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New opportunites

Working with Industry - Inflammation and Immunology Initiative
To improve strategic alignment, the MRC and Association of British Pharmaceutical Industries (ABPI) have been working together to promote better interaction between academics and the pharmaceutical industry. As part of this strategy, the MRC and ABPI are holding two workshops, one in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and another in rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory joint diseases.

Each workshop will bring together key experts from a range of sectors to identify clinical and pre-clinical research priorities in areas such as biomarkers, disease stratification, models and imaging. £15m has been ear-marked for high quality research proposals arising from these workshops. Depending on the success of these pilots, future workshops will be held in other disease areas.

Working across industry and academia is key to delivery of MRC's strategic priorities and this initiative is well aligned with the Office of Life Sciences Capability Clusters.

Further information is available from Dr Des Walsh, 

MRC/DfID African Research Leader scheme
New funding to support research leadership in sub-Saharan Africa

The MRC/DfID African Research Leader scheme is a highly prestigious award, jointly funded by the MRC and the UK's Department for International Development (DfID), for non-clinical and clinical researchers of exceptional ability. The aim of the scheme is to strengthen research leadership and capacity across sub-Saharan Africa by attracting and retaining researchers of high ability. The scheme will be launched as a pilot in the first instance, initially aiming to award support for two or three research leaders.

Office for Life Sciences - Therapeutic Capability Clusters call
The Office for Life Sciences has released a call for initial applications from NHS/academic centres that are interested in forming part of Therapeutic Capability Clusters in two key areas: inflammatory respiratory diseases and joint and related inflammatory diseases. These pilot Therapeutic Capability Clusters mark the first stage in the formation of a UK Life Sciences Super Cluster.

An Open Meeting is being held on 3 March 2010 to provide more information about the concept of Therapeutic Capability Clusters.

The deadline for submitting the initial application form is 12 noon, on 29 March 2010.