2023 Funding for early stage healthcare-biomedical translational projects

The University of Sheffield, Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, Sheffield Hallam University and Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust form a consortium to advance early stage translational healthcare projects.

A nurse and patient. She is showing the patient a piece of paper.

MRC Impact Acceleration Account 2022-25: Funding for early stage healthcare-biomedical translational projects

The University of Sheffield, Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, Sheffield Hallam University and Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust form a consortium to advance early stage translational healthcare projects.

The MRC IAA monies received are to be used to support projects to “accelerate the transition from discovery research to translational development projects by supporting preliminary work or feasibility studies to establish the viability of an approach” within a biomedical and healthcare remit. 

The funding will enable teams to develop a concept to a point where it is competitive enough to be used in a bid for more substantive follow on translational funding.

Due to the competitive nature of the funding and staff resources to assist researchers with the generation of their applications, please note there is a project registration deadline of Friday 26 May 2023, and preliminary draft applications must be received by your institutional professional support staff for input by Friday 9 June 2023. The final date for submission of applications is 7 July 2023.

Please get in touch with your institutional contacts listed below to receive the guidance and application forms, available from February 2023. Your project must be registered via the link provided within these documents.

Provisional timeline:

 March 2023 Call Opens
April - May 2023  Scheduled training sessions (link provided in the scheme forms)
26 May 2023  Deadline for applicants to register their project (via Google Form link supplied in the scheme forms)
9 June Deadline for receipt of draft applications
7 July  Deadline for receipt of final applications
July - August 2023 Review of applications 
September 2023 Panel Meeting
October 2023 Funding decisions communicated


Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust

Dr Keith Pugh, Research & Development Manager, keith.pugh1@nhs.net

Dr Gillian Gatenby, Associate Director for Research & Innovation, gillian.gatenby@nhs.net

Sheffield Teaching Hospital Trust 

Dr Dipak Patel, Research & Innovation Manager, dipak.patel12@nhs.net

Sheffield Hallam University

Dr Neil Bowden, Innovation Development Manager, n.bowden@shu.ac.uk

Dr Georgia Hatzi Technology Transfer Officer, G.Hatzigiannidou@shu.ac.uk

University of Sheffield

Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry & Health

Jonathan Field, Knowledge Exchange Manager, j.field@sheffield.ac.uk

Nicola F Galley, Knowledge Exchange Manager, n.galley@sheffield.ac.uk

Sue Smith, Commercialisation Manager, sue.smith@sheffield.ac.uk

Alex Wilkinson, Commercialisation Manager - Insigneo, a.wilkinson@sheffield.ac.uk

Faculty of Engineering

Adam Bond, Knowledge Exchange Lead, a.p.bond@sheffield.ac.uk

Erica Williams, Knowledge Exchange Manager, e.williams@sheffield.ac.uk

Joe Carruthers, Commercialisation Manager, j.j.carruthers@sheffield.ac.uk

Sam Trotter, Commercialisation Officer, s.j.trotter@sheffield.ac.uk

Alex Wilkinson, Commercialisation Manager - Insigneo, a.wilkinson@sheffield.ac.uk

Faculty of Science

Katie Pruszynski, Knowledge Exchange Lead, k.m.pruszynski@sheffield.ac.uk

Karim Sorefan, Knowledge Exchange Manager, k.sorefan@sheffield.ac.uk

Wendy Lawley, Knowledge Exchange Manager, w.lawley@sheffield.ac.uk

Richard Senior (Life Sciences), Commercialisation Manager, richard.senior@sheffield.ac.uk

Joe Gaunt (Physical Sciences), Commercialisation Manager, j.gaunt@sheffield.ac.uk

Training will be available to support early stage biomedical-healthcare translational funding applications

Training sessions will be scheduled for April-May 2023 as an introduction to the scheme and as an opportunity for applicants to ask any questions. Recordings of previous training sessions will also be made available.

Information and sign-up details will be included in the application form and guidance documents, to be released in February 2023.

Previous training has included, for example:

  • Commercialisation of Research (Dr Michael Murray, Royal Society Entrepreneur in Residence)
  • Regulatory Considerations (Dr Clare Lankester, Regulatory Expert in Residence)
  • The Biodesign Process (Prof Edward Draper, Entrepreneur in Residence, Department of Materials Science & Engineering, University of Sheffield)
  • What makes a good application? (Dr Thomas Bartlett, Knowledge Exchange and Commercialisation Manager, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry & Health, University of Sheffield)

Previous External Panel Members

The MRC IAA panel includes expert external reviewers. Previous expert reviewers have included:

Professor Edward Draper, Entrepreneur in Residence

With over a decade’s experience in medical device and healthcare business development, Edward has a deep understanding of the sciences and manufacturing technologies in BioTech. As a Visiting Professor with the University of Sheffield, Edward supports discussions on developments and regulations associated with commercialisation of complex biomaterials with regulatory authorities (including FDA and MHRA); links to potential commercial purchasers of the technologies (including Large Corporations); advises on publication strategies that will minimise adverse effects on the value of the University’s intellectual property; lectures on Advanced Biomaterials and their Commercialisation; and has established and leads the BioTech Entrepreneurs Club for both students and staff.

Dr Clare Lankester, Regulatory Expert in Residence

Clare has over 15 years’ experience in the MedTech industry, primarily developing strategy and development programmes for start-ups and SMEs. A scientist at heart, Clare is passionate about the technologies which will shape our future world and the people who make it happen. She has a strong background in medical devices, product definition, regulatory, preclinical, clinical, strategy, and fundraising. She has experience working collaboratively across industry, academia, and NHS sectors. Previous roles include commercial assessment of NHS innovations, delivery of training on innovation and regulatory affairs, and clinical trial management / CRA. Of particular personal interest to Clare are the fields of kidney research and organ transplantation and related technologies.

Dr Andy Merritt, Head of Chemistry, Associate Director, LifeArc

Dr Andy Merritt has held the post of Head of Chemistry at the LifeArc Centre for Therapeutics Discovery since 2009. In collaboration with academic scientists, the Centre develops and prosecutes innovative discovery programmes emerging from academic research. Prior to his current position Andy was a Director of Discovery Medicinal Chemistry at GlaxoSmithKline, covering early lead discovery from screening campaigns, global outsource support for lead discovery chemistry and supply of tool compounds for target validation. Between 1995 and 2001 he led interdisciplinary teams focusing on lead discovery and optimisation incorporating the development of new chemical technologies. Andy joined Glaxo as a senior medicinal chemist in 1988 following postdoctoral studies in the US, initially working on oncology and pain drug discovery programs.

Dr Michael Murray, Royal Society Entrepreneur in Residence

Principal at Murray International Partners, Michael is a deal-maker and commercial intellectual property (IP) specialist who has been working in technology transfer in the biopharmaceutical industry since 1996. His clients range from universities and research institutes, through start-ups and SMEs, to mid-tier and major multinational companies. In April 2019, Michael commenced as a Royal Society Entrepreneur in Residence at the University of Sheffield, hosted by the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry & Health. He works closely with the Sheffield Healthcare Gateway and with the Research Services Impact and IP teams. As part of Michael’s role, he is delivering training which outlines how, for example, a biochemical or biological reaction in an Eppendorf tube might be turned into a globally available medicine.