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UK-Indonesia Joint Health Research Call on Infectious Diseases


The UK Medical Research Council (MRC) and the Dana Ilmu Pengetahuan Indonesia (DIPI) are pleased to invite basic research proposals to the UK-Indonesia: Joint Health Research Call on infectious diseases through the Newton Fund.

This initiative will provide funding for high quality 2 year collaborative research projects focusing on infectious diseases of relevance to Indonesia.

In total, up to £3m will be made available for this initiative: up to £2m from the MRC and up to approximately £1m (20bn Rupiah) from DIPI.

Expression of Interest submission date

Researchers planning to submit to this scheme are asked to submit a short expression of interest to  by 15 June 2016.

Objectives and scope

The funders wish to support basic biomedical research in health areas of importance to the Indonesian population, which will lead to future health benefits in Indonesia, particularly for the poorest and most vulnerable in society. This call for collaborative proposals will require applicants based in Indonesia and the UK to work together in partnership on research projects.

This initiative will provide funding for high quality 2 year collaborative research projects focused on addressing infectious diseases of relevance to Indonesia. DIPI and MRC welcome proposals across the spectrum of infectious diseases and have highlighted the following areas of interest as particular priorities:

  • Dengue, dengue-like illness and other vector-borne diseases
  • Malaria
  • Avian Influenza
  • Hepatitis
  • Tuberculosis

The funders welcome hypothesis driven research proposals including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Basic, aetiological and exploratory research relevant to disease pathogens
  • Molecular epidemiology, aetiology, biomarker research
  • Vector biology relevant to human disease
  • Host pathogen response, development of protective immune responses
  • Understanding behaviour, social and/or economic determinants of infectious diseases.

Research questions addressing non-communicable diseases caused by infectious diseases are welcome; however the infectious disease component must be the primary area of focus.

Although not a requirement of the call, the funders welcome applications that incorporate elements of capacity building into research projects

Applications outside of the scope of this call include, but are not limited to:

  • Standalone surveillance activities
  • Standalone public health surveys
  • Downstream drug development

For queries relating to the scope of this call, please contact: and/or

Background (provided by Dana Ilmu Pengetahuan Indonesia)

Communicable diseases continue to be the major cause of morbidity and mortality in Indonesia. Nearly 300 people die of tuberculosis (TB) every day, with over half a million new cases estimated to occur every year (WHO report 2006: Global tuberculosis control – surveillance, planning and financing). Malaria remains a major vector-borne disease in many parts of Indonesia and large-scale outbreaks of dengue and dengue haemorrhagic fever are reported every year. Although leprosy has been eliminated at national level, Indonesia ranks third in terms of the global burden. It has overtaken Viet Nam in the number of deaths from avian influenza, with a case fatality rate in 2006 nearing 75%. The potential for origination of a pandemic is real. The re-introduction and spread of poliomyelitis in several provinces, after a period of 10 years, has pointed to weaknesses in the routine expanded programme of immunization (EPI). Thus the burden of communicable diseases — and the possibility of emerging diseases with epidemic or pandemic potential — are a major concern. Responding effectively to these complex disease patterns and potential threats to health is likely to remain a major set of challenges for the country during the coming years. The HIV epidemic directly affects the most productive members of the society: the young people and wage-earners. At the end of 2014, an estimated 660,000 Indonesians were living with HIV-AIDS (UNAIDS 2014).

Basic research to better understand the mechanisms of diseases, novel detection and diagnosis, development of novel preventatives (vaccines) and therapeutics as well as behavioural, social and/or economic determinants of diseases are required to effectively tackle infectious diseases.


This call will fund partnerships between UK and Indonesia based researchers working in the area of Infectious Diseases of relevance to Indonesia.

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


  • For the UK participants, standard RCUK eligibility criteria as described on the RCUK website will apply. Research Organisations that are eligible to apply to the MRC, for example MRC Units and Institutes may apply to this call.


  • Applicants must be Indonesian citizens and hold a permanent or fixed-term contract in an eligible university or research institute in Indonesia.
  • Contact between the Indonesian PI and UK PI prior to the application is essential. This contact should lead to a clearly defined and mutually beneficial research project proposal. Please note that DIPI & MRC will not be able to assist in locating an Indonesian or UK collaborator.
  • Applications cannot be accepted from Principal Investigators in commercial organisations.
  • Applicants must be competent in oral and written English.
  • The Indonesian applicant’s employing organisation must be willing to agree to administer the grant.

Further eligibility details can be found in the scheme specific guidance document.

Principal Investigators may only submit one application to this scheme as Principal Investigator, but may be involved in more applications if listed as a Co-Investigator.

The funders are not seeking to fund partners outside of the UK and Indonesia through this initiative. Please contact if you are planning to involve a partner from a third country in your proposal.

Funding available

In total, up to £3m of funding will be made available for this initiative: up to £2m of MRC funding; and up to approximately £1m (20bn Rupiah) from DIPI.

The funding agencies intend to provide support for approximately five projects subject to quality.

The size of the grants will vary according to the needs of the research project.  However, we would expect each project to cost approximately £600k (up to approximately £400k to be requested from the MRC and up to approximately £200k from DIPI.

MRC will provide funding for the UK-based applicants under standard arrangements and at 80% FEC. DIPI will provide funding for the Indonesian applicants according to the DIPI funding guidelines. The DIPI contribution will be made available to fund the Indonesian component of the research projects.

The size of the grants will vary according to the needs of each research project. UK and Indonesian 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. It is expected, however, that the research effort on both sides should be comparable.

The MRC and DIPI will not cover UK PhD studentships (doctoral programmes) or requests for capital items.

For further information, please read the scheme specific Guidance for Applicants.

Assessment Process and decision making process

To be funded, proposals must be internationally competitive and at a standard equivalent to that normally expected to be supported by each funding organisation.

Key assessment criteria for the submissions will be:

  • Significance and Impact of the research
  • Scientific Rationale: novelty, importance and timeliness of the research
  • Design and Feasibility of the Project Plan
  • Partnership: including strength and clarity of collaborations and opportunities provided, quality of the project management structure proposed; the added value of the UK-Indonesia collaboration
  • Quality and suitability of the research environment and of the facilities
  • Value for money for Indonesia and UK science
  • Ethical considerations and governance arrangements.
  • In addition, applicants must describe how the proposed UK funded work is ODA compliant [approximately 150 words]. This section will be made publicly available. For further information on ODA, please visit:

All applications will be externally peer reviewed, and all applicants will be offered the opportunity to provide a written response to these reviews. Following this process, applications will be assessed by a joint MRC-DIPI Review Panel in November 2016.

Funding decisions will be made through a joint process.

Key Dates

Closing date for Investigators to indicate their intention to submit a proposal

15 June 2016

Deadline for Investigators to submit proposal

14 July 2016 (4pm UK time)

Panel Meeting

Early November

Grants begin

Early December

How to apply

In order to identify peer reviewers and convene assessment panels in advance, it is important that researchers indicate their intention to submit by completing an expression of interest form.

The Expression of Interests received will assist the funders in preparing for peer review. This step will not involve an assessment of the proposal; therefore, applicants should not expect to receive feedback from the funders. Once you have submitted the Expression of Interest, please proceed with producing your application and do not wait for a confirmation from the funders’.

Please email and expression of interest as outlined below by 15 June 2016




Email address and Mobile phone number

Principal Investigator (UK)




Principal Investigator (Indonesia)




List of all Co-Investigators (stating whether UK or Indonesia based)













Project Title


Summary of proposed project (maximum 200 words).


Please note this will be used when approaching potential reviewers)



Describe how the proposed UK funded work is ODA compliant (approximately 150 words)




Ethical considerations


Human/Animal Research


Will the proposed research involve the use of humans or vertebrae animals/ other organisms covered by the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act?


If yes, please provide details.


If your research involves animals, please specify the species involved


Full applications must be submitted by UK PI’s on behalf of both UK and Indonesian PIs to MRC via the Je-S application system by 4pm BST Thursday, 14 July. There is no requirement to submit an application to DIPI as well. 

The Newton Fund

The Newton Fund through science and innovation partnerships promotes economic development and social welfare of partner countries. It is a £735 million Fund, now extended to 2021, which has matched resources from the 15 partner countries: Brazil, Chile, China, Colombia, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Mexico, Philippines, South Africa, Thailand, Turkey and Vietnam. By collaboratively working together on bi-lateral and multi-lateral programmes with a science and innovation focus, the UK will build strong, sustainable, systemic relationships with partner countries. It is managed by UK Department of Business, Skills and Innovation (BIS) and delivered through 15 UK delivery partners: Research Councils, National Academies, British Council, Innovate UK and Met Office, working closely with partner countries’ funders.

Activities are in three broad areas:

People: increasing capacity for science and innovation in partner countries.

Research: research collaborations on development topics.

Translation: creating collaborative solutions to development challenges and strengthening innovation systems.

For more information visit the Newton Fund homepage and follow via Twitter: @NewtonFund

Contacts and guidance

Please read the scheme specific Guidance for Applicants, MRC Guidance for Applicants and Award Holders and DIPI funding guidelines

For further information, UK applicants should contact:

For further information, Indonesian applicants should contact:

Please include “DIPI-MRC joint call” in the subject field