MRC Proximity to Discovery Industry Engagement fund

This scheme is currently closed for applications. 

For further information or to register your interest in this scheme please contact

About the scheme

MRC have awarded the University of Bristol £155,000 for short term two-way people exchanges between industry and academia which align to MRC strategic priorities in population health, cardiovascular research, infection and immunity, neuroscience and cancer. MRC see people exchange as a key way of exchanging skills and knowledge and developing longer term working relationships.

Anticipated outcomes include:


  • increased direct funding to the University from our industrial partners
  • increased joint University and Industry applications to research councils and Innovate UK
  • increased partnering and licensing activity


  • a deeper knowledge of industrial needs and working methods, which will enable them to better direct their research efforts into future impacts.
  • RED/EBI will have regular contact with the University-based awardee and will work with them to identify training needs that may be filled in advance of them going out to the partner company. For example, they may be given some mentoring on the drug discovery process, IP or other areas as appropriate. 

Eligible activities

Secondments should be UK based but can be flexible, part-time or full-time, although are not expected to exceed 6 months full-time unless in exceptional circumstances. Activities could include:

  • an exchange of skills or knowledge which will enable new collaborative medical projects to develop or
  • an enhancement of the understanding of each other’s business model allowing the University to better support development of medical research collaborations with industrial partners.

In order to ensure a reasonable spread of exchanges, we would not fund more than two exchanges within the same company during the course of the program, unless in exceptional circumstances.

Exchanges do not necessarily need to be underpinned by MRC funded research.

Funding will only be provided for the academic partner and costs directly associated with hosting an industrial partner in the University setting.

Successful applicants must have a collaboration agreement in place with the third party before the project commences. 

Eligible staff

Applicants may be full-time or contract staff:  Research scientists, senior academics, technicians, students and/or professional services staff (such as University research support staff or industry-based Business Development staff).

Award amount

Proposals are expected to be up to £25,000 each for 6 months. Please note we only have £155,000 in total for this call. Funds should be spent by 1 September 2018.

How to apply

Send the two-page application form, partners Letter of Support and Secondee CVs to Sarah Blackmore, 

Download and complete the application form: 

MRC Proximity to Discovery Industry Engagement Fund Guidance & Application form (Office document, 158kB)

Further information and queries

Please contact for further information or to discuss your idea.

Previously funded Proximity to Discovery Industry Engagement projects

Find out more about our previously funded Proximity to Discovery Industry Engagement projects

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