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Connect immune research

Maximum duration: 18 Months
Maximum budget: £150,000
Deadline: Thursday 19 April 2018 at 16:00
Contact: Caroline Aylott at

Focus of the call

Research into immune-mediated inflammatory conditions is often pursued in a disease-specific manner, according to clinical presentation, and focusing on later stages of disease. Emerging evidence suggests there are similarities across immune diseases in risk factors, immunological and mechanistic features. This suggests there are significant opportunities to drive forward our understanding of the root causes of individual diseases by encouraging research that works across, or learns from, other autoimmune conditions.

Over a series of workshops, JDRF, Arthritis Research UK, Wellcome and the MRC brought the research community together to discuss common mechanisms underlying these conditions and to catalyse new collaborations, research ideas and proposals in the area. At the last meeting, held in February 2017, the autoimmunity community explored and defined “Grand Challenges” in this area as well as identifying gaps and opportunities for future research.

Arthritis Research UK, JDRF and the MS Society now propose to assist the autoimmunity research community to come together as a consortium to address these grand challenges. Together we will provide pilot funding to enable this community to work together closely and effectively. Our funding shall enable researchers to develop research proposals as a consortium, identifying research questions that can be tackled most effectively by collaborating across different conditions, and setting out how these questions may be answered. By providing these pilot funds it is expected that the consortium will be in a stronger position to apply for longer-term funding from non disease-specific funders such as the MRC, Wellcome, industry, EU and other bodies.

Who can apply?

This call is open to teams affiliated to a university, hospital or other recognised research institution in the UK.

The application should be led by established groups with an internationally competitive research track record and experience of leading collaborative research.

Applications from researchers involved in immune condition research other than arthritis, type 1 diabetes and multiple sclerosis are welcome.

Though the applications should have a UK focus, collaborations with international and industrial partners are encouraged.

What can you apply for?

The award will be for up to £150,000, up to 18 months with an expected starting date by autumn 2018.

How to apply

This is a single stage application process.

Applications will undergo expert peer review. Assessment by lay people forms a key part of the review process, as such, applicants should carefully consider the use of non-scientific language in the application form.

All applications must be submitted through our grants management system, Grant Tracker.

Further guidance on who can apply can apply can be found in the call document (PDF 80.6 KB).

Further information on what you can apply for can be found in the guidance document (PDF 138.1 KB).

For more information, go to
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