Deadline for preliminary applications: 16:00 22nd September 2022 

NUCLEIC ACID THERAPEUTICS ACCELERATOR (NATA)

The development and use of nucleic acid therapeutics is currently limited by the technology for their manufacture and the available techniques to target their delivery to specific organs and tissues of the body. The Nucleic Acid Therapy Accelerator (NATA) aims to capitalise on the UK’s world-leading expertise in physical and life sciences within both industry and universities to address these challenges head-on. By building strong and sustainable collaborations, NATA will combine know-how and state-of-the-art nucleic acid technologies from academia, biotech and industry. NATA is an intramural unit founded by the Medical Research Council.

EPILEPSY RESEARCH UK & NATA FELLOWSHIP AWARD

Applications are invited for awards of up to £250,000, over 2 years. This Fellowship award will provide research funding for researchers planning to develop a track record in epilepsy and nucleic acid therapeutics research and seeking to transition into research leadership. Funds will cover the Fellow’s salary, support staff costs, and project running costs.

SCOPE OF THE CALL

The proposed research should focus on:

  • The application of nucleic acid therapies to alleviate or cure epilepsy (genetic and non-genetic)

NATA is particularly interested in applications that foster inter-disciplinary research, including researchers working in chemistry.

The successful candidate will benefit from the opportunity to spend part of their fellowship working at the NATA Hub’s world-class facilities at Harwell Research Campus, as well as having access to high-resolution imaging capabilities at the central laser facility and Rosalind Franklin Institute. The NATA Hub has excellent links with the Mary Lyon Centre and National Mouse Genetics Network.

Applicants are encouraged to discuss potential applications with NATA. Initial enquiries should be directed to grants@eruk.org.uk

NUMBER OF APPLICATIONS PERMITTED PER GRANT ROUND

During any Epilepsy Research UK grant round, a fellowship applicant can submit a maximum of one application. An individual researcher may be named as a supervisor on a maximum of two fellowship award applications.

ELIGIBILITY

Applicants should be graduates in either medicine, one of the sciences allied to medicine, neuroscience, engineering, mathematics or chemistry. We advise applicants who are external to the epilepsy field to include a senior expert in epilepsy as a supervisor or collaborator on their proposal. Applicants must be resident in the UK and affiliated to an academic institution in the UK.

At any time, an individual researcher may be named on a maximum of two active project/fellowship grants. This can either be as principal investigator on one and co-investigator/supervisor on the other, or as co-investigator/supervisor on both.

Please note that existing Epilepsy Research UK grant holders are not eligible for funding unless the reporting of outcomes from their existing ERUK-funded grants is up-to-date.

APPLICATION PROCESS – TIMELINE

Fellowship applications are a two-stage process.  Fellowship award applicants will have the additional step of an interview with members of the SAC.

July 2022 – grant round opens for preliminary applications

22 September 2022, 16:00 – CLOSING DATE – for preliminary applications

November 2022 – preliminary applications are shortlisted by our Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC). Shortlisted applicants will be invited to submit a full application by 10 January 2023.

Shortlisted applicants will have an opportunity to meet with members of the Shape Epilepsy Research Network in advance of submitting a full application.

10 January 2023, 16:00 – CLOSING DATE – for shortlisted applicants to submit their full application.

Full applications are then sent externally for independent peer review.

February 2023 – Fellowship award applicants will have the opportunity to respond to peer review comments.

March 2023 – Fellowship award applicants will be invited to interview with members of the SAC. The SAC review the applications and make recommendations to the Epilepsy Research UK Board of Trustees for funding.

April 2023 – Applicants are notified of the outcome of their application.

The SAC comprises a panel of the UK’s leading neurologists, neuroscientists and expert epilepsy researchers. The current SAC membership can be found here.

Full Guidance for Applicants can be found here.

Applications can be submitted through the online application portal here.

We recommend using the example application form as a guide before completing the online application portal. The Epilepsy Research UK & NATA Fellowship Award example application form can be downloaded here.