UKRI Healthy Ageing Catalyst Awards - register your interest now

Posted on: 09/11/2022
Elderly people exercising

Zinc and UKRI are proud to be partnering for the fourth round of the UKRI Healthy Ageing Catalyst Awards.

Since the first call for the Healthy Ageing Catalyst Awards in 2020, Zinc and UKRI have partnered to fund entrepreneurial academics who want to translate their research into impactful and scalable products, services and interventions. The Awards are part of the UKRI Healthy Ageing Challenge and the Healthy Longevity Global Grand Challenge, founded by the U.S. National Academy of Medicine. This is a worldwide movement to improve physical, mental, and social well-being for people as they age.

Expressions of Interest (first stage of applications) for the fourth round of Catalyst Awards will open on 31st January 2023, and up to £62,500 (FEC) per project is available from UKRI. Sign up here to receive updates.

In order to be eligible you must fulfil the following criteria:

  • Your proposal can be applied to address an opportunity for innovation within healthy ageing.
  • You have a PhD or equivalent professional experience.
  • You will be hosted by a UK university or an eligible research organisation for the duration of the award (up to 12 months starting from September 2023). The institution will receive the funding on behalf of the applicant and will contribute 20% fEC.

Applications are open to researchers from a wide range of disciplines, voices, viewpoints and experiences. Successful applicants should be able to ensure that an average of at least 30% of the core team’s overall time (e.g. an early career researcher and a senior academic) is dedicated to the Catalyst Awards, and will have the following attributes.

  • You are a UK based researcher driven to tackle significant problems in Healthy Ageing.
  • You have an entrepreneurial motivation and a desire to create impact beyond academic research.

We particularly welcome applicants from the arts, humanities and social sciences. We also encourage early career researchers to apply; this is an exciting opportunity to gain experience as a Principal Investigator, as you do not need to be a permanent member of staff to be a PI on this Award.


This grant is not for basic research projects. We are looking for high-risk, high-reward research-based ideas that will transform our lives as we age. We also seek projects with the potential to be sustained through a commercial spin-out, social enterprise, IP licensing or other sustainability models.

We want you to design solutions solving significant problems and take a human-centered approach through a deep understanding of the people who are affected and the stakeholders involved. The funding can be used for a range of activities, including but not limited to: testing the desirability, feasibility and viability of your ideas, market research, piloting, prototyping and user-testing.

You can view the second cohort of 22 Awardees and the third (current) cohort of 21 Awardees and their projects on the Healthy Longevity Challenge website.

Benefit from up to £62,500 in funding and a dedicated programme of support

UKRI award successful applicants up to £62,500 (fEC) (80% from UKRI, 20% contribution from your host institution) and Zinc offer a comprehensive and proven programme of enterprise support, which will help you scale the impact of your research and explore different pathways to impact.

Over 9-months, you will gain access to:

  • Workshops, talks and coaching sessions with our extensive ecosystem;
  • Office hours with Zinc Fellows;
  • 1:1 guidance from Zinc’s R&D and Accelerate teams to support the development of your innovation;
  • User groups, to test your ideas and prototypes;
  • Multiple opportunities to meet your peers in the Healthy Ageing industry and showcase your project as it develops throughout the programme.

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