These awards provide up to £100,000 over two years and a personalised package of career support to help newly independent biomedical scientists to launch their research careers.

Key dates

Round 2 is now open via Flexi-Grant.

Eligibility check forms must be submitted by 5.00pm on 19 October 2016, and invited full applications by 5.00pm on 5 December 2016.

Springboard offers a bespoke package of support to biomedical researchers at the start of their first independent post to help launch their research careers. This includes funding of up to £100,000 over two years and access to the Academy’s acclaimed mentoring and career development programme.

About the scheme

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. 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 be eligible to apply you must:

  • Hold an established academic research position at your institution.
  • Be in your first independent (salaried) position (i.e. group leader level) and
    • Be within 3 years (FTE) of appointment to this position.
    • Have sufficient time remaining in your current post to complete the proposed Springboard project.
  • Be based within one of the eligible higher education institutions

And you must not:

  • Hold a clinical contract.
  • Be in receipt of substantial research funding as the Principal or Co-Investigator exceeding £75,000 p.a. (excluding your personal salary).

Eligible institutions may put forward up to three 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 on 0203 1413 241, or email us at

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 £100,000 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 Philippa Saunders FMedSci (Chair), University of Edinburgh

Professor Tim Bishop FMedSci, University of Leeds

Professor Donna Davies FMedSci, University of Southampton

Professor Stephen Dunnett FMedSci, University of Cardiff

Professor Amanda Fisher FRS FMedSci, Imperial College London

Professor Martin Leach FMedSci, Institute of Cancer Research

Professor Herbie Newell FMedSci, University of Newcastle

Professor Sussan Nourshargh FMedSci, Queen Mary, University of London

Professor Frances Platt FMedSci, University of Oxford

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

All Springboard awardees are required to report via Researchfish annually by the end of March each year throughout their grant and for three 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.

Recent Awardees

Dr Anna Barnard, Imperial College London, Selective Helix-Mimetics as Tools in Malaria Research

Dr Christos Bergeles, University College London, 3D In-Focus Endoscopic Imaging with Light-Field Cameras: Optomechatronics and Algorithms

Dr Maike Bublitz, University of Oxford, Proton Transporting ATPases: Structural and Functional Studies of Fungal Proton Pumps

Dr Angus Cameron, Queen Mary University of London, Defining the role of PKN2 in cancer-associated fibroblasts

Dr Richard Chahwan, University of Exeter, Chromatin modifications in genomic stability, immune diversity, and tumorigenesis

Dr Edwin Chen, University of Leeds, Role of CHD4 Helicase in Malignant Megakaryopoiesis

Dr Mihaela Crisan, University of Edinburgh, Investigate the link between the two hematopoietic stem cell types: different origins, different niches or both?

Dr Molly Crockett, University of Oxford, Identifying risk factors for personality disorder using computational neuroimaging and ecological momentary assessment

Dr Margaret Cunningham, University of Strathclyde, A multi-disciplinary approach to thrombin receptor research – A focus on the interrogation of the Proteinase-activated Receptor 4 (PAR4) interactome

Dr Alice Davidson, University College London, Investigating TCF4 triplet-repeat-mediated pathogenic mechanisms  associated with Fuchs endothelial corneal dystrophy (FECD), a visually   devastating and common age-related disease.

Dr Emma Dempster, University of Exeter, Using functional epigenomics to dissect the molecular architecture of schizophrenia

Dr Catherine Hall, University of Sussex, How does Apolipoprotein E4 affect brain oxygenation and blood flow?

Dr Sian Henson, Queen Mary University of London, Investigating the dynamics of senescent human T-cell trafficking 

Dr Daniel Horton, University of Surrey, Understanding constraints and drivers acting on viruses that cross species barriers, using rabies virus as a model

Dr Benjamin Lehne, Imperial College London, A trans-ethnic gut microbiome study of insulin resistance

Dr Florian Merkle, University of Cambridge, Regulation of human neurones that promote feeding

Dr Emily Noël, University of Sheffield, The second heart field and cardiac morphogenesis – using transcriptomics to unravel heart development

Dr Paulo Ribeiro, Queen Mary University of London, The Interplay Between Polarity and Hippo Signalling in the Regulation of Tissue Growth

Dr Samantha Terry, King's College London, Radiobiological assessment of radionuclides used for therapy; how can they be used effectively?


The scheme is generously supported by the Wellcome Trust.

Staff lead

Staff lead