Alexander Fleming Dissemination Scheme
The Trustees of the Medical Research Foundation are pleased to announce a new funding scheme supported from the Fleming Memorial Fund for Medical Research.
Awards will be made to fund the dissemination of MRC and Medical Research Foundation-funded research results beyond the scientific peer reviewed press, to patients, participants, practitioners and policy makers.
- Who is the funder of the scheme?
- What is the purpose of the scheme?
- What do we mean by ‘dissemination of research results’?
- Who can apply?
- Are there any restrictions on the type of research results that can be disseminated?
- What costs can I include in my application?
- Is there an upper limit to an award?
- What will be the tenure of the award?
- How do I apply?
- What do I need to include in my application?
- What is the deadline for applications?
- How will my application be assessed?
- What does a successful application look like?
- Can I renew my award?
- What are the terms and conditions of an award?
- Where do I get further advice?
The Fleming Memorial Fund for Medical Research is a registered charity (number 206657) established in 1959 in the memory of Sir Alexander Fleming. National and international fund raising efforts in the 1960’s, resulted in significant funding for medical research and training opportunities. In 1969, when the primary objectives of the fund had been met the Medical Research Council became the trustees of the charity and its residual funds.
The Trustees of the MRC’s charity, the Medical Research Foundation, are the current trustees and they have agreed to launch a two year pilot Alexander Fleming Dissemination Scheme.
The purpose of the scheme is to provide funding to support the dissemination of MRC and Medical Research Foundation-funded research results beyond the scientific peer reviewed press, to patients, participants, practitioners (for example health professionals) and policy makers.
In this context, dissemination goes beyond making research results available through the traditional vehicles of journal publications and academic conference presentations. It involves the process of extracting the main messages or key implications derived from the research results and communicating them to targeted groups in a way that encourages them to factor the research implications into their work (practitioners and policy makers) or lives (patients and the healthy population at large).
The scheme is open to MRC and Medical Research Foundation grant and fellowship holders and researchers in MRC research institutes, units and centres, whose MRC or Medical Research Foundation funding is within one year of termination (prior to or after termination of support). This one year time limit may be extended for large scale MRC-funded clinical trials that have taken some time to publish in the scientific press – please contact the Medical Research Foundation Business Manager if this applies to you.
The research result to be disseminated must have been published in a peer reviewed journal prior to the submission of the Alexander Fleming Dissemination Award application. There are no other restrictions though see the advice on What does a successful application look like?
You can apply for the costs of the dissemination activities that you propose to undertake.
These activities will be dependent upon the nature of the research outcome and the target audience and could include, for example, the costs associated with writing, publicising and disseminating non-specialist reports for a wider public audience or network of practitioners, developing web pages or posters or engaging in a lectures or seminars to explain the research results and their impact to groups able to effect change – these may be policy makers, service providers and commissioners, the public or patient groups, or schools-based activities.
You can include the costs of collaborating with, or buying the services of, other professionals key to the dissemination of your research results beyond the scientific press. These could include mediators and practitioners of science communication, educators and health professionals.
Travel and subsistence costs can be included, along with the costs of organising events to draw together the target audience.
As with all UK charity funded research, the Medical Research Foundation accepts applications for directly incurred costs only (as defined by the TRAC methodology used by universities to calculate the full economic costs of their research). Awards will not cover the costs of the principal investigators salary or indirect/overhead costs.
Awards will be made to meet the costs of the dissemination activities and will be no greater than £30,000.
This is flexible and will be dependent on the nature of the dissemination activities though it is unlikely that an award will be for longer than one year.
i) Background to dissemination plan
- Detail the original aims of the MRC/Medical Research Foundation-funded research and the actual outcomes.
- Explain the significance of the research finding to be disseminated, in terms of improving health or changing healthcare practice.
- Place your research findings in the context of existing evidence.
- Detail any dissemination activities undertaken already (through the MRC grant or supported by other funds) and any evaluation of these preliminary activities.
ii) Dissemination plan
Provide sufficient detail of the following:
- The message to be disseminated
- The changes in practice the dissemination is aiming to achieve (for example individual behaviour, changes in healthcare practice, changes in policy).
- Methods for dissemination:
- Who is the target audience?
- Who will deliver the message?
- How will the message be delivered?
- Where will the message be delivered?
- Timeframe for the dissemination activities?
- Numbers of the target audience that the dissemination activity is expected to reach.
- Expert advice sought/involved in the dissemination activities.
iii) Evaluation of the dissemination activities
Detail your plans for an evaluation of the dissemination activity (has the dissemination activity changed behaviour, policy?)
iv) Justification of resources
Justify all resources requested.
There is no deadline. The Trustees recognise the need to be responsive to emerging research findings and will receive applications at any time. Applications will be considered at the earliest trustee meeting (trustees meet at least four times each year).
Scientific peer review of your application will not be undertaken – to be eligible for the scheme the research result you wish to disseminate must have already been published in a peer reviewed scientific journal. The quality of the research finding will already have been established.
The expert assessment of applications will address the following three key issues:
- The significance of the research finding:
- prevalence of condition (if disease-related)
- potential impact of findings
- contribution of results to current practice or knowledge
- consideration of other relevant research
- publication of findings in peer-reviewed journal(s)
- The need for wider public dissemination:
- audience for dissemination plan
- reasons why wider dissemination outwith scientific community is important
- potential change in behaviour or practice of public/individuals or policy makers
- The quality of the dissemination/communication plan.
- likely impact of research on target audience
Successful applications are likely to be those where:
- The MRC/Medical Research Foundation funded research result merits wide dissemination beyond the normal scientific press.
- The dissemination plan places the research finding in the context of the other available evidence in the field.
- The research finding could have a significant impact on the health of the nation.
- The dissemination plan is well considered, targeted and innovative. It is likely to reach the proposed audience and likely to have an impact on individual behaviour or policy.
- An evaluation of the dissemination activity has been incorporated into the application.
Applications that focus on disseminating research findings to other researchers will not be supported (for example requests for academic conference travel).
It may be possible to renew an Alexander Fleming Dissemination award for a further period. To discuss this, contact the Medical Research Foundation Business Manager
Alexander Fleming Dissemination awards are subject to specific terms and conditions.
If after reading the information provided in these pages, you need further advice please contact the Medical Research Foundation’s Business Manager