Apply to The Blood Biomarker Challenge

This grant call is a collaboration between Alzheimer’s Society, Alzheimer’s Research UK, and the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR). It is generously supported by the players of the People’s Postcode Lottery.

The main objective of the call is to produce clinical evidence and economic data that could help make the case for blood biomarker implementation in a healthcare setting in the UK.

Key dates and deadlines for research grant applications:

May 2023

Applications open

8 Jun 2023

Online event with funding partners to discuss scope of the grant 

29 Sep' 2023

Application deadline

Oct/Nov 2023

Funding outcome

About the programme


  • Up to 5 years


  • Up to £4.5m

Funding Partners

Alzheimer's Society, Alzheimer’s Research UK (ARUK), National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR).

Generously supported by the players of the People’s Postcode Lottery.


It is estimated that only 62% of people aged 65 or over with dementia in England receive a diagnosis, with the rate varying between 53% and 73% across the UK. Many fewer people receive an accurate diagnosis of the type of dementia based on underlying pathophysiology.

A 2021 audit of memory units in England and Wales found that of the almost 6,000 patients included in the audit, only 2% were referred to one or more specialist investigation.  

There is an urgent need to improve the speed, accuracy and infrastructure of diagnosis for people with suspected dementia, and blood-based biomarkers (BBMs) are poised to be a critical tool in the future. However, more research is needed before they are ready to be used  in a clinical setting.

Programme objectives

This programme will fund a prospective project (duration 4-5 years) that assesses a panel of biomarkers in real-world populations in the UK.

In this call we are partnering with the Biomarker Factory  at the UK Dementia Research Institute (UKDRI) at UCL.

Applicants are encouraged to contact Dr Amanda Heslegrave ([email protected]) to discuss their analytical requirements in regard to the Biomarker Factory capabilities. 

In order to build a stronger case for future implementation, the final proposal should include a component of an economic analysis of the use of blood biomarkers in a healthcare setting. 

The successful applicants will be required to work closely with the Policy and Influencing teams at Alzheimer’s Society and Alzheimer’s Research UK, both during the project and after completion, to work towards the implementation of blood biomarkers in healthcare settings where the findings of the project support this.

Applicants do not need to budget for this workstream in their proposals.

Get started with your application