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2017 MRC-KHIDI UK-Korea Partnering Awards

Please note this opportunity is now CLOSED.
View all OPEN opportunities

The MRC and the Korea Health Industry Development Institute (KHIDI) are pleased to relaunch the UK-Korea Partnering Awards scheme, aimed at fostering links between researchers in the UK and in Korea. We invite joint applications from researchers based in the UK and Korea. The deadline for applications is 31 January 2018. Successful awards will be announced in early 2018.


MRC has a strategic commitment to encourage international partnerships to tackle important and challenging research goals. KHIDI is committed to fostering collaboration between the UK and Korea and has chosen the UK as one of six of its global business offices. As part of MRC and KHIDI’s on-going collaboration, the MRC and KHIDI will jointly invest up to £200,000 to support new and developing collaborations between the UK and Korea’s leading researchers.


The overarching aim of the UK-Korea Partnering Awards scheme is to provide resources to biomedical and health researchers in the UK and Korea that will allow them to forge long-term collaborations. It is hoped that the partnerships established through these awards will lead to the development of long-term collaborative research programmes that will be competitive for national funding.

The purpose of the UK-Korea Partnering Awards is primarily to build new links between UK and Korea-based scientists but also to strengthen existing links. The awards will add value to research taking place in both countries by facilitating closer collaboration. Specific objectives that underpin the UK-Korea Partnering Award scheme are:

  • To establish and strengthen partnerships between UK and Korean researchers in biomedical and health research.
  • To promote the exchange of scientists, including early career scientists.
  • To promote access to facilities.


This funding scheme aims to support joint collaboration activities between UK- and Korea-based researchers. Each application will be a joint submission by one UK-based and one Korea-based PI.

This call for proposals will fund 10 proposals with £20,000 available per project over one year. Funding will be split evenly between researchers based in the UK and researchers based in Korea.

There are no restrictions on the scientific area for applications to the UK-Korea Partnering Awards, provided that they fall within the MRC and KHIDI’s remits; however, through this scheme, we would particularly like to encourage interdisciplinary proposals or novel proposals that build on national research strengths of the two countries.

This funding is available to support the following collaborative activities:

  • Travel for one or more investigators in either direction
  • Visits/access to facilities
  • Workshops and networking
  • Researcher exchanges
  • Exploratory talks
  • Other collaborative activities

Partnering award funds can also be used to support student exchanges, however, applications will not be accepted where this is the sole aim of the project.

Partnering awards are not a vehicle for supporting research projects and these awards cannot be used to fund:

  • Salary costs
  • Consumables
  • Items of equipment
  • Other research costs
  • Conference attendance*

*For convenience and cost efficiency, the MRC and KHIDI will allow award holders to arrange collaborative meetings alongside conferences at which their partners are already present.

Where possible we would encourage applicants to seek further sources of funding. This could be from the applicant’s institution or department or an in-kind contribution such as venue hire or accommodation costs.

MRC will pay the lead UK research organisation in arrears halfway through and at the end of the award.  KHIDI will make several payments throughout the year to the lead Korean research organisation.


The UK and Korean Principal Investigators (PI) must put together a joint application written in English. The UK Principal Investigator must then submit a copy to the MRC and the Korean-PI must submit a copy to KHIDI.

Applications must be made by a UK PI who is eligible for MRC funding and a Korean PI who is eligible for KHIDI funding.

UK applicants must be in receipt of an active grant that was awarded through a competitive, peer-reviewed process.

Applicants who hold an active grant from a funder other than the MRC will be required to submit a signed letter from their Head of Department confirming their funding status. Please include details of both the funder and the amount of funding awarded. MRC funded research projects will not be at an advantage to those who hold funding from other organisations.

Researchers who have previously been awarded an MRC-KHIDI UK-Korea Partnering Award are not eligible to apply for a subsequent award through the 2017 scheme.

Full details of eligibility criteria for MRC funding can be found in the Guidance for Applicants on the MRC website. Full details of eligibility for KHIDI funding can be found in the Guidance for Applicants on the KHIDI website.


Call opens 22 December 2017
Closing date for proposals   31 January 2018
Assessment of proposals January - February 2018
Grant awarded April 2018
Expected project start April 2018

Application process

Applications must be made jointly between researchers based in UK and Korea.

Before submitting your application please read the UK-Korea Partnering Awards Guidance for full details on the application process.

To apply please provide the following:

All documentation must be merged (in the above listed order) and submitted as a single PDF to the MRC and to KHIDI.

Applications must be sent to the MRC at international@headoffice.mrc.ac.uk.

Assessment Criteria

Applications will undergo internal assessment by MRC and KHIDI. Internal assessment of these proposals allows partnering award applications to be processed swiftly and in proportion to the size of the awards. There will not be an external peer review of the scientific programme, however, the funding currently held by researchers and the body who awarded it will be used as evidence in the decision making process. Proposals will be assessed against the following criteria:

  • The value added to medical science.
  • The benefits and future joint research likely to accrue from the collaboration.
  • The potential sustainability of the collaboration.
  • The uniqueness of the opportunity and expertise of both partners.
  • The opportunities for exchange of scientists, particularly early career scientists.
  • The possibility of further funding being secured as the result of the award.
  • The interdisciplinary nature of the application.


Eligibility and administrative queries about this scheme should be addressed to:

Mr Aaron Holliday
Strategy Support Officer
Email: aaron.holliday@headoffice.mrc.ac.uk
Tel: +44 (0)20 7395 2370

Mi-Young Yu
Health Technology R&D Team
Korea Health Industry Development Institute
Email: ymy1027@khidi.or.kr
Tel: +82 (43) 713 8211