LifeArc-CSO Fund for Scottish Translational Researchers

In association with the Chief Scientist Office (CSO) for the Scottish Government, we are making new funds available to further Scottish research into new clinical interventions for rare diseases. A joint fund of £300,000 is available to support two-three projects led by researchers in Scottish institutes or the NHS that will accelerate the translation of strong discovery science. The intention is that the funding will progress projects to a point where additional substantive funding could be secured. The deadline for the submission of outline applications is 17:00, 31st July 2020.

Successful projects will:

  • Address a rare disease medical need
  • Have a strong scientific rationale
  • Be target driven with a credible delivery plan
  • Be on a translational pathway towards clinical utility
  • Be led by a salaried member of staff at a Scottish University or NHS Board
  • Cost in the region of £100,000

All modalities of intervention are eligible for support from the scheme.

The following activities are not eligible for support:

  • Fundamental or investigative research that does not link to a development plan
  • Studies where the primary purpose is to investigate disease mechanisms

Applicant eligibility

Projects will be led by researchers and/or clinicians in Scotland. Translational research is typically collaborative, bringing together individuals with a range of expertise for development of an intervention, and collaborations with industry and other academic partners are encouraged.

For collaborative applications within Scotland, the grant (and associated funding arrangements) will be made with the lead applicant’s institution. Named academic/clinical collaborators will be permitted from outside Scotland but the lead applicant must be a salaried member of staff at a Scottish University or NHS Board.

Direct costs of research are eligible for support through the scheme.

Review process and how to apply

This is a two-stage process.

  1. Applicants are required to submit an outline application using the form below.
  2. Successful applicants will then be invited to complete a full application with support from their Technology Transfer Office and LifeArc staff. Full stage applications will be subject to external peer review and will be considered by an independent panel of academic and industry experts.

Deadlines and outcomes

The deadline for submission of outline applications is 17:00, 31st July 2020.

Applicants can expect to hear the outcome of their outline application by the end of July, and the deadline for full applications will be in September 2020. Final funding decisions are expected to be announced December 2020.


If you have any questions about the scheme, please contact Dr Rachael Brooker, Senior Business Manager at

  • Application Summary

  • Lead Applicant Details

  • Co-applicant / Collaborator Details

  • Enter the name, position, organisation and contact details for any co-applicants or collaborators
  • Project Information

  • Please provide a non-confidential summary of the proposed work (max circa 200 words)
  • Please describe the rare disease to be addressed and the intervention you wish to develop (max circa 500 words)
  • Please describe the scientific rationale and supporting evidence (max circa 500 words)
  • Please explain the experimental design and briefly list the objectives and milestones. (max circa 500 words)
  • Do you have freedom to operate? If you need to access background IP, why do you think you will be able to access on reasonable terms? [leave blank if you don’t know] (max circa 250 words)
  • Please outline your strategy for further development (sources of funding, collaborations and partnerships) and the route to patient benefit. (max circa 500 words)
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