In 2012, the Academy convened a Task Force, chaired by Professor Martin Humphries FMedSci, to examine ways for the Academy to further support early career researchers. Amongst other findings, the Task Force recommended the development of a funding scheme for non-clinical biomedical scientists.
Scoping work carried out by the Academy identified Lecturers, or equivalent, within the first three years of starting their post and who had not yet obtained significant funding as being in greatest need of support. The limited start-up packages normally provided and paucity of grant schemes available at this career stage makes establishing an independent research programme particularly challenging.
In May 2015, the Academy partnered with the Wellcome Trust to initiate the Academy of Medical Sciences Springboard - a scheme to support biomedical researchers newly appointed to their first independent position. In 2017 we were delighted to welcome the British Heart Foundation and the Government Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, alongside the Wellcome Trust, to form a funding consortium for the scheme. For round 4, we warmly welcomed Diabetes UK joining the consortium. The scheme seeks to embrace the breadth of biomedical research and welcomes applications that contribute to the Academy’s mission to improve health through research.
To see a list of all Springboard awardees please click here.
To be eligible to apply you must:
- Hold an academic post that incorporates research
- Be in their first independent (salaried) position (i.e. group-leader level, line managed not supervised)
- Be within 5 years (FTE) of appointment to this position
- Have sufficient time remaining in their current post to complete the proposed Springboard project
And you must not:
- Hold a clinical contract
- Be in receipt of substantial research funding as the Principal or Co- Investigator exceeding £150,000 for the two year Springboard award (excluding your personal salary, overhead and indirect costs)
Springboard is targeted at those who are in the early stages of their first independent post and have limited funding. Candidates who have already secured significant fellowships are not considered to be in the spirit of the scheme. Therefore, if you hold the following fellowships/awards or equivalent you will be deemed ineligible:
- Cancer Research UK (CRUK) Career Development Fellowship
- CRUK Career Establishment Award
- Medical Research Council (MRC) - Career Development Award
- MRC New Investigator Research Grant
- The Royal Society University Research Fellowship
- UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Future Leaders Fellowship
- Wellcome Trust Royal Society Sir Henry Dale Fellowship
- Wellcome Trust Seed Award
If you are unsure about your eligibility, please contact the office to seek confirmation.
Eligible institutions may put forward up to 4 applications per round; you must be nominated by your institution in order to submit an application to the Academy. Please refer to 'How to apply' for more information on the application procedure.
The Academy of Medical Sciences embraces the broad diversity of biomedical research and its non-clinical Fellows represent the breadth of the field. Equally, we encourage Springboard applicants from molecular, cellular and structural biology to anatomical, physiological, psychological, epidemiological and public health research areas. You may use experimental or theoretical approaches and be undertaking basic laboratory research through clinical application to healthcare delivery but your work must reflect the Academy’s mission to improve health through research.
Full details of eligibility for this scheme are outlined in the guidance, which can be downloaded from the right side of this page when the scheme is open for applications. Please read this carefully before contacting the Springboard Champion in your Institution or submitting an application.
Please contact the grants team if you have any queries by email at email@example.com.
This scheme is targeted at those who are in the early stages of their first independent research position and have not yet obtained substantial research funding support from other sources, such as large research grants or large fellowships (for more information, please see the eligibility criteria).
The maximum amount available is £125,000 over two years towards your research costs and professional development. For example, funds can be used towards the employment of support staff, purchase of consumables and equipment, access to technical support, training and travel; funds cannot be used to pay for your personal salary costs.
Springboard applicants put forward by their institution will be invited to participate in the Academy's one-to-one mentoring scheme and a programme of events and activities will be developed for their benefit.
The Academy recognises the challenges faced when managing a research career with family and caring commitments. During the review process, prior career breaks will be taken into account when evaluating a candidate’s research output and progress. If you are successful, you will be able to apply for a no-cost extension to your grant to account for periods of absence or delays in your project during your award.
Successful applicants cannot reapply. Unsuccessful applicants are limited to one resubmission provided that they are shortlisted by their institution and continue to meet all eligibility criteria (including time constrains).
The current members of the selection panel are:
Professor Frances Platt FMedSci (Chair), University of Oxford
Professor Eric Aboagye FMedSci, Imperial College London
Professor Zafar Bashir, University of Bristol
Professor David Delpy FMedSci, University College London
Dr Rina Dutta, King's College London
Professor Margaret Frame FMedSci, University of Edinburgh
Professor Sheila Francis, University of Sheffield
Professor Angus Lamond FMedSci, University of Dundee
Professor Clare Lloyd FMedSci, Imperial College London
Professor Paul Martin FMedSci, University of Bristol
Professor Rick Maizels FMedSci, University of Glasgow
Professor Sylvia Richardson FMedSci, University of Cambridge
Professor Louise Serpell, University of Sussex
Professor Rhian Touyz FMedSci, University of Glasgow
Professor Jimmy Whitworth FMedSci, London School of Hygeine and Tropical Medicine
Applicants should not approach Panel members to discuss their application. Queries should be directed to their local Springboard Champion or to the Panel secretariat at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All Springboard awardees are required to report via Researchfish annually by the end of March each year throughout their grant and for five years after the completion of their award. Reporting instructions can be found in our awardees information section.
Award holders will also need to submit (via Flexi-Grant) a Final Expenditure Report within three months of the end of their grant, in addition to submitting Researchfish data.