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UK-Brazil Workshop on Health Systems Research

  • Date: 26 Jun 2017 00:00 - 28 Jun 2017 23:59
  • Venue: Brazil




Workshop opportunity and Call Pre-announcement

The MRC and CONFAP are pleased to announce that they will be launching a joint call for research proposals in the area of Health Systems Research.  

In collaboration with the Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research, the partners held a workshop on 26-28 June 2017 in Brazil to explore UK-Brazil opportunities for collaboration.

The joint funders have a strong commitment to supporting research that aims to improve health policy and systems for vulnerable communities in Brazil. Since its launch in 1990 Sistema Único de Saúde (SUS) has seen a fundamental restructuring of the Brazilian Health System. Underpinned by political vision and gradual increase in available funds for public health SUS has contributed to improvement in access to health services in Brazil. The decentralisation of health system decision making and delivery alongside revised arrangements for responsibilities across federal, state and municipal levels have been fundamental to Brazil move towards Universal Health Coverage attainment. As the health system continues to evolve there is growing recognition that the challenges confronting health systems strengthening transcend disciplinary boundaries, highlighting the need for research to foster genuine interdisciplinary collaborations across social science, biomedical science, and other disciplines to address these complex challenges.

The UK-Brazil call for health systems research networks seeks to develop UK-Brazil partnerships working together to identify practical solutions to implementing health care improvements for vulnerable communities in Brazil. The network must include at least two researcher teams, from different participating Brazilian State Funding Agencies (“FAPs”)  in Brazil and one UK partner.

The joint funders seek interdisciplinary proposals from UK-Brazil networks that aim to address health systems challenges in Brazil. Proposals would describe how and why the proposed UK-Brazil network would be best placed to develop projects that would have the potential to improve the health of vulnerable communities in Brazil.

The aim would be to conduct research activities that will provide the evidence to strengthen the Brazilian health system and improve health outcomes. The joint funders will award proposals for rigorous, high quality research that will:

  • generate evidence on how to strengthen the health system and improve health outcomes in Brazil
  • inform the delivery of evidence-based interventions or structural changes
  • provide evidence that is of direct relevance to decision makers and users in the field

A key requirement is that applicants demonstrate a clear and strong rationale for how the proposed network and research, as well as the approach taken, meets the criteria for world-class and cutting-edge policy-relevant research addressing key questions on strengthening health systems in Brazil.


In collaboration with the Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research, the joint funders are hosting a Health Systems Research workshop in Brazil on Monday 26 - Wednesday 28 June 2017.

This workshop is open to potential applicants to the call and aims to support the development and/or enhancement of UK-Brazilian research networks and partnerships across regions and disciplines.

The workshop will involve policy makers and programme implementors to maximize opportunities for co-production of research questions between the academic, policy and implementation communities.

How to apply to attend the workshop

For Brazilian applicants, orientation for the participation will be available on CONFAP´s and participants FAP´s homepage soon.

For UK applicants, if you are interested in attending this workshop on behalf of your University, please send an expression of interest including;

  • one page cover letter outlining the interest of your institution in developing partnerships for health systems research with Brazil
  • a biography (200 words) highlighting your interest in attending this workshop and outlining your area of expertise (please note, this information would be shared)
  • your CV and publication list (no more than 3 pages)

Reasonable costs of UK attendees will be covered by the MRC.

Due to a limited number of spaces, we will only be able to invite one academic per institution to attend. Therefore, attendees will be expected to represent the wider interests of their institution as well as their individual interests.

Please submit any queries and applications to

‚ÄčThe closing deadline for expressions of interest is at 16:00 on Friday 12 May at 16:00 BST.

Related to the forthcoming call for proposals


  • Mid May 2017: formal launch of MRC-CONFAP health systems research call 
  • June 26 to 28 2017: workshop in Brazil
  • September 17 2017: submission period closes
  • September 17 to October 17 2017: Funder eligibility checks
  • From October 17 Eligible proposals to be peer reviewed, led by CONFAP and MRC
  • End of January 2018: Joint UK-Brazil expert panel meeting

Funding available

The MRC will make up to £2.0m available for this scheme to fund the UK collaborators. The £2m made available by the UK funders will be matched with equivalent effort from the Brazilian FAPs, who will fund the Brazilian collaborators

For the Brazilian applicants, the researchers must work with team members from different participating FAPs (at least 2 FAPs per project and maximum 4) and the total amount of the proposal must be requested to the FAPs involved. It must be clearly identified in the proposal the members of each group, their Institution, and role in the researcher activity. Moreover, all teams must identify in the proposal a member to be responsible for the contact and procedures with  FAP from his/her State involved in the project.

The agencies would expect to fund approximately 8-12 projects in total. The size of the grants will vary according to the needs of each research project.

The call will be for proposals of duration of up to 3 years. All projects that receive funding must be completed by March 2021.

Applicants do not need to request equal amounts from both sides. The difference in values should reflect the difference in costs covered and local prices. The agencies also expect the costs on each side to accurately reflect the research effort to be carried out. What is expected is that the research effort on both sides be comparable.


This call funds partnership working between UK and Brazil based researchers. Each network must be interdisciplinary and include researchers from at least 2 (no more than 4) research team from different States in Brazil, and at least one UK partner.

For support under this call, applicants must be eligible to apply for funding from their respective country’s funding agency:

UK MRC Eligibility criteria and funding rules:

For the UK participants, standard RCUK/MRC eligibility criteria as described in the Guidance for Applicants and RCUK will apply. MRC Units and Institutes are also eligible to apply to this call.

Brazilian eligibility and funding rules:

Brazilian applicants should refer to CONFAP’s eligibility rules for this call. Please note it is important to check that the relevant Brazilian state funding agency (“FAP”) is participating in this call – not all Brazilian FAPs have agreed to participate. The list of participating FAP will be available with the call for proposal.

The funding rules for this call (in terms of eligible items to be supported in these projects) will be clearly detailed when the call for proposals is formally launched.

The Newton Fund

The Newton Fund builds scientific and innovation partnerships with 16 partner countries to support their economic development and social welfare, and to develop their research and innovation capacity for long-term sustainable growth. It has a total UK Government investment of £735 million up until 2021, with matched resources from the partner countries. The Newton Fund is managed by the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), and delivered through 15 UK Delivery Partners, which include the Research Councils, the UK National Academies, the British Council, Innovate UK and the Met Office.

For further information visit the Newton Fund website and follow via Twitter: @Newton Fund