× Medicines Discovery Catapult

We’re providing updates on the COVID-19 situation for the UK drug discovery community. Our aim is to help the community during this challenging time and also highlight important work and resources.


Organisation: UKRI
Open call for research and innovation ideas to address COVID-19

Proposals are invited for short term projects addressing and mitigating the health, social, economic and environmental impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak.

UKRI will support excellent proposals of up to 18 months duration which meet at least one of the following:

  • New research or innovation with a clear impact pathway that has the potential (within the period of the award) to deliver a significant contribution to the understanding of, and response to, the COVID-19 pandemic and its impacts.
  • Supports the manufacture and/or wide scale adoption of an intervention with significant potential
  • Gathers critical data and resources quickly for future research use

Proposals will be accepted from anyone who is normally eligible to apply for UKRI funding. Proposals should be sent through this route for any research or innovation relevant to the above regardless of funding Council or whether relevant to multiple Councils.


Requests to switch existing UKRI award funding to address Covid-19 research priorities

UKRI has put processes in place to allow researchers to repurpose existing UKRI award funding to address COVID-19 research priorities.

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Organisation: NIHR – British Heart Foundation
British Heart Foundation Cardiovascular Partnership

The NIHR-BHF Cardiovascular Partnership brings together researchers from across the NIHR and the BHF-funded infrastructure to develop collaborative initiatives. Leaders from the partnership have come together to form a new framework for supporting Covid-19 research projects across the UK. We are now welcoming proposals from the cardiovascular research community for Covid-19 flagship projects.

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Organisation: BpiFrance
Investing in the Future: Structural R&D Projects for Competitivity – COVID19

Administered by Bpifrance, France’s public investment bank, this Investing in the Future call, Structural Research and Development Projects for Competitivity – COVID-19, will provide funding (a combination of grants and repayable advances) to collaborative structural research and development projects to develop preventative or curative therapeutic solutions to coronavirus/COVID-19. Direct economic and technological effects in the form of new products, services or technology are expected. In return for the aid provided, the State may be granted preferential access rights to to the results of the project. This may take the form, for example, of access to the final products developed. As part of the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, this will be the preferred method of return for the State.

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Organisation: NIHR
Government support for research related to COVID-19

COVID-19 Urgent Public Health Research is being prioritised to gather the necessary clinical and epidemiological evidence that will inform national policy and enable new diagnostic tests, treatments and vaccines to be developed and tested for COVID-19.

Government support is available to prioritise, coordinate and deliver these studies, regardless of sponsorship and funding source. This support includes expedited identification of sites to ensure appropriate geographical distribution of Urgent Public Health Research to maximise recruitment and minimise over-commitment of resource.

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Organisation: Welsh Government via GRANTFinder
COVID-19 Resilience Scheme

Support is being offered to innovative businesses in Wales to carry out projects that can
potentially help to fight the COVID-19 coronavirus.

As part of the Welsh Government’s response to the coronavirus outbreak, it is looking to
support innovative projects that can have a direct impact fighting the virus.

The COVID-19 Resilience Innovation Project Support can be used to fund:

  • The purchasing of specific equipment
  • Adjustments to existing processes
  • Implementation of new processes

The production of medical devices, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and the delivery of
sanitising products are all potential areas that could be addressed by the support.

There is no stipulated maximum level of funding which the programme will provide.
Applicants are asked to indicate the amount of support they require in order to complete
their project.

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Organisation: European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) Secretariat
Fast Track Process for COVID-19 Co-Creation Request

European Open Science Cloud EOSC is an ideal tool to respond to public emergencies such as the COVID-19 virus by:

  • Opening up scientific data on the virus
  • Sharing live on-the-ground data on the spread of the virus, as well as software, standards and processes for monitoring COVID-19 treatment and development
  • Accessing and combining this data not only to eradicate the virus but learn how to deal with similar viruses and future outbreaks
  • Assessing the validity of epidemic information in relation to the virus by ensuring that its sources can be traced and verified.

The EOSC Secretariat responds to this clear need for stakeholder engagement by introducing funding opportunities that will be fast-tracked at this challenging time.

Activities and actions that deploy open science methods and resources and make use of the EOSC communities in order to address COVID-19 related issues. These could be:

  • Opening up virus related research and data
  • Sharing of infrastructures and services
  • Developing open design equipment for fighting COVID-19
  • Sharing sampling test methodologies and data
  • Developing open methodologies, services, software and infrastructures for sharing data, practices and knowledge in relation to the development and treatment of COVID-19
  • Developing open science methodologies for monitoring the spread of COVID-19
  • Developing open-science / evidence-based methodologies for the development of epidemic combating policies
  • Accessing and combining open data not only to eradicate the virus but learn how to deal with similar viruses and future outbreaks
  • Assessing the validity of epidemic information in relation to the virus by ensuring that its sources can be traced and verified
  • Other open science activities/ actions related to the fighting of epidemics and pandemics

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Organisation: Emergent Ventures
Fast Funding for COVID-19 Science

If you are a scientist currently working on a COVID-19 related project and in need of funding, you are invited to apply for a Fast Grant. Fast Grants are $10k to $500k and decisions are made within 14 days. If the grant is approved, you’ll receive payment as quickly as your university can receive it.

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Organisation: NIHR
COVID-19 and ethnicity

There is emerging evidence of in association between ethnicity and COVID-19 incidence and adverse health outcomes. There are also concerns that healthcare and other key workers who belong to black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) groups may be particularly at risk.

These issues are of critical importance and urgently need to be addressed but are not straightforward, because there may be multiple factors driving this association (such as genetic, socioeconomic, behavioural, cultural and religious and environmental) and many potential confounding factors including comorbidity.

We welcome research proposals in two areas:

  1. Impact of COVID-19 and association between ethnicity and COVID-19 in the general population.
  2. Impact of COVID-19 specifically on people working in health and social care from BAME backgrounds.

Find out more >


Organisation: Enterprise Nation
Deadline: Region dependent
Salesforce small business grants

As part of Salesforce’s commitment to small businesses and giving back to the community, Salesforce is partnering with Enterprise Nation to offer eligible small businesses the opportunity to receive a £5,000 grant to help them through the COVID-19 outbreak.

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Organisation: NIHR
Deadline: 28th September 2020, 12 midday (BST)
Global Effort on COVID-19 (GECO) Health Research

Global Effort on COVID-19 (GECO) Health Research is a new cross UK government funding call aiming to support applied health research that will address COVID-19 knowledge gaps. The focus is on understanding the pandemic and mitigating its health impacts in low and middle-income countries (LMIC). The call prioritises epidemiology, clinical management, infection control and health system responses.

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Organisation: UKRI
Deadline: None – receipt will be acknowledged within 2 working days and in most circumstances, PIs will have an initial response on the proposal within 15 working days.
UKRI GCRF/Newton Fund Agile Response call to address COVID-19

Proposals are invited for short-term projects addressing and mitigating the health, social, economic, cultural and environmental impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak in Low and Middle Income Countries1.

This call is funded through the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) and the Newton Fund. These Funds address global challenges through disciplinary and interdisciplinary research and strengthen capability for research and innovation within both the UK and developing countries, providing an agile response to emergencies where there is an urgent research need. These Funds form part of the UK’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) commitment.

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Organisation: Therapeutics Accelerator
COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator (CTA)

The COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator (CTA) is a philanthropic initiative designed to coordinate R&D efforts, remove barriers to drug development and scale up treatments to address the pandemic.

Find out more >