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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


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 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:


Application deadline(s)

Award volume and duration


Experimental Medicine Award by Cancer Research UK


Preliminary Submission 4th April 2022

for up to 5 years

The Experimental Medicine Award funds highly ambitious translational research conducted in association with a clinical trial or well-designed clinical study in the field of oncology. Translational research considered within the scheme must be associated with one or more clinical trials or clinical studies within the lifetime of the award, where it can be clearly demonstrated that the findings would directly impact on the conduct of the trial(s)/studies. Associated trial(s)/studies may be funded as part of an Experimental Medicine Award.

MRC Developmental Pathway Funding Scheme (DPFS)

MRC logo

Stage 1 (Outline): 20th of March 2024


Stage 2: By invitation only after shortlisting

Award Volume: There is no limit to the amount of funding you can apply for. You should justify the resources needed in the context of the proposed work.

Duration: There is no limit to the duration of your project. You should justify the timescale of the project in the context of the proposed work.


This scheme aims to drive fundamental discoveries stemming from MRC’s research boards and the wider academic community along the developmental pathway towards patient benefit and or commercialisation.

ICURe Discover Programme

New Innovate UK brand launched as part of unified UKRI ...

Call not currently open

8 weeks

8 weeks part-time, online programme helping early-stage research teams to make the first steps into market discovery.

ICURe Explore Programme

New Innovate UK brand launched as part of unified UKRI ...

Call not currently open


12 weeks

Up to £35k to ‘get out of the lab’ and validate commercially promising ideas in the marketplace, over 12 week period.

Action Medical Research


Deadline: Tuesday 27 February 2024 at 5pm

£200,000 for projects up to 3 years in duration

The remit focuses on child health to include problems affecting pregnancy, childbirth, babies, children and young people.

Our emphasis is on clinical research or research at the interface between clinical and basic science that can be translated into clinical solutions in the short to medium term.  We pride ourselves that our research is both innovative and of a high standard as judged by rigorous peer review.

Within the above criteria, we also support research and development of equipment and techniques to improve diagnosis, therapy and assistive technology (including orthoses, prostheses and aids to daily living) and we encourage applications in the field of medical engineering. We do not fund social, family relationships or socioeconomic research, very basic research, or service provision or audit studies 

Oxford-Harrington Rare Disease Centre


The deadline to submit a full application is March 26, 2024


The Oxford-Harrington Rare Disease Centre (OHC), a partnership between the University of Oxford, U.K. and Harrington Discovery Institute at University Hospitals, Cleveland, Ohio, is seeking innovative projects for its 2024 Rare Disease Scholar Award, which advances promising discoveries from academic labs into clinical practice

Researchers in the U.S., U.K., and Canada are eligible to apply for this award. Successful applicants will receive:

  • Guaranteed grant award of USD$100,000 for U.S.- and Canada-based awardees and £100,000 for U.K.-based awardees
  • One year of therapeutics development support and project management from Harrington’s Therapeutics Development Center, with potential to renew for a second year based on milestones met
  • Access to Oxford facilities and infrastructure including oligonucleotide synthesis and screening, small molecule and protein platforms, cell and gene therapy facilities as well as genomics capabilities, and links to Genomics England
  • Opportunity to compete for acceleration funds up to USD$300,000 / £250,000
  • Opportunity to qualify for investment funds at a higher level according to project requirements
  • Invitation to present at the Harrington Discovery Institute Symposium for U.S.- and Canada-based awardees and the OHC Symposium for U.K.-based awardees

BHF Translational Award

BHF logo — Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics (DPAG)

Deadline for outline stage: 13 December 2023 and 19 June 2024

Full-stage applications by invite only.


3 years

Up to £750k for projects lasting up to three years that address an unmet healthcare need in heart and circulatory disease.

Therapeutic Catalyst - Cancer Research UK

Cancer Research UK - Wikipedia

Open until awarded.


18 months

Up to £250k for projects lasting up to 18 months. Drug discovery proposals, including, but not limited to:

- Deconvolution and validation of novel targets and pathways with clear therapeutic potential

- Novel therapeutic approaches to validated targets

- Development of platforms, assays and screens to identify novel cancer therapeutics or targets.

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.