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Pre-announcement – Restricted Call: MRC New Unit funding opportunity

Full details for this new funding opportunity are not yet available. The call is expected to open on 07 November 2022. This notification is to bring the scheme to the attention of schools and departments so that early planning and discussions can start taking place. Internal selection deadlines and requirements, as well as any updates to this information, will be circulated once the call opens in November.


The MRC have just issued a pre-announcement of round 1 for new unit funding opportunity to enable UK research organisations to tackle complex and interdisciplinary health challenges.


The new award will be an annual opportunity with identified themes, with two awards made each year. This first round’s themes are as follows:

·       Mental health

·       Multimorbidity

·       Advanced therapeutics

The full scope of these themes will be announced when the opportunity opens in November.


This new challenge-led approach will focus on distinct, disruptive, or interdisciplinary activity with the potential to prove transformative to the field within 14 years. These major investments should be outward facing, promote collaborative research, and foster the right conditions to train the next generation of researchers and technologists.


Applications can be from a single research organisation or in partnership and may include industry collaboration. International co-investigators can be included if they provide expertise that is not available in the UK.


The opportunity will provide budgets of up to £3 million per annum at 80% full Economic Cost (fEC) for up to 14 years. Funding will be allocated over two periods of seven years with a review in year six. The full economic cost of a unit can be around £25 million for the first seven years.


Each proposal will require clearly defined institutional support, including: provision and maintenance of lab space, access to existing facilities, HR services, and underpinning of key staff positions. 


We will provide updates on the processes and timelines as soon as MRC publishes their details in November 2022.



University Internal selection:

MRC have indicated to the University that they will expect a restricted number of applications per institution. Therefore, this call will be managed according to the University’s restricted calls policy.


The exact details for internal processes as well internal deadlines will be provided once the call fully opens at the beginning of November. This communication is for information only at this stage.



Indicative funder timelines:

·       outline stage to open at 9am on 07 November 2022

·       outline closing date: 21 February 2023, 4pm

·       outcome of the outline stage communicated to applicants: spring 2023


If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at

Posted on 14/10/2022

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