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UK-Indonesia Joint Partnership on Infectious Diseases

Please note this opportunity is now CLOSED.
View all OPEN opportunities


The Medical Research Council (MRC) and Kementerian Riset Teknologi Dan Pendidikan Tinggi Republik Indonesia (RISTEKDIKTI) are pleased to invite research proposals to the UK-Indonesia Joint Partnership on Infectious Diseases through the Newton Fund.

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

In total, up to approximately £2,370,000 of funding will be made available for this initiative: up to £2m of MRC funding and up to 7,200,000,000 Rupiah (approximately £370,000) from RISTEKDIKTI.

Expression of Interest submission

Researchers planning to submit to this scheme are asked to submit a short expression of interest to international@mrc.ukri.org by 26 June 2018.

This does not form a review process and applicants should continue to complete their full proposal by the deadline of 24 July 2018.


Communicable diseases continue to be the major cause of morbidity and mortality in Indonesia. In recognition of this, in 2016 the MRC, in partnership with the Dana Ilmu Pengetahuan Indonesia (DIPI), ran a joint workshop in order to facilitate UK-Indonesian research partnerships in the area of infectious diseases. Subsequently the funders launched the UK-Indonesia Joint Health Research Call on Infectious Diseases, through which six collaborative basic biomedical research partnerships were supported.

This partnership highlighted the strength of the research being carried out within the respective countries and the appetite for UK-Indonesian collaboration in this area. This present MRC-RISTEKDIKTI partnership will build on the success of these initiatives, and provide support for additional excellent research partnerships.

Objectives and scope

The objective of this initiative is to deliver research funding for internationally competitive and innovative collaborative projects between scientists from Indonesia and the UK to enable the pursuit of shared research interests.

This initiative has been launched under the Newton Fund and as such all projects must be collaborative in nature and focused specifically on addressing research of relevance to Indonesia and the Indonesian population.

Proposals must fall within the remits of both funders.

RISTEKDIKTI and MRC welcome proposals across the spectrum of infectious diseases of health relevance to Indonesia.

The funders encourage hypothesis-driven research proposals (which may build on insight gained from the previous UK-Indonesia Newton Fund call) including, but not limited to, the following:

  • pharmaceutical technology:
    • small molecule drug discovery
    • vaccine development via high-quality fundamental science
    • cellular regenerative medicine (including stem cell technology)
    • biosimilars and blood product development
  • medical devices and diagnostics:
    • in vivo diagnostics (IVD) for detection of infectious diseases and associated biomarkers
    • development of diagnostic electro-medical devices.

Applications that include basic laboratory and clinical science (for example target/assay validation, candidate selection etc.) that underpin the development of future pharmaceutical or diagnostic technology will be considered.

Additionally, applications that explore capacity-building within Indonesia relating to pharmaceutical innovation, medical diagnostics and equipment, or the use of natural resources for medicine (such as traditional phytopharmaca) are encouraged.

For queries relating to the scope of this call, please contact: drpm.rd@gmail.com and/or international@mrc.ukri.org


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

Contact between the Indonesian principal investigator (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 RISTEKDIKTI and MRC will not be able to assist in locating an Indonesian or UK collaborator.

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 UKRI eligibility criteria as described on the UKRI website will apply. Research organisations that are eligible to apply to the MRC, for example MRC units and institutes may apply to this call.


  • Indonesian PI must meet the conditions set out in the guidelines Panduan XII
  • Applicants must be Indonesian citizens and hold a permanent or fixed-term contract in an eligible university or research institute in Indonesia
  • The Indonesian PI must be based at a higher education institution/university. Researchers who are based at a research institution may join the project as co-investigator
  • Applications cannot be accepted from principal investigators in commercial organisations
  • Applicants must be competent in oral and written English.

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 international@mrc.ukri.org if you are planning to involve a partner from a third country in your proposal.

Funding available

In total, up to approximately £2,370,000 of funding will be made available for this initiative: up to £2m of MRC funding and up to 7,200,000,000 Rupiah (approximately £370,000) from RISTEKDIKTI.

The funding agencies intend to provide support for approximately six 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 £400,000 including up to approximately £333,000 to be requested from the MRC and up to approximately 1,200,000,000 Rupiah from RISTEKDIKTI (approximately £62,000).

MRC will provide funding for the UK-based applicants under standard arrangements and at 80% FEC. RISTEKDIKTI will provide funding for the Indonesian applicants according to the RISTEKDIKTI funding guidelines. The RISTEKDIKTI 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 RISTEKDIKTI 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 the Newton Fund webpage.

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-RISTEKDIKTI Review Panel in November 2018.

Funding decisions will be made through a joint process.

Key dates

Closing date for investigators to indicate their intention to submit a proposal 26 June 2018
Deadline for investigators to submit proposal 24 July 2018
Panel meeting November 2018
Grants begin January 2019 (Indonesia) and April 2019 (UK)

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. Please email international@mrc.ukri.org with your completed Expression of Interest by Tuesday 26 June 2018.

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 16:00 BST Tuesday 24 July 2018. There is no requirement to submit an application to RISTEKDIKTI as well.

The Newton Fund

The Newton Fund builds scientific and innovation partnerships with 18 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 homepage and follow via Twitter: @NewtonFund

Contacts and guidance

Please read the scheme specific Guidance for Applicants, MRC Guidance for Applicants, and RISTEKDIKTI funding guidelines.

For further information, UK applicants should contact:

For further information, Indonesian applicants should contact:


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