Skip to main content

Connect Immune Research Lab Placement Grants

Connect Immune Research logo

Connect Immune Research is proud to launch the second round of our grant scheme for early career researchers. The Lab Placements Grants are designed to fund researchers to undertake a formal placement at a selected laboratory to learn a new skill and/or technique, or to carry out experiments essential to a project.  

If you are interested in applying, please read the information below and submit your application form by Thursday 22 June 2023.  

What is Connect Immune Research?  

Connect Immune Research is a partnership between Alopecia UK; Bowel Research UK; British Society for Immunology; the British Thyroid Foundation; Coeliac UK; JDRF; the MS Society; the Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis Alliance (PAPAA); the Royal Free Charity; and Versus Arthritis. Connect Immune Research aims to bring together researchers with expertise in different autoimmune conditions to break down ‘disease silos’ and facilitate the faster progression of research, dramatically reducing costs and speeding up development of diagnostics and treatments for the millions of people living with different autoimmune conditions. The Connect Immune Research partners that are contributing to the funding for the current round of the Lab Placement grants are: Alopecia UK; BSI; Coeliac UK; JDRF; the MS Society; and Versus Arthritis.    

What are the Connect Immune Research Lab Placement Grants?  

The Connect Immune Research Lab Placement Grants provide financial support to individual researchers working in the field of autoimmunity to undertake a formal placement at a selected laboratory to learn a new skill/technique or to carry out experiments essential to a project. All placements must demonstrate cross-condition relevance in the field of autoimmune research.  

What funding is available?  

The funding available is:  

  • Overseas placement – up to £1,500 per grant 

  • UK placement (outside host institution/hometown) – up to £1,000 per grant 

Who is eligible to apply? 

The grants will fund researchers from year 2 of their PhD up to and including those with 5 years’ postdoctoral experience who meet the requirements below. 

What are the requirements for applicants?  

  • Applicants must be BSI members and based in the UK. 

  • Planned placements must be longer than two weeks in duration. Travel must be completed within one year of the grant date. 

  • The placement must have autoimmune relevance

  • The placement must have cross-condition relevance in the field of autoimmunity

  • As part of the submission, the applicant will be required to describe the planned placement in detail, and how it will help their career and how it will contribute to develop links/collaborations between different research fields relevant to autoimmune conditions

  • The application process will require the formal support of the applicant’s supervisor/tutor in the form of a supporting letter and a letter of support from your placement supervisor.  Applications which don’t contain both of these will be rejected. 

  • The applicant will be required to provide a short, written report of their activities. The report should be submitted within 4 weeks of completing the placement

  • All applicants must be willing to contribute/engage in communications to a wide, non-scientific audience about their placement

  • Grants cannot be awarded retrospectively 

  • The judging panel's decision shall be final. Incomplete applications will be rejected

  • The grant recipient will comply with the law and generally accepted and appropriate health and safety standards for any research they undertaken whilst funded through the grant.

  • This grant scheme involves funding travel placements and we expect recipients to adhere to all relevant COVID-19 guidance both from the UK and/or devolved nations and from the government of the country you are visiting.  This includes the UK and/or devolved nation travel guidance, covering the period of the placement for the country you wish to visit. It also includes adhering to guidance imposed by your host country for the duration of your visit.

  • The BSI and Connect Immune Research will not accept any liability to the grant recipient or to any third party for any costs, claims, damages or losses that are incurred due to the need to quarantine either when arriving in your destination country, during your visit or when arriving back into the UK or any other costs relating to the travel placement.

How are applications assessed?  

Grant applications are assessed by our grant review panel, which includes researchers with expertise in the field of autoimmunity and representation from patient and public groups.  

Each application is marked on the following research criteria: 

  • Quality of scientific statement

  • Quality of personal statement

  • Quality of supporting documentation 

Each application is marked on the following criteria to ensure that there is a demonstrable benefit to people with lived experience of autoimmune diseases: 

  • Benefit to patients 

  • Involvement of those with lived experience

  • Clarity of language 

When should I apply? 

There are two application deadlines per year, in June and December. 

The current round is open for applications until Thursday 22 June 2023.  

How can I apply? 

Download the application form from the bottom of this page and submit your completed application form, along with your CV (max. 2 sides) to BSI Research Partnerships Manager Ben Wilcock at by the application deadline. Applicants must also submit a letter of support from their supervisor and a letter of support from that lab/institute where the placement will take place. 

If you have any questions, please contact