Early Career Researcher Bridge Fund

Grant amount:

Up to £30,000

Grant deadline:

1 November 2023

This scheme aims to enable the retention of early career researchers in dementia research or to address particular pinch points in their career path.

The scheme may be used to cover funding gaps. Early career researchers must justify how funds will enable them to continue to develop their careers in dementia research, and must present a concrete plan to secure further, longer-term funding (e.g., fellowship or project grant).

Provided to cover salary, staff members, animals, running costs (consumables, travel etc.) or any combinations of these.

Duration: Up to 6 months (up to 12 months part time). The duration can be extended where there is a co-funding arrangement in place.


Grant deadline

1st November 2023, 5pm

Funding outcome

mid-February 2024

The lead applicant is expected to have a track record in dementia research and plans to develop their career in dementia research.

This scheme is designed to support early career researchers, defined as those who do not have a tenured position. Researchers who hold a tenured position at a UK university or research institute are not eligible to apply. This scheme does not cover extensions to PhD Scholarships, existing projects or to research delayed by difficulties.

We expect the early career researcher to be the lead applicant on the grant. The lead applicant should identify a co-applicant who is a senior established investigator at the institution where the project will be carried out. The co-applicant will provide the facilities required for the research programme and will provide career support and training opportunities for the early career researcher.

The lead applicant should investigate and outline ways their institution is able to support the application. Alzheimer’s Research UK requires applications to include a supporting statement from the institution outlining their support for the applicant and contribution towards the project. The host Institution’s contribution can be financial or in-kind.

 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. Co-applicants from small and medium enterprises are permitted.

If the project requires ethical approval and/or Home Office licences, the award is dependent upon the requisite approvals being granted.

Alzheimer’s Research UK is a member of the Association of Medical Research Charities and follows their guidelines for best practice in peer review. Grants are awarded entirely on scientific merit in relation to Alzheimer’s Research UK’s remit and on the basis of open competition. The quality of the application and applicants is the key determinant of outcome, although the strength of the dementia research environment within the institution is also considered.


In the event that a large number of applications are received, the applications may be triaged ahead of the Grant Review Board (GRB) meeting. GRB members are asked to read a subset of applications related to their area of expertise and provide a score based on whether an application should proceed to the next stage of review.

Lay review

Applications for research studies that involve people require lay review. Applicants are requested to complete a lay summary and lay proposal within their application which is sent to lay review volunteers for comments. When comments are received, applicants will be invited to respond to lay review comments through a written rebuttal. The lay review comments and rebuttal are made available to the GRB members.

Discussion at Grant Review Board meeting

Ahead of the meeting, each application is allocated to two GRB members, based on their areas of expertise. At the meeting, the two members will present the application to the rest of the board. A short discussion will follow before the GRB score the application. Applications for each grant scheme are ranked by their average score and recommendations for funding are made.

For more information on the assessment criteria and scoring system used, please see the document Scoring system and assessment criteria.

Trustee meeting

Those applications recommended for funding by the GRB are presented to the trustees for final approval.

ARUK will be in regular contact with awardees throughout their bridge funding. We expect the bridge funding to enable awardees to secure further funding or get to the next stage of their career path. By keeping in touch, we will be able to offer our support and monitor whether the aims have been met.

Applications are made via our grant application website.

Grant schemes only appear on this website when the round is open and we are accepting new applications.

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.