Proof of Concept Awards (PoCAs)

Results of November 2019 Call

The eight successful projects are as follows:

Principal Investigator: Dr Angus Wann
Institution: Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology, NDORMS, University of Oxford
Project title: Visualising the peri-ciliary clearance of proteases

Principal InvestigatorProfessor Andrew Pitsillides
InstitutionDepartment of Comparative Biomedical Sciences, Royal Veterinary College, University of London
Project titleA new ‘phase’ dawns in contrast imaging: visualisation of joint soft and hard tissues

Principal Investigator: Professor Christine Le Maitre
InstitutionTissue Engineering and Biomechanics Research Group, Biomolecular Research Centre, Sheffield Hallam University
Project titleHierarchical morphometric analysis of normal and degenerate intervertebral disc under physiological load

Principal Investigator: Professor Geoff Parker
InstitutionCentre for Medical Imaging Computing (CMIC), Computer Science, University College London
Project titleHigh-resolution imaging of co-electrohydrodynamics (co-EHD) enabled hollow polymeric microstructures

Principal Investigator: Professor Angus Kirkland
InstitutionDepartment of Materials, Oxford University and Rosalind Franklin Institute 
Project titleMultibeam SEM for the quantitative characterisation of musculoskeletal disease

Principal Investigator: Dr Alessandro Borghi
InstitutionDevelopmental Biology and Cancer, GOS Institute of Child Health (ICH), University College London
Project titleCranial bone microarchitecture in a mouse model for syndromic craniosynostosis

Principal Investigator: Dr Tan Sui
InstitutionDepartment of Mechanical Engineering Sciences, University of Surrey
Project titleMulti-scale structural and mechanical characterisation in bioinspired polyurethane-based artificial human skin

Principal Investigator: Dr Junning Chen
InstitutionEngineering, University of Exeter
Project titleMultiscale Correlative Imaging of the Intervertebral Disc Elastic Network

November 2019 Call Description

The ImagingBioPro network has funding for up to 18 exchanges to stimulate inter-disciplinary research on imaging of orthopaedic and musculoskeletal processes, with a core focus on using the UK’s Large Facilities (e.g. Diamond Light Source, ISIS Neutron Source, and the Central Laser Facilities). These PoCAs will cover up to 2-months PDRA salary and £3500 for research consumables, travel and subsistence.


Funding is available to IBP members only. Membership is free and you can register here.

Key Features

  • Funding value of up to 2-month PDRA salary (at UCL rate: £17.5k, including overheads)
  • £1500 for research consumables and £2000 for travel and subsistence.
  • Funding is paid at 80% fEC under normal UKRI terms and conditions.
  • Up to 10 PoCAs available - Total value of each PoCA: ~£21k
  • Interdisciplinary collaborations - Applications must involve at least two disciplines and have clearly defined deliverables and impact.
  • Early Career Researcher (ECR) engagement is strongly encouraged
  • The applicant researcher(s) must work in a host laboratory, different to their current place of work.
  • Minimum of 2 investigators on a project (one from the home and one from the host institute)
  • Project must be completed within six months of the award being granted
  • All funds awarded in this funding round must be spent by 1st July 2020. All invoices for spend to be submitted by 24th July 2020.

Application Process

  • Please download PoCAs_Funding_Application_Form.
  • Completed applications should be emailed to and include in the subject – PoCA Application
  • Application deadline for first round: closed
  • A decision will be announced 2 months after application deadline
  • For more info please read: PoCAs Funding Guidance for Applicants

Evaluation Criteria

The applications will be judged on their fit to the following criteria:

  • Scientific excellence
  • Inter-disciplinary
  • Use of large facilities
  • Fit to Technologies Touching Life remit
  • Involvement of early career researchers
  • At least one academic partner or a UKRI funded partner (ie. Large facilities).
  • Clear future impacts
  • Likelihood to lead to further funding


All publications arising from these exchanges should acknowledge the MRC/EPSRC/BBSRC ImagingBioPro grant (MR/R025673/1). (E.g. state "This work was funded in part by the MRC/EPSRC/BBSRC ImagingBioPro grant MR/R025673/1").