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The Translational Research Office (TRO) manage a number of devolved funding streams targeting early stage proof-of-concept projects and have extensive knowledge of the UK translational funding landscape. We can help source the most appropriate funding scheme for projects and ensure that the most compelling cases for support are generated. Securing funding enables projects to progress along the translational path, de-risking future investment.

Illustration of financial concepts, including graphs, calculator and percentages

Key Activities

The TRO administrate translational proof-of-concept funding through the Medical and Life Sciences Translation Fund (MLSTF). The fund is open to all University of Oxford researchers and provides consolidated internal proof of concept funding for translational medical and life sciences projects. The next call will open in Spring 2023

The TRO also identify the most appropriate external grant funding source for a project. A few of the translational research funding schemes available to researchers are:

  • NIHR Invention for Innovation: Product Development Award (PDAs): PDAs fund the development of disruptive early-stage medical technologies that address existing or emerging healthcare needs. They support translational projects developing medical devices, in vitro diagnostics and digital health technologies that are patient-focused and for ultimate NHS use. Deadline: 23 May 2023 (13.00).
  • MRC Developmental Pathway Funding Scheme: Next OUTLINE applications open: 8 June 2023, closing date: 19 July 2023 (16.00). Next FULL applications open: 24 May 2023, closing 5 July 2023. Panel meeting 13-14 September 2023.
    If you plan to collaborate with an industrial partner, please check the following guidance: 
    MRC Industry Collaboration Framework (ICF) – UKRI
  • ICURe Discover Programme: 8 weeks part-time, online programme helping early-stage research teams to make the first steps into market discovery. Deadline: 12 June 2023. 
  • Action Medical Research and LifeArc joint translational funding: Up to £250,000 for up to three years. Applications should address a significant, unmet need for children and young people with rare disease, with a focus on development of targeted gene therapy. Two-stage application process. Deadline for OUTLINE applications: 14 June 2023. Deadline for FULL applications: November 2023
  • BHF Translational AwardFull application deadline - 14 June 2023 (only open to applicants who were successful at the preliminary stage and invited to submit a full application). Next deadline for preliminary applications: 21 June 2023
  • ICURe Explore Programme: Up to £35k to ‘get out of the lab’ and validate commercially promising ideas in the marketplace, over 12 week period. Deadline: 28 August 2023
  • BBSCR Follow-on-Fund opportunity: Applications for this round closed – panel meeting 1 March 2023.
  • LifeArc Gene Therapy Innovation Fund: Open to applications throughout the year, with deadline for invited full applications in March and August.
  • Therapeutic Catalyst - Cancer Research UK: Applications reviewed every two months.

The TRO supports developing robust project plans and compelling applications for funding. Our Translational Research Managers can support grant writing activities, provide project management support and advise on long-term translational research strategies.

The TRO works closely with Oxford University Innovation (OUI), the Medical Sciences Business Partnerships Office (BPO) and University of Oxford's Research Services (RS) to ensure appropriate expertise and advice is sought at key stages in project development.