UK Japan Engineering Biology Call EOI

Closes 28 Feb 2024

Opened 15 Jan 2024



The Medical Research Council (MRC) and the Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED) are pleased to invite proposals to the UK Japan Engineering Biology for Novel Therapies and Diagnostics Research Collaboration

The main objective of this funding opportunity is to deliver joint research funding for internationally competitive and innovative collaborations between researchers from Japan and the UK in the field of engineering biology for novel therapies and diagnostics. This support will enable important synergy between researchers with shared or complementary interests.

A key aspect of the successful research programmes will be the establishment or enhancement of sustainable partnerships between the UK and Japan, supported through a strong mobility element to the available funding.

Specific objectives that underpin the UK-Japan research collaborative initiative are to support and promote:

  • Joint academic research projects with the potential to further the field of engineering biology and enable progress towards novel therapies and diagnostics.
  • Development of new and enhancement of existing partnerships to foster sustainable research links between the UK and Japan.
  • the exchange of scientists between the two countries, particularly considering the development of the next generation of top researchers that will contribute to the promotion of international talent mobility.
  • knowledge and/or methodology exchange between the two countries
  • complementary access to facilities, resources, and equipment
  • stronger opportunity for collaborative research and catalysis of further synergy.

Therefore, it is expected that jointly developed collaborative UK-Japan research applications will be submitted which detail an active research programme between UK and Japan-based researchers.

For further information on the background, scope and eligibility of this funding opportunity  please see the Call Funding Finder page for UK applicants and AMED website  for Japan based applicants.

MRC will provide matched funding and bi-lateral support with the Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED) for up to three years.


Closing date for the joint submission of the Expression of Interest (EOI) is the 28th February 2024 at 16.00 BST (UK). Applicants are not expected to submit an EOI to AMED as well, however, all details submitted to the MRC will be shared with AMED. 

Please note, this step does not form part of the review process. MRC and AMED will not undertake eligibility checks at this point.  Applicants should not await a response from the funders following the EOI submission, but simply continue with the development of the full proposal to be submitted by the deadline. The MRC and AMED will use the EOI to help prepare for the review process.

Full Application Submission

UK and Japanese applicants must apply separately to their respective funding agencies for the funding component requested within each country, but this must be based around a common research plan and vision. The application must be JOINTLY prepared by both UK and Japanese applicants.

  • UK applicants must submit through the UK TFS by 16:00 UK time on 16th April 2024.
  • Japanese applicants must submit through the AMED online submission system, e-Rad by 18:00 JST on 16th April 2024.

Please note, failure to submit a valid application to both the MRC and AMED by the respective deadlines will invalidate your submissions.

MRC as part of the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) has introduced new role types for funding opportunities being run on the new UKRI Funding Service.

These new role types include:

Project lead (previously principal investigator)

  • The project lead is responsible for the intellectual leadership and overall management of the project. They are the main contact for UKRI.
  • To be the project lead you must be affiliated with the ‘lead organisation’ on the application.
  • The project lead should have an explicit agreement with the organisation that this will last for at least the duration of UKRI funding.
  • By submitting an application, an organisation is confirming that named applicants can take part in a UKRI-funded project and will accept its relevant terms and conditions.

Project co-lead (previously co-investigator)

  • A project co-lead UK is a member of the project leadership and management team. They may take over the leadership of the project, if required. Your team can have as many project co-leads as needed.
  • To be a project co-lead you must be affiliated with one of the research organisations involved in submitting the application.

Project co-lead (international) (previously included under co-investigator)

The Project co-lead (international) role is available when a funding opportunity is open to individuals based at an international research organisation.

Researcher co-lead (previously researcher co-investigator)

A research and innovation associate who is not eligible to be a project lead or project co-lead, but has made a substantial contribution to the formulation and development of the application and will be closely involved with the project.

Please use these definitions when completing the survey.

For further information, UK applicants should contact:, Japanese applicants should contact:

How UK Research and Innovation will use your personal data

The personal data you give us will be used to assess the eligibility of your proposed work, aid internal processes and to provide advice to you before submission of an application.
All applicants should note that the information they submit to MRC as part of their expression of interest may be shared with overseas partners at Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development to facilitate the processing of applications.
Your personal data will be handled in line with UK data protection legislation and managed securely. If you would like to know more, including how to exercise your Rights, please see our privacy notice.
If you have any questions about how your data will be used please contact In addition, you can ask us to remove your information from our list at any time. If you want your information removed, please email to tell us.

Expression of interest


  • Research Community


  • Research and Innovation Sector Engagement