Translational Research Office


External Funding

Apollo Therapeutics Fund

Project Apollo is a unique collaboration between three pharmaceutical companies (GlaxoSmithKline, AstraZeneca, Janssen Pharmaceuticals) and three world-leading Universities (UCL, Cambridge and Imperial College), via their respective Technology Transfer Offices (TTOs) in our case UCLB, which seeks to provide translational research funding for biomedical projects with therapeutic potential emanating from academic laboratories within the Universities and their associated research hospitals. 

Apollo Fund - additional information
Apollo Project Criteria


The DPFS is considered a pre-clinical translational funding scheme to help strengthen the translation of fundamental research towards patient benefit. The scheme – which will not fund basic discoveries – will support the development of novel therapies, interventions and diagnostics, and the research tools used in the development of therapies, interventions or diagnostics. Projects should target significant and unmet health needs.

It is envisaged that projects would normally seek initial funding in the range of £250k-750k. Depending on the nature of the research, this might be sufficient for one or two years work, or occasionally longer.

The DCS can be considered as a subset of Experimental Medicine (EM). They are early stage clinical studies which are on the development pathway for a new therapeutic/ diagnostic/ device/ public health intervention (or a new indication for an existing intervention). Studies should be aimed at proof of concept.

The EME programme is funded by the MRC, and administered on its behalf by the NIHR. The EME programme aims to support excellent clinical science with an ultimate view to improving health or patient care.


New developments in health research arrangements are set to transform the way research in the NHS is organised and carried out, and the HTA programme is to play an important role in this. Closer working of the NIHR and MRC through a new joint health research strategy is planned to speed up the translation of advances in basic science into applied research, converting excellent basic discoveries into innovations that directly benefit patients and help prevent disease.

Under the new system the NIHR and MRC will work together to expand the base of translational and applied research, particularly evaluation and trials.

There are many other additional NIHR funds that are managed by two organizing bodies:

  1. NIHR Evaluation, Trials and Studies Coordinating Centre (NETSCC)

    1. Health Technology Assessment;
    2. Public Health Research;
    3. Efficacy and Mechanism Evaluation;
    4. Health Services Research
    5. Service Delivery and Organisation.
  2. NIHR Central Commissioning Facility (NIHR CCF)

    1. Research for Patient Benefit (RfPB)
    2. Policy Research Programme (PRP)
    3. Programme Development Grants
    4. Invention for Innovation (i4i)
    5. Research for Innovation Speculation and Creativity (RISC)

Wellcome Trust

  1. Translation Awards
  2. Seeding Drug Discovery
  3. Strategic Translation Awards
  4. Health Innovation Challenge Fund


Cancer Research UK offers the following funding schemes for translational research.

  1. Biomarkers and Imaging Discovery and Development (BIDD) Project Grants
    BIDD Project Grants scheme funds research in all types of biomarkers using invasive and non-invasive technologies.
  2. Discovery Committee (DC) Grants
    Discovery Committee (DC) Grants is the sole Cancer Research UK scheme operating for managed development of projects arising from the Charity's basic research portfolio.
  3. New Agents Committee (NAC)
    The New Agents Committee (NAC)selects new anti-cancer treatments, funds any outstanding preclinical steps, and takes them into early clinical trials managed and sponsored by Cancer Research UK's Drug Development Office (DDO).