MRC Confidence in Concept Fund 2015-16

The MRC Confidence in Concept (CiC) scheme provides funding to institutions to support the earliest stages of translational research projects. 



Tropical Infectious Disease Consortium: Expanding and Accelerating Product Development 

Through the complementary skills at each institution, we will create the critical mass necessary for UK researchers, interested in translating their research into health benefits, to compete in an increasingly competitive international market. The aim of the partnership is to deliver a high number of scientifically excellent translational proposals.

We would see the outcome of the funding being the prioritisation of translational research based on potential medical impact and ‘developability’ and a significant acceleration in time to product delivery.

The MRC Confidence in Concept (CiC) scheme provides funding to institutions to support the earliest stages of translational research projects.  The Tropical Infectious Disease Consortium has been successful in gaining an award of £500k under the scheme which will be allocated to eligible projects via an open, competitive and externally peer reviewed process.

The fund will provide awards, typically in the region of £50k, for projects (lasting 6 – 12 months) that accelerate the transition from discovery science into the early/late stages of therapeutic, diagnostic and vaccine development by supporting key feasibility studies to establish the viability of an approach or generate the materials/technologies for ongoing translational activity. The fund is intended to accelerate relevant translational activities so projects should aim to provide sufficient preliminary data to establish the viability of an approach and the market need for its outputs – i.e. to provide confidence in the underlying concept that would leverage more substantive funding from external funders. 

Projects within the following categories will be eligible to apply:

  • Diagnostics
  • Therapeutics
  • Vaccines
  • Vector control tools
  • Translational focussed Informatics
  • Translational enabling technologies 

Projects should be at the stage whereby CiC funding would develop the approach to a point where it would be capable of successfully applying for larger external translational funding sources e.g. MRC DPFS.

The funding is not intended to support:

  • early stage “blue skies” research
  • entire translational projects;
  • staff between posts (i.e. bridging support) or PhD studentships;
  • continuation of research grants;
  • Projects that have already failed in a competitive grant applications (without clear justification)
  • costs relating to commercialisation or the protection of intellectual property.  

Applications are required to have a Principle Investigator from one of the Consortium’s partner institutions. Applications from more than one partner institution are encouraged. Applications with SMEs/Pharma are also encouraged but must be led by the academic PI. Eligible applications will be reviewed by an External Scientific Advisory Committee comprising of academic and industry experts in translational activities and the Senior Management Group of the Consortium. Please note that attachments to the application form would not be considered.  

Selection Criteria

The CiC Assessment Panel will review, assess and decide on the appropriateness of the project for funding under the CiC programme. Criteria for assessment and ranking of the applications will include:

  • Do the activities align to the CiC programme and are they the context of Tropical Infectious Disease
  • Evidence of an acceptable development pathway for the invention
  • Evidence of engagement with external partners in proposed outcomes
  • Evidence of engagement with additional partners within the consortium
  • Evidence of innovation/novelty in the approach being proposed
  • The quality of the project plan.
  • The perceived value for money.
  • The potential to secure significant additional follow on funding.
  • Potential for impact 

Reporting: please note that awardees will be required to provide interim and final reports via researchfish. 

The Closing date is 30/04/2016.

Application form can be found below

It is anticipated that decisions on awards will be issued in June 2016.

The list of successful applications for 2015 can be found here.