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Joint Global Research Programme: Women's and children's health

  • Status: Closed
  • Open date: 1 Feb 2016
  • Closing date: 22 Feb 2016 16:00 GMT
  • Type: Grants, MRC strategic

The Medical Research Council (MRC) in the UK and the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) in India in collaboration with Department of International Development (DFID) are pleased to announce a joint call to fund Global Health Research which will bring together researchers from the UK, India and Low Income Countries.

Objectives and scope

The purpose of this call is to fund Global Health Research projects which will bring together researchers from the UK, India and low income countries. We aim to fund work which addresses health needs of the most disadvantaged populations globally.  The scope of the call is research proposals that address major health needs of women and children in low resource settings, with a focus on issues relating to one or combinations of the following topics:

  • Maternal, new born and child health (including women’s and girl’s sexual health)
  • Nutrition
  • Infectious diseases (e.g. malaria).

The programme will fund high quality biomedical and health research with a focus on translational and implementation science of relevance to low income countries. For instance:

  • Development and testing of health interventions, including clinical trials (early and later phases).
  • Prevention, diagnosis, management and treatment of health problems are included.
  • Biomedical, nutritional, public health, behavioural, structural, community, health services and health systems interventions are included.
  • Operational and implementation science research to deliver health interventions, including research that leads to better knowledge and understanding of service integration.
  • Population health sciences, clinical studies and epidemiological research which will provide data needed to conduct future interventions development work.

This call for collaborative proposals will require applicants based in India, Low Income Countries and the UK to work together in partnership within cross national teams on research projects. Bids must include at least one institution from each of India, UK and a LIC.

It is expected that many proposals will be multidisciplinary and will include social science research, for instance, to understand social, cultural, economic and political factors affecting likely uptake and implementation of interventions.

Bids should clearly set out how they deliver health improvement and development impact. In particular, proposals should include an impact strategy that proposes how the findings of the research will feed in to policy debates in low income countries.

Funding available

Funding will be provided by a partnership consisting of:

  • Department of Biotechnology (Government of India)
  • UK Department for International Development
  • Medical Research Council.

The Medical Research Council will lead administration of this call in the UK. Funding from the Medical Research Council has been secured through the Newton Fund.

DFID, MRC and DBT have earmarked up to £10million for this call.

The India-based component would be funded by DBT, and the UK as well as the LIC based component would be funded by UK funders, DFID and MRC.  Eligibility to apply will be determined by national eligibility rules. The nature of the resources requested must also adhere to national guidelines.  Further information is presented within the guidance for applicants.

Grants can be up to 3 years in duration. There is no maximum value of grants, but unless your proposal is a late phase clinical trial, the total cost of the collaborative project will not usually exceed £1m.

To be successful proposals do not need to be large-multi-centre trials.  One of the evaluation questions will be whether the proposed scale of the research is necessary and cost-effective for answering the research question. You may request support for:

  • All research costs that are attributable to the research project. For example, appropriate percentages of the investigators’ time, scientific, technical and administrative staff including statisticians, research nurses, trial managers etc., consumables, items of equipment, data /sample handling and archiving and travel.
  • The cost of holding project steering and data monitoring committees.

Regulation, ethical review and liability may vary across different countries.  Principal Investigators and proposed sponsors should ensure that they have adequately understood the feasibility and costs of participation of proposed international centres. For example, insurance arrangements will vary between countries and the sponsor (usually the host institution) is responsible for ensuring adequate arrangements are in place at each site.

The Newton Fund

The Newton Fund is a new initiative intended to strengthen research and innovation partnerships between the UK and emerging knowledge economies. It was launched by the Chancellor in April 2014, and will deliver £375 million of funding over the course of five years.

The Fund forms part of the UK’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) commitment which is monitored by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). ODA funded activity focuses on outcomes that promote the long-term sustainable growth of countries on the OECD Development Assistance Committee list. Newton Fund countries represent a sub-set of this list. For more information please visit the MRC Newton Fund page.


Assessment process and dates

Submission of Outline proposals: All proposals must be submitted to MRC by the UK PI on behalf of the trilateral research partnership.

Outline applications must be submitted by UK PI’s to MRC via the Je-S application system by 4pm British Summer Time on Tuesday 21st October 2014. MRC will share applications with the Indian funding partner DBT.

Outline applications will be screened by a joint UK-India panel. We intend to inform applicants in December 2014 whether they are invited to submit a full proposal.

Applicants invited to submit full applications will be eligible for support of up to £5,000 from the UK funders to undertake visits to LICs for full proposal development and networking. The request for these funds should be made at the outline stage in the case for support form.

The deadline for submission of full proposals is likely to be in February 2015.

Full applications to be screened by a joint UK-India panel which will make recommendations to the UK Research Boards and DBT’s secretary.  If approval is received by both sides, co-funding will be agreed. Final decisions likely to be available in May 2015.

Applications will be considered by an international expert panel convened specifically for this scheme jointly agreed by MRC, DFID and DBT.  Additional scientific experts might be invited to provide written comments if the funders and/or panel chair deem this necessary.

The panel’s decision shall be final and will not be open to appeal  Please ensure that all necessary information is incorporated in your outline proposal as there will not be an opportunity to add additional information after submission.

How to apply?

UK outline applications will be submitted to and processed by MRC. See the Guidance document for further information on submitting outline applications to MRC.

The MRC must receive outline proposals from the UK PI by 16:00 British Summer Time on Tuesday 21st October 2014.

Please note at the next stage applicants invited to submit full proposals must submit to both MRC and DBT. Detailed instructions on full proposal submissions, will be provided to applicants who are successful at the outline stage.

MRC Contact

Meriel Flint
International Strategy Manager
Medical Research Council
14th Floor, One Kemble Street,

Telephone: 0207 395 2205


DBT Contact

Dr. Shailja Vaidya Gupta
Department of Biotechnology
Room No. 605,
6th Floor, CGO Complex,
Lodhi Road, New Delhi.

Telephone: 91-11-24363748