News Feature | August 6, 2014

DBT And MRC UK Call For Research Partnerships Under Newton Fund

By Estel Grace Masangkay

research partnerships

The Department of Biotechnology (DBT) India and the UK Medical Research Council (MRC) has opened an invitation for proposals under the UK-India Joint Centre Partnerships. The invitation is open for research team based in both UK and India and will expire on September 29, 2014.

The Joint-Centre Partnerships aims to fortify pre-existing research ties between the two countries. As part of the collaboration, the MRC anticipates supporting up to three partnerships during the course of three years. The council has also pledged to fund up to £3.5 million, which the DBT will match.

The program will cover the following scientific areas:

  • Cancer biology – advance understanding in basic biological mechanisms related to cancer aetiology and/or metastases; development of new therapeutics and chemical biology approaches for drug discovery
  • Translational regenerative medicine in neuroscience – conversion of foundational discoveries into improvements in human health, pre-clinical, and clinical studies into human proof-of-concept studies
  • Antimicrobial resistance in particular against antibiotics – discovery of novel diagnostic, prophylactic, and therapeutic strategies for antibiotic resistant bacterial strains through sharing of tools and data between partners

The funding will cover a range of partnership activities such as joint projects, lab exchanges, sharing of key resources between partner centers, workshops, and equipments needed to support the initiative.

The invitation for joint research is the first for the project under the Newton Fund. The Fund was launched in April this year by the UK Chancellor and will deliver £375 million in five years. As part of the drive, the UK-India Joint Centre Partnerships will build a node center each in the UK and India.

Sukanya Kumar-Sinha, Deputy Director RCUK India, who will lead the joint venture, said, “The MRC and DBT are charged with fostering research and development within their own communities. This first joint initiative aims to strengthen academic cooperation between the medical research communities in the UK and India in areas of mutual strategic interest.”