Old name, new purpose: why we’ve gone back to RNID

Translational Research Grant

The RNID Translational Grant aims to support and accelerate the translation of research discoveries into potential new treatments to protect and regenerate hearing and/or silence tinnitus. It funds projects at both academic institutions and small/medium enterprises in any country.

Why supporting the development of treatments for hearing loss and tinnitus is important

There are almost half a billion people in the world with disabling hearing loss and 1.1 billion young people (aged between 12 to 35 years old) are at risk of losing their hearing due to recreational noise (WHO, 2018).

The evidence for the link between hearing loss and debilitating conditions like dementia is strengthening (Livingston, G et al (2017) The Lancet).

1 in 7 adults have tinnitus. However, there are currently no registered treatments that protect and/or restore hearing or silence tinnitus.

We request translational research proposals that will advance the development of small molecule, gene or cell-based therapeutics for the treatment of hearing disorders, including tinnitus.

We want to support:

  • research with a strong commercial potential that is likely to attract follow-on funding at the conclusion of the grant
  • studies that will facilitate and enable the progression of promising basic research towards testing in clinical trials

Research we have funded

Summary of grant

Deadline for expression of interest

Closed. The next call for applications will launch in early 2024.

Full application

By invitation only


Up to 3 years


Applicants may be from any country and may be from academic institutions and small/medium enterprises (SMEs)


Up to £300K in total, funding will not exceed £100K in one year

In the 2021 funding round, we received 16 Expressions of Interest. 8 applicants were invited to submit a full application and 2 grants were awarded.

Applications criteria

Applications can include:

  • Studies which will enable lead optimisation and/or candidate selection.
  • Pharmacokinetics/Pharmacodynamics (PKPD) studies.
  • Safety/toxicology studies.
  • Drug repositioning/repurposing (applications must contain preliminary data supporting the proposed approach)
  • Validation of therapeutic targets for the treatment of hearing loss or tinnitus (applications must contain preliminary data supporting the proposed approach).
  • Studies to strengthen confidence that a target or therapeutic approach will be applicable to human hearing loss or tinnitus.
  • Identification/validation of methods or outcomes* that could be used for one or more of the following: Patient selection/stratification for clinical trials; Robust measurement of treatment responses in clinical trials.

*These studies must support the development of a specific therapeutic. General research into outcome measures not aligned to a specific therapeutic is out of the scope of Translational Grants and should be submitted to other grant schemes offered by RNID (for example Discovery Research Grant).

Applications will not be accepted in the following areas:

  • Basic research into the causes and underpinning biology of hearing loss and tinnitus.
  • The development of devices or software.
  • The optimization of current clinical protocols.
  • Health service studies.

Application process

Please note that the application procedure for the Translational Research Grant has two stages: an open expression of interest stage, followed by an invitation-only full application stage.

All applications should be submitted via our online grants management system, Flexi-Grant. There is further guidance on Flexi-Grant about how to complete your application.

The call and guidelines for 2023 can be downloaded below:

Please contact us for an outline of the standard terms and conditions for RNID grantholders.

Selection procedure

1. Expression of interest:

All applicants are required to submit an Expression of Interest (open entry). The purpose of the Expression of Interest is to obtain enough information on the proposed project to enable us to understand how well the proposal aligns with the criteria of the Translational Grant scheme. These expressions of interest will be assessed by RNID charity staff and select members of the Translational Grant review panel, who will determine which applications to move forward to the full application stage.

2. Full application:

Applications that successfully pass the Expression of Interest stage will be invited to submit a Full Application. All full applications will be subject to external peer review by several experts in the field, who will rate the scientific approach and translational/commercial potential of the project. Applicants will be given the opportunity to respond to external peer review feedback. Full applications, reviews and applicant responses will then be assessed by the Translational Grant Panel, who will make recommendations for funding.

In order to protect the confidentiality of the information shared with us by the applicants everyone involved in the review process of any Translational grant application is asked to abide by our code of conduct and to sign a Reviewer Agreement with confidentiality clauses.

2023 Review panel (subject to changes)

  • Dr Adam Babbs – Medical Research Council
  • Dr Paramita Baruah – University of Birmingham 
  • Prof Lawrence Lustig – Columbia University
  • Dr Klaus Mendla – Auditus Business Consulting 
  • Dr Trevor Perrior – Drug Discovery Consultant 
  • Lavinia Sheets, PhD – Washington University in St Louis

Project management and reporting

Successful Translational Grants require annual scientific and financial reporting. This ensures that the milestones are met and the project is successfully completed.

Europe PubMed Central (Europe PMC) and open access publications

RNID is a member of the Europe PMC Funders’ Group. We support open access publications and require RNID grant holders to make their publications open access.

Read our open access publication policy for more information and visit the Europe PMC website.

For more information

If you would like more information about the Translational Research grant, get in touch: trg@beta.rnid.org.uk

Contact us

If you are deaf, have hearing loss or tinnitus and need free confidential and impartial information and support, contact RNID.

We’re open 8:30am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

Page last updated: 9 October 2023

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