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Cambridge Infectious Diseases

An Interdisciplinary Research Centre at the University of Cambridge

Studying at Cambridge


CID Research Incubator Fund

A small projects fund to foster innovative and interdisciplinary research in infectious diseases.

The first call closed in 2018. The next call will open on 04 March 2019.

CID recognises the added value that an interdisciplinary approach can bring to addressing research challenges. Building a community that values coming together is a core strategy for CID, and capacity-building to develop an interdisciplinary mind-set is high on our agenda. To achieve this, we are are pleased to be supported by the Isaac Newton Trust to offer a flexible small grants support mechanism to Early Career Researchers who wish to explore new ideas, identify new collaborations, or reach new audiences. A key component of successful ‘Pathways to Impact’ in research grant applications is having appropriate and effective collaborations in place to facilitate impact. This Fund aims to help early career members to build and strengthen their networks within and beyond Cambridge, thus laying the groundwork for future interdisciplinary funding bids focused around Infectious Diseases.

We gratefully acknowledge the support of the Isaac Newton Trust in providing matched funding for this scheme and encourage potential company /industry sponsors to get in touch with us if you would like to contribute to this fund and grow the future.


Proposals are evaluated by a review panel. Priority will be given to those which

  • Promote novel interdisciplinary exchange and collaboration between one or  more distant disciplines eg Physics- Life Sciences,
  • Address topical infectious diseases challenges 
  • Develop novel methodological approaches or tools, or apply tools from one discipline in another
  • Are likely to lead to the development of further collaborative research grant proposals.

Eligibility: Applications open to Early Career Researchers  - this includes PhD students, Post Doctoral Researchers, and researchers/clinical researchers establishing themselves within 10 years of completion of their PhD, wishing to conduct activities within Cambridge or travel away from Cambridge for a specific purpose matching the guidelines.

  • Applicants must be full members of the University of Cambridge for the duration of the project.
  • Each proposal should be submitted by co-applicants from at least 2 different research discipline groups.
  • Applications should include a supporting letter from your research supervisor (where applicable).

Proposal Guidelines  

To support early or later stage exchange/ research activities likely to lead to new and novel interdisciplinary research collaborations/initiatives. You may apply for a grant between £500 and £2,000. 

Example activities include: 

  • Convening a single or series of meet ups/workshops that are cross-disciplinary in nature around a specific theme or goal.
  • Carrying out a collaborative interdisciplinary research project by visiting and working alongside another researcher/s or bringing in a researcher/s to assist in widening your project scope/generating data to support an interdisciplinary research paper and /or generate an interdisciplinary funding application for a defined upcoming opportunity.


  • Conference travel is not supported. 
  • All applications must  list the disciplines involved and give justification for how the project/activity would facilitate a genuine transfer of knowledge/techniques between disciplines.
  • Applicants must complete the relevant risk assessment and/or ethics forms through their department before travelling. 
  • Funds must be spent, and a short report and 2 to 6 photographs submitted together with hard copy receipts for travel costs incurred.
  • Not more than one application should be submitted per applicant.
  • Financial support from the Isaac Newton Trust and Cambridge Infectious Diseases should be acknowledged in any outputs.

Application Dates

Eligible Costs

Awards can be requested to meet 100% of directly incurred travel, accommodation, venue hire, catering, marketing/printing or materials and research related operating costs. No salary or capital items.

How to apply 
Applicants must complete and submit their application by filling in an application form here.

Deadline /Notification 
Applications should be submitted by TBA An awards committee will ensure that the activities supported contribute to the overall objectives of CID IRC, and are grounded in the applicant’s area of research and interdisciplinary in scope, as well as ensuring equal opportunities and gender equality Notification of funding decisions will be made by TBA .

Questions ? Contact
Please contact


Funded Projects

An open call in 2018 resulted the following projects being awarded funding in this initial round:

1. Building bridges between the Kingdom of Bhutan and Cambridge: clinical experience and genetic analysis of canine transmissible tumour. Dr Andrea Stratkova (1st year Post Doc, supervisor Elizabeth Murchison, Department of Veterinary Medicine). Funds are being used to bring Dr Yoenten Phuentshok (one of only 12 qualified vets in Bhutan), to Cambridge to learn diagnostic techniques in genetics he will introduce to colleagues on return to Bhutan. A long-term collaboration is ongoing.

2. Modelling emerging phenomena to aid the design of a novel virological assay. Dr longzhu Shen (Post Doc, Supervisor Prof Derek Smith Department of Zoology). Funds are being used for Longzhu to a visit Prof Benzhuo Lu at the Chinese Academy of Science Mathematical Institute, to work collaboratively on a mathematical solution to a problem and to present work, and build relations with early career mathematicians in China.

3. Rapid identification of key arthropod vector species in the field. Dr Sam Subbs (2nd year Post Doc, Supervisor Dr Barbara Blacklaws, Department of Veterinary Medicine). The funds will be used to support a local field trip with Sam accompanying a field entomologist from LSTHM to learn mosquito trapping and ensure accurate species identification to optimize a PCR field diagnostics species test, which he will them implement himself in a new project in Indonesia in 2019.

4. Unravelling how an uncharacterised methyltransferase sustains phenazine toxin biosynthesis in the human pathogen, Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Dr Stephen Dolan (2nd year Post Doc, Supervisor Dr Martin Welch, Department of Chemistry). The funds are being used for Stephen to visit the lab of Dr Lars Dietrich, University of Columbia, New York to learn new techniques in electrochemical detection and digital micropscopy, and then apply these back in the lab with colleagues in Cambridge.

The Fund is helping CID implement our strategic objective to build a strong community of Early Career Researchers with the broad skills needed to make future breakthroughs, with the benefit of a common language and approach to problem solving. Supporting early career researchers is a key factor in developing our long-term, interdisciplinary research capacity to address key global challenges across fields. This includes finding ways to catalyse research collaborations nationally and internationally for exchange of knowledge and ideas.