Interdisciplinary Research Collaboration (IRC) in Targeted Therapeutic Delivery

Please note: a CV and host statements are not required for this call. Please submit a blank document for CV and the host statement in Je-S.

Following the 'Targeted Therapeutic Delivery' workshop in May 2017, EPSRC's Healthcare Technologies theme is inviting outline proposals for an 'Interdisciplinary Research Collaboration (IRC) in Targeted Therapeutic Delivery Technologies' in September 2017. This call is being delivered in partnership with EPSRC's strategic business partners AstraZeneca and GlaxoSmithKline. It is anticipated that a budget of up to £10 million will be available to support one IRC for five years.

The involvement of AstraZeneca (AZ) and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) in delivering the call will enable these companies to work with short-listed applicants in the preparation of a full bid. Potential applicants should not approach either AZ or GSK regarding this call prior to the shortlisting as this may result in a conflict of interest and subsequent rejection of the application at outline or full proposal stage.

There will be no obligation on applicants to partner with AZ or GSK (and vice versa) should they be invited to submit a full proposal. Nor is this intended to preclude partnership with other project partners, including other businesses. Interested businesses are invited to email

Each bid is expected to consist of one lead institution, with a number of collaborative institutions that bring together world leading research expertise in the disciplines required to deliver the breadth of research proposed.

Collaborations are expected to undertake basic engineering and physical sciences research that assumes a holistic approach to the challenges of developing technologies for targeted therapeutic delivery. Collaborations should have a clear vision for the research and how their approach can contribute to transforming Targeted Therapeutic Delivery Technologies. These should include (but are not limited to):

  • Designing and creating novel formulations
  • Characterising the drug vehicle
  • Manufacturing of novel therapeutic medicine (ideally with renewable materials and at affordable costs)
  • Engineering and Physical Sciences for mediated drug delivery, for example encapsulation, magnetic, ultrasonic and photodynamic approaches
  • Characterisation, metrology and activation of targeted therapies in humans

The call primarily aims to support targeted delivery of medicines, from nanomedicines to large molecules, rather than non-medicinal interventions. Therefore surgeries, radiotherapies and other similar approaches are outside the scope of this call. In addition, because regenerative therapies are covered by the UK Regenerative Medicine Platform, we do not expect the delivery of advanced/regenerative therapies to form a significant focus of the IRC in Targeted Therapeutic Delivery Technologies.

There are some overarching principles which applicants should be aware of:

  • The majority of the research should be within the scientific remit of EPSRC.
  • The application should have one lead institution and typically several collaborative institutions;
  • An institution may only lead on one bid but may partner in others;
  • EPSRC does not accept resubmissions;
  • The application must be collaborative and multi-disciplinary in nature. The expectation is to bring together relevant disciplines and users to further the research challenges of this area;
  • Full proposals will be expected to demonstrate evidence of user buy-in to the collaboration

Applicants are advised to contact the Healthcare Technologies theme to discuss their interest and suitability in applying for an IRC during the early stages of outline preparation. We would expect the following information to feed into the discussion with the applicant:

  • Timeliness
  • The international esteem factors and funding track records of themselves and their team
  • Brief description of the research vision
  • Brief explanation for why the IRC is the most appropriate scheme
  • Brief description of National Importance
  • Brief explanation of how this research complements EPSRC's current portfolio

This stage of the call will be assessed anonymously by an expert panel, whose membership will include representatives of GSK and AZ. Successful applicants will be invited to submit a full application. Full guidance on the preparation of outline and details of the assessment process, can be found in the call document.

Contact Details

In the following table, contact information relevant to the page. The first column is for visual reference only. Data is in the right column.

Name: Dr Stephanie Newland
Job title: Portfolio Manager
Department: Healthcare Technologies
Organisation: EPSRC
Telephone: +44 (0)1793 444134

In the following table, contact information relevant to the page. The first column is for visual reference only. Data is in the right column.

Name: Dr Annette Bramley
Job title: Theme Lead
Section / Team: Healthcare Technologies
Organisation: EPSRC
Telephone: +44 (0)1793 444074

In the following table, contact information relevant to the page. The first column is for visual reference only. Data is in the right column.

Name: EPSRC Healthcare Inbox