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21/562 Early Detection of Disease


MRC-NIHR funding collaboration

Closing date: 1:00 pm, 7th December 2021 (two stage – Stage 1 to Stage 2)

The EME Programme invites applications to evaluate novel diagnostic interventions which aim to detect disease earlier than conventional techniques, in patients presenting with history or symptoms suggestive of disease.

Applications are welcomed across all areas where there may be a reasonable benefit to earlier detection. This call includes all types of technology for which proof of concept  (clinical and technical validation) has been demonstrated, i.e. a signal of diagnostic accuracy in patients.

The focus of applications to this call should be the robust investigation of the diagnostic capabilities of the intervention (i.e. accuracy statistics) and how this translates to earlier detection than current standards (if any). Projects funded from this call are not expected to focus on the clinical action following detection of disease or health outcomes resulting from early intervention.

Examples include:

  • Point-of-care tests
  • Monitoring interventions, with the potential of identifying the relapse of an already diagnosed disease or the development of associated conditions
  • Machine learning for medical diagnosis
  • Evaluating new diagnostic technologies which may be more accessible than current practice.

Excluded are:

  • Studies seeking to evaluate the implementation and delivery of tests, for which the diagnostic performance is already known, are not within remit.
  • Population screening studies identifying unrecognised disease in an apparently healthy, asymptomatic, target population, are not within remit.