Oxford-Harrington Rare Disease Centre Opens Call for Proposals

February 06, 2024

Photograph of the Oxford-Harrington Rare Disease Centre laboratories, where scientists can be seen at work on drug development for rare diseases

New Scholar Award Accelerates Novel Therapies for Rare Diseases


OXFORD, UK and CLEVELAND, Ohio USA, 6 February 2024 – The Oxford-Harrington Rare Disease Centre (OHC), a partnership between the University of Oxford, UK and Harrington Discovery Institute at University Hospitals, Cleveland, Ohio, is seeking innovative projects for its 2024 Rare Disease Scholar Award, which advances promising discoveries from academic labs into clinical practice. In addition to grant funding, the award includes drug and business development support from pharma-experienced industry leaders with a track record of bringing therapeutics to market. Awardees have access to the Oxford-Harrington Rare Disease Centre Therapeutics Accelerator, which receives support from a partnership between University of Oxford, Oxford Science Enterprises, and University Hospitals in Cleveland, Ohio.

The OHC’s 2024 Rare Disease Scholar Award seeks novel approaches to treat rare diseases, with a focus on neurological disorders, developmental and metabolic disorders, and rare cancers. Applications directed to other rare, genetic indications with a high unmet need are also of interest. Any therapeutic modality will be considered. Intellectual property rights are retained by the award recipient or their institution.

Researchers in the USA, UK, and Canada are eligible to apply for this award. Successful applicants will receive: 

  • Guaranteed grant award of USD$100,000 for USA- and Canada-based awardees and £100,000 for UK-based awardees
  • One year of therapeutics development support and project management from Harrington’s Therapeutics Development Center, with potential to renew for a second year based on milestones met 
  • Access to Oxford facilities and infrastructure including oligonucleotide synthesis and screening, small molecule and protein platforms, cell and gene therapy facilities as well as genomics capabilities, and links to Genomics England
  • Opportunity to compete for acceleration funds up to USD$300,000 / £250,000  
  • Opportunity to qualify for investment funds at a higher level according to project requirements
  • Invitation to present at the Harrington Discovery Institute Symposium for USA- and Canada-based awardees and the OHC Symposium for UK-based awardees

Award recipients will be selected by the OHC Scientific Advisory Board and announced in October 2024. Up to 10 OHC Scholars will be selected.

The deadline to submit a full application is March 26, 2024 11:59 PM ET. 

Learn more and apply:


About Oxford-Harrington Rare Disease Centre

The Oxford-Harrington Rare Disease Centre (OHC) is a partnership between the University of Oxford, UK and Harrington Discovery Institute at University Hospitals, Cleveland, OH, USA. OHC combines world-leading strengths in research and therapeutics development from across these organisations to set the science and innovation agenda, and drive cutting-edge rare disease breakthroughs to address the unmet need in rare disease across the globe to deliver major clinical impact for patients. For more information, visit: | X

About the University of Oxford

Oxford University has been placed number one in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings for the eighth year running, and number three in the QS World Rankings 2024. At the heart of this success are the twin-pillars of our ground-breaking research and innovation and our distinctive educational offer. Oxford is world-famous for research and teaching excellence and home to some of the most talented people from across the globe. Our work helps the lives of millions, solving real-world problems through a huge network of partnerships and collaborations. The breadth and interdisciplinary nature of our research alongside our personalised approach to teaching sparks imaginative and inventive insights and solutions. Through its research commercialisation arm, Oxford University Innovation, Oxford is the highest university patent filer in the UK and is ranked first in the UK for university spinouts, having created more than 300 new companies since 1988. Over a third of these companies have been created in the last five years. The University is a catalyst for prosperity in Oxfordshire and the United Kingdom, contributing £15.7 billion to the UK economy in 2018/19, and supports more than 28,000 full time jobs.

About Harrington Discovery Institute

The Harrington Discovery Institute at University Hospitals in Cleveland, OH – part of The Harrington Project for Discovery & Development – is a translational accelerator that advances promising discoveries from academic labs into the clinic for the benefit of patients and society. The institute was created in 2012 with a $50 million founding gift from the Harrington family and is a prime example of the commitment they share with University Hospitals to a Vision for a ‘Better World’. For more information, visit:| LinkedIn | X


Media contacts:

USA/Canada – University Hospitals
Ansley Kelm

Sylvie Berrebi / Mark Swallow