Proof of Concept Awards (PoCAs)

Call closed on 10 May 2022

The four successful projects for this round are as follows:

Principal Investigator: Dr Alessandro Borghi
InstitutionInstitute of Child Health, University College London
Project title: Microstructural analysis of calvarial bone in craniosynostosis: syndromic vs non-syndromic subjects

Principal Investigator: Dr Sheetal Inamdar
InstitutionSchool of Engineering and Material Sciences, Queen Mary University of London
Project titleCorrelative analysis of the proteomic distribution alongside fibrillar nanostructure in synthetically aged cartilage

Principal Investigator: Dr Joseph Brunet
Institution: Department of Mechanical Engineering, University College London
Project titleUniaxial in situ testing combined with synchrotron X-ray tomography to characterise the mechanical behaviour of the myocardium

Principal Investigator: Prof Philip Withers
Institution: Department of Materials, School of Nature Sciences, University of Manchester
Project title: Multi-scale tomography of dentine tubule occlusion and dentine remineralisation by bioactive glasses

Funding Call Details:

The ImagingBioPro network has awarded 14 PoCAs to stimulate inter-disciplinary research on imaging of orthopaedic and musculoskeletal processes, with a core focus on using the UK’s Large Facilities (e.g. Diamond Light Source, ISIS Neutron Source, and the Central Laser Facilities).

The network have funding for another 3 exchanges, which cover up to 2-months PDRA salary and £3500 for research consumables, travel and subsistence. 

The goals of funding are:

  • Stimulate new collaborations between network members
  • Integrate research activity across traditional research disciplines

We are strongly focused on facilitating preliminary work to support full funding applications. All awards will be short term and used to establish new collaborations and carry out the scoping work, which will lead to future full research proposals.

We focus on projects which integrate advances in engineering and physical science technologies with the necessary life science understanding, and also encourage integration with industrial partners (see the Technology Touching Life (TTL) UKRI initiative under which we operate).


Funding is available to ImagingBioPro network members only, please join before applying. 

Key Features

  • Funding maximum value £21k at 100% FEC per PoCA, paid at 80%, including:
    • up to 2-month PDRA salary (with indirects fixed at the UCL rate of 9,931 for two months)
    • up to £1500 for research consumables
    • up to £2000 for travel and subsistence
  • Funding is paid at 80% fEC, which goes to the PIs’ institution to manage as appropriate (under normal UKRI terms and conditions). Costings must be approved by the PIs’ academic institution and full financial reporting made as per UKRI requirements.
  • Applications must be interdisciplinary, involving at least two disciplines (one from the home and one from the host institute), and have clearly defined deliverables and impact.
  • The applicant researcher(s) should work in the host laboratory, different to their current place of work (exceptions considered during pandemic).
  • Early Career Researcher (ECR) engagement is strongly encouraged. PDRAs can be named as PI or CoI provided that they have a contract of employment with the academic institution for the duration of the grant prior to application.
  • The PI must be from a UK academic institution, which can be either the ‘home’ or ‘host’ institute for the PoCA.
  • PhD student involvement must follow UKRI guidelines, limiting the hours they can work. Their salary cannot be requested in project costings.
  • Project must be completed, reported and invoiced by 31st January 2023.

Application Process

  • Please download Funding Application Form.
  • Completed applications should be emailed to and use the subject header: “PoCA3 Application - Name - Institution”
  • Application deadline: Extended to 10 May 2022
  • A decision will be announced 2 months after application deadline
  • For more info please read: Funding Guidance for Applicants.

Evaluation Criteria

The applications will be judged on their fit to the following criteria:

  • Scientific excellence
  • Inter-disciplinary
  • Fit to Technologies Touching Life remit
  • Involvement of early career researchers
  • At least one academic partner or a UKRI funded partner (ie. Large facilities).
  • Clear future impacts
  • Likelihood to lead to further funding


All publications arising from these exchanges should acknowledge the MRC/EPSRC/BBSRC ImagingBioPro grant (MR/R025673/1). (E.g. state "This work was funded in part by the MRC/EPSRC/BBSRC ImagingBioPro grant MR/R025673/1").

Previous Call

See previous call here.