternative cannot be used must also be provided. We are a signatory to the Concordat on Openness on Animal Research and support the principle of the 3Rs.
  • Costs to cover travel to a collaborating institution can be requested.
  • Costs for conference attendance should not be included in the application form. A travel support fund for presenting outputs arising from the fellowship at national and international conferences will be allocated to the grant if successful.

Please note that we don't support the funding of a major or substantive clinical trial as a fellowship. Clinical trials should be funded via our Treatment Subcommittee. However, we would support a feasibility/pilot clinical study within a fellowship, or methodological development work or supplementary analysis as a bolt on to an established or proposed trial. For more information please see the guidance on how to apply for a grant. If you're unsure as to whether your study constitutes a clinical study/trial, please contact the research office.

How to apply

All applications must be submitted through our grants management system, Grant Tracker.

Applications should be made jointly by the candidate with their sponsor, outlining the proposed programme of research and the nature of the training to be provided. Candidates will need to provide names of two people that can be contacted as referees (this shouldn't include the proposed sponsor(s) on the grant). Routine clinical work (this is, not related to research) should be limited to no more than two programmed activities (8 hours) a week during the fellowship and the host institution must provide a signed statement agreeing to this restriction.

The fellowship application is a one-stage process – a full application should be submitted by the deadline. As part of the full application you will be asked to complete a short scientific summary which will be used by the awarding panel for the purposes of triage. Information on completing the scientific summary can be found within the online application form.

Please note

Due to a planned upgrade of our grants management software applicants wishing to apply to the January 2019 deadline will not be able to open an application in Grant Tracker. Applications must initially be prepared offline. Please see the clinical research fellowship form guidance document for detailed instructions on the application process for this round, and the tools and support available to you.

How clinical research fellowships are awarded

There are four stages to the assessment process:

  1. Triage: at this initial stage the scientific summaries of each application are assessed by the fellowship funding panel. Applicants will be informed at an early stage if their proposal has been triaged and all other applications will undergo full peer review.
  2. Peer review: the full applications of those successful at triage are sent for external peer review by experts from the UK and abroad and of international standing in the field of the proposal.
  3. Shortlisting: the full applications and peer reviews are assessed by the fellowship funding panel members. Shortlisted applicants are invited to attend interview.
  4. Interview: the fellowship awarding panel interviews the shortlisted applicants and makes funding decisions.

Awards are typically made 4–5 months after the deadline date.

Submissions after 16:00 will not be accepted.

Medical Technologies PoC Funding Call - 11 December deadline

Maximum duration: up to 2 years

Maximum costs: £100,000

Deadline: Expression of Interests 11th December 2018

Contact: Sarah Odoi at research@versusarthritis.org or Graeme Howling at G.Howling@leeds.ac.uk

What does Medical Technologies Proof of Concept fund provide?

Funding is intended to develop or evaluate innovative technologies that help support individuals suffering with musculoskeletal conditions; in particular projects that develop the following:

  • Medical devices
  • Orthotics
  • Implantable therapeutic delivery
  • Imaging

Who can apply for funding?

Any academic, clinician and allied health care professional at a UK institution.

Collaborations with industry are strongly encouraged.

What can you apply for?

Maximum support that can be requested is £100,000

Salaries

Requested salary costs should be based on a recognised pay model or the host institution’s local salary scale, including London weighting if appropriate. We must be advised of the pay model used and, where a local pay model is to be applied, a copy of the appropriate scale must be sent with the application. Annual increments must be included which should be based on the host institution’s own salary scale, including London weighting if appropriate.

Other

Those interested in learning more about the call are encouraged to read the Medical Technologies Proof of Concept Award call document (PDF 194 KB).

How to apply

Expression of Interest applications (Word doc 143 KB) should be submitted by 5pm 11th December 2018 and sent to med-tech@leeds.ac.uk

Joint Cancer Research UK Immunology Project Awards - 7 November deadline

Maximum duration: up to 36 months
Maximum costs: up to £300,000
Deadline: Wednesday 7 November 2018
Partner funder: Cancer Research UK (CRUK)
Contact: research@arthritisresearchuk.org

What are the Immunology Project Awards?

We're working with CRUK to maximise progress in our shared priorities spanning both cancer and musculoskeletal conditions. Joint CRUK – Arthritis Research UK Immunology Project Awards will foster collaborations between researchers from both fields, and encourage researchers to share expertise, and address questions relevant to both disease areas.

Applicants must explain how their research proposal will bring patient benefit for both diseases.

Examples of proposals relevant to both cancer and arthritis that we welcome as part of this funding call are:

  • Immune metabolism.
  • Mechanisms behind adverse autoimmune events in cancer immunotherapy, such as the exacerbation of inflammatory arthritis.
  • Mechanism of action studies that explore opportunities to re-position existing drug strategies that support the treatment of cancer or arthritis.
  • Investigations that support the diagnosis, stratification or treatment decisions specific to the management of cancer or arthritis.

Who can apply?

At the time of funding, applicants must be in a post that is fully funded by the relevant national Higher Education Funding Council, the National Health Service or equivalent. This post must be guaranteed for the duration of the award.

The award cannot be used to fund part of an applicant's salary. 

Further information on eligibility criteria, can be found in section 2.2 of the application guidelines, which can be accessed at www.cancerresearchuk.org.

What can you apply for?

You can apply for up to £300,000. Funding lasts three years, and can be used to fund postdoctoral researchers and technical staff with associated running costs.

Further information on cost information, can be found in section section 3.4 of the application guidelines, which as mentioned above, can be found at www.cancerresearchuk.org.

How to apply

Applications will be administered and assessed alongside the CRUK’s Cancer Immunology Project Awards through the Science Committee. Successful applications will be jointly funded by both charities.

The deadline for applications is Wednesday 7 November 2018.

Starter grants for clinical lecturers - 10 September deadline

Maximum duration: one to two years
Deadline: Monday 10 September 2018
Contact: Academy of Medical Sciences grants team at clinicallecturers@acmedsci.ac.uk

This scheme is a partnership between the Academy of Medical Sciences and Versus Arthritis. Other partners in this scheme include the Wellcome Trust, the British Heart Foundation, the Medical Research Council and Diabetes UK.

What do starter grants for clinical lecturers provide?

The starter grants for clinical lecturers scheme provides modest starter funds of up to £30,000 over one to two years to enable research active clinical lecturers to pursue their research work, gather preliminary data and so further strengthen their applications for longer term fellowships and funding.

Who can apply for a starter grant for clinical lecturer?

The grants are intended as start-up funding and as such are not intended for applicants who have already obtained substantial funding through, for example, Clinician Scientist Fellowships, New Investigator Awards or large project grants.

All eligible applicants must:

  • Have a PhD or MD 
  • hold a medical, dental or veterinary undergraduate degree and be registered with the General Medical Council, General Dental Council or Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons 
  • hold a clinical contract.

What can you apply for?

The maximum grant available is £30,000. This can be spread over one to two years to contribute towards directly incurred research costs such as consumables and equipment.

Grants cannot be used to pay for your personal salary costs or to employ research assistants, PhD students or postdoctoral staff.

How to apply

These grants are administered by the Academy of Medical Sciences, more information and details on how to apply can be found at acmedsci.ac.uk.

During the review process, prior career breaks will be taken into account when evaluating a candidate’s research output and progress.

Successful applicants cannot reapply. Unsuccessful applicants are limited to one resubmission.

Submission deadline is Monday 10 September at 17:00.

The Panel will convene in December, with the results and feedback sent out in January 2019.

PhD scholarship scheme - 19 September deadline

Deadline: 16:00 on 19 September 2018
Contact: Shereen Sabbah & Julie Marsden at research@arthritisresearchuk.org

A limited number of our prestigious PhD scholarships are available to encourage the best graduates to embark on a research career in any discipline relevant to arthritis and related musculoskeletal diseases.

Who should apply?

Scholarships are awarded annually, by open competition, for projects that have clear relevance to our aims and provide training in research in a multidisciplinary environment. Applications should be made by the proposed supervisor at an eligible institute and may include a named student (see below). Proposals may also be submitted for collaborative studentships by institutions with an industrial sponsor/supervisor. Due to funding regulations applicants must be based in the UK.

Please note, following a review of these schemes it is now no longer a requirement to submit an application with a named student. Applicants can apply with projects alone, with student recruitment to be carried out at a later date. We would still recommend that where possible a named student is associated with the application, and those without named students at this stage will be asked to submit relevant information (CV and supporting statements) when the student is appointed.

What does the scholarship offer?

Arthritis Research UK will provide up to 4 years of support for these redeveloped scholarships. Applicants can apply for one of two models of funding:

  • 1+3-year model will allow for the completion of a relevant MRes/MSc in year 1, followed by 3 years of PhD funding. Stipend and tuition fees will be paid for the four years; consumables will be paid for years 2-4 only
  • 3+1-year model will provide 3 years of PhD funding (stipend, fees and consumables) with the option of applying for supplemental funding for year 4 if required.

The funding model requested should be outlined in the relevant section of the application form, with information on any proposed MRes/MSc course, where applicable. These scholarships provide a generous tax-free incremental stipend, UK tuition fees, improved running costs of £10,000 per year (capped at £7,500 in year 4 of a 3+1 model) and a travel grant for conference attendance. We will not pay overseas tuition fees.

How are they funded?

These scholarships are awarded by the Fellowship Funding Panel. Since the number of awards is limited, geographic/numerical limitations may apply to the number of studentships held by a single department. Applications should be made through Grant Tracker.

Please refer to the PhD scholarship scheme form guidance. (PDF 295 KB)

Submissions after 16:00 will not be accepted.

Stacking the odds towards a cure

Maximum duration: up to 60 months
Maximum costs: up to £1.5 million
Outline application deadline: 8 August 2018
Full application deadline: 9 January 2019
Contact: research@arthritisresearchuk.org

Disease subcommittee applications: Elizabeth Waterman
Treatment subcommittee applications: Keith Pugh

What is the cure challenge?

We are inviting applications for research proposals that will move us further along the pathway to developing a cure and more effective treatments for people with arthritis.

Through this call, we seek to fund ambitious research that will move us further and faster on the pathway to developing a cure and more effective treatments for people with arthritis. We are inviting applications which span the translational pathway from discovery and pre-clinical research, through to early stage trials, first-in-man studies and larger scale clinical trials. Applications are encouraged in areas which address significant unmet need defined in priorities in musculoskeletal disease (sources signposted within the call document). Key will be the level of ambition expressed; applicants must clearly demonstrate how their proposal will make a step-change towards a cure and more effective treatments.

Further details about the scope of the call can be found in the call document (PDF 196 KB).

We understand that term ‘cure’ can mean different things to different people, which is why we have sought valuable insight ahead of launching this call, talking with people with arthritis and researchers alike, which has helped to inform the scope and ambition of the research we hope to fund. This included a national workshop, to find out more please read our workshop report (PDF 296 KB).

Who can apply for the cure challenge research award?

We wish to encourage applications from both new and established researchers. At least one of the applicants must have a tenured position within a UK university, hospital or recognised academic research institute. We welcome applications from early career investigators however we won’t accept fellowship applications as part of this call.

Applications for the programmatic level funding is intended to support substantial bodies of research and awards should seek to answer an interrelated set of questions. Applications for these awards should be led by established groups with a substantial internationally competitive research track record.

Further information on eligibility criteria can be found in the call document and guidance document (PDF 120 KB).

What can you apply for?

We expect to fund a range of award sizes across discovery, experimental medicine and clinical research. Awards are available for up to 60 months, within a funding range of £50,000-£1,500,000. We would encourage applicants to give consideration as to how to strategically use the full range of funding available. The more substantial funding is available for clinical trials and studies, and significant bodies of research, which seek to answer an interrelated set of questions on a broader front than would be feasible in a series of discrete smaller awards. While this call is open to all applicants, we remain keen to encourage new investigators to apply for our funding.

Costs for salaries, expenses, animals (where relevant) and small items of essential equipment can be requested. For further details on what you can apply for see the associated guidance document.

How to apply?

The Disease and Treatment subcommittees are receiving applications to this Cure challenge call. Applicants should consider to which subcommittee they wish to apply before starting an application.

There is a two-stage application process for all applications. Applications should be submitted via Grant Tracker.

Applications will be assessed by one of our subcommittees, depending on the nature of the research proposed, applicants should select the appropriate outline form for the subcommittee they wish to submit to: either the Disease or the Treatment subcommittee.

Applicants will be informed of the outcome of the outline stage in October 2018 and successful applicants will be invited to submit a full application in GrantTracker to a deadline of 16:00 on 9 January 2019. Funding decisions are expected in June 2019.

Pushing frontiers in health research II

Outline application deadline: 8 August 2018
Full application deadline: 9 January 2019
Contact: Anna Durrans at research@arthritisresearchuk.org

Focus of the call

Through this call, we seek to fund ambitious and innovative research that will make significant strides towards better management of musculoskeletal diseases, building on and expanding previous work in the field, as well as inspiring new original research. Funded research resulting from the call will be expected to take a multidisciplinary approach to deliver these studies. There are three priority areas that this call seeks to address. 

  1. Built and work environment and impact on musculoskeletal health.
  2. Barriers and challenges to implementation of effective interventions for musculoskeletal conditions.
  3. Supported self-management and life style changes for people with musculoskeletal conditions.

Further details about the scope of the call can be found in the call document (PDF 116 KB). 

Who can apply?

Any academic, clinician or allied health care professional at an eligible UK institution can apply. The lead applicant must be based at an eligible UK institution. Individuals who are employed by, or whose salary derives from, a commercial organisation are not eligible to apply for an Versus Arthritis award but may be included as a coapplicant. Please note all applications must have a lead applicant or another coapplicant that is tenured. 

What can you apply for?

This call applies a broad and flexible approach seeking applications to the Health subcommittee. We anticipate that awards made under this call will be for up to £400,000 and up to 48 months in duration. Applications for awards greater than £400,000 should be led by established groups with substantial research track records and need prior discussion with our research office before submission. We anticipate very few applications to be above the limit. Submitted applications that are greater than £400,000 without prior agreement will not be considered.

Salaries

  • Research staff and technical salaries (set by host institution) should be according to age and experience on the appropriate scientific or clinical salary scale.
  • A maximum spine point 43 on the national scale is allowed for postdoctoral research staff, special justification is required for funding senior postdoctoral research staff above point 37.
  • London weighting allowance will be payable at the rate appropriate to each host institution.
  • The percentage of inflation must be included in the application and be in line with the most recent pay award agreed by the institution (and no greater than 2% a year).

Expenses

  • Reasonable running costs
  • Small items of essential equipment may be requested up to a maximum cost £30,000. Any single item costing £5,000 or over must include a written estimate at full application stage.
  • Any requests for computers must be fully justified and integral to the success of the research.
  • Access charges for use of specialist equipment may be applied for within expenses.
  • In line with other UK medical charities, Versus Arthritis does not provide funds for directly allocated or indirect research costs, such as administrative costs or overheads.
  • A list of eligible and ineligible costs can be found in the guidance document (PDF 272 KB).

How to apply

There is a two-stage application process. At the first stage, applicants are invited to submit an outline application which provides an overview of the project and funding requested. This should be submitted through our grants management system Grant Tracker where the outline form is available.

Applicants will be informed of the outcome of the outline stage before the end of October 2018 and successful applicants will be invited to submit a full application in GrantTracker to a deadline of 9 January 2019. Funding decisions are expected in May 2019.

Connect immune research

Maximum duration: 18 Months
Maximum budget: £150,000
Deadline: Thursday 19 April 2018 at 16:00
Contact: Caroline Aylott at research@arthritisresearchuk.org

Focus of the call

Research into immune-mediated inflammatory conditions is often pursued in a disease-specific manner, according to clinical presentation, and focusing on later stages of disease. Emerging evidence suggests there are similarities across immune diseases in risk factors, immunological and mechanistic features. This suggests there are significant opportunities to drive forward our understanding of the root causes of individual diseases by encouraging research that works across, or learns from, other autoimmune conditions.

Over a series of workshops, JDRF, Versus Arthritis, Wellcome and the MRC brought the research community together to discuss common mechanisms underlying these conditions and to catalyse new collaborations, research ideas and proposals in the area. At the last meeting, held in February 2017, the autoimmunity community explored and defined “Grand Challenges” in this area as well as identifying gaps and opportunities for future research.

Versus Arthritis, JDRF and the MS Society now propose to assist the autoimmunity research community to come together as a consortium to address these grand challenges. Together we will provide pilot funding to enable this community to work together closely and effectively. Our funding shall enable researchers to develop research proposals as a consortium, identifying research questions that can be tackled most effectively by collaborating across different conditions, and setting out how these questions may be answered. By providing these pilot funds it is expected that the consortium will be in a stronger position to apply for longer-term funding from non disease-specific funders such as the MRC, Wellcome, industry, EU and other bodies.

Who can apply?

This call is open to teams affiliated to a university, hospital or other recognised research institution in the UK.

The application should be led by established groups with an internationally competitive research track record and experience of leading collaborative research.

Applications from researchers involved in immune condition research other than arthritis, type 1 diabetes and multiple sclerosis are welcome.

Though the applications should have a UK focus, collaborations with international and industrial partners are encouraged.

What can you apply for?

The award will be for up to £150,000, up to 18 months with an expected starting date by autumn 2018.

How to apply

This is a single stage application process.

Applications will undergo expert peer review. Assessment by lay people forms a key part of the review process, as such, applicants should carefully consider the use of non-scientific language in the application form.

All applications must be submitted through our grants management system, Grant Tracker.

Further guidance on who can apply can apply can be found in the call document (PDF 82 KB).

Further information on what you can apply for can be found in the guidance document (PDF 139 KB).

Foundation fellowship

Maximum duration: Three years
Deadline: Wednesday 11 April 2018 at 16:00
Contact: Shereen Sabbah and Julie Marsden at research@arthritisresearchuk.org

What do foundation fellowships provide?

Foundation fellowships aim to retain the best postdoctoral researchers in areas of research relevant to arthritis and musculoskeletal diseases and provide an opportunity for fellows to develop independent research ideas at an early stage in their career.

Who can apply for foundation fellowships?

Foundation fellowships are open to basic science and other non-medical (including nurse and allied health professionals and veterinary surgeons) PhD students in the final year of PhD training, or within one year of completing their PhD at the time of application. These fellowships can't be taken up until the PhD has been awarded.

Foundation fellowships should be associated with an established sponsor, within a multidisciplinary research group in a UK university department, hospital or research institute. The proposed sponsor of the foundation fellowship must not be the applicant's previous PhD supervisor. Versus Arthritis will give preference to applicants who wish to move to another laboratory in the UK. If remaining at the same institution, applicants will ideally move department, and additionally be expected to spend a period of time in another laboratory, preferably abroad. We reserve the right to reject applications that don't fully meet the eligibility criteria.

Please note, medically or surgically qualified individuals that are practising medicine, aren't eligible to apply for this scheme.

What can you apply for?

Fellowships are normally awarded for three years and aren't renewable.

There's no formal limit on costs that can be applied for, however detailed justification of costs requested should be provided in the fellowship application.

Salaries

  • Should be requested according to experience on the appropriate scientific scale (including London weighting if relevant)
  • salaries of support staff, such as technicians and research assistants, will not be funded.

Expenses

You are permitted to apply for reasonable research expenses directly related to your proposal, including:

  • Consumables
  • small pieces of equipment (up to £30,000 in value)
  • purchase and maintenance of laboratory animals (see below)
  • travel to a collaborating institution.

Studies involving animals must provide adequate details on the number, species, strain and associated costs of animals to be used in the study. Justification for the use of animals and why a suitable alternative cannot be used must also be provided. Versus Arthritis is a signatory to the Concordat on Openness on Animal Research and supports the principle of the 3Rs.

Conference attendance should not be included in the application form. A travel support fund for presenting outputs arising from the fellowship at national and international conferences will be allocated to the grant if successful.

How to apply

All applications must be submitted through our grants management system, Grant Tracker.

Applications should be submitted jointly by the candidate with their sponsor, outlining the proposed programme of research. Candidates will need to provide names of two people that can be contacted as referees (this should not include the proposed sponsor(s) on the grant).

The fellowship application is a one-stage process – a full application should be submitted by the deadline. As part of the full application you'll be asked to complete a short scientific summary which will be used by the fellowship funding panel for the purposes of triage. Information on completing the scientific summary can be found within the online application form.

How foundation fellowships are awarded

There are four stages to the assessment process:

  1. Triage: at this initial stage the scientific summaries of each application are assessed by the fellowship funding panel. They will evaluate the scientific merit of the project, the track record and future potential of the applicant and the suitability of the proposal for a Foundation Fellowship. Applicants will be informed at an early stage if their proposal has been triaged and all other applications will undergo full peer review.
  2. Peer review: the applications of those successful at triage are sent for external peer review by experts from the UK and abroad and of international standing in the field of the proposal.
  3. Shortlisting: the applications and peer reviews are assessed by the fellowship funding panel members. Shortlisted applicants are invited to attend interview.
  4. Interview: the fellowship awarding panel interview the shortlisted applicants and make funding decisions.

Awards are typically made 4–5 months after the deadline date.

Career development fellowship

Maximum duration: Five years
Deadline: Wednesday 11 April 2018 at 16:00
Contact: Clare Farmer and Julie Marsden at research@arthritisresearchuk.org

What do career development fellowships provide?

Career development fellowships aim to attract and retain talented postdoctoral basic scientists, vets, nurses and allied health professionals in research relevant to arthritis and related musculoskeletal conditions, and provide them with the opportunity to develop an independent research career and progress towards higher-level appointments.

Who can apply for career development fellowships?

Applicants should normally have at least three years’ postdoctoral research experience. Applicants should be associated with an established sponsor, within a multidisciplinary research group in a UK university department, hospital or research institute. Please note, medically or surgically qualified individuals that are practising medicine, aren't eligible to apply for this scheme.

What can you apply for?

Fellowships are normally awarded for five years and aren't renewable.

There's no formal limit on costs that can be applied for; however, detailed justification of costs requested should be provided in the fellowship application. Read applying for a grant for more information about eligible and ineligible costs.

Salaries

  • Should be requested according to experience on the appropriate scientific scale (including London weighting if relevant)
  • a maximum starting salary of spine point 43 on the national scale
  • salaries of support staff, such as technicians and research assistants, will not be funded.

Expenses

You are permitted to apply for reasonable research expenses directly related to your proposal, including:

  • Consumables
  • small pieces of equipment (up to £30,000 in value)
  • purchase and maintenance of laboratory animals (see below)
  • travel to a collaborating institution.

Studies involving animals must provide adequate details on the number, species, strain and associated costs of animals to be used in the study. Justification for the use of animals and why a suitable alternative cannot be used must also be provided. Versus Arthritis is a signatory to the Concordat on Openness on Animal Research and supports the principle of the 3Rs.

Conference attendance should not be included in the application form. A travel support fund for presenting outputs arising from the fellowship at national and international conferences will be allocated to the grant if successful. Read information for award holders for more details.

How to apply

All applications must be submitted through our grants management system, Grant Tracker.

Applications should be submitted jointly by the candidate with his/her sponsor, outlining the proposed programme of research.

The fellowship application is a one-stage process, a full application should be submitted by the deadline.

As part of the full application you will be asked to complete a short scientific summary which will be used by the fellowship funding panel for the purposes of triage. Information on completing the scientific summary can be found within the online application form.

How career development fellowships are awarded

There are four stages to the assessment process:

  1. Triage: at this initial stage the scientific summaries of each application are assessed by the fellowship funding panel. Applicants will be informed at an early stage if their proposal has been triaged and all other applications will undergo full peer review.
  2. Peer review: the applications of those successful at triage are sent for external peer review by experts from the UK and abroad and of international standing in the field of the proposal.
  3. Shortlisting: the applications and peer reviews are assessed by the fellowship funding panel. Shortlisted applicants are invited to attend interview.
  4. Interview: the fellowship awarding panel interview the shortlisted applicants and make funding decisions.

Awards are typically made 4-5 months after the deadline date.

Nurse and allied health professional internship scheme

Duration: Eight weeks (2 July to 24 August 2018)
Deadline: 28 February 2018 at 17:00
Contact: Mary Fry m.l.fry@soton.ac.uk

What do the internships provide?

This internship scheme provides fantastic opportunities for occupational therapy, podiatry, physiotherapy and nursing final year students or recent graduates who have an interest in clinical research into the personal impact of arthritis and musculoskeletal diseases.

The internships are for eight weeks full-time from 2 July to 24 August 2018. There are six placements available per year to be hosted at one of five research institutions:

  • Leeds
  • Southampton
  • Salford
  • Oxford
  • West of England, Bristol.

Interns can expect to:

  • Obtain first-hand experience of working in a centre of excellence of rheumatic and musculoskeletal disease research
  • work alongside some of the UK’s leading nurse and allied health researchers
  • use state-of-the-art equipment and evidence-based effective practice
  • receive formal education, supervision, evaluation and mentoring in research
  • be involved in a self-contained research study and data collection process
  • experience the research governance process
  • become part of a specialist network of new researchers and intern alumni.

The placements are unpaid but each intern will receive £1000 towards costs.

Who can apply for the internships?

Applications to the internships are open to recent or final year students in occupational therapy, podiatry, physiotherapy or nursing with a first or second class honours degree, or will be graduating in 2018 with these predicted grades. Applicants must also have an interest in clinical research into the impact of rheumatic and musculoskeletal conditions.

2017 interns – projects and future plans

All of the 2017 interns have now secured substantive posts and will remain involved in the scheme, providing mentorship for future cohorts, sharing their experiences and promoting the scheme.

How to apply

For further information about the internship scheme and how to apply for 2018 please contact please Mary Fry, project manager on m.l.fry@soton.ac.uk or 02380 594023.

Key dates

Application deadline: Wednesday 28 February 2018 at 17:00
Interview date: Wednesday 18 April 2018 (Oxford)
Scheme dates: Monday July 2 – Friday 24 August 2018

Joint funded MRC clinician scientist fellowship

Maximum duration: four - five years
Deadline: 16:00 on Wednesday 10 January 2018
Contact: The MRC programme manager at fellows@headoffice.mrc.ac.uk

What do clinician scientist fellowships provide?

These fellowships allow talented medically and other clinically qualified professionals, who have gained a higher research degree to lead their own research, establish a research team and make the transition to independent investigator.

The clinical scientist fellowship (CSF) provides either four year or five years' support, covering personal salary costs, together with support for research staff, consumable expenses, travel costs and capital equipment appropriate for the research project.

Who can apply for a clinician scientist fellowship?

The CSF aims to support individuals transitioning to independence and is open to hospital doctors, dentists, general practitioners, nurses, midwives and members of the allied health professions. Veterinarians may apply where they have equivalent qualifications and providing their project is of relevance to the charity. Medical or dental graduate should be of specialty registrar (StR) or consultant status, or be at the equivalent level in general practice and if not, have clear plans for doing so and have consulted their deanery prior to submitting the application. Applicants must not have held a comparable intermediate fellowship (from any organisation) previously.

All applicants must have obtained a PhD (or equivalent), or expect to have done so, by the time they take up the award. There are no eligibility rules based on years of post-doctoral experience and to be considered suitable, all applicants must clearly demonstrate how their skills and experience at the time of application will help them transition to independence.

What can you apply for?

The CSF provides full personal salary costs, together with support for research staff, consumables expenses, travel costs and capital equipment appropriate for the research project. There is no limit to the funding that can be requested under the scheme, but requests must be appropriate to the project and sufficiently justified in terms of delivering the objective of the research proposal.

In the case of a five year 'Tenure Track CSFs' award the final year of the fellow’s salary is met by the host research organisation, all other costs associated with the final year of the fellowship are met by the CSF award.

Applicants are particularly encouraged to consider the opportunities the fellowship offers to establish collaborative networks and for cross-sector development, as the award will support a period of research overseas, at a second UK institution, or within industry where appropriate for the research project.

What are the time allowances for non-fellowship activities?

As part of a full-time award, fellows may spend up to six hours a week (pro-rated for part-time fellows) on other commitments (e.g. teaching, demonstrating, other funded projects) or may undertake up to two clinical sessions a week. For patient-orientated projects where the clinical sessions undertaken will be of direct relevance to the research, applicants may request up to five years’ funding and undertake up to four clinical sessions a week. Applicants planning to undertake more than two clinical sessions a week during their fellowship are advised to contact the MRC office prior to submission.

Greater flexibility on the time dedicated to non-fellowship activities (e.g. those detailed above or obtaining grant support) may be permitted during the second half of a fellowship. Existing fellows wishing to pursue other project funding or additional clinical sessions should contact fellows@headoffice.mrc.ac.uk prior to making any commitment.

How to apply?

These grants are administered by the MRC, more information and details on how to apply and details of the fellowship can be found at www.mrc.ac.uk.

During the review process, prior career breaks, flexible working and changes in discipline will be taken into account when assessing research experience to date and track record.

Clinical research fellowship

Maximum duration: 3 years
Deadline: 16:00 on Wednesday 17 January 2018
Contact: Shereen Sabbah and Julie Marsden at research@arthritisresearchuk.org

What do clinical research fellowships provide?

Clinical research fellowships are our entry level scheme for talented medical and non-medical healthcare professionals. They're awarded to encourage clinically qualified professionals into an academic research career in rheumatology or any related field concerned with the treatment of musculoskeletal conditions (including surgery and general practice). They aim to provide training in clinical and/or laboratory research techniques leading to a higher degree (usually a PhD).

Who can apply for clinical research fellowships?

Applications are now open to both medical and non-medical healthcare professionals. Medical graduates are expected to apply usually during speciality training (including surgeons/surgical trainees), whilst non-medical healthcare professionals need to have at least 1 year's experience of clinical practice. Non-medical healthcare professions that are eligible to apply include: dentists, physiotherapists, nurses, occupational therapists, podiatrists, prosthetists and orthotists, psychologists, veterinary surgeons, radiographers and pharmacists.

All applicants should be associated with an established sponsor, within a multidisciplinary research group in a UK university department, hospital or research institute. Projects must demonstrate a clear relevance to our purpose.

What can you apply for?

Clinical research fellowships are normally awarded for three years and aren't renewable. We also encourage applications from candidates who wish to apply for less than three years' funding, due to having already secured part-funding towards a PhD, for example through receipt of a Royal College of Surgeons one-year research fellowship or similar from other funding bodies.

You'll be expected to register for a higher degree (usually a PhD). Applications for Masters degrees will not be accepted.

There's no formal limit on costs that can be applied for; however, detailed justification of costs requested should be provided in the fellowship application.

Salaries

  • Salaries should be requested according to experience on the appropriate clinical salary scale, including London weighting if relevant.
  • Consultant level salaries will not be funded.
  • NHS salaries above Band 7 will not be funded.

Expenses

  • Reasonable research expenses directly related to your proposal can be applied for; such as small pieces of equipment up to £30,000 in value and consumables. PhD tuition fees won't generally be provided.
  • Costs for the purchase and maintenance of laboratory animals can be applied for. Studies involving animals must provide adequate details on the number, species, strain and associated costs of animals to be used in the study. Justification for the use of animals and why a suitable alternative cannot be used must also be provided. We are a signatory to the Concordat on Openness on Animal Research and support the principle of the 3Rs.
  • Costs to cover travel to a collaborating institution can be requested.
  • Costs for conference attendance should not be included in the application form. A travel support fund for presenting outputs arising from the fellowship at national and international conferences will be allocated to the grant if successful.

Please note that we don't support the funding of a major or substantive clinical trial as a fellowship. Clinical trials should be funded via our treatment subcommittee. However, we would support a feasibility/pilot clinical study within a fellowship, or methodological development work or supplementary analysis as a bolt on to an established or proposed trial. For more information please see the guidance on how to apply for a grant. If you're unsure as to whether your study constitutes a clinical study/trial, please contact the reserach office at research@arthritisresearchuk.org.

How to apply

All applications must be submitted through our grants management system, Grant Tracker.

Applications should be made jointly by the candidate with their sponsor, outlining the proposed programme of research and the nature of the training to be provided. Candidates will need to provide names of two people that can be contacted as referees (this shouldn't include the proposed sponsor(s) on the grant).

Routine clinical work (this is, not related to research) should be limited to no more than two programmed activities (8 hours) a week during the fellowship and the host institution must provide a signed statement agreeing to this restriction.

The fellowship application is a one-stage process, a full application should be submitted by the deadline. As part of the full application you will be asked to complete a short scientific summary which will be used by the awarding panel for the purposes of triage. Information on completing the scientific summary can be found within the online application form.

How clinical research fellowships are awarded

There are four stages to the assessment process:

  1. Triage: at this initial stage the scientific summaries of each application are assessed by the fellowship funding panel. Applicants will be informed at an early stage if their proposal has been triaged and all other applications will undergo full peer review.
  2. Peer review: the full applications of those successful at triage are sent for external peer review by experts from the UK and abroad and of international standing in the field of the proposal.
  3. Shortlisting: the full applications and peer reviews are assessed by the fellowship funding panel members. Shortlisted applicants are invited to attend interview.
  4. Interview: the fellowship awarding panel interviews the shortlisted applicants and makes funding decisions.

Awards are typically made 4-5 months after the deadline date.

Submissions after 16:00 will not be accepted.

Senior research fellowship 2019

Maximum duration: 5 years
Costs: up to £1,000,000
Deadline: 16:00 on Wednesday 28 November 2018
Contact: Clare Farmer and Julie Marsden at research@arthritisresearchuk.org

What are senior research fellowships? 

Senior research fellowships are our most prestigious fellowship grants. They're awarded to outstanding medical, veterinary, nurse and allied health professional or science graduates committed to a research career in any discipline relevant to arthritis and related musculoskeletal diseases.

Who can apply for senior research fellowships?

Senior research fellowships are open to postdoctoral basic scientists, clinicians, vets or nurse and allied health professionals, normally with 6-12 years' postdoctoral research experience, who don't hold an established academic post.

Applicants should be based in a multidisciplinary environment in a UK university department or research institute and have proven ability in establishing an independent research programme, substantiated by publications in international journals and the award of peer-reviewed grants. We welcome applications from international candidates intending to move to a UK institution. We also welcome proposed partnership funding for these awards.

Projects must demonstrate a clear relevance to our purpose. We’d also like to strongly encourage applications to this scheme which are aligned with our strategic focus on improving the quality of life of people with arthritis.

Please note that we don't support the funding of a major or substantive clinical trial as a fellowship. However, we would support a feasibility/pilot clinical study within a fellowship, or methodological development work or supplementary analysis as an add-on to an established or proposed trial. For more information on this please see the senior research fellowship application form guidance document. If you're unsure as to whether your study constitutes a clinical study/trial, please contact the research office.

What can you apply for?

Fellowships are normally awarded for five years and are not renewable.

There is a maximum limit of £1 million for costs that can be applied for; however, detailed justification of costs requested should be provided in the fellowship application. Further information on eligible and ineligible costs can be found in the associated guidance document.

Salaries

  • Salaries should be requested according to experience on the appropriate scientific or clinical salary scale, including London weighting if relevant.
  • Costs for a supporting technician or junior post-doctoral research assistant can also be requested.

Expenses

You are permitted to apply for reasonable research expenses directly related to your proposal, including:

  • Consumables
  • small pieces of equipment (up to £30,000 in value)
  • purchase and maintenance of laboratory animals (see below)
  • travel to a collaborating institution.

Studies involving animals must provide adequate details on the number, species, strain and associated costs of animals to be used in the study. Justification for the use of animals and why a suitable alternative cannot be used must also be provided. We are a signatory to the Concordat on Openness on Animal Research and support the principle of the 3Rs.

How to apply

All applications must be submitted through our grants management system, Grant Tracker.

Applications should be submitted by the candidate outlining the proposed programme of research. Applications should include a statement from the head of department agreeing to provide appropriate facilities and outlining the commitment by the institution to the fellowship and the future career of the applicant.

The fellowship application is a one-stage process, a full application should be submitted by the deadline. As part of the full application you'll be asked to complete a short scientific summary which will be used by the awarding committee for the purposes of triage. Information on completing the scientific summary can be found within the online application form.

Please note, due to a planned upgrade of our grants management software applicants wishing to apply to the November 2018 deadline will not be able to open an application in Grant Tracker. Applications must initially be prepared offline. Please see the senior research fellowship application form guidance document for detailed instructions on the application process for this round, and the tools and support available to you.

How senior research fellowships are awarded

There are four stages to the assessment process:

  1. Triage – at this initial stage the scientific summaries of each application are assessed by the fellowship funding panel. Applicants will be informed at an early stage if their proposal has been triaged and all other applications will undergo full peer review. 
  2. Peer review – the full applications of those successful at triage are sent for external peer review by experts from the UK and abroad and of international standing in the field of the proposal. Applications are also reviewed by our patient insight partners.
  3. Shortlisting – the full applications and peer reviews are assessed by the fellowship funding panel. Shortlisted applicants are invited to attend interview. 
  4. Interview – the fellowshipawarding panel interview the shortlisted applicants and make funding decisions.

Submissions after 16:00 will not be accepted.

For further information please refer to the senior research fellowship application form guidance

Priorities in clinical research

Duration: no maximum
Costs: no maximum
Outline application deadline: 16:00 on 31 August 2017
Full application deadline: 16:00 on 10 January 2018
Contact: Keith Pugh & Pete Morley at research@arthritisresearchuk.org

Priorities in clinical research

Clinical research delivers healthcare science that develops and evaluates the safety, efficacy and effectiveness of medications, devices, diagnostic products and treatment regimens intended for human use. These may be used for prevention, treatment, diagnosis or for relieving symptoms of a disease.

Review and recommendation of clinical research funding is undertaken by our Treatment subcommittee. Apart from the Paediatric group, our Clinical Study Groups (CSGs) are no longer operating and are in the process of being replaced with Research Advisory Groups.

This call for the Treatment subcommittee is seeking to continue to draw on the CSGs activities, calling for applications for clinical research funding in the areas defined in the strategies defined by the CSGs. We aim to fund innovative research that seeks to address key clinical research priorities that will change practice and impact patients, utilising novel trial design and methodological approaches on the basis of established feasibility and pilot work. It is expected that every study will be delivered in conjunction with a UKCRC-registered Clinical Trial Unit (CTU) or affiliated personnel, unless circumstances are such that this is less appropriate.

The for more information on the research, please view our Priorities in clinical research call for applications document (PDF 85 KB).

Timelines

Call opens: 12 June 2017
Deadline for outline applications: 31 August 2017
Notification and feedback: October/November 2017
Deadline for full applications: 10 January 2018
Funding decision: May 2018
Notification of outcome: June/July 2018

What do clinical research awards provide?

Clinical research grant applications must support proposals to provide:

  • Hypothesis-led assessment of clinical treatment
  • outputs required to conduct assessment of clinical treatments.

Treatments aren't limited to drugs, and encompass vaccines, devices, surgeries, psychological, physical, behavioural, radiotherapy, and educational clinical management.

Definitive assessment studies must be well-founded on pilot studies or distinct feasibility evidence relating to outcome measure selection, study design and statistical methods, subject recruitment and retention and delivery of the intervention. Applications defining feasibility studies to identify these parameters will be accepted. Clinicians and methodologists should collectively identify the approach to be taken to gather all parameters needed to formulate the definitive study. Methodologist should be within a registered CTU, the research design service or an MRC methodology hub.

Who can apply?

At least one of the applicants must have a tenured position within a UK university, hospital or recognised academic research institution.

The lead applicant and co-applicants may apply for their own salary as long as they don't already hold a tenured position and at least one of the co-applicants has a tenured or permanent position.

Fellowships aren't funded within clinical studies; justification in support of such a post may be provided for Treatment subcommittee consideration.

There is a Pain challenge call for applications running concurrent with this call. The Pain challenge seeks applications across a spectrum of science from biomedical to applied science. Research resulting from that call is expected to make a significant leap forward in our understanding of musculoskeletal pain, how it is managed and how it may be prevented. These defined areas are not necessarily targeted in the strategies put forward by our outgoing CSGs. Applicants should submit applications for the Pain challenge round via a separate outline form. For advice regarding which call to submit a clinical study/trial to please contact the research office at research@arthritisresearchuk.org.

What can you apply for?

There is no financial limit to a Priorities in clinical research grant application. Costs must be attributed as research, support or treatment according to the Attributing the costs of Research and Development, AcoRD guidelines.

Please ensure you reference the application guidance document for details of how to complete your application.

How to apply

There is a two-stage application process for all applications. At the first stage, applicants are invited to submit an outline application which provides an overview of the project and funding requested. This should be submitted through Grant Tracker where the outline form is available.

Applicants successful at the outline stage will be invited to submit a full application through Grant Tracker which will request more detailed information on the proposal. Where possible feedback will be provided, allowing an opportunity for applicants to reshape their submissions for the full application stage in line with subcommittee comments. Only applicants approved through the outline stage will be eligible to apply for a full application.

Whilst clinical research applications are no longer mandated to be submitted with CSG approval, there remains scope to discuss applications previously in development with the CSGs with the outgoing Leads prior to submission and to submit your application with commentary/a letter of support from them.

Application review and assessment of full application

  • Up to three external clinical reviewers
  • up to two external methodology reviewers
  • the research programme manager will review the study costings and timings, including attribution as per AcoRD.

Assessment criteria

Outline applications will be assessed by the Treatment subcommittee. The criteria used to assess outline applications include:

  • Relevance to the scope of the Priorities in clinical research call
  • importance, meets an unmet clinical need
  • impact, significance of the research outputs on the route to patent benefit and clinical need
  • involvement of people with arthritis
  • quality and appropriateness of the research design and methodology
  • feasibility and ability to deliver
  • value for money.

The criteria used to assess full applications include:

  • Relevance and importance to the CSGs strategies
  • clinical impact
  • potential for impact on the quality of life for people with arthritis
  • involvement of people with arthritis in the proposed research
  • scientific merit, quality of the research design and methodology
  • feasibility of the approach and potential to deliver the stated outcomes
  • value for money
  • applicants’ track record and ability to deliver the proposed research, strength and make-up of the research team, including multidisciplinary collaboration and proposed management arrangements.

Submissions after 16:00 will not be accepted.

Translational awards

Translational awards provide support for research which bridges the gap between basic science and clinical research, with the aim of speeding up translation of research findings for the benefit of patients.

These awards provide support for initiatives that may not be available through our other funding streams. They're responsive to strategic funding opportunities and also support calls for applications that are aligned with the charity’s strategy.

Applications for translational awards may involve partnership with other funders, as well as industrial collaborators.