Funding Opportunities

Please see below the latest funding opportunities available from the AHSN NENC and our partners.


Innovation Scholars secondments: biomedical sciences, strands 1-3. Deadline: Various. UKRI invites applications for individuals from any discipline wishing to spend up to 36 months (full or part time) on secondment in the biomedical sciences sector. £5 million fund. For more information click here.  

The Health Foundation: Common Ambition. Deadline: 20 March 2020.The Health Foundation has launched an exciting new £2.1m programme for partnerships developing collaborative communities where people, families, health care professionals and researchers work together to improve health care. The Common Ambition programme will support up to five ambitious teams across the UK to work towards a shared aim: to build sustainable change across health care through collaboration between those who use services and those who deliver them. For more information click here.

Biomedical Catalyst: Developmental Pathway Funding Scheme (DPFS) Deadline: 25 March 2020DPFS is an ongoing scheme, with outline deadlines every 4 months. The DPFS scheme is a key part of our Translational Research Strategy and supports the translation of fundamental discoveries toward benefits to human health. It funds the pre-clinical development and early clinical testing of novel therapeutics, devices and diagnostics, including “repurposing” of existing therapies. For more information click here.

Strategic Priorities Fund: Centre for Doctoral Training in Food Systems. Deadline: 13 May 2020UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) in partnership with government are pleased to announce a £5 million call to support one Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) focused on developing the next generation of interdisciplinary food systems thinkers. For more information click here.

Health Systems Research Initiative Call 7: Providing evidence to strengthen health systems in low and middle income countries. Deadline: 28 May 2020.Innovative proposals are sought from across the public health, social and biomedical sciences to the seventh annual call for the Health Systems Research Initiative. Up to £4.7 million is available for funding foundation and full proposals under this call. For more information click here.


INNOVATE UK:NBIC 3rd Proof of Concept Award. Deadline: 6 March 2020

The National Biofilms Innovation Centre (NBIC) are launching their third call for proposals for Proof of Concept (POC) projects from interested parties who have the experience and knowledge necessary to investigate and exploit areas in which biofilms play a central part. All projects proposed will be considered and ranked on their merits based on a number of criteria, with the intention that the selected projects will form a high quality portfolio of POC projects. For more information click here.

SBRI: monitor and visualise domestic pollution to safeguard health. Deadline: 15 April 2020. Organisations can apply for a share of £100,000 including VAT, to develop an air quality monitor to provide information and advice on pollutants in the home. For more information click here.

Innovate UK Smart Grants: January 2020. Deadline: 22 April 2020

Opportunity to apply for a share of up to £25 million to deliver ambitious or disruptive R&D innovations that can make a significant impact on the UK economy. For more information click here.

UK-Canada: enhancing agricultural productivity and sustainability. Deadline: 20 May 2020.UK businesses with Canadian business partners can apply for a share of up to £2 million, from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, for innovative projects that enhance productivity and sustainability of crop, livestock and aquaculture systems. For more information click here.For more information on all open IUK funding opportunities click here.


Open Competition: Emerging Innovations

In this category, DSTL are encouraging the submission of proposals across a wide range of technology areas with the aim of finding new and novel opportunities for these to be exploited across Defence and/or Security. Emerging innovations are viewed as those which will deliver a proof of concept at around Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 3 or 4, which in outline means delivering a proof of concept, with component and/or sub-system validation in laboratory-style environment by the end of your proposed work. Click here to find out more.

Open Competition: Rapid Impact Innovations

Proposals in this category are encouraged for projects which have a realistic prospect of achieving an impact within a 3 year time frame from the commencement of the project. In this category, there is an expectation that proposals will be funded only if there is a strong customer pull and capability need for the idea. Accordingly, additional effort will be required by suppliers to ensure there is positive user interest in the idea before submitting a proposal. Click here to find out more.

For more information on all DSTL – DASA funding opportunities click here. 


The AI in Health and Care Award: accelerating testing and evaluation of the most promising AI technologies. Deadline: 4 March 2020. The AHSN Network welcomes the launch of the new Artificial Intelligence (AI) Health and Care Award. This will make £140 million available over three years to accelerate the testing and evaluation of the most promising AI technologies that meet the strategic aims set out in the NHS Long Term Plan. The Award will support technologies across the spectrum of development: from initial feasibility and conception through to initial NHS adoption and testing of the AI technology within clinical pathways. Initially, it will focus on four key areas: screening, diagnosis, decision support and improving system efficiency. For more information click here. 

HTA stage 1 applications – researcher-led workstream (open call) Deadline: 6 May 2020.The Health Technology Assessment (HTA) Programme funds research about the clinical and cost-effectiveness and broader impact of healthcare treatments and tests for those who plan, provide or receive care from NHS and social care services.

For more information click here.

There are many funding opportunities with an emphasis on research. Click here to find out more. 


The BBSRC work with industry and academia (and other sectors and research councils) to develop world leading biotechnology and bioscience. For more funding opportunities click here. 

ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL RESEARCH COUNCIL (ESRC): Research Grants. Deadline: Open call.

If you have an excellent idea for a research project, the EPSRC have their Research Grants open call. Awards ranging from £350,000 to £1 million (100 per cent full Economic Cost (fEC)) can be made to eligible institutions to enable individuals or research teams to undertake anything from a standard research project through to a large-scale survey and other infrastructure or methodological development. Click here to find out more.


The EPSRC is the main funding body for engineering and physical research sciences. For EPSRC funding opportunities click here.

MEDICAL RESEARCH COUNCIL (MRC)The Medical Research Council (MRC) improves the health of people in the UK – and around the world – by supporting excellent science, and training the very best scientists. For MRC funding opportunities click here.


Association of Medical Research Charities

Over 30 years ago a small, diverse group of medical research charities form the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC) to unite the sector and provide it with a leading voice. Since then their membership has grown to over 140 charities.  In 2018, these charities invested £1.3 billion in medical research. To access their database click here.



BBB are a government-owned business development bank dedicated to making finance markets work better for smaller businesses. Whether you’re looking for finance to start a business, grow to the next level, or stay ahead of the competition, they say that they can deliver greater volume and choice of finance. For more information click here.

UK Innovation & Science Seed Fund. Open. The UK Innovation & Science Seed Fund (formerly known as The Rainbow Seed Fund) is a £27.1m early-stage venture capital fund building and growing technology companies stemming from the UK’s research base. For more information click here.

HSBC Loan Fund. Open.HSBC UK has announced a £12 billion lending fund to support the UK’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The Fund includes a ring-fenced £1 billion to help UK companies grow their business overseas, as well as a broader package of support. The initiative is available to UK businesses with a turnover of up to £350 million. Applicants do not need to be an HSBC customer to apply. For more information

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships. Deadline for current round: 04.03.20

Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP)  links an organisation with one of the UK’s world-class knowledge bases (a university or research organisation) to power strategic innovation projects, embed expertise and drive commercial growth.  For more information click here.


The Global Challenges Research Fund. Click here to find out more.

The Newton Fund. Click here to find out more.

European Funding. Click here to find out more.

Grants available to UK through US Defense – medical research program Click here to find out more. 

Export Opportunities – To access the Department of International Trades Export Opportunities Pipeline click here


Coming soon:

Healthy Ageing Challenge

IUK have published the Healthy Ageing Challenge. The Trailblazer and Investment Accelerator calls are already on the IUK funding opportunities web page and are set-out in the newsletter above. Starting in 2020, up to £12 million will be available over 4 years to fund the programme Developing a pipeline – Early stage support:

Catalyst Awards:

UKRI is working with the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) in the USA as a Global Collaborator in their Healthy Longevity Grand Challenge. They will commission a set of Catalyst Awards to support early stage innovation and stimulate interest in global opportunities.

Design Programme:

The Design Programme will capitalise on the UK’s strength in design, in particular early-stage human centred design to maximise the commercial potential of ideas and innovations in the Healthy Ageing sector. The programme will tackle issues in both the supply and demand of design capabilities.

Collaborative R&D Competition:

The aim of the Collaborative R&D competition is to focus on the high-potential early stage collaborative projects, which address key opportunities that would not otherwise be eligible for funding under the Trailblazer nor the Investment Accelerator programmes.