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Opportunity profile: Risks rewarded in neurodegeneration

Image: Lightspring, via Shutterstock

Every three years, researchers at the Centres of Excellence in Neurodegeneration can pitch high-risk, high-gain ideas. Clara Fons, research programme manager at the MRC, tells Fiona McIntyre what to expect in this round of Pathfinder Awards.

Clara’s top tips

  • Do not treat it like a normal project grant. Use it as an opportunity to test an innovative hypothesis that might not be funded elsewhere.
  • You can include researchers with expertise in other fields, but make sure you explain why they must be involved and what they will bring to the project.
  • Applications should be stand-alone bids, not add-ons to another project.
  • Proposals can be used to question a hypothesis or some previous research, but otherwise novelty and innovation are watchwords for this scheme.

The international network of Centres of Excellence in Neurodegeneration (Coen) was set up in 2010 with the Medical Research Council as one of the three founding partners. Today, nine countries are involved in Coen.

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