2023 MRC-SCN UK-Canada Exchange Programme Awards

The Medical Research Council (MRC) and the Canadian Stem Cell Network (SCN) are pleased to announce round 2 of the MRC-SCN UK-Canada Exchange Program Awards, which will provide funding for travel and skills exchange between regenerative medicine researchers in the UK and Canada. The deadline for applications is October 31, 2023, at 5 p.m. (sender’s local time), or 4 p.m. GMT (for applications submitted via Je-S, see details in the application process). Successful applicants will be notified by early December.


About This Program

As part of MRC and SCN’s on-going partnership, which started in 2022, the MRC and SCN are each investing up to $180,000 CAD/£112,000 GBP over two years to support new and developing collaborations between the UK and Canada’s researchers in regenerative medicine, encouraging the sharing of techniques and skills through a reciprocal exchange program.

The purpose of the UK-Canada Exchange Program Awards is primarily to provide new skills to researchers, including MSc/PhD students, post-doctoral fellows, research associates, technicians, and newly independent investigators, and to build new links between UK- and Canada-based scientists. The awards can be used for travel, accommodation, and site visits or conference attendance in either country, and will serve to add value to the research taking place in both countries by facilitating closer collaboration.


  • Eligible exchange researchers/scientists include graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, research assistants or research associates, and newly independent investigators (within five years of their first independent academic research appointment). Newly independent investigators can apply as both the exchange researcher/scientist and the named Principal Investigator (PI).
    • Applications between two labs that were previously funded for an exchange will be accepted; however, the project summary must include a justification for the second exchange and how it will strengthen the ongoing collaborative activities.
    • An exchange researcher/scientist is not eligible to participate in the program if they have also participated in this exchange program in the previous year.
    • If a large volume of applications is received, SCN and MRC may choose to prioritize those applications from PIs who have not previously been supported to maximize the distribution of funding.
  • SCN and MRC will support the travel of Canadian and UK exchange researcher/scientists at $15,000 CAD/ £9,500 GBP per researcher. Each proposal must have the support of one Canadian PI and one UK PI, with each lab acting as either host, visitor, or both. Proposals can be for the travel of two researchers, one from each lab (bidirectional); or one researcher (unidirectional). Bidirectional exchanges between two labs are encouraged and preferred.
  • Exchanges are expected to be 6-12 weeks in length.
  • Exchanges should be relevant to regenerative medicine. Regenerative medicine is the branch of medicine that develops methods to regrow, repair or replace damaged or diseased cells, organs or tissues. Regenerative medicine includes the generation and use of therapeutic stem cells, tissue engineering and the production of artificial organs. Research applications that are focused on cancer must be regenerative in nature and/or use stem cells for addressing the proposed problem. Interdisciplinary projects with relevance to regenerative medicine are welcomed.


This funding is available to support the following collaborative activities:

  • Travel for researchers in either direction, including transportation and meal costs while traveling
  • Accommodation costs for the duration of the exchange
  • Visits/access to facilities
  • Conference attendance (subject to approval by SCN/MRC)
  • Other collaborative activities may be supported on a case-by-case basis


Exchange awards are not a vehicle for supporting research projects and these awards cannot be used to fund:

  • Salary costs
  • Items of equipment
  • Other research costs including consumables
  • Ordinary living costs, e.g. meals.


Funding will be delivered to participating Canadian institutions from SCN and to participating UK institutions from MRC.
Exchange personnel will be responsible for finding and securing their own suitable accommodations for the duration of the exchange. SCN/MRC will support eligible accommodation costs.


Learn more about the eligibility criteria and application process on the SCN website.


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