Translational Activities Supported

The following sections outline the activities that can be supported through the University’s harmonised translational funding.

Activities supported by UKRI / STFC IAA

User Engagement & Partnership Development

The User Engagement & Partnership Development strand provides match funding to support short-terms projects with external, non-academic organisations to develop relationships, share risk and demonstrate applicability of research thus facilitating its integration and adoption and encouraging ongoing collaborations with the University.

Funding will be available to support academics to broaden and strengthen existing partnerships, to consolidate and deepen relationships with non-academic research partners and users, and to pump prime new external partnerships. The funding is particularly focused on encouraging new partnerships or helping to strengthen those that are not long established.

All User Engagement & Partnership Development projects must have at least one external, non-academic collaborative partner that is contributing to the project (either cash or in-kind). External collaborative partners could include national and international businesses, public and third sector organisations, or community bodies. This fund will not support academic-academic collaboration.

User Engagement & Partnership Development funds can be used to support existing PhD students and staff employed by the University or to recruit new members of staff if necessary to meet the skill requirements of the role. Providing this can be achieved in an appropriate timescale for the implementation of the project.

  • Projects can be carried out on a full-time or part-time basis, depending on the nature of the work.
  • Projects may involve one or more researchers and will typically be up to 12 months in length.
  • Funding of around £10-30k per project  (up to £60k where EPSRC/STFC would be the lead funder) will be made available through the harmonised UKRI Impact Acceleration Account (IAA).

The award could also be used as leverage for, or form part of, a longer-term project, in which case the external partner would be expected to fund any work beyond the initial funding period.

If you would like to discuss this funding and opportunity further please contact the Translational Research Portfolio Team.

People Mobility: Secondment

The purpose of the People Mobility: Secondment activity strand is to provide staff with the opportunity to work with a non-academic partner at their site, or for a non-academic partner to work on a project at the University.

This will enable the flow of knowledge and skills in both directions, enhancing the knowledge and innovation capacity of secondees, and leading to ongoing interactions between partnering organisations.

External partners may include industry, business, public sector/government organisations or third sector organisations. The Parliamentary Academic Fellowship scheme is also be supported through this activity strand. Secondments to academic establishments are not supported by this scheme.

Applicants may take a flexible approach with projects ranging from short-term shadowing or placements to longer-term secondments.

  • The period of the project may be up to 12 months (6 months where MRC would be the lead funder) and the secondment may be either full-time or part-time.
  • Funding of around £10-20k per project  (up to £40k where EPSRC/STFC would be the lead funder) will be made available through the harmonised UKRI Impact Acceleration Account (IAA).

For outgoing secondments, it is critical that the secondment does not impact on the delivery of the secondee’s existing commitments, and this should be managed with any current sponsor (e.g., via project extension) or Head of School. The scheme can support teaching buy-out to allow researchers to spend time at the partner organisation.  

For incoming secondees, applicants must discuss secondment preparations with their local administrative and HR teams to ensure correct arrangements are put in place prior to the start of the project, e.g., access to buildings/systems necessary to carry out the project.  

All secondment projects must have at least one external, collaborative partner that is contributing to the project (either cash or in-kind).

If you would like to discuss this funding and opportunity further please contact the Translational Research Portfolio Team.

People Mobility: PGR Placement

The Postgraduate Researchers (PGR) Placement scheme offers current non-UKRI funded doctoral students from within a discipline relevant to a participating Research Council the opportunity to undertake part-time work with local and national companies/organisations (we are unable to fund international placements).  

The placement will provide PGRs with valuable hands-on experience of how researchers and businesses/external organisations can work together.  At the same time, PGRs will be given the opportunity to develop their transferable skills in a real-world setting and to enhance their employability. 

The time commitment for the PGR is 130 hours in total, with weekly hours to be agreed with the external organisation and their academic supervisor. As an example, PGRs have phased their projects over a 13-week period at ten hours per week. A bursary of up to £1,950 will be awarded based on a 130-hour placement. 

Please note that the placement must not be directly related to the PGR’s PhD, the purpose of the scheme is to improve a PGR researcher’s employability and skills whilst injecting innovative ideas into the host organisation. 

If you would like to discuss this funding and opportunity further please contact the Translational Research Portfolio Team.

Commercialisation

The Commercialisation activity strand funds early stage commercialisation through two types of project; Proof of Market and Proof of Concept (PoC).

Funding will be available to facilitate the early-stage commercialisation of products or services based on research at the University of Leeds. IAA funding will be deployed to address the pre-commercialisation gap, developing research outputs towards the demonstration of a commercially relevant prototype 

The intellectual property must be 100% University owned; or the University has in advance already agreed rights to develop, exploit and share revenue arising from the technology.

To discuss eligibility and the application process for Commercialisation applications, please contact commercialisation@leeds.ac.uk.

Proof of Market (PoM)

Funding is typically up to £15k per application and will be made available to support the following indicative activities:

  • market research
  • competing technology analysis
  • small pieces of technical feasibility work
  • external IP reviews
  • obtaining an external commercial opinion
  • industrial networking activities and market visits (to establish market need)

Proof of Concept (PoC)

Funding of around £10-75k per project will be made available to support the following indicative activities:

  • technical development programmes to achieve commercially identified milestones (not proof of principle work)
  • further market validation of technology and competitive advantage
  • procurement of specialist consultancy services, where required to support the above activities

Activities supported by UKRI IAA / Wellcome Trust iTPA

Additionally, the following sections outline the activities that can be supported through the University's Pathfinder and Feasibility (P&F) scheme. Funding for P&F activities is available for projects where over 50% of the activity would either be within the remit of MRC or BBSRC (or both) and/or within the remit of the iTPA. Funding will support the following activities, and a single activity/combination of activities may be applied for through one application (with the exception that Technical Evaluation funding may not be applied for at the same time as Validation funding):

P&F: User Need Evaluation

User need evaluation funding is available to undertake analysis and assessment of unmet needs though engagement with clinical, patient, and/or user groups to ensure their perspectives are reflected in the initial scoping of opportunities, where relevant, this could also include consideration of the regulatory environment.

User Need Evaluation funding will support projects of up to 9mths in duration. Longer projects maybe considered on a case by case basis given sufficient justification. Funding of up to £10k per project will be made available to support the following indicative activities:

  • Evaluation of end-user need
  • Consultation with medical staff
  • Patient and Public Involvement activities
  • Engagement with user groups
  • Consultancy to assist in establishing regulatory pathways
  • Access to biological samples

If you would like to discuss this funding and opportunity further please contact the Translational Research Portfolio Team.

P&F: Commercial Evaluation

Early-stage commercial evaluation funding provides support to explore early-stage research outputs e.g., technologies, products, processes or services from a commercial perspective.

Commercial Evaluation funding will support projects of up to 9mths in duration. Longer projects maybe considered on a case by case basis given sufficient justification. Funding of up to £10k per project will be made available to support the following indicative activities:

  • Assessment of IP, including freedom to operate
  • Market/ competitor analysis
  • Patent landscape
  • Industrial networking activities and market visits (to establish market need)
  • Obtaining external commercial opinions/ Consultancy for project development
  • Consultancy to assist in Target Product Profile development (e.g. Drug Discovery)

If you would like to discuss this funding and opportunity further please contact the Translational Research Portfolio Team.

P&F: Technical Evaluation

Technical evaluation funding is available to establish early stage technical feasibility, accelerate developments towards adoption, and assist is attracting follow-on or external funding.

Technical Evaluation funding will support projects of up to 9mths in duration. Longer projects maybe considered on a case by case basis given sufficient justification. Funding of around £10-30k per project will be made available to support the following indicative activities:

  • Small scale technical feasibility studies
  • Target Validation
  • Discovery and early development of new chemical/ biological entities
  • Compound/ drug delivery
  • Biomarker validation
  • Imaging

If you would like to discuss this funding and opportunity further please contact the Translational Research Portfolio Team.

P&F: Validation

Validation funding is available to further de-risk a technology, product, process or service to enable movement along the translational pipeline. The activities supported are flexible depending on the needs of the project however applications will need to demonstrate how the proposal would provide the foundation for securing later-stage translational funding/ external investment.

A prerequisite for applications for Validation funding is that an unmet commercial/ clinical/ patient/ user need has been established through prior engagement with industrial and/or clinical partners and other key stakeholders (e.g., through User Need/ Commercial Evaluation).

Validation funding will support projects of up to 12mths in duration. Funding of around £10-40k per project will be made available through the harmonised UKRI Impact Acceleration Account (IAA).

If you would like to discuss this funding and opportunity further please contact the Translational Research Portfolio Team.