Emerging Leaders Prize

Pain Research

Emerging Leaders Prize for Pain Research

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The Medical Research Foundation is inviting applications from pain researchers to apply for the 2020 Emerging Leaders Prize.


The Emerging Leaders Prize is intended to celebrate the achievements of outstanding researchers who have made an impact in their field and demonstrated their potential to be a research leader of the future.

The Funder

The Medical Research Foundation is an independent charitable foundation. Formed by the Medical Research Council (MRC) over 90 years ago, we grow and nurture people and ideas wherever we see research opportunities with great potential.

Funding available

Up to £200,000 is available to recognise the work of emerging research leaders who are making significant contributions to research in pain. A top prize of £100,000 will be awarded and smaller prizes of various amounts for second place and runners-up.

Who can apply

This competition is open to UK researchers at eligible institutions (UK HEIs, Research Council research institutes, hospitals and other clinics and other independent research organisations).

For the 2020 Emerging Leaders prize, the Medical Research Foundation is interested in receiving applications from eligible researchers working directly on the topic of pain. For this award, pain should be the focus of the research work submitted, and not considered purely as a related symptom of a condition.

The Emerging Leaders Prize is aimed at researchers who are making significant contributions to pain research. We welcome applications from individuals who are transitioning into research leadership or have recently started their own research group and are not yet recognised as an established leader in the field.


  • Deadline for Submission: 12:00 Wednesday 27 May 2020
  • Interview: Tuesday 15 September 2020
  • Funding Decision: October 2020
  • Feedback on funding decision: October 2020
  • Prize Giving Event: Wednesday 25 November 2020

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 pain research. The Panel is chaired by one of our Trustees, Prof Danny Altmann, Imperial College London:

  • Professor Kim Graham, Cardiff University
  • Professor Jane Armitage, University of Oxford
  • Professor Mandy MacLean, University of Strathclyde
  • Professor Federica Marelli-Berg, Queen Mary University of London
  • Professor Magnus Rattray, University of Manchester
  • Professor Eileen Joyce, University College London
  • Professor David Dockrell, University of Edinburgh
  • Professor Neil Hanley, University of Manchester
  • Professor Waljit Dhillo, Imperial College London
  • Professor Irene Tracey, University of Oxford
  • Professor Maria Fitzgerald, University College London
  • Professor Christopher Eccleston, University of Bath
  • Professor David Walsh, University of Nottingham
  • Professor Candida McCabe, University of West of England
  • Professor Blair Smith, University of Dundee




Any queries on the prize, competition, application process, or eligibility should be addressed to or 020 7250 8216.

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