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Brian Mercer Award for Innovation

This scheme is for scientists who wish to develop an already proven concept or prototype into a near-market product ready for commercial exploitation.

This scheme has now permanently closed, and has been replaced by the Royal Society Innovation Award.

This award and the Brian Mercer Feasibility Award are designed to promote innovation and fill the funding gap between scientific research and the exploitation of an idea through venture capital investment.

The Brian Mercer Awards were established in 2001 as the result of a generous bequest received from Dr Brian Mercer OBE FRS (1927-1998). Dr Mercer was an enthusiastic inventor and entrepreneur and these awards aim to encourage these qualities in the next generation of scientists.

Am I eligible to apply?

The scheme covers natural sciences, excluding medical devices.

You can apply for this scheme if you:

  • have a PhD or are of equivalent standing in your profession
  • hold a substantive post in either a university or a not-for-profit research organisation in the UK
  • expect to be in post for at least the duration of the project

It is not necessary to have previously held a Brian Mercer Feasibility Award.

Before applying, please ensure that you meet all the eligibility requirements, which are explained in the scheme notes.

What is the scheme’s value and tenure?

The scheme provides an award of up to £250,000 (including VAT where applicable).

Awards are not expected to exceed 24 months in duration.

What is the application process?

Applications should be submitted through the Royal Society’s electronic grant application system (e-GAP).

All applications are initially checked by the selection panel chair for eligibility and then reviewed by the members of the panel with the most appropriate scientific expertise.

Following this a shortlist is drawn up and shortlisted proposals are reviewed by two independent referees suggested by the panel.

The selection panel then meets to consider the applications before reaching a decision.