We're using cookies to give you the best experience on our site. Cookies are files stored in your browser and are used by most websites to help personalise your web experience.

By continuing to use our website without changing the settings, you're agreeing to our use of cookies.

Find out more
For more information, go to

Immune Homeostasis Innovation Workshop and Seed Funding Award – Call for applications

Cancer research UK  

Maximum award duration: up to 12 months
Maximum award costs: up to £45,000  
Application deadline: Noon 3 May 2017  
Workshop Dates: 18 – 20 July 2017  

What is the Immune Homeostasis Innovation Workshop and Award?

The Immune Homeostasis Innovation Workshop and Seeding Funding Award is a new initiative jointly funded by Arthritis Research UK and Cancer Research UK. It aims to catalyse multidisciplinary collaborations across disease areas, to generate novel and innovative ideas that will lead to new treatments for cancer and arthritis.   

Applicants for Immune Homeostasis Seed Funding Awards must attend an Innovation Workshop — an intensive and interactive three-day residential event where they will have the opportunity to: 

  • Network and form new collaborations spanning diverse research areas and organisations 
  • Work in broad, multidisciplinary teams to generate new and innovative research ideas 
  • Pitch projects for seed funding to test the feasibility of their ideas   

Immune homeostasis is defined as an equilibrium which the immune system reaches. In health, this equilibrium results in the effective discrimination of potentially harmful foreign entities from self. Conversely, dysregulated homeostasis can have severe consequences. For example, an over-reactive immune response can lead to autoimmune and inflammatory diseases, but might also limit the growth of cancer cells and the formation of tumours.   

Research ideas developed at the workshop should:   
Lead to the significant advancement of our understanding of the processes involved in immune homeostasis 
Be relevant to understanding immune homeostasis in different disease modes: to explore how it is maintained, how it becomes perturbed and how it can be effectively harnessed for therapeutic use   

Who can apply?

Applications are welcome from a wide range of disciplines, including those working in the fields of cancer and arthritis research, immunologists, physical scientists, healthcare professionals, engineers, and those working in the digital and technology space.   

Applicants do not need a specific expertise or background but must be: 

  • Creative, open-minded, and able to work effectively as part of a team 
  • Willing to engage with those working in other disciplines from a variety of backgrounds, and other key stakeholders 
  • Able to attend all 3 days of the workshop 
  • Based in the UK.   

We particularly welcome applications from those working in the physical sciences and from people representing organisations (large or small) that will contribute new expertise and new thinking in immunology research.   

We regret that PhD students and junior post-docs are not eligible to attend the workshop.   

What can you apply for?

We will provide accommodation, refreshments and meals and will cover standard class travel costs for the workshop. Teams who successfully pitch proposals at the workshop will receive seed funding for one year to cover the costs of pilot studies. Funding will not cover salaries. 

How to apply

This workshop is themed on Immune Homeostasis and will take place on 18-20 July 2017. For more information, please see the workshop specification document.   

The application process has 5 stages:   

  1. Submit a completed application form and up to date CV by noon 3 May 2017 to
  2. We will review your application and successful candidates will be notified by week commencing 15 May 2017. 
  3. If your application is successful, you will be invited to attend the workshop on 18-20 July 2017. 
  4. Over the course of the workshop teams will develop pilot/feasibility study proposals, which they will be able to pitch for funding on the final day of the workshop. Up to five teams will be funded, and decisions will be presented at the end of the event. 
  5. The principal investigator (PI) for each successful study team will have three weeks to submit a written version of their feasibility study proposal through Cancer
  6. Research UKs eGMS that outlines their group’s intended activities as presented at the workshop, with costings.   

Further guidance on the post-award processes will be made available to successful applicants at the sandpit event.   

Start your application

Before you begin your application (checklist)

You must:

  • Read the workshop specification.
  • Obtain the approval of your host organisation/employer/board/shareholder(s) (as appropriate), to ensure that your organisation is willing and able to engage in a collaborative project.   

What makes a successful application?

Selection criteria will include: 

  • The potential to work in trans-disciplinary environments 
  • The potential to develop innovative and adventurous approaches to research 
  • The ability to work collaboratively with others 
  • The ability to communicate and engage with diverse non-academic stakeholder throughout the research process
  • Relevant research expertise and experience   

Funding committee

Funding decisions will be made on the final day of the workshop by the workshop director, subject guides, and people affected by cancer and arthritis. The Director of the Immune Homeostasis workshop will be Professor Adrian Hayday. King’s College London.

Decisions will be ratified by Cancer Research UK and Arthritis Research UK.

Contact Details

If you wish to discuss your eligibility before starting your application, contact Dr Eizabeth Waterman  Research Programme Manager, Arthritis Research UK  Email: or Dr Kristina Tubby  Project Manager, Cancer Research UK Email: Tel: +44 (0) 20 3469 5224

We're now

Versus Arthritis.

You're being taken through to our new website in order to finish your donation.

Thank you for your generosity.

For more information, go to
Arthritis Research UK fund research into the cause, treatment and cure of arthritis. You can support Arthritis Research UK by volunteering, donating or visiting our shops.