Emerging Leaders Prize: Lupus 2017




The Medical Research Foundation is launching an annual scientifically-themed Emerging Leaders Prize to recognise outstanding researchers in the early stages of independent research who have already had an impact in their field and have demonstrated their potential to be the research leaders of the future.


Application Form: Emerging Leaders Prize 2017 Application form

Guidelines for Applicant: Emerging Leaders Prize 2017 Guidelines for Applicants


The Funder

The Medical Research Foundation is the charitable foundation of the Medical Research Council.  The charity is funded by the giving public.  Whilst much of the charitable income is unrestricted, donors often determine the Foundation’s research priorities by restricting their donations to support specific areas of medical research.  The research supported in this prize competition is possible thanks to the generous support of the late Dr Erina Herrick.


The Prize

Prizes will be awarded annually with a focus on a different field of scientific research being highlighted every year. The Emerging Leaders prizes are intended to have a high impact on the winners.  The prize is not a project grant and winners will be able to use the prize money flexibly to support their research and their professional research career development.  The prize cannot be used to pay the salary of the winner, nor can it be used to meet directly allocated or indirect costs of the winner’s research.  It can be used to meet the usual direct costs of research such as salaries of support staff, consumables, equipment as well as dissemination activities, travel and career development activities.


The Funding

The Medical Research Foundation will award up to £200,000 each year. A top prize of £100,000 will be awarded with a £80,000 second place prize and three runners-up prizes of £5,000 each.


2017 Scientific theme

The 2017 Emerging Leaders prize will be awarded to recognise the work of up to five emerging research leaders who have made significant contributions to research on Lupus and related conditions. Those researchers who have progressed understanding of disease aetiology, diagnosis, treatment and improving the clinical prognosis of patients are particularly welcomed.

For the purpose of the 2017 Emerging Leaders prize, the Medical Research Foundation is interested in receiving applications from eligible researchers working directly on lupus and related conditions such as vasculitis, myositis, Sjögren’s syndrome, autoimmune thyroid disease and serositis. We will not be considering applications from researchers who work on Rheumatoid arthritis.


Who can apply

The prize is open to UK-based researchers at eligible institutions (UK HEIs, Research Council research institutes, hospitals and other independent research organisations). Applicants must hold a PhD, DPhil or MD and be able to demonstrate a track record of nationally competitive research, managing their own independent research group and have clear plans to develop into an internationally recognised leader in the field.

Applicants must be conducting their research at a UK University or research institute. Applicants may be a citizen of any country, but must already have a confirmed position at a University or institute within the UK with a contract that covers the duration of the prize award.


Review and selection process

Applications will be shortlisted by a panel of independent scientific experts and shortlisted applicants will be invited to an interview in London. Interviewees will be asked to deliver a 10 minute presentation on their impact on the field of research, future career development and research plans, and plans to use the prize followed by 20 minutes of Q&A from the Panel.


Applications will be assessed against three core criteria:

Research merit:

· Scientific quality of the applicant’s contributions to research on Lupus and/or related conditions.

· Significance and level of impact of their research on the research field or patients.

· The unique role the applicant has played in delivering the research findings.


Quality of plans for use of prize money:

· Impact the prize money will have on developing and progressing the research career and research of the applicant.


Emerging leader potential:

· Demonstration of transition to research leadership in Lupus and/or related conditions.

· Demonstration of identifying and maximising potential in others.

· Demonstration of excellent communication and interpersonal skills across different audiences.


Application process and deadlines

To apply, applicants must provide the following information:

  1. A completed application form that includes a summary statement of no more than four pages of A4, describing the research accomplishment(s) of the applicant and the significance and/or impact of their research on disease aetiology, diagnosis, treatment, improving the clinical prognosis of patients or other aspects of Lupus or related conditions.
  2. Summary outlining the plan for the use of the prize money focusing on the impact the funding will have on progressing the professional research career development and research of the applicant.
  3. Two letters of support from a senior member of the employing institution (e.g. supervisor or Head of Department) or one letter of support from a senior member of the employing institution and a letter of support from an expert in the field.
  4. A CV, including a list of most relevant publications (up to a maximum of 10).


Guidance for applicants and applications forms can be downloaded above.


Application Submission

A completed application form must be submitted to research@mrf.mrc.ac.uk by 12pm WEDNESDAY 1st NOVEMBER 2017.

(email subject: Erina Herrick Emerging Leaders 2017).

You will receive an acknowledgement within two working days of sending your application.  If you do not hear from us, please email or phone 020 7395 2326 to confirm that we have received your application.



The proposal and any associated papers submitted to the Medical Research Foundation will be forwarded ‘in confidence’ to the reviewers and the Expert Panel.  While assessing proposals our experts may sometimes need to consult with colleagues, in confidence, about individual applications.


Declarations of interest

If a proposal presents a potential conflict of interest for any of the reviewers, Expert Panel or Medical Research Foundation Board of Trustees, the individual will not be involved in the discussion of the application and in the decision-making process.



Deadline for Submission: 1 November  2017, 12pm
Interview and Panel Review: January 2018
Funding Decision: February 2018
Feedback on Funding Decision: February 2018


Prize giving event

Prize winners will be invited to, and expected to attend an awards ceremony in March 2018 where they will be presented with their award and certificate. This will take place in central London and will be a celebration of UK emerging talent in Lupus research.



Any queries on the prize, competition, application process, or eligibility should be addressed to Clare Soares at research@mrf.mrc.ac.uk or 020 7395 2326.


FAQ’sEmerging Leaders Prize 2017 FAQ’s


Terms and Conditions of Award

Prize awards made through this competition will follow standard Medical Research Foundation terms and conditions. The Medical Research Foundation terms and conditions spell out the responsibilities of the Principal Investigator and the Lead Research Organisation. The Principal Investigator and the Lead Research Organisation are required to indicate their formal acceptance of the application, their acceptance of the terms and conditions of an Medical Research Foundation award, and the approval of the salaries and resources sought in the application to the Medical Research Foundation.

The Medical Research Foundation may add additional conditions to a prize award to reflect the particular circumstances and requirements of the funding, or the nature of a particular award.  Acceptance of an award constitutes acceptance of both the core conditions and any additional conditions. The Medical Research Foundation reserves the right to vary these terms and conditions.