Jessica Bethell MenB grants call

Jessica Bethell MenB grants round

Please note that the call for applications to this grant has closed.

Information for prospective applicants

Jump to downloadable resources


We are inviting well-constructed proposals for catalyst grants by UK-based researchers that demonstrate clear relevance to advancing protection against meningococcal serogroup B (MenB) disease in the UK. Proposals from early career researchers are also welcomed.

Research must meet the UK standards of research ethics, scientific integrity and animal welfare. Research institutions must be able to accept the charity’s Terms and Conditions of Grant Aid

Employees of commercial companies are not eligible to apply.


The call is being generously funded by The Jessica Bethell Charitable Foundation, in memory of Jessica, who tragically died from MenB in 2012, aged just 24 years. We are therefore particularly interested in UK-relevant research proposals which are focussed on protection of teenagers and young adults against MenB disease and have the potential for future clinical or public health benefit. This could include projects focussed on the prevention, early recognition, diagnosis and management of MenB.

The proposals must generate pilot data or findings that will increase understanding of MenB carriage, transmission and/or disease and have a clearly defined potential for future translation into the prevention and/or protection against MenB. Research funded must be of the highest scientific merit, in terms of the importance of the investigation, excellence of the study, ability of the research team, and probability of success.

Meningitis Research Foundation is an NIHR non-commercial partner and also meets eligibility criteria for HEFCE’s Charity Research Support Fund and equivalent funds in Scotland (Scottish Funding Council), Wales (HEFCW) and Northern Ireland (Department for Employment and Learning).


We will award catalyst grants up to £35,000, for a maximum of 12 months in duration. Funding is intended to catalyse innovative research proposals and/or new research collaborations that have the potential for further funding.


Meningitis Research Foundation grants are highly competitive and are awarded primarily on the basis of scientific merit and clear relevance to the defined scope of the call.

The Foundation is a member of the Association of Medical Research Charities, a membership organisation of the leading medical and health research charities in the UK. We were awarded the AMRC’s Certificate of Best Practice in Peer Review at their latest audit in 2020. As a member we follow its guidelines for best practice on peer review and support its position statement on the use of animals in research and its position statement on supporting research in universities.

Deadline and Further Information

The deadline for applications is Wednesday 30th November 2022. Proposals will then be considered by our Scientific Advisory Panel and external referees. Applicants will be informed of the outcome of their application by early February 2023. For further information on how applications are assessed and awarded, please refer to our Peer Review Procedures available below.

Should you require further information, or would like to discuss the suitability of your proposed project before making a submission, please email our Research Officer Amelia Slay on or call 0333 405 6257.

Research Investment Strategy

The Foundations previous Research Investment Strategy can be found here. We are currently developing a new strategy in alignment with MRF’s strategy 2021-2025. Therefore, if you are interested in applying to the Jessica Bethell MenB Research Call, please refer to the defined scope of the call, rather than the above strategy.

Policies and procedures:

A. MRF Terms and Conditions of Research Grant - For information only
B. MRF Research Integrity Policy
C. MRF Research Privacy Notice
D. MRF Research Code of Conduct and Conflicts of Interest Policy
E. MRF Organisational Code of Conduct and Conflicts of Interest Policy
F. MRF Peer Review Procedures 2022
G. MRF Policy on the Use of Animals in Research
H. MRF Safeguarding Procedures
I. MRF Safeguarding Policy

Application materials:

A. Jessica Bethell MenB Research Call Scope
B. Guidance Notes for Applicants 2022-23
C. Jessica Bethell Grant Application Form 2022-23
D. Collaborator Form
E. Proposals Involving Animals Form