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Genetics of the rheumatic diseases centre

Call for applications for a new centre of excellence

Arthritis Research UK proposes to establish a Centre of Excellence aimed at providing infrastructure to support the necessary large scale studies of appropriately phenotyped patient cohorts to dissect the nature of the genetic contribution to disease onset. Pinpointing candidate genes both for disease onset and as genetic markers of disease severity, prognosis and/or treatment response and toxicity should be a platform for further investigations into the functional consequences of the former to be supported by further competitive grant applications. Award of the Centre brings added value in establishing substantial critical mass. Support up to a maximum sum £2.5 million over 5 years (which should include an allowance for inflation) will be made available to the successful team of applicants.

The Centre will support the ascertainment of the necessary cohorts, taking advantage of national and international biologic collections already available, and the development of the appropriate linked clinical data to provide the means for robust phenotype-genotype correlations. The centre would also need access to the necessary high throughput technologies and the bioinformatics and statistical skills to investigate and interrogate the emerging data. The Centre will be internationally competitive, working with partners where necessary. The successful applicants must demonstrate strong institutional support from their host institution to the establishment of such a Centre and the availability of the appropriate resources, technologies and ‘on-campus’ expertise to maximise the impact of Arthritis Research UK’s investment.

Centre status and funding would be provided for a fixed term of 5 years in the first instance. Renewal will depend on the progress, future proposals and Arthritis Research UK funding strategy at the time. Depending on the applications if funding was available Arthritis Research UK may consider making further awards.

Intended applicants are strongly advised to discuss their application with Arthritis Research UK Medical Director, Professor Alan Silman (

Full call document (PDF 162kb)
Guidelines for application (PDF 148kb)

This round is now closed.

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