MRC Centre of Research Excellence: outline application stage open

Apply for Medical Research Council (MRC) Centre of Research Excellence (MRC CoRE) funding to tackle complex and interdisciplinary health challenges.

The MRC welcomes outline applications to address challenges under the following themes, which may address all or part of our remit, including discovery, understanding mechanism, and development of concepts or interventions for prevention or treatment:

  • enhancing healthspan:
    • challenges in focused areas of ageing research to achieve a step change in increasing healthy life expectancy
  • immune regulation:
    • scientific challenges to illuminate how the immune system interacts with and is shaped by other biological systems, at different stages of life, by environmental stimuli or in response to pathogen challenges
  • molecular mechanisms to inform cancer intervention:
    • challenges investigating the molecular mechanisms associated with tumour development, growth, metastasis and recurrence to develop a more integrated understanding of cancer biology and accelerate progress towards future development of mechanism-informed interventions

It is not the MRC’s expectation that any single CoRE will fully address the overarching challenge of the relevant field within a 14 year period. Applicants should instead identify a compelling gap or opportunity, or the major barrier or bottleneck that needs to be surmounted, or the breakthrough advance that is pivotal for our understanding and ability to prevent, diagnose and treat disease, and build a specific and defined challenge around this.

Your challenge may focus on a single theme or be relevant to more than one theme.

Your outline application should be positioned in the context of ongoing investments across MRC and the broader landscape, synergising with or capitalising upon existing knowledge and investments where relevant.

You should consider what you would need to put in place to promote or achieve equity of access to resulting knowledge, technologies, interventions and therapies.

Outside of the specified round two themes, applications aligned with MRC strategic delivery plan priorities that address major challenges may be considered exceptionally, but only if they have a particular strategic and time-sensitive requirement or take advantage of a unique time-sensitive opportunity. If you are considering submitting such an idea outside of an advertised theme you must contact the MRC before applying to assess your idea’s suitability. The themes from round one are not being continued in round two.

The deadline for outline applications is 7 February 2024. For more information on the scheme, click here.