Applications are sought for Alexander Fleming Dissemination Awards that provide support for the dissemination of MRC and Medical Research Foundation-funded research results beyond the scientific peer reviewed press, to patients, participants, practitioners and policy makers.
The Medical Research Foundation, MRC’s independent charity, supports and funds this scheme from the Fleming Memorial Fund for Medical Research. The Fleming Memorial Fund was established in 1959 in the memory of Sir Alexander Fleming.
What is the purpose of the scheme?
The purpose of the scheme is to provide funding to support the dissemination of MRC and MRF-funded research results beyond the scientific peer reviewed press, to patients, participants, practitioners (for example health professionals) and policy makers. In this context, dissemination goes beyond making research results available through the traditional vehicles of journal publications and academic conference presentations. It involves the process of extracting the main message or key implication derived from the research results and communicating them to targeted groups in a way that encourages them to factor the research implications into their work (practitioners and policy makers) or lives (patients and the healthy population at large).
Who can apply?
The scheme is open to MRC and MRF grant and fellowship holders and researchers in MRC research institutes, units and centres, whose MRC or MRF funding is within one year of termination (prior to or after termination of support). This one-year time limit may be extended for large scale MRC-funded clinical trials that have taken some time to publish in the scientific press – please contact us if this applies to you.
Are there any restrictions on the type of research results that can be disseminated?
The research result to be disseminated must have been published in a peer reviewed journal prior to the submission of the Alexander Fleming Dissemination Award application. There are no other restrictions though see the advice on What does a successful application look like? and What is the purpose of the scheme ?
Is there an upper limit to an award?
Awards will be made to meet the costs of the dissemination activities and will be no greater than £30,000.
What costs can I include in my application?
You can apply for the costs of the dissemination activities that you propose to undertake. These activities will be dependent upon the nature of the research findings and the target audience and could include, for example, the costs associated with writing, publicising and disseminating non-specialist reports for a wider public audience or network of practitioners, developing web pages or posters or engaging in lectures, policy working groups or seminars to explain the research results and their impact to groups able to effect change – these may be policy makers, service providers and commissioners, the public or patient groups, or schools-based activities.
You can include the costs of collaborating with, or buying the services of, other professionals key to the dissemination of your research results beyond the scientific press. These could include mediators and practitioners of science communication, educators and health professionals.
Travel and subsistence costs can be included, along with the costs of organising events to draw together the target audience.
As with all UK-charity funded research, the Medical Research Foundation accepts applications only for directly incurred costs (as defined by the TRAC methodology used by universities to calculate the full economic costs of their research). Awards will not cover the costs of the principal investigators salary or indirect/overhead costs.
What will be the tenure of the award?
This is flexible and will be dependent on the nature of the dissemination activities athough awards typically have a duration of up to one year.
How do I apply?
Applicants are required to complete an application form which you can find here.
What do I need to include in my application?
Background to dissemination plan
- Detail the original aims of the MRC/MRF-funded research and the published research result that is the object of the proposed dissemination activities.
- Explain the significance of the research result that is to be disseminated, in terms of its potential to improve health and/or behaviour or change healthcare practice/policy.
- Place the published research finding that is to be disseminated in the context of existing evidence.
- Detail any dissemination activities undertaken already (through the MRC/MRF grant or supported by other funds) and any evaluation of these preliminary activities.
Provide sufficient detail of the following:
- The message or key implication of the research result that is to be disseminated.
- The changes in practice/policy or health/behaviour that the dissemination plan is aiming to achieve.
- The methods for dissemination:
- Who is the target audience?
- Who will deliver the message?
- How will the message be delivered?
- Where will the message be delivered?
- Timeframe for the dissemination activities?
- Numbers of the target audience that the dissemination activity is expected to reach.
- Expert advice sought/involved in the dissemination activities.
Evaluation of the dissemination activities
Detail your plans for an evaluation of the proposed dissemination activities (has the dissemination activity changed behaviour, health, policy or practice?)
Justification of resources
Justify all resources requested.
What is the deadline for applications?
The following applications deadlines apply:
Deadline: 12:00 Wednesday 2 October 2019 Date of Decision: December 2019
How will my application be assessed?
Scientific peer review of your dissemination application will not be undertaken – to be eligible for the scheme the research result you wish to disseminate must have been already published in a peer reviewed scientific journal and the quality of the research finding will have been established.
The expert assessment of Alexander Fleming Dissemination applications will address the following three key issues:
- The significance of the research finding:
- prevalence of condition (if disease-related).
- potential impact of the findings on the condition/general public health or on health care policy/practice.
- contribution that the results will make to current practice or knowledge.
- consideration of other relevant related research.
- publication of the findings in peer-reviewed journal(s).
- The need for wider dissemination:
- audience for dissemination plan.
- reasons why wider dissemination outwith the scientific community is important.
- potential to change in behaviour or practice of public/individuals or policy makers.
- The quality of the dissemination plan:
- likely impact of the plan on the target audience.
- likely effectiveness of the proposed activities for reaching the target audience.
What does a successful application look like?
Successful applications are likely to be those where:
- The MRC/MRF-funded research result merits wide dissemination beyond the normal scientific press.
- The research result, if disseminated effectively, is likely to change healthcare policy or practice or the behavior of patients/the population at large.
- The dissemination plan places the research finding in the context of the other available evidence in the field.
- The dissemination plan is well considered, targeted and innovative. It is likely to reach the proposed audience and likely to have an impact on health care policy or practice or the behavior of patients/the population at large.
- An evaluation of the dissemination activity has been incorporated into the application.
What is not within remit for an Award?
Applications that focus on disseminating research findings to other researchers will not be supported (for example requests for academic conference travel) and more general public engagement with science activities are outside of the scope of the scheme.
Can I renew my award?
It may be possible to renew an Alexander Fleming Dissemination award for a further period. To discuss this please contact us.
Where do I get further advice?
If after reading the information provided in these pages, you need further advice please contact us at