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International Development Research @ Cambridge


The Confidence in Concept scheme is a key part of MRC’s translational research strategy and provides annual awards of £250k-£1.2m to institutions, to be used flexibly to support the earliest stages of multiple translational research projects. It is intended 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.

Ensuring that fundamental science is translated into new therapies, diagnostics and medical devices is central to MRC's mission. The Confidence in Concept scheme aims to accelerate the transition from discovery science to the early stages of therapeutic/biomarker development by providing locally-administered, responsive and flexible funding to support preliminary translational work.

The award can be used flexibly by the institution to support a number of preliminary-stage translational projects. The projects supported should aim to provide sufficient preliminary data to establish the viability of an approach before seeking more substantive funding (e.g. from the Developmental Pathway Funding Scheme (DPFS). Applicants are encouraged to explore how awards could be used to develop academic-industry interactions. People exchange (in either direction) is permitted, where focused on the delivery of specific project objectives. Other routes (e.g. co-funding projects, developing early-stage collaborations) are also encouraged. Standard terms and conditions apply (see in particular the “MICA” web page).

Institutions may apply for an award between £250k and £1.2m. Institutional awards will be of 24 months duration and successful institutions are expected to allocate funds to projects within the first 12 months of the award. MRC anticipates that individual projects funded from an institution’s award will be of the order of £50-100k and approximately 6-12 months in length, although this will be dictated by the needs of each project.

Please read further information about eligibility, application process, assessment criteria and reporting requirements  here

If you have any queries about this scheme, please contact DPFS&


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Welcome to Cambridge Global Challenges

Cambridge Global Challenges is the Strategic Research Initiative of the University of Cambridge that aims to enhance the contribution of its research towards addressing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, with a particular focus on the poorest half of the world’s population.


Join the Strategic Research Initiative

Register to Cambridge Global Challenges here.


Learn about the support we provide 

Information on how Cambridge Global Challenges can support your research is shared here.


Contact us

Programme Manager (Sara Serradas Duarte):​