Over 90 emerging research leaders funded to advance medical science

Over £6.5million worth of funding has been awarded by the Academy of Medical Sciences to 92 biomedical and health researchers in the UK and globally, in the last month [March 2023].

The grants will be used by researchers to advance medical science and translate developments into benefits for patients and the wider society.

From schemes that assist Professors moving to the UK, to grants that enable Clinicians to pursue research work, the Academy provides innovative career funding and support that strengthens the capacity of teams and outstanding individuals. Awardees also have access to the Academy’s one-to-one mentoring programme which provides researchers with career development support by pairing them with an Academy Fellow.

Supporting the move to independent researcher

More than 40 Springboard Awards have been awarded to biomedical and health researchers in their first independent post to help launch their careers.

A total of more than £4million has been given to support research in areas as varied as seizures, obesity, and influenza. Awardees are based at a range of institutions, with researchers from Bournemouth University and Edge Hill University receiving Springboard grants for the first time.

Dr Adjanie Patabendige, a Springboard awardee, is a neuroscientist at Edge Hill University. Her work focuses on the specialised barrier that protects the brain from blood-borne germs and controls the movement of molecules between blood and brain. She aims to understand how this blood-brain barrier functions, and how it is damaged in neurological and cardiovascular diseases.


On how the Springboard funding will be used, Dr Adjanie Patabendige commented:

“I am delighted to receive this prestigious award from the Academy of Medical Sciences to investigate how protective brain defences are disrupted in people with an irregular heart rhythm.

“The funds will support my research group at Edge Hill University to study the blood-brain barrier using a new model developed using patient data. It will mimic abnormal blood flow in the brain and show at a cellular and molecular level how this may contribute to people developing stroke and dementia."

The Academy has also funding for 24 Clinical Lecturers which will enable recipients to pursue research alongside their clinical commitments. The awards this month total almost £700,000, and for every £1 in previous Starter Grant for Clinical Lecturers funding, almost £13 has been leveraged in further support.

Supporting international talent

As part of our commitment to attracting and retaining emerging talent from across the globe, two researchers who are relocating to the UK have been awarded an Academy of Medical Sciences Professorship. This scheme provides up to £500,000 in flexible support to researchers during their initial years of a Professorship.


One recipient is Professor Ian Kelleher, who joined the University of Edinburgh in 2022 as Chair of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. His research focuses on improving early identification of risk for severe mental illness using large scale healthcare register datasets and clinical studies.



Professor Kelleher, who also works as a consultant psychiatrist in NHS Lothian’s specialist NHS child and adolescent mental health services, said:

“This award will fund critical new research on the prediction and prevention of mental illness in childhood and adolescence. It will help me set up a team that will harness Scotland’s world-leading healthcare registers to drive innovation in youth mental health research. We’ll also use the funding to identify new approaches to improving the mental health of young people in the UK and internationally.”

In addition, 23 Global Challenges Research Fund Networking Grants have been recommended for funding, totalling over £500,000. This scheme is in partnership with the UK National Academies and awardees are drawn from across their broad remits to address global challenges. The scheme allows researchers from low- and middle-income countries and the UK to hold networking events, forging new links and generating interdisciplinary research ideas. In this latest round, awards have gone to lead investigators in 16 different countries, across Asia, Africa and South America.

Dr Suzanne Candy, Director of Biomedical Grants & Policy at the Academy of Medical Sciences, said:

“Together with our partners, we are fortunate to be able to support this talented group of researchers doing excellent science. Our strategic ambition is to help create an open and progressive research sector. By investing in these individuals and teams, we are broadening the range of people and disciplines engaged in biomedical and health research, across regions of the UK, and globally.

“We look forward to supporting our award recipients and seeing how their research has a positive impact on the health of people everywhere.”


The Academy is grateful to our research funder partners: