Funding call: Translational Rare Disease Centres to transform rare disease translational research in the UK

  • 12:00, 29 Sep 23 - 12:00, 29 Sep 23
  • Online, Online
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We will work with the academic sector in the UK to transform rare disease translational research.

With this £40 million we aim to build on the UK’s rich, rare disease research base, to kickstart Centres dedicated to rare disease translation. This funding, over a five-year period, will enable the chosen Centres to establish and embed themselves within the UK ecosystem, becoming beacons of translational excellence and best practice.

We invite collaborative applications to form Centres – each bid being led by a single UK academic institution. We envisage funding four to five such Centres, as well as a Co-ordinating Hub.

Centre bids should showcase the existing capabilities and strengths of the consortium in rare disease, and outline how the funding will help them to address translational challenges in the current ecosystem. We will operate the call as response mode, but from the significant scoping we have already undertaken, we expect Centre bids to have either a capability-/ modality-based or disease area-based focus e.g. advanced therapeutics, or paediatric rare diseases.

Networking across the Centres is key to our vision, and we will be putting in place a co-ordinating Hub function, applications for which will be managed separately to this Centre call.

We encourage prospective applicants to discuss their Expression of Interest ideas with LifeArc, by contacting us via the form below. After triage, at the start of the full application phase, we will hold a workshop for shortlisted applicants. Matchmaking at this stage is a possibility if we see appropriate opportunities. We will not fund duplicative activities but will encourage collaboration between those with potentially synergistic bids. Members of Centre consortia do not need to be geographically co-located.


Funding type: Grant
Total fund: £40 million
Number of Centres: 4-5 planned
Expressions of Interest (EoI) opening date: 24 April 2023
Webinar: 3 May 2023
EoI closing date: 26 May 2023
EoI decisions communicated: 23 June 2023
Full application opening date: 3 July 2023
Workshop for invited participants: w/c 3 July 2023 (TBC)
Full application closing date: 29 September 2023
Panel meeting: Late November 2023
Full application decisions communicated: December 2023
Start date: Q1-Q2 2024


There will be webinar on 3rd May at 11:30. Please register for the webinar here