Non-mammalian models for asthma research

This call is closed.


We are seeking research proposals to develop non-mammalian (C. elegans, D. melanogaster, zebrafish and Dictyostelium) models of asthma to address asthma research questions and reduce reliance on traditional animal models, with the aim of:

  • Providing more scientifically relevant disease pathways information to better understand the molecular mechanisms of human asthma
  • Reducing reliance on mammalian model systems.

Applications focusing on human tissue-based approaches or mathematical/in silico modelling approaches are outside of the scope of the current call. Applications can include a component of this, but must be focused on developing and applying non-mammalian organisms as models for asthma research.

Further information on the strategic call can be found in the call handbook.

Who can apply | How to apply | Assessment procedure | Assessment panel | Resources and awards

Who can apply

Establishment eligibility

Individual eligibility

Any UK research establishment including:

  • Higher Education Institutions (HEIs)
  • Independent Research Organisations (IROs)
  • Research Council (RC) Institutes
  • Hospital/NHS Trusts
  • Charity Laboratories
  • Industry

Applicants should be UK-based researchers who can demonstrate that they:

  • Will direct the proposed research
  • Will be actively engaged in accomplishing the project’s aims
  • Hold a graduate degree – the minimum formal qualification required. However, it would normally be expected that an applicant has been awarded a PhD. Applications involving less experienced researchers should be made in collaboration with a more senior colleague

In addition to general strategic award eligibility requirements, the research team must include expertise in both asthma and non-mammalian model development.

Overseas researchers

Overseas researchers cannot be principal applicants but can be included as collaborators. Overseas co-applicant status can be obtained in exceptional circumstances and at the discretion of the NC3Rs; approval should be sought before applying.


The NC3Rs does not allow resubmission of previously unsuccessful proposals, unless explicitly invited by the Panel. Proposals previously declined by the NC3Rs will not be considered by another Research Council or funder within 12 months (from the date of submission to the original Research Council) unless substantially revised. More information can be found in the NC3Rs Applicant and Grant Holder Handbook.

Please note: The same or similar application cannot be considered by any other Research Council, the Health Departments or any other research funder at the same time

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How to apply

This call is now closed. For information on future Strategic Award calls please sign up to the NC3Rs Newsletter for updates. 

Assessment procedure

Applications are evaluated by international peer review and assessed by an expert panel. The following criteria will be given particular weighting when making the funding decisions:

  • Relevance to the strategic call
  • Potential impact on the 3Rs
  • Quality of the science
  • Strategy for promoting the proposed research to the scientific community
  • Expertise and track record of the team
  • Value for money

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Assessment panel

The following panel will consider applications submitted to this competition. Their declarations of interests can be found below. 

Member Name Institution

Professor Stephen Holgate CBE (Chair)

University of Southampton

Professor Peter Bradding

University of Leicester

Professor Stuart Farrow


Professor Liam Heaney

Queen’s University Belfast

Professor Alan Knox

University of Nottingham

Professor Clive Page

King’s College London

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​Resources and awards

A total budget of up to £500,000 was available for projects of up to 12 months in duration.

Four awards were made in November 2014.  

Professor Robin Williams

(Royal Holloway, University of London)

Developing a non-animal model system to investigate bitter tastants as new treatments for asthma

Professor Stephen Renshaw

(University of Sheffield)

A non-mammalian model to study innate immune modulation of airways remodelling in asthma

Professor Donna Davies

(University of Southampton)

Use of Drosophila models to explore the function of asthma susceptibility genes

Professor Margaret Dallman

(Imperial College London)

Developing a model for the study of respiratory inflammation in the zebrafish

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