IVTS Research Mini-Fellowships 2018

The IVTS Research Mini-Fellowship scheme was established to support research training opportunities for early career scientists in techniques which are not available at their home institution. The fellowships will allow early career scientists to set up collaborations with established scientists, learn new techniques useful for their own research and aims to promote further career development in the field of in vitro toxicology research. The IVTS sees computational or in silico toxicology as an essential part of modern in vitro toxicology and champions research combining these closely related fields.



The IVTS was founded under a constitution in 1988 for scientists active in the study, practice or development of in vitro toxicology. The aims of the IVTS are:

  • To encourage alternative approaches to animal testing and promoting the 3Rs
  • To provide a forum for discussion for scientists actively involved in the study, practice or development of in vitro toxicology
  • To arrange scientific meetings on the practical applications of in vitro toxicology
  • To promote an exacting scientific approach to the practice of in vitro toxicology
  • To encourage participation of new student scientists in the field of in vitro toxicology


To further promote the development of early career scientists, the IVTS launched a Mini-Fellowship scheme in 2013 as part of its 25 year anniversary celebrations.


  • Support research training opportunities for early career scientists in the field of in vitro toxicology, which are not available at their home institution.
  • Cultivate new collaborative relationships between scientists.
  • Introduce and integrate novel techniques or methodologies at the home institution of the applicant (a plan for dissemination beyond the applicant’s own laboratory is desirable).
  • Promotion of career development and further the research opportunities for early career scientists in the field of in vitro


  • Applicants must be a current member of (or join) the IVTS.
  • Applicants must be one of the following:
    1. Enrolled on a PhD programme.
    2. Post-doctoral scientist within ten years of obtaining their PhD.
    3. An industrial scientist with equivalent experience to a post-doctoral scientist.
  • Only one application per early career scientist in each funding calendar year will be considered.
  • The project must comply with IVTS Policy on the Use of Animals.
  • The competition is open to any UK scientist from the academic, biotechnology or industry sector.
  • There is no restriction on where the work for the Fellowship is carried out.

It is advised that applicants contact the IVTS Early Career Scientist Liaison (Dr Simon Baker: to discuss the project and its eligibility prior to submitting an application.


Application and Programme Details

Applications should be made using the IVTS Application for Research Mini-Fellowship form.

The applicant must provide:

  • A summary description of the applicant’s current research work and justification for seeking technical expertise that is not available at the applicant’s institution.
  • A description of the new methodology that will be used and its application to the applicant’s research project (including specific objectives).
  • Justification for the association with the host-mentor and their research facility where the training will be obtained.
  • Information on the likelihood for wider implementation of the new methodology at the home institution.

The focus for the Fellowship should be on training in a specific technique or methodology that relates directly to in vitro toxicology and is not available already at the applicant’s institution. A description of how this technology/methodology supports the applicant’s current research programme and her/his future career objectives is key.

The application should include a short CV that describes the applicant’s areas of expertise and a letter of support from the potential host-mentor and their current supervisor. The duration of the project at the host institution should not exceed four weeks, either consecutively or over a number of visits.


Grant amount and budget

The maximum individual grant amount to be awarded is £1,500. Funds can be used to cover travel expenses, accommodation and related subsistence costs during the visit to the host institution, and specific reagents/supplies. A clear breakdown of costs is required in the application. These awards are not intended to supplement other funding sources for ongoing research projects. All financial claims relating to Fellowship expenses must be made before 31st December 2018 or they will not be eligible.


Application deadline

The deadline for applications is 5pm on 22nd December 2017.

Completed applications should be submitted by email to and should consist of:

  • A completed IVTS Research Mini-Fellowship Application form (use template form).
  • Appendices to include:
    • CV of applicant;
    • CV of the host-mentor;
    • A letter of support from the current research supervisor;
    • A letter of support from the mentor at the host institution.


Review of applications and announcement

All proposals conforming to the application rules will be reviewed by the IVTS Committee within one month of the application deadline. Applications will be judged on contribution to advancement of in vitro toxicology, the impact to the applicant’s research and career development and the plans for wider application of the methodologies at their home institution. All applicants will be informed in January 2018 as to whether their proposal will be funded. Announcement of IVTS Research Mini-Fellowship recipients will be made via the IVTS website and eNewsletter.


Awards to be funded in 2018

IVTS can award up to three Mini-Fellowships in 2018.


Final evaluation and report

Research Mini-Fellowship rotations must be completed within six months of receiving the award. The Fellow must complete a report form describing their experience and the application of the new technique in their home institution. The main supervisor and host mentor will be asked to comment within the report. This should be completed within two months of the visit and the report should be submitted to the IVTS.

The Fellow will also be expected to share the outcomes of their fellowship at the following Annual Meeting of the IVTS. IVTS will cover the registration costs for the 2018 annual meeting and provide travel expenses (up to £200).

Any enquiries and questions, please contact Dr Simon Baker, Early Career Scientist Liaison, IVTS Committee:



Previous Mini-Fellowship Recipients

2017: Chantelle Mason, Liverpool John Moores University

The 2017 IVTS Mini-Fellowship was awarded to Chantelle Mason in support of her work developing a physiologically-based PharmacoKinetic-PharmacoDynamic (PK-PD) model of Paracetamol overdose integrating in silico, in vitro, and clinical data for drug-induced-liver-injury (DILI). Chantelle’s collaboration is between Liverpool John Moores University and the University of Liverpool, where Dr Dan Antoine is an expert in the application of cell biology and biomarker studies to DILI. Chan tellehas a background in mathematics and the IVTS Mini-Fellowship will give her a first opportunity to work in a cell biology laboratory with the assays and biomarkers she will be modelling. Chantelle’s Fellowship is current and her report will be uploaded here in due course.


2016: Amy Ball, University of Liverpool

amy_ball2The 2016 IVTS Mini-Fellowship was awarded to Amy Ball in support of her work on drug-induced mitochondrial dysfunction. Amy’s collaboration was between the University of Liverpool (UK) and the University of Leipzig (Germany), where Prof Peter Siebel is an internationally recognized expert in mitochondrial DNA depletion. Amy travelled to the University of Leipzig for training in the generation of HepG2 rho-zero cells. Since returning to Liverpool, Amy has shared the methods with others in Bioenergetics Research Group and MRC Centre for Drug Safety Science. Amy’s extensive report on the outcomes and experiences of her fellowship can be found here.

2015: Ross Kelly, University of Liverpool

The 2015 IVTS Mini-Fellowship was awarded to Ross Kelly in support of his work developing an in silico model to identify and predict how superoxide species affect cellular defence mechanisms. The Mini-Fellowship supported collaboration between the University of Liverpool (UK) and the University of Michigan (US), where Prof Dan Beard is an internationally recognized expert in bioenergetic mathematical modelling. The funded project allowed Ross to travel to the University of Michigan for training in use of bioenergetic modelling software and to bring this expertise back to Liverpool, where he integrated the methods into the Institute of Translational Medicine through a series of seminars.

2014 Liza Selley, Imperial College, London

The 2014 IVTS Mini-Fellowship was awarded to Liza Selley in support of her in vitro research on the pulmonary toxicology of brake abrasion dust. Liza’s collaboration was between Imperial College London and the Environmental Research Group at King’s College London, where Dr Abhinav Kumar shared his expertise in respiratory tract lining fluid simulants and macrophage cultures. This collaboration was so successful that it was continued beyond the fellowship. Liza’s extensive report on the outcomes and experiences of her fellowship can be found here.

2013 Philip Probert, Newcastle University


IVTS Annual Meeting Poster Prizes

Former IVTS Annual Meeting Poster Prize Winners

2014 Rhiannon McNeill, York

2013 Shahrzad Mohamadi, Leeds

2012 Stephanie Ravenscoft, Liverpool


Archived news stories can be found here.


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