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Understanding the mechanistic links between nutrition and non-communicable diseases in low and middle-income countries

Please note: This is a pre-call announcement and exact dates are still to be confirmed. The call for outline proposals is due to be launched in January 2019. More details to follow on the MRC website. 


The MRC GCRF call on understanding the mechanistic links between nutrition and non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in low and middle-income countries (LMICs) is part of the MRC’s suite of strategic activities in global health and nutrition research.

The overarching aim of this call will be to address mechanistic evidence gaps between nutrition/diet and susceptibility and prevalence of NCDs in a context-specific manner.

Research questions should be context-specific and build on or enhance existing epidemiological data or observations - to strengthen mechanistic understanding of the relationship between nutrition and NCDs. The outcomes will be expected to pave the way for future context-specific interventions or provide concrete evidence enabling further research into the upstream determinants of nutrition and diet-related risk factors.

The funding call will be phased to have an outline stage and a full application stage. There will be a developmental phase, whereby successful outlines will receive funds to further develop and strengthen their proposal and the required collaborations, ahead of submission for the more substantive call. Applications must be led by principal investigators (PIs) in the UK and be based on equitable partnerships.

The call for outline proposals will be launched in January 2019, with a deadline for outline applications in March  2019.

Potential applicants may also be interested in other UKRI/GCRF activities in global nutrition.

Official Development Assistance and Global Challenges Research Fund

The Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) is a £1.5 billion fund announced by the UK government in 2015 to support research addressing the challenges faced by developing countries. MRC is a GCRF delivery partner and their contribution to this call is from a GCRF allocation. GCRF forms part of the UK’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) commitment; the research supported through this call will contribute to the UK’s ODA commitment to LMICs.

Applications must demonstrate the research to be primarily relevant and directly linked to near-term or long-term benefits to the health or prosperity of LMICs. Applications should articulate a clear and specific case for the relevance of the proposed research to the LMIC partners and provide evidence that the proposed plan of research is informed by the needs of LMIC partners. Further guidance on ODA and demonstrating ODA compliance in applications for funding available via the UKRI: Global Challenges Research Fund webpage.