Viral Hepatitis Research: Funding Opportunity for Mid-Career Researchers



The Medical Research Foundation is inviting applications from mid-career researchers, who are making the transition to independence, to support research that will increase understanding of the disease mechanisms underlying viral hepatitis.  Researchers whose work may lead to better diagnosis or modification of the progression and outcomes of these diseases, are also welcomed.

Research on toxin-induced, alcohol-related and autoimmune hepatitis is not within the scope of this competition.


Application form: Viral Hepatitis Application form

Guidelines for applicant: Viral Hepatitis Guidelines for applicants


The Funder

The Medical Research Foundation is the charitable foundation of the Medical Research Council and is funded by the giving public.  Much of the Foundation’s income is unrestricted but some donors restrict their donations to support specific areas of medical research.  The research supported in this competition is possible thanks to the generous support of the late Alfred Tarttelin (a retired dental surgeon), Effie Miller Munro and Jenny Porley.


Funding available

The Medical Research Foundation will make up to £1.6 million available in this competition.  Applicants may apply for up to £300,000 to support their research, over a maximum of a three year period.


Who can apply

This competition is open to all UK 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 in the process of, or be ready for, transition to research independence.  Applicants will need to demonstrate productivity across past appointments, an upward trajectory and clear plans to establish their own research ‘niche’.  The skills needed to win support in this competition can be found at

Applicants do not need to hold a tenured position at their proposed research organisation.

It is expected that applicants will be seeking, as principal investigator, their first peer-reviewed grant of three years or longer from a funding body (excluding personal fellowships). This competition is not intended to support the research of individuals who are independent researchers (e.g. Senior Lecturers, Professors, MRC and other funders’ Senior Fellows). Applicants who do not meet the criteria will not have their proposals accepted.


Guidance for Applicants


Medical Research Foundation will meet the full direct costs of research. Eligible costs include: full/partial salaries of the applicant and other staff employed to carry out the research, consumables, equipment, travel costs and costs of data preservation and data sharing, open access publishing costs (up to £6,000 for grant durations of a three year minimum).

In line with other UK medical research charities, the Medical Research Foundation will not meet directly allocated or indirect costs of the research that it supports. Host institutions are expected to provide the infrastructure to support the research.


Application Form

All information to be considered as part of the research proposal must be attached with the application form. The application must be completed using Calibri 11pt, 2cm margins and a minimum of single line spacing.



A completed application form must be submitted to by 12pm Friday 3 November 2017 (email subject: Viral Hepatitis Competition).

You will receive an acknowledgement within five 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.



Proposals that meet the criteria will be peer-reviewed by independent scientific experts (Reviewers).  You will have the opportunity to respond to the Reviewers’ assessments before your proposal is considered by an Expert Review Panel.  The Expert Review Panel will take the final funding decision.  You will receive feedback on the final decision.  More details can be found in the Guidelines to Applicants.


Assessment criteria

The Reviewers and Expert Review Panel will assess the proposal against the following four core criteria:

  • Importance: How important are the questions, or gaps in knowledge, that are being addressed?
  • Scientific potential: What are the prospects for good scientific progress?
  • Career development: Has the lead applicant demonstrated potential to be an independent researcher? To what extent will the proposal contribute towards the career progression of the lead applicant?
  • Resources requested: Are the funds requested essential for the work, and do the importance and scientific potential justify funding on the scale requested?

The Reviewers and Expert Review Panel will also identify any ethical issues or risks to human participants that need further attention.


Scoring system

Reviewers will score applications (1-6) and this score will be taken into consideration by the Expert Review Panel. Each Reviewer will first decide whether a proposal is excellent, good, potentially good or unacceptable.  They will then use the descriptions within the relevant band to select a score that reflects their overall summary, using whole numbers only.  The scoring structure for the Expert Review Panel runs from 0-10.


Review process and scoring matrix:



The proposal and any associated papers submitted to the Medical Research Foundation will be forwarded ‘in confidence’ to the Reviewers and Expert Review Panel.  However, while assessing proposals they 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 Review Panel or Board of Trustees, the conflicted individual will not be involved in the discussion of the application and in the decision-making process.



Deadline for Submission: Friday 3rd November  2017, 12pm

Opportunity to comment on referee assessments: February 2018

Expert Review Panel meeting: March 2018

Feedback on funding decision: April 2018



Any queries on the competition, the application process, or eligibility should be addressed to Clare Soares at or 020 7395 2326.


FAQ’sViral Hepatitis FAQ’s


Terms and Conditions of Award

Awards funded through this competition will follow standard Medical Research Foundation terms and conditions. The 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 proposal, their acceptance of the terms and conditions of an award, and the approval of the salaries and resources sought in the application.


The Medical Research Foundation may add additional conditions to a grant 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.