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MRC Confidence In Concept Scheme Launched (April 2014)

MRC Confidence in Concept Scheme

(Biomedical Catalyst)


Accelerating translation through strategic investment in Cardiff University’s Clinical Innovation environment


Scheme open: March 2014
Deadline for applications: 15 May 2014 (4pm)


The College of Biomedical and Life Sciences are pleased to introduce a new scheme within Cardiff University to fund the development of innovative solutions to clinical problems. Cardiff University successfully applied to the Medical Research Council’s Confidence in Concept scheme and was awarded £300,000 which will be used to fund seed-corn projects up to a maximum of £50K.  We hope to fund 6-8 projects across the University.


We aim to support collaborative research projects focusing on clinical innovation particularly bio-medical technologies that look to translate innovative research into clinical applications. The project is also specifically aimed at encouraging co-operation between universities, the NHS and industry. All projects should address a clear unmet clinical need and to ensure a focus on clinical utility and/or commercial viability. All projects should include a named clinical or commercial contact, who will be either a collaborator or advisor on the project. This person will need to write a short statement in support of the application and their role should be described in the case for support.    


Call for Applications


We invite all Cardiff University colleagues who have an innovative, translational project to apply for funding. We would like to particularly encourage applications in acknowledged areas of strength such as Neuroscience and Mental Health, Infection and immunity, Cancer and diagnostics. This should not however be taken as an exhaustive list and all applications will be reviewed and selected on their individual merits, the strength of the project plan, the importance of the medical challenge and the potential impact in ultimately delivering patient benefit.

The original application to MRC required the inclusion of 4 “vignettes” or examples of the type of projects that we aim to fund. Those who contributed these are encouraged to apply but their applications will be considered on an equal basis with others in competing for the available funds. 

The expectation is that a clinical “end user” will be included in the team.


Review process and selection criteria


• All applications will be received and reviewed by a management committee chaired

by the University’s Dean of Clinical Innovation and consisting of members of the team that were awarded the grant, representatives from across the College, Clinical academics, external representatives and RIES. 


• The management team will select or reject applications, have the ability to suggest improvements as well as new collaborators to the applicants. Projects will not be sent for external peer review as the panel includes external members and clinical colleagues.


Projects to be considered by this mechanism need to fulfil the following criteria:

o It has clear milestones and a clearly definable deliverable

o It is feasible to achieve with the funding available

o  It clearly defines how the collaboration will be adding value to the research.

o Applications must involve translational research with a clear and robust pathway to patient benefit and a plan to secure follow-on funding or clinical trial support.

o Applications that also involve industrial collaboration are particularly encouraged.


Call details 2014

The deadline for applications is 4pm on 15 May 2014.

Applications should be sent by email to

The funding for this project will be administered through RIES and the usual pre-award process for costings (CAP form etc.) should be followed. As the funds are from the MRC the usual Research Council terms and conditions apply and awards will be made on the basis of 80% FEC. Before applying you must ensure that costs associated with your project have been approved by your school and RIES.

For applications forms or if you have any queries regarding this scheme please contact: