EPSRC: Interdisciplinary Research Collaborations (IRCs) in Sensing Systems for Healthcare

The EPSRC has issued a call for outline proposals which will focus UK research excellence and build critical mass in disruptive sensing systems in order to have a transformative impact on prediction, diagnosis and monitoring in Healthcare.

The Healthcare Technologies challenge Theme is a new theme for EPSRC for this Delivery Plan period (2011 – 2015).  It is the first time that EPSRC has brought together all the Healthcare relevant research that it funds.

The Theme has an annual spend of around £75 million and its main aims are:

  • To build critical mass aroundUKresearch strengths in engineering and physical sciences that underpin healthcare;
  • To maximise industrial involvement and increase translation to products/practices

This call is for large, interdisciplinary research collaborations (IRCs) which will look to build critical mass and partner with both industry and end-users (such as clinicians) in order to help meet the above aims


For many of the promising opportunities to transform healthcare to be realised, such as stratified medicine and self management of health, significant advances are needed in the ability to predict, diagnose and monitor, in real time and / or at point of care. These in turn rely on research that can create novel technology platforms that can determine and / or sense physical and environmental factors, and integrate, analyse and interpret this data for decision making purposes. The scale of the challenge requires a concerted approach from the engineering and physical sciences research community.

Proposals are invited for large-scale, interdisciplinary research collaborations (IRCs) to address research challenges in disruptive sensing systems (within Healthcare) through a critical mass approach.

A budget of up to £25 million is available to support up to 3 collaborations of the order of £8 – £12 million, for 5 years. This includes using 10% of the total grant value for drawing in expertise from outside the initial collaborations (both academic and other stakeholders).

Applicants considering submitting a proposal should discuss their proposal with EPSRC as soon as possible.

Prospective applicants will need to complete an intention to submit form (available below) by 16.00 on Monday 16 April 2012. By completing this form the applicant is committed to attending a briefing workshop on the call, which will be held on Thursday 10 May 2012.

An institution may only lead on one bid.

Each bid is expected to consist of one lead institution, with a small number of collaborative institutions that bring together world leading research expertise in the disciplines required to deliver the breadth of research proposed. Single institution bids may be considered only where the applicant is able to clearly demonstrate all the relevant expertise is present within their institution. In addition, bids are expected to have a user-engagement strategy and each IRC will be expected to use the Partnership Resource funding (please see the Funding Available section for further information) to bring in new partners over the lifetime of the award.

Only one application form should be submitted per bid.

For the full details and document please visit the call page.