Climate change and health

2024 Emerging Leaders Prize

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This funding call is now closed and we will not be accepting any further applications.

This year's Emerging Leaders Prize will recognise scientists who are making an impact with their research into the health impacts of climate change in the UK.

We are inviting applications from outstanding UK-based researchers who have shown how health outcomes in the UK are being impacted by climate change, and demonstrated their potential to be research leaders of the future.

Applications from researchers whose work has not been focused solely on UK contexts will be considered if it is relevant or can be applied to UK health.

The prize will allow me to take my research to the next level, and build a team that will go on to tackle the biggest challenges that we face in liver disease and viral hepatitis over the next 25 years.
Dr Hamish Innes
First place ELP Hepatitis winner, 2023
Med Research Awards Nov 2023 145

What is the Emerging Leaders Prize?

Each year, our Emerging Leaders Prize celebrates the achievements of researchers working on a different research theme. The prize funding provides a springboard for the winners’ careers and ensures they can continue to tackle key health challenges – both now and long into the future.

In previous years, the prize has recognised researchers working in the fields of hepatitis, lupus, COVID-19, pain, antimicrobial resistance, and adolescent mental health.

The funding is flexible, meaning that the winners decide how best to use it. This could mean spending time in a lab overseas, buying a cutting-edge piece of technology for their research, or investing in their personal career development.

Who can apply?

The prize is open to UK-based researchers undertaking research into the impact of climate change on health in the UK. Applicants must hold a PhD, DPhil or MD and be based at eligible institutions (UK HEIs, Research Council research institutes, hospitals, GP practices and other clinics, and other independent research organisations).

Applicants must be in the process of transitioning (or have recently transitioned) to an independent research position. They should demonstrate an upward trajectory across their past career and a track-record of nationally-competitive research, an ability to manage an independent research group, and have clear plans to develop into an internationally-recognised leader in the field.

Applications from researchers whose work has not been focused solely on UK contexts will be considered if it is relevant or can be applied to UK health.

Which fields of research will the prize cover?

Applicants may have conducted research related to (but not limited to) the following scientific areas in relation to climate change in the UK: non-infectious health outcomes and infectious disease, UK health policy and health systems, the epidemiology of health conditions, development and implementation of treatments for climate-change related health conditions, and the impacts on mental health and well-being.

This is not an exhaustive list and all areas related to the impact of climate change on health in the UK will be considered. Applicants will be required to demonstrate their track record in research on the impact of climate change on health and have the potential to become a leader in their field in the future.

Funding available

Up to £200,000 is available for the 2024 Emerging Leaders Prize. A top prize of £100,000 will be awarded and smaller prizes of various amounts for second place and highly commended candidates.

The research supported in this competition is possible thanks to the support of our generous donors.

Expert Panel

Applications will be reviewed by an expert panel made up of core panel members with experience in assessing career development and fellowship awards, and specialist members with experience in research areas relevant to the climate change and health. The Panel will be chaired by the Chair of our Board of Trustees, Professor Paul Moss OBE.

Core Panel Members

Professor Michael Okorie, Brighton and Sussex Medical School
Professor David Dockrell, University of Edinburgh
Professor Mark Harris, University of Leeds

Specialist Panel Members

Professor Andrew Morse, University of Liverpool
Dr Sari Kovats, LSHTM
Professor Frank Kelly, Imperial College London
Professor Rosie Green, LSHTM
Dr Arwyn Edwards, Aberystwyth University


  • Deadline for submission: 12:00 Tuesday 30 April 2024
  • Shortlisting notification: July 2024
  • Interview panel meeting: 16 September 2024
  • Funding decision and feedback: September/October 2024
  • Prize-giving event: 28 November 2024

How to apply

All applications must be submitted via our online grants management system.

Please see here the 2024 Guidelines for Applicants.

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Guidelines for applicants

Read the full guidelines on applying

2024 Emerging Leaders Prize


The Medical Research Foundation is committed to making this application accessible to all by offering assistance where needed.

Please do not hesitate to get in touch with the Research Team if you have any questions or concerns about the application or interview processes:


Tel: 020 4581 2402

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.

Guidelines for Panel Review

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