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Confidence in Concept scheme 2018

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

  • Status: Closed
  • Open date: 20 Aug 2018
  • Closing date: 1 Nov 2018 16:00 GMT
  • Type: Grants, Researcher-led

Confidence in Concept scheme - Flexible institutional awards for preliminary translational work

The Confidence in Concept (CiC) scheme is a key part of MRC’s translational research strategy and provides annual awards of up to £1 million to institutions, to be used flexibly to support the earliest stages of multiple translational research projects. It is intended to accelerate the transition from discovery research to translational development projects by supporting preliminary work or feasibility studies to establish the viability of an approach.

If you would like information on Proximity to Discovery: Industrial Engagement Fund (P2D:IEF), please contact: DPFSandDCS@mrc.ukri.org

Aims and remit

Ensuring that fundamental science is translated into new therapies, diagnostics and medical devices is central to our mission. The CiC scheme aims to accelerate the transition from discovery science to the early stages of therapeutic/biomarker development by providing locally-administered, responsive and flexible funding to support preliminary translational work.

The award can be used flexibly by the institution to support a diverse portfolio of preliminary-stage translational projects. The projects supported should aim to provide sufficient preliminary data to establish the viability of an approach before seeking more substantive funding, for example from the Developmental Pathway Funding Scheme (DPFS).

Applicants are encouraged to explore how awards could be used to develop academic-industry interactions. Short-term people exchange between industry and academia is seen as a key way of exchanging skills and knowledge and developing a longer term working relationship. People exchange (in either direction) is permitted, especially when the focus is on the delivery of specific project objectives. Other routes (such as co-funding projects, developing early-stage collaborations) are also encouraged. Standard terms and conditions apply (see in particular the MRC Industry Collaboration Agreement (MICA) web page).

The funding is not intended to support:

  • entire translational projects – applicants seeking funding for entire projects are directed to DPFS
  • administration costs
  • industrial partner costs
  • staff between posts/funding (such as “bridging” funds), or PhD studentships
  • continuation of normal research grants
  • costs relating to protection of intellectual property.

Awards and eligibility

Institutions may apply for an award up to £1 million.

We anticipate that only a small number of leading institutions that can show funding will deliver transformative benefits will be awarded funding at the upper limit. Most institutions are encouraged to apply for lower value awards. Applications may be broad in scope or focused on a specific therapeutic area or intervention modality.

Where an institution has previously received CiC funding, the review process will focus on the outputs and impacts delivered by the previous funding. A separate application form is available for institutions applying for renewal of funding.

We anticipate that individual projects funded from an institution’s award will be of the order of £50,000-£100,000 and approximately six to 12 months in duration, although this will be dictated by the needs of each project.

Institutional awards will be of 24 months duration. Successful institutions are expected to allocate funds to projects within the first 12 months of the award. To ensure transparency CiC award holders are expected to publicise panel membership and governance structures to their academic community.

The normal MRC 'response mode' eligibility rules apply; please see the guidance for applicants and the UK Research and Innovation website. Only one application per institution is permitted. However, where there is scientific justification, an institution can apply as part of a focused collaborative application in addition to their individual HEI application. It is expected that applications will be led by one or more senior members of the institution (such as Dean of Medical School or equivalent).

Institutions can apply for CiC awards in consecutive years. However, these institutions should justify their request in light of the funding already received.

Joint applications from groups of institutions are permitted – consortia should be able to demonstrate potential to add value that individual institutions cannot. Consortia may be broad in scope or focused on a specific therapeutic area or intervention modality.

How to apply and timings

The CiC application forms can be downloaded from this page. There is a choice of form:

  • The new applicants form for institutions that have not received CiC funding previously.
  • The reapplication form for institutions that have previously received funding which includes a section to report on the performance of past awards. Additional guidance on completing this form is also provided. Please also submit the Excel spreadsheet used to generate the graphs for Section 6-8 as a separate attachment.

Once completed, forms should be returned to DPFSandDCS@mrc.ukri.org no later than 16:00 on 1 November 2018.

You can find more details on expected governance standards, assessment criteria and reporting requirements on our website.

CiC panel membership


If you have any queries about this scheme, please contact: DPFSandDCS@mrc.ukri.org

If you would like further guidance on the CiC scheme and completing the application forms the MRC programme managers will be available to answer questions by telephone on 8 and 9 October. Please contact DPFSandDCS@mrc.ukri.org to schedule calls.