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UK Nutrition Research Partnership (UK NRP) Collaborative Awards: Outline stage

Copyright: Digital Vision

Call status: Closed
Previous call: 18 June 2018 - 15 January 2019


The UK Nutrition Research Partnership (UK NRP) for health and disease is a partnership between the Medical Research Council (MRC), the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).

MRC, on behalf of the UK NRP (see: MRC Insight: Nutrition research: taking a broader view) is pleased to invite proposals for multidisciplinary pump-priming Collaborative Awards.

Following the publication of the Review of Nutrition and Human Health Research (PDF) the UK NRP wishes to strengthen the UK nutrition research base by attracting new expertise and new partners into the field. The objective is to provide novel and robust insights into human nutrition, with the potential of transforming the long-term health of the population.

The call has been developed to catalyse the formation of multidisciplinary research teams able to address important challenges in nutrition research that require innovative, cutting-edge approaches to accelerate progress; to build research capacity in the field, and to strengthen the UK nutrition research base.

The UK NRP Collaborative Awards will widen the research base and increase collaborations by bringing together expertise from within and without the current nutrition field. We are particularly keen to attract the most exciting and transformative collaborative applications, including partnerships across disciplines and between clinical and basic scientists.

A core element of these awards will be visionary leadership at the outset and a strong drive to build a collaboration with a broad range of research expertise, drawn from different disciplines, and from relevant non-academic sectors.

The aim of these awards is to identify important challenges and opportunities related to nutrition in human health and disease and, by working in a cross-disciplinary manner, begin to make a significant step-change in scientific progress. The collaborations should foster a range of innovative research ideas designed to address the challenge(s) identified by integrating expertise across disciplines.

Up to £2 million is available for this call and the aim is to fund at least three UK NRP Collaborative Awards, each supported at a maximum of £600,000 at 80% FEC (£750,000 FEC) for a duration of up to 36 months. Support will be primarily for pump-priming feasibility research to provide proof of concept and the generation of important data to support further grant applications.

This is a two-stage call; outline applications will be assessed in October 2018 and full applications invited forward for assessment in February 2019.

This call is part of a long-term approach to build research capacity and partnerships through phased and strategic development. It is anticipated that the pump-priming funding will ensure the collaborative groups will be positioned to apply for future funding to lead new interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral research proposals. Our expectation is that the Collaborative Awards will have fostered the development of interdisciplinary groupings of scientists with the critical mass of expertise that will make them well-placed to obtain such funding.


The UK NRP Collaborative Awards will support interdisciplinary collaboration around an important challenge in nutrition research related to health and disease. Research partnerships will be appropriate to the challenge and may involve academic experts and appropriate science, policy, community, technology, public and third sector, user and industrial groups. The awards will enable a common language and understanding to be developed between different disciplines and sectors, enabling them to work productively together to address those challenges in nutrition research which require new insights and new research communities to be built around them.

The aims of the call are therefore to:

  • facilitate and support feasibility studies and the generation of robust pilot data and/or tools/technologies/methodologies and know-how. This is a key aim of the call
  • transfer research techniques, for example experimental techniques, models and scientific insights across disciplines in pursuit of new approaches to nutrition research
  • promote mobility of expertise between academia, universities, policy, practice and/or industry that builds capacity and capability to undertake novel approaches to nutrition research
  • enable different disciplines and sectors to build a shared language and vision (facilitated by the umbrella of the award) and to agree collective research goals.

It is anticipated that the pump-priming funding will ensure collaborations will be positioned to apply for funding to lead new interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral research proposals as Collaborative Awards would have developed the critical mass of expertise that can be brought to bear on nutrition research challenges.


For further details about the call, please refer to the MRC webpage: MRC: UK Nutrition Research Partnership (UK NRP) Collaborative Awards: Outline stage.

How to apply

This call is closed to applications.

The outline case for support for Collaborative Awards should be submitted on the proforma supplied and completed following the specific guidance, both of which can be found on the MRC webpage: MRC: UK Nutrition Research Partnership (UK NRP) Collaborative Awards: Outline stage.


Call opens 18 June 2018
Outline proposals application deadline 31 July 2018, 16:00
Outline proposals assessed by expert review panel members Early October 2018
Outline proposal feedback October 2018
Application deadline for invited full applications 15 January 2019
Full applications assessed by full expert review panel February 2019

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