Current funding opportunities

McGill University and The University of Edinburgh have partnered to establish collaborative research and training opportunities in Neuroscience.  

Within the framework of this collaboration, the partners announce a call for applications for competitive Joint Pilot Project Grants to support collaborative work in the following research areas: (i) neurodevelopmental disorders, and (ii) neurodegenerative diseases. 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 two 1-year Joint Pilot Project Grants in the two research areas identified above, to support new or ongoing collaborations. The maximum total amount that can be requested for each application is C$80,000; each university will contribute C$40,000 per grant. 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. Early-career principle investigators are encouraged to apply. 

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 


2024 competition 

Competition launch 

May 17 2024 

Deadline for application 

July 31 2024 

Decision expected  

September 2024 

Eligible Costs 

Funds can be requested for: 

  • Directly incurred costs of the research project, including laboratory consumables. 

  • Costs of regular meetings and exchanges between collaborating laboratories. 


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 (attached). 

  • 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 Head.CDBS [at]

The following websites can be consulted to find research partners at the University of Edinburgh and McGill University. 



Integrated Program in Neuroscience  


Azrieli Centre for Autism Research 



Edinburgh Neuroscience (EN): 


Centre for Discovery Brain Sciences (CDBS): 


Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences (CCBS): 


Simons Initiative for the Developing Brain (SIDB):  


The Neuro logo McGill logoMcGill University Health Centre logoKillam Laureates


The Neuro (Montreal Neurological Institute-Hospital) is a bilingual academic healthcare institution. We are a McGill research and teaching institute; delivering high-quality patient care, as part of the Neuroscience Mission of the McGill University Health Centre. We are proud to be a Killam Institution, supported by the Killam Trusts.



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