Tackling AMR Theme 2: Accelerating therapeutic and diagnostics development

The AMR cross-council initiative has launched a new call under theme  2 –  “Accelerating therapeutic and diagnostic development”.

MRC, BBSRC, EPSRC, and ESRC are supporting this call and the MRC is managing it on behalf of the funding partners.

The focus of the call is to:

  • Refresh the pipeline for human and animal antibiotics;
  • Develop new non-drug based treatments for bacterial infections (vaccines, immunotherapies, probiotics, prebiotics, phages, amongst others);
  • Improve the efficacy of existing drugs through effective dosing strategies to minimise development of resistance and/or develop more targeted delivery methods;
  • Accelerate the scale-up and manufacture of novel antibiotics and vaccines;
  • Underpin the development of rapid, point of care diagnostics to enable the most appropriate therapy/intervention to be chosen;
  • Develop innovative diagnostics data linkages for community settings to monitor spread; and
  • Consider the real world issues that will affect the development and utilisation of new treatments and diagnostics

Partnership between industry and academia is actively encouraged under this initiative.

The call has two funding modes:

  • Collaborative grants – ~£3m each for 4-5 years, multidisciplinary in nature across more than one research organisation
  • Innovative grants – ~£200k each over 12-24 months, highly innovative, high risk/high gain

Deadline for submission is 4 June 2015.

Please circulate widely to your communities and direct them to this webpage:

For queries:

MRC: Ghada Zoubiane / Ruth Kelly

BBSRC: Sian Rowland:

EPSRC: Victoria Marlow:

ESRC: Naomi Beaumont:

Record Number of Applications Received

Our call has now closed and we have received and acknowledged a record number of applications – 83 in total! Thank you for applying.

For information, the board will be meeting on 29th and 30th April to discuss applications and award successful ones.

If you have any queries in the mean time, please contact us


Life Sciences Bridging Fund Scientific Advisory Board: Appointment of Chair and Members

The new £3m life sciences bridging fund, established in March 2015, will create commercial opportunities from Welsh life sciences research projects, stimulating further growth in the sector. The fund will be managed by the Life Sciences Hub Wales and will support up to 25 research projects over 3 years.
The Scientific Advisory Board will be responsible for the administration, governance, management and delivery of the fund and will report to the Life Sciences Hub Board who will be responsible for providing oversight of the fund.

Welsh Government, on behalf of the Life Sciences Hub Wales, is seeking applicants with an interest in, knowledge and experience of the life sciences sector, in particular research and commercialisation; technology transfer, academia and commercial exploitation of life sciences research.

Background to the Fund:

Closing date: 15 April 2015

Further details and application information can be found at:

GSK Discovery Fast Track Challenge

GSK have recently launched their Discovery Fast Track Challenge.  This scheme is an opportunity for academic researchers to work with GSK scientists on the development of new medicines.   It is aimed at academics that have identified a drug development concept and wish to work with GSK to translate novel science into new medicines.

The Discovery Fast Track Challenge is looking for proposals that are able to address the following questions:

Do you have a clear therapeutic hypothesis?

GSK are looking for a coherent ad supportable hypothesis for the development of a medicine that would provide therapeutic benefits to particular groups of patients.

Do you have a defined target and/or pathway?

You should have identified a specific drug target linked to disease and can propose ways of modulating this to provide a effective and safe therapy

Do you have enabling expertise?

The Discover Fast Track Challenge is a partnership.  You should have generated data which provides proof of concept for your proposal and, ideally, already developed key reagents and assays.

The deadline for submission of a brief non-confidential summary is the 24th of April 2015.  Please note that you should contact your relevant Technology Transfer Office in the first instance who will be able to support you with the application process.

GSK_DiscoveryFastTrack_Flyer    GSK_DiscoveryFastTrack_PI_Tips

China-United Kingdom Cancer (CUKC) Conference 2015

Venue: National Museum Cardiff, Cathays Park, Cardiff, CF10 3NP
Date: Friday 17th and Saturday 18th July 2015

The 4th China-United Kingdom Cancer (CUKC) Conference is being held on the 17th – 18th July 2015 at the National Museum, Cardiff. The Conference is hosted by Cardiff University, together with our partners and co-organisers, Peking University, Capital Medical University and Yiling Group.

The Conference will bring together elite speakers and distinguished representatives from China and the UK who will share their state of the art knowledge and experience in clinical, translational and basic research in Cancer. The conference will also serve as a platform to explore and discuss collaborative opportunities. Previous Conference details can be found here and a draft Programme is available here

To register your attendance, please complete and return the Conference Registration Form and Abstract Template by Monday 2nd March 2015 to Both forms, along with Fee information, are available on our website: Accepted abstracts will be published in a SCI listed journal.

If you would be interested in Sponsoring the Conference, opportunities and package information is available here

Should you require any further information, please contact:

Life Science Bridging Fund

Life Sciences Bridging Fund

The Life Science Research Network Wales are pleased to announce that they are working with the Welsh Government on establishing a Proof-of-Concept fund for the Life Sciences.  The Welsh Government has identified the Life Sciences as a key economic sector and have already made a number of other major investments such as establishing the Life Sciences Hub Wales and the Wales Life Sciences (Arthurian) Investment Fund.  To further support these initiatives the Welsh Government has just agreed to consider “in principle” an additional sum for a Bridging fund in the Life Sciences, to bridge the gap between basic sciences and commercialisation.  Part of this will involve matched funding with the Private Sector, which is a model already strongly exemplified by the Life Science Research Network Wales and Arthurian. We are hopeful that the model will be operational by the start of fiscal year 2015/16.

This fund will enable researchers to develop the commercial potential of their research thus generating significant economic, social and health benefits for the people of Wales.  The fund will be open to researchers from across Wales and support a broad range of life science areas including:

  • Drug Development
  • Diagnostics
  • Medical devices

Projects will be awarded via open competition and assessed on research excellence and commercial potential.   Projects will be assessed by an independent panel chaired by Dr David Owen OBE, who was previously responsible for establishing the MRC’s independent technology transfer arm – MRC Technology.

The fund represents a major opportunity for members of the Life Science Research Network to develop the commercial potential of their research proposals.

Further details will be available on the Life Science Research Network’s website shortly.

Latest calls

The Life Science Research Network Wales is pleased to announce the latest call for studentships, post-doctoral research projects and platform grants.

Network Studentships

To further develop research capacity within Wales and promote engagement with external partners, the Life Science Research Network is launching its 3rd call for PhD students. Academics are invited to submit project proposals for part-funded 3 year PhD studentships which are expected to start on the 1st of October 2015.

The Network will provide up to £40k towards the cost of a PhD studentship with the expectation that the balance of funding will be provided by an external company, research funder or from institutional funds.

Click here for information on applying and application forms: Studentships

Deadline for Applications:31st March 2015

Postdoctoral Research Projects

Research Projects are specifically aimed at allowing academics to undertake highly speculative risky research with the ultimate goal of providing exemplification data to submit  major research applications.  These seedcorn projects  are highly flexible and the Network expects that the majority of projects will be less than 12 months in duration but will consider proposals of up to 24 months in exceptional circumstances.  Match funding is not a pre-requisite and applicants can apply for up to £50k for projects less than 12 months in duration or £100k for projects up to 24 months.

Click here for information on applying and application forms: Postdoctoral Research Projects

Deadline for Applications:31st March 2015

Platform Grants

The Network seeks to support a number of assays or platform technologies in areas of drug development which would benefit researchers from across Wales.  Applicants are expected to  collaborate with other academics  and offer free access to a limited number of samples generated by researchers from across Wales.   Applicants can apply for up to £50k and whilst match-funding is not a pre-requisite, it may be important if the call is over-subscribed.

Click here for information on applying and application forms: Platform Grants

Deadline for Applications:31st March 2015

Tenovus Cancer Care Studentships

Tenovus Cancer Care and the Life Science Research Network Wales are pleased to announce a join call for a PhD studentship to work towards the development of new therapeutic treatments for cancer. This laboratory based 3 year PhD studentship will be fully funded at a maximum of £30k per annum. (total Award £90k)

Academics from any institution within Wales are project proposals that their project is directly relevant to the discovery and development of new or existing drugs for the treatment of cancer.

In addition to the above, Tenovus Cancer Care will also provide the student with the following benefits

  • Conference fees for National Cancer Research Institute Conference or equivalent
  • Communications Training
  • Opportunity of patient centred experience through one of Tenovus’ Cancer Care’s support services.

All studentships are expected to start by the 1st of October 2015.

Click here for information on applying and application forms: Tenovus Cancer Care Studentships

PLEASE NOTE: If Tenovus Cancer Care does not wish to support the project, it will be automatically considered as part of the Network’s standard studentship call. If subsequently awarded as part of the standard call, the applicant will be required to secure appropriate co-funding from either an internal or external source as a condition of funding.