Discovery Awards

To get ideas off the ground and closer to winning the Longitude Prize

  1. 23 January 2017 Open for applications from 09.00 GMT Discovery Awards open and accepting applications
  2. 21 April 2017 Deadline for applications, midnight BST Discovery Awards close for applications
  3. July Winners notified Judging Panel decides winners
  4. Late summer Awards ceremony Public announcement of winners

What are the Discovery Awards?

The Discovery Awards are small seed grants to help teams and individuals further develop their ideas for the Longitude Prize.

This seed funding aims to help registered teams move their ideas forward, as well as to broaden the range of innovators competing for the Prize by encouraging new teams to enter the race.

This second round of Discovery Awards is funded by MSD, known as Merck in the US and Canada.

Read about the winners of our first round of Discovery Awards, awarded November 2016.

Visit our funding page for other opportunities to fund your AMR research.


Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.

Marie Curie

Who can apply?

Anyone who is registered with the Longitude Prize can apply for a Discovery Award.

We particularly want to encourage competitors who:

  • Are unable to access other sources of funding
  • Have reached a barrier in progressing the development of their idea
  • Are from countries where access to seed funding is very limited or unavailable
  • Are working in collaboration across sectors, disciplines or geographies which make it difficult to access other sources of funding
  • Are working on an idea that is difficult to access other sources of funding for
  • Are in a stage of development where it is difficult access other sources of funding
  • Are working on a very novel idea

An individual can only be associated with one application to the Discovery Awards.



How to apply

 You need to be registered for the Longitude Prize before you submit your application for the Discovery Awards. Registration is easy and only takes a few minutes. Register here.

After you have registered, click on Apply Now to go to our secure online submission platform where you will be able to complete our short application.

You can begin your application and save it to complete at a later date.

You must submit your application no later than midnight GMT Friday 21 April 2017.

When completing your application, please consider the following:

  • Is your idea novel and within the scope of the Longitude Prize?

  • Is your proposed budget a feasible amount to help you achieve your stated activities?

  • If you receive a Discovery Award for the amount requested, will this help you progress your ideas to the next stage of development?

Please make sure to read our full terms and conditions and guidance notes before applying.


Judging panel

Dr Till Bachmann

Reader in Personalised Medicine in Infectious Diseases, University of Edinburgh

View profile for Dr Till Bachmann

Dr Andrew Bastawrous

Assistant Professor in International Eye Health, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

View profile for Dr Andrew Bastawrous

Sumit Paul-Choudhury

Editor-in-chief, New Scientist

View profile for Sumit Paul-Choudhury

Dr Arlene Chua

Technical Consultant, WHO

View profile for Dr Arlene Chua

Martine Guillerm

Diagnostics Consultant

View profile for Martine Guillerm

Dr Bill Rodriguez

Chief Medical Officer, FIND

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Dr Taslimarif Saiyed

Director, Centre for Cellular and Molecular Platforms

View profile for Dr Taslimarif Saiyed

Dr Penny Wilson

Innovation Platform Leader, Stratified Medicine, Innovate UK

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Dr Elizabeth Hermsen (observer)

Head of Global Antimicrobial Stewardship, Merck

View profile for Dr Elizabeth Hermsen (observer)

Case studies

Team seeks funds to refine prototype

“Our team has achieved proof of concept for our technology and we are getting good preliminary results, but we need to do more to make the test commercially viable. We need support with sourcing and analysing sample sets from patients so that we have enough data to take forward for commercialisation and regulatory approval.”

Once proof of concept has been achieved, any test needs refining to ensure it meets market requirements. The Discovery Awards can be used to help develop initial prototypes, such as improving sample preparation, reducing the time to result, or undertaking further tests on clinical samples to confirm preliminary results for regulatory purposes.


Individual seeks help to patent idea

“I’m an individual who has started to develop my test in the lab. So far I have invested my own money to prove that my idea works. I’d now like to patent my idea but am struggling to find additional funds to do this, on top of the investments I have already made.”

Patenting an idea costs money. The Discovery Awards can be used to help cover these costs to ensure that your idea is covered by intellectual property laws, which is important as you further develop your idea towards prototype stage and beyond.


Individual needs manufacturing partner to scale product

“I'm an individual who is at the stage of developing a business plan for scale-up of my test. I don't have any experience in how to do this and would like to seek advice from a range of people or companies about how best to go about scaling up manufacture globally, whilst keeping costs down."

The Discovery Awards can be used to pay for people’s time to research markets and establish price points. They can also be used to pay for advice on how to convert costs and income into a full business model at scale.


Small teams needs to cover lab costs

“We’re a small team with a novel idea, but we don’t have expertise in diagnostics or microbiology. We’ve recently identified a collaborator with relevant experience who wants to test our idea in their lab but require funds to cover staff costs and materials.”

The Discovery Awards can be used to take an idea through to a proven concept. The Awards can be used to fund, for example, the cost of an individual’s time to undertake lab work, or the cost of reagents and materials needed to prove that the test works and to generate, and analyse, data to support this. The Awards can also be used to further develop an idea, such as testing an existing idea on additional strains of bacteria.