First I’d like to highlight two opportunities. The Rosetrees Trust is a medical research charity for which I chair a Scientific Advisory Board. This year it will award a £250,000 prize for an interdisciplinary project applying chemistry or physics to biomedical problems. Several institutions including Cambridge have each been given the opportunity to put forward a single application. This is intended to be very light touch and the full application is only two pages. If you have an idea that you would like to be considered then please would you outline it in 250 words or less and send it to me and Professor Rob Kennicutt (Head of the School of Physical Sciences;firstname.lastname@example.org) by 30th November. I think it’s likely that the strongest application would come from a team of a biomedical investigator and a physical scientist. Last year they awarded a similar prize for engineering and medicine, which went to Imperial. Cambridge was runner-up and it would be nice if we could win it this time!
The second opportunity is for an earlier career researcher to go on the one week EUREKA course aiming to develop skills relevant to translation. Expenses and fees will be paid for by the Cambridge NIHR Biomedical Research Centre. The course is in Syracusa in Sicily from 3 – 9 May 2015. Last year Dr. Estee Torok was selected and found it both very enjoyable and useful. If you are interested in us sending you on this course then please email with a copy of your CV by 22nd November 2014 (alternatively feel free to nominate someone else!). I think it would be ideally suited to someone with an intermediate fellowship or career development award or at an equivalent stage of their career i.e. someone who has set up a research group fairly recently. It is not necessary to be clinically trained.
Last week I attended an interesting forum at the British Heart Foundation concerning their overall approach to funding. The country really is very fortunate that in addition to the Research Councils and NIHR we have very generous funding available from charities, including CRUK, the Wellcome Trust and BHF. For those of you whose work is potentially relevant to cardiovascular disease I would encourage you to consider the BHF. They spend around £100m a year on research, still fund project grants, and overall award rates are significantly better than the MRC.
Shortly the University will be sending out ballot papers to members of the Regent House for the election of new members of the University Council. If you receive one please do fill it in and return it. I should emphasise this is definitely not a plug for any particular candidate! Just a view that democracies work best if the electorate is engaged…..
Finally I would like to congratulate Carol Brayne and her colleagues on a really excellent inaugural annual public health lecture