Proximity To Discovery

ISCF Pump-Priming

This is a single call for applications for funds from the Faculty of Medical Sciences Pump-Priming and MRC Proximity to Discovery Funds. There is a single application process, but different funding criteria for each – see below. 

ISCF Pump-Priming Fund (funded by FMS)

Innovate UK and the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy recently launched The Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (  The scheme aims to bring together the UK’s world leading research with business to meet the major industrial and societal challenges of our time.  It was created to provide funding and support to UK businesses and researchers, part of the government’s £4.7 billion increase in research and development over the next 4 years.

The Faculty of Medical Sciences has set aside £150,000 to support investigators to undertake scientific and technical development of an idea to establish the scientific and/or commercial potential of a concept alongside their commercial partner, with a view to applying to large collaborative funding schemes, such as Innovate UK or the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, or other commercially-focused schemes.  Priority will be given to the 2 ‘Wave 2 ‘ ISCF Industrial Strategy Challenges calls relevant to FMS:

  • Data to early diagnosis and precision medicine
  • Healthy Ageing

Applications will be considered from Investigators who can demonstrate industrial collaboration, either already well established or which would be significantly developed by this funding, and where additional information / data that could be provided by a small scale project award might support a future large-scale application for further funding.  Applications must identify which scheme they will be targeting in future applications for further funding.

This scheme is designed to strengthen our position to attract funding, and therefore projects must start by the end of March 2018, and should be no longer than 6 months in duration.


The Newcastle Proximity to Discovery scheme (PtD) is a renewable MRC award held by the University.  The Faculty proposes to use its MRC Proximity to Discovery award to facilitate the building of closer relationships between academics and industry partners with a view to making applications to the ISCF scheme in the future; and as an opportunity to shape programmes to reach out and improve the interface between academia and industry in the translational research space.

Applications are invited for funding to support opportunities to interact and engage with industry, to develop current links into new theme areas or attract new industrial partners with whom to collaborate.   We have set-aside £20,000 to support this initiative.

If you are interested in applying to either scheme, please refer to the full guidance notes, and application form: FMS and MRC P2D Pump-priming – Guidance Application Form v2.

Informal enquiries can be directed to Sarah Greenhalgh or via telephone, 0191 208 6944.  We are also able to provide the slides from our recent launch event, please contact Sarah if you would like to receive them.

Closing date for applications: 5pm, Friday 15 December 2017, to Marjorie Holbrough.