Collaboration between The University of Edinburgh and McGill


Call for Applications for Joint Research Funding

McGill University and The University of Edinburgh have partnered to establish collaborative research and training opportunities in Neuroscience. This new partnership will focus initially on the following three main areas: (i) autism/neurodevelopmental disorders, (ii) intellectual disabilities (with particular focus on studies using human induced pluripotent stem cells), and iii) neurodegenerative disorders.

Within the framework of this collaboration, these partners announce a call for applications for competitive Joint Pilot Project Grants to support collaborative work in the three identified research areas. The objective of these pilot projects will be to build on synergistic interactions between the two universities to establish long-standing collaborations, ideally leading to joint external research grant applications.

Proposals are invited for up to three 1-year Joint Pilot Project Grants, one in each of the research areas identified above, to support new or ongoing collaborations. The maximum amount that can be requested for each application is C$80,000 (approximately £45,000). High-risk approaches will be considered. In these cases, risk will be evaluated against the potential to deliver ground breaking results.

Applications should involve one McGill-affiliated principal investigator (PI) and one University of Edinburgh-affiliated PI. Each PI can participate in maximally one application.

Proposals should clearly demonstrate

  • the added value of the planned joint research.
  • how planned joint research will provide training opportunities for at least one trainee (MSc, PhD, MD students or postdoctoral fellows).

It is anticipated that data generated through these collaborations will allow researchers to pursue more comprehensive joint external research funding.


Key Dates


2019 competition

Application Deadline

May 15th

Decision expected by

June 30th


Eligible Costs

Funds can be requested for:

  • Directly incurred costs of the research project, including laboratory consumables.
  • Return airfare between Edinburgh and Montreal (plus other travel costs such as taxi fares) for the applicants and trainees listed on the grant. Air travel must be claimed at the lowest rate available, not to exceed full economy fare.
  • Per diem costs to cover accommodation and reasonable out of pocket expenses during travel (as a guide, it is expected that these costs would be in the range of C$ 200-250 per day). If these expenses are expected to be significantly different (e.g., travel or housing special needs), this should be indicated in the budget.


Non-eligible Costs

  • Salaries of PIs.
  • Visitor fees, student fees, or bench fees (either University will not charge fees on collaborative activities funded under this scheme).
  • Honoraria for guest lecturers.
  • Costs of publication.
  • Significant items of equipment (over C$ 1,000).


Review Process

An ad hoc Joint Review Panel composed of McGill and University of Edinburgh PIs will review applications according to the following criteria:

  • Quality and originality of the proposed activities.
  • Alignment with the priority areas described above.
  • Track record of the applicants.
  • Evidence that the proposed research might lead to a continuing collaboration between the partner laboratories.
  • Demonstrated potential for enhancement of training of students/fellows.

Each partner institution will establish a review committee of approximately 3-5 senior researchers to conduct the first review of the proposals. The recommendations of these two committees will be forwarded to the Joint Review Panel, which may choose to seek further scientific expert advice if deemed necessary in order to reach a consensus on recommendations for funding. Funding recommendations may take into consideration the longer-term strategic objectives of the partnership as agreed at that time; or other factors deemed appropriate. The Panel’s decision will be final and there will be no appeal procedure. The Joint Review Panel reserves the right to not award any grants. Applicants may not take part in the review process.


How to Apply

For each application, PIs will need to send electronically:

  • Completed application form (Word doc)
  • Biosketch of PIs including a list of significant recent publications.
  • Short biosketch of any listed collaborators (publication list not required).
  • A budget including justification of all costs requested.

At project end, pilot projects and workshops should provide a brief (normally 1 page max) report detailing achievements. This should highlight key results, potential impacts of continued research in the area, student mobility, abstracts, talks at scientific meetings, funding applications, publications in preparation, and any media highlights.

Any publications generated as a result of an award must acknowledge the partnership specifically referring to support from ‘The University of Edinburgh/McGill University Neuroscience Collaboration”. Investigators should update the partnership coordinators on the progress of publications arising from these awards. Should a project cease for any reason, including project end, unspent funds will be returned to the partnership.

Please email applications to both stefano.stifani [at] and edinburgh.neuroscience [at]



Pilot Project Grant Application Form (Word)

University of Edinburgh/McGill Collaboration Expression of Interest Listing (PDF)

Call for Joint Pilot Projects (PDF of the text of this page) 





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