Blood Biomarker Challenge – Call for Research Proposals

Grant amount:

Up to £4.5million

Grant deadline:

29 September 2023

We want to produce the clinical and economic data that could help make the case for blood biomarker implementation in a healthcare setting in the UK.

Duration: Up to five years.

Budget: Up to £4.5m.

Funding Partners: People’s Postcode Lottery, Alzheimer’s Research UK, Alzheimer’s Society, National Institute for Health and Care Research.

Online event: Please join us during an online event on 8 June 2023 at 12pm, where the Funding Partners will discuss the scope and the review process of this grant, and attendees will be able to ask any questions they may have. You can register online.

Background: Disease-modifying treatments are around the corner, but it simply won’t matter if we cannot diagnose people with dementia in a timely and accurate manner. It is estimated that right now only 2% of people with dementia in the UK would be eligible to access a treatment.

Blood biomarkers can be the answer to this problem.

Programme Objectives: This grant is funded by Alzheimer’s Research UK, Alzheimer’s Society and the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR), and generously supported by the players of the People’s Postcode Lottery.

This programme will fund a prospective, community-based project that assesses a panel of biomarkers in real-world populations.

In order to build a stronger case for future implementation, the final proposal should include a component of an economic analysis of the use of blood biomarker in a healthcare setting.

The successful applicants will be required to work closely with the Policy and Influencing teams at Alzheimer’s Research UK and Alzheimer’s Society, both during the project and after completion, to work towards the implementation of blood biomarkers in healthcare settings where the findings of the project support this.

For more information on the Blood Biomarker Call, and potential areas of study, please read the Request for Applications.


Applications open

18 May 2023


29 September 2023

Funding outcome

October 2023

This Request for Applications requires the study population to be community-based.

The Lead Applicant and point of contact must be based in a UK academic/research institution. However, the application can include researchers or institutions outside the UK.

The Lead Applicant is expected to have a contract (fixed term or tenure) which covers the proposed duration of the grant. The proposal must include an early career researcher, in any role. Post-doctoral fellows are eligible to apply as a Lead Applicant, but must collaborate with an administrative Co-Applicant who does have a contract until the end of the project. The administrative PI will be responsible for assisting in providing all institutional documents required for the project and will be required to sign any award contract. Training or mentoring-only proposals will not be considered.

The proposal must include multiple study sites across the UK, with at least one of them having access to specialist techniques with link to other validated measures of underlying pathology, such as CSF or PET.

The team or collaborators must have a track record of community engagement and diverse recruitment in similar studies. We expect the study to broadly represent the diversity of the UK population.

The following areas of research will be outside of the remit of this funding call:

  • Analyses of samples from already-existing cohorts, except for specific subcomponents (e.g. validation against pathology) as the focus of this call is for a new prospective study.
  • Early or preliminary studies of novel BBMs. Only BBMs broadly accepted to have reached phase 3 of the biomarker development framework will be considered.
  • Development of non-BBMs, such as PET, CSF, digital, etc.

Applications will be reviewed by a panel of:

  • International scientific reviewers with a mix of expertise in blood biomarkers, the diagnosis pathway in the UK, working with diverse communities, and health economics.
  • Lay Reviewers from Alzheimer’s Society’s and Alzheimer’s Research UK’s network.

Read the complete list of the reviewing criteria the panel will consider (PDF, 110KB).

The terms and conditions of a grant differ for each grant scheme and contracts are drawn up individually once the grants have been awarded.

View an example award letter and contract for a Major Project Grant.


All grant holders are expected to report on the progress of their project on a regular basis. Read more about our reporting requirements on the measuring impact page.

For more information about any of the grant schemes or the application process please contact the Research Team

All applications submitted to Alzheimer’s Research UK are subject to the policies found in Research guidelines and policies. Please ensure you familiarise yourself with these policies and contact with any queries.