Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

The MRC P2D is a block grant provided to the University by the Medical Research Council. It will support activities to build relationships between the university and industry partners and promote a culture of innovation.


The University of Oxford has been awarded £150k from the Medical Research Council to support creative approaches to building relationships with industry partners. 


Funding has been awarded to support activities to build relationships between the University and industry partners and promote a culture of innovation. Funding will be awarded in three streams which are focussed on facilitating staff exchanges.

  1. Knowledge exchange between industry and academia: innovative strategies and programmes for industrial knowledge exchange to help build a strong and vibrant academic-led culture of innovation and entrepreneurship and enhanced levels of embedded industrial activity, collaboration and partnership.
  2. Industry showcases: small funding enhancements to already-funded industry showcase events that will support facilitated matchmaking to explore future staff exchanges e.g. one-to-one advanced partnering systems for attendees at events which will lower the barriers to identifying partners for knowledge exchange and collaboration. 
  3. Staff exchanges: people exchange that allows for an exchange of skills or knowledge which will enable new collaborative projects to develop. Staff exchanges in the following categories are eligible:
    • Industry exchanges will support PIs (or their group members) to transfer key skills or knowledge between academic and industry to enable the development of new collaborative projects. Projects could also work with research users in order to identify key gaps or challenges that need to be addressed to enable further exploitation and draw up a plan for how to tackle them.
    • Senior Visiting Fellowships will support strategic, inward secondments to embed senior industry or user figures within Oxford for an extended period (3–6 months). Fellows will be expected to raise academics’ awareness of key user problems; and to explore relevant portfolios of research across Oxford in order to identify potential solutions or areas of interest which merit further investigation.
    • Sabbatical Enhancement Grants will enable and encourage PIs and academics to engage with industry during their periods of sabbatical leave.
    • Business development exchanges will support people exchanges of business development and technology transfer professionals at Oxford with business development teams in industry.

Proposals must support MRC-related science areas. Funding is not intended to support staff exchange with University of Oxford spin out companies.


Proximity to Discovery will pay for direct costs only. Funds must be incurred by Oxford, and not by an industry partner. 

Grants must finish by the end date of the MRC award, 31  August 2017. We anticipate small and large applications to this fund.


The open call for Proximity to Discovery is now closed, those wishing to apply for Proximity to Discovery funding should contact Oliver Voss.

Application form


Oliver Voss 

Proximity to Discovery Committee


Chair: Professor Matthew Wood

Secretary: Liam Murphy

Professor Alastair Buchan
Professor Donal Bradley
Dr Maxine Allen
Professor Chas Bountra
Dr Nicholas Edwards
Professor Antony Galione
Dr Trevor Howe
Professor Alex Markham
Dr Andrew McLean
Dr Adam Stoten