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MRC strategic GCRF awards

Visit our application deadlines page to find out about the latest GCRF opportunities.

GCRF Foundation Awards

Infections: £11 million, 21 awards

Non-communicable diseases: £11 million, 20 awards

The 2016 Foundation Awards were flexible, moderately sized, short to medium-term investments targeting research questions of relevance to existing or future LMIC health needs.

This included:

  • early-phase discovery and translation research
  • extension of existing research to global settings
  • population studies, sample/data collection
  • novel research tools and techniques
  • development of collaborations, partnerships and teams.

The scheme enabled researchers to lay the foundations for future large-scale funding applications that would ensure the sustainability of the project outputs.

Grant reference

Grant holder

Research organisation

Project title


Paul Elkington

University of Southampton

Bioengineering to combat the tuberculosis pandemic


David Mabey

London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Studies towards infectious disease elimination on the Bijagos Archipelago of Guinea Bissau


Michael Begon

University of Liverpool

Optimal control strategies for rodent-borne zoonoses in Brazilian slum settlements


Beate Kampmann

MRC Unit, The Gambia

Evaluating novel diagnostics and enabling preventive measures for childhood tuberculosis between the UK and partners in Sub-Saharan Africa


Bethan Purse

NERC Centre for Ecology and Hydrology

Optimising forest benefits whilst minimising impacts of emerging zoonotic diseases: co-developing an interdisciplinary tool for forests in India


Rachel McKendry

University College London

m-Africa: Building mobile phone-connected diagnostics and online care pathways to support HIV prevention and management in decentralised settings.


Julian Griffin

University of Cambridge

Identification of specific metabolites in mycolactone producing mycobacteria and Buruli ulcer infection: diagnostic biomarkers through metabolomic


Jeremy Mottram

University of York

Assessing treatment with miltefosine as an intervention strategy for visceral leishmaniasis in Brazil


Adrian Martineau

Queen Mary, University of London

Evaluation of a novel microbiological diagnostic test for latent tuberculosis infection in Ethiopia (Micro-LTBI)


Paul Kaye

University of York

Towards a global research network for the molecular pathological stratification of leishmaniasis.


James Wright

University of Southampton

Drinking-water under a "One Health" lens: quantifying microbial contamination pathways between livestock and drinking-water


Graham Cooke

Imperial College London

SEARCH: SouthEast Asian Research Collaborative in Hepatitis


Martin James Donnelly

Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine

Using spatial statistics and genomics to develop epidemiologically relevant definitions of insecticide resistance in African Malaria Vectors


James Wood

University of Cambridge

The Dynamics of Filovirus Infection in bats in Ghana


Lisa Reimer

Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine

A vector excreta surveillance system (VESS) to support the rapid detection of vector-borne diseases


Benjamin Makepeace

University of Liverpool

Rapid diagnosis of onchocerciasis using urinary biomarkers


Gabriella Gibson

University of Greenwich

Human Decoy Trap; operational and social acceptability of novel tool to improve surveillance and control of mosquitoes and other disease vectors


Poppy Lamberton

University of Glasgow

Cultural, social and economic influences on ongoing Schistosoma mansoni transmission, despite a decade of mass treatment, and the potential for change


Rupert Quinnell

University of Leeds

Developing a strategy for cysticercosis control in Rwanda, to reduce the burden of epilepsy


Heather Ferguson

University of Glasgow

Development of a new tool for malaria mosquito surveillance to improve vector control


Javier Guitian

Royal Veterinary College

A one health approach to the investigation and control of MERS-CoV among camel and human populations in Jordan as a potential model for the region

GCRF Non-Communicable Diseases

Grant reference

Grant holder

Research organisation

Project title


Kevin Mortimer

Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine

Lung health in Africa across the life course


Amelia Crampin

London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Understanding non-communicable diseases (NCD) and the role of infection in Africa: building a partnership to generate big data


Neil Pearce

London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Chronic Kidney Disease of unknown cause (CKDu) in disadvantaged communities in low-and-middle income countries (LMICs)


Bhismadev Chakrabarti

University of Reading

Development & validation of a scalable mobile platform for screening of developmental neuropsychiatric disorders in low-resource settings


Paul Kelly

Queen Mary, University of London

Novel therapeutic approaches to malnutrition enteropathy


Monica Lakhanpaul

University College London

Integrated Health, education and environmental (HEE) intervention to optimise infant feeding practices through schools and Anganwadi networks in India


Moin Saleem

University of Bristol

Trans-national cohorts of nephrotic syndrome - a unified approach to a global chronic disease


Christian Ottensmeier

University of Southampton

MICA: Immunotherapy for oral cancer prevention and treatment


James Woodcock

University of Cambridge

Towards an Integrated Global Transport and Health Assessment Tool (TIGTHAT)


David Lalloo

Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine

Health in a changing climate: the dynamic challenge of snake bite in South Asia


Kim Graham

Cardiff University

Developing low-cost cognitive tools for dementia assessment in low-to-middle income countries (LMICs)


Helen Elsey

University of Leeds

Surveys for Urban Equity: getting, and using, the data needed to respond to neglected non-communicable diseases in urban areas in LMICs


Zhengming Chen

University of Oxford

Assessing health risks associated with exposure to household and ambient air pollution in rural and urban China


Gene Feder

University of Bristol

Improving the primary health care response to violence against women in low and middle income countries


Michelle Holdsworth

University of Sheffield

Dietary transitions in African cities: leveraging evidence for interventions and policy to prevent diet-related non-communicable diseases (NCDs)


Sarah Hawkes

University College London

Analysing the policy and governance environment for NCD control, and identifying potential policy options.


Nigel Unwin

University of Cambridge

Developing theory and methods for evaluating the impact of community food initiatives on NCD risk, social and economic wellbeing and the environment.


Richard Sullivan

King's College London

Comparison of traditional vs. virtual simulation-enhanced training for scaling the cervical cancer surgery workforce in Zambia


Bernard Keavney

The University of Manchester

A North-South Partnership in Congenital Heart Disease (CHD)


Melanie Davies

University of Leicester

EXTending availability of self-management structured EducatioN programmes for people with type 2 Diabetes in low-to-middle income countries (EXTEND)

GCRF Call in Networks for Vaccine R&D

£5 million, five awards

With co-funding from BBSRC, the aim was to support a small number of multidisciplinary networks, foster collaboration, facilitate wider cross-disciplinary integrative participation (including biological, medical, engineering and physical sciences, environmental and social science research (where appropriate)) and build capability which together contributed to and underpinned the development of novel approaches in vaccines R&D.

Grant reference

Grant holder

Research organisation

Project title


Helen McShane

University of Oxford

VAccine deveLopment for complex Intracellular neglecteD pAThogEns (VALIDATE)


Tim Connelley

University of Edinburgh

International Veterinary Vaccinology Network


Calman MacLennan

University of Birmingham



Peter Openshaw

Imperial College London

Human infection challenge vaccine (HIC-vac) network


Beate Kampmann

Imperial College London

IMPRINT: IMmunising PRegnant women and INfants neTwork

MRC-AHRC Global Public Health

£2 million, 14 awards

The aim of this activity was to build interdisciplinary research capability and to support research innovation across the MRC and AHRC communities, building and strengthening UK and international research collaboration and partnerships for global public health benefit.

Grant reference

Grant holder

Research organisation

Project title


Cindy M Gray

University of Glasgow

Culture and bodies: an interdisciplinary approach to non-communicable disease prevention in Malawi and Tanzania


Marie Claire Van Hout

Liverpool John Moores University

Promoting sexual health and accessible HIV Prevention, Treatment, Care and Support services for women prisoners in Zimbabwe and Malawi.


Jenevieve Mannell

University College London

Exploring Narrative Storytelling as Mental Health Support for Women Experiencing Gender-based Violence in High Prevalence Settings


Cornelia Guell

University of Exeter

Historical and epidemiological transitions in urban Caribbean foodscapes: understanding the past to enhance future healthy eating


DK Arvind

University of Edinburgh

Public Health Initiative on LMIC Air Pollution (PHILAP)


Nervo Xavier Verdezoto Dias

University of Leicester

Healthy Crossroads in Pregnancy Care (HCPC) - A Scoping and Participatory Design Study of the Potential for ICTs to Improve Maternal Health in India


Shane Declan Doyle

University of Leeds

Maternal Mortality in East Africa


Andrew Shennan

King's College London

The HAPPEE Partnership Project (Humanities and Arts in Preventing Pre-eclampsia complications through community Engagement and Education)


Evelyn Lynne Lohfeld-Uzunoz

Queen's University of Belfast

Documenting how the arts and storytelling can save lives: The Viet Nam Breast Cancer project


Alan Robert Smyth

University of Nottingham

Women's empowerment and child health: exploring the impact of Rojiroti Microfinance in poor communities in Bihar, Northern India


Lauren Marion Stewart

Goldsmiths College

Developing a Community Singing-Based Intervention for Perinatal Mental Health in The Gambia


Merlin Willcox

University of Southampton

Family Planning: Fact or Fiction?


Sally Haw

University of Stirling

Right to Health in Prison


Edward Duncan

University of Stirling

The RTrT Partnership: Reducing Traffic-related TraumA - A community-based prevention and first-response programme intervention for Malawi and beyond.

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Confidence in Global Mental Health Research

£2 million, 10 awards

The purpose of this call was to provide institutional “pump-priming” funds that would lay the grounds for future large scale, multidisciplinary, cross-country global mental health research bids to address issues of primary relevance to LMIC.

Grant reference

Grant holder

Research organisation

Project title


Alison Murray

University of Aberdeen

Early-life origins of brain resilience to mental illness and cognitive impairment across the life-course


Athula Sumathipala

Keele University

Establishing a child and adolescent twin register for research and capacity building on the aetiology of mental illness in Sri Lanka and other LMIC


Mark Johnson

Birkbeck College

MICA: BRAINTOOLS Phase 1: Optimising neurodevelopmental outcomes for global health


Glyn Lewis

University College London

Community violence and adolescent mental health in Brazil


Andrew McIntosh

University of Edinburgh

A Network for Studying Psychological Resilience in Low and Middle-Income Countries (NESP)


Helen Fisher

King's College London

Identifying Depression Early in Adolescence (IDEA) King's-Brazil-Nepal-Nigeria network


Charles Richard Newton

University of Oxford

The influence of Executive Function on Mental Health in vulnerable adolescents: a multi-site low and middle income country approach


Marcus Munafo

University of Bristol

Confidence in Global Mental Health Research


Pui-Ying Iroh Tam

Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine

Neurodevelopmental disorders in LMIC settings - creation of a network and analysis of diagnostic abilities of tools to identify children early.


Jonathan Burns

University of Exeter

GCRF: Trauma and Adverse Childhood Experiences Springboard (TrACES)

MRC Confidence in Global Nutrition and Health Research

£2 million, 11 awards

The purpose of this call was to provide institutional “pump-priming” funds to lay the grounds for future large scale, multidisciplinary, cross-country global nutrition and health research bids addressing issues of primary relevance to LMIC.

Grant reference

Grant holder

Research organisation

Project title


Caroline Fall

MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit

Collaborative network for adolescent nutrition and health in sub-Saharan Africa and India


John McLaughlin

The University of Manchester

ManGO: Manchester Global Omics Initiative for Nutritional Health


Sophie Moore

King's College London

Creating an open access knowledge hub of nutritional biomarkers for use in global health settings


Gary Frost

Imperial College London

The Role of Nutrients, Gut Dysfunction and the Gut Microbiome in Determining Health Outcomes in Undernutrition


Jason Gill

University of Glasgow

Development of nutritional strategies for diabetes prevention in Malawian adults at high diabetes risk


Andrew Prendergast

Queen Mary University of London

Interdisciplinary interventions for stunting and wasting in Zimbabwe, Zambia and Pakistan


Paul Finglas

Quadram Institute Bioscience

Capacity building in dietary monitoring and public health nutrition in the Eastern Mediterranean Region Countries


Paula Griffiths

Loughborough University

UK-Africa network to improve the nutrition of infants and young children living in poverty (NINO LIP) in urbanising sub-Saharan African countries


Stephen Allen

Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine

Improving the survival, growth and developmental of low birth weight newborns through better nutrition


Andrew Prentice

MRC Unit, The Gambia

Creating a West African BioResource for Nutritional Genetics and Epigenetics


Angus Hunter

University of Stirling

Protein deficiency, sarcopenia and cardiometabolic risk in older urban black Cape Town populations: feasibility studies

AMR in a Global Context (PDF, 148KB)

Development awards

£796,000, 10 awards

Consortia awards

£12 million, four awards

This call, which the MRC administered on behalf of the partnership, had two stages, an obligatory developmental phase to provide seed funding followed by a consortia phase.

The call aimed to support three to four interdisciplinary research consortia taking a whole systems approach to identify the burden and primary drivers of AMR and specifically antibacterial resistance (ABR) in low and middle income countries (LMIC).

Grant reference

Grant holder

Research organisation

Project title


Alistair Boxall

University of York



Richard Sullivan

King's College London

"Iraqibacter": Exploring the Links Between War and Antimicrobial Resistance


Matthew Beardsall Avison

University of Bristol

One Health Drivers of Antibacterial Resistance in Thailand


Mathew Holden

University of St Andrews

Holistic Approach Towards Unravelling Antibiotic Resistance in East Africa


Christopher Quince

University of Warwick

Novel inter-disciplinary approaches for identifying and tackling the spread of AntiMicrobial Resistance through Environmental pathways in PAKistan


Ruth Nicolet Zadoks

University of Glasgow

Supporting the National Action Plan on AMR in Tanzania (SNAP-AMR)


Nicholas Alexander Feasey

Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine

How do human and bacterial behaviour interact in urban and rural African environments to facilitate the stable acquisition of antimicrobial resistance


Eric Maurice Fevre

University of Liverpool

Partnership for a cross-disciplinary approach to the ecology of antimicrobial drug resistance in Kenya


Javier Guitian

Royal Veterinary College

Towards controlling antimicrobial resistance in global aquatic animal food systems by enhancing collective resilience (AMFORA)


John Walley

University of Leeds

Containing antimicrobial resistance in rural Cambodia: a one-health multi-disciplinary intervention to improve village healthcare and farming practice


Ruth Nicolet Zadoks

University of Glasgow

Supporting the National Action Plan for Antimicrobial Resistance (SNAP-AMR) in Tanzania


Matthew Beardsall Avison

University of Bristol

One Health Drivers of Antibacterial Resistance in Thailand


Matthew Holden

University of St Andrews

Holistic Approach To Unravel Antibacterial resistance in East Africa (HATUA)


Nicholas Alexander Feasey

Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine

Drivers of Resistance in Uganda and Malawi: The DRUM Consortium

GCRF Antimicrobial Target Discovery and Validation

£4 million, three awards

To complement the wide range of research supported by the MRC, including through the Cross-Council AMR Initiative, and build on the UK’s excellent discovery bacteriology research. Supported multidisciplinary networks/collaborations to develop innovative approaches to accelerate the antimicrobial pipeline, with a focus on LMIC.

Grant reference

Grant holder

Research organisation

Project title


Giancarlo Augusto Biagini

Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine

MICA: New combination therapy against MDR TB targeting the respiratory chain


Jeremy Stuart Brown

University College London

Adjunct antibody therapy for severe antibiotic-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii infections


Peter Monk

University of Sheffield

Adhesion to host cell membrane microdomains in cornea as an antimicrobial target to prevent corneal ulceration

Cancer research and global health initiative

£1.9 million, 11 awards

The purpose of this call was to provide “pump-priming” funds to undertake projects to generate preliminary data and establish, expand and consolidate UK-LMIC partnerships.

Applications had to be led by principal investigators based in UK institutions, with at least one LMIC-based researcher named as co-investigator.

Successful partnerships would define research questions in a field or interrelated fields, assess the viability of proposed approaches relevant to the local socioeconomic and cultural context, gather preliminary findings, and develop and test the feasibility of sustainable UK-LMIC research partnerships.

Grant reference

Grant holder

Research organisation

Project title


Elinor Sawyer

King's College London

Molecular Genetics of Lobular Breast Cancer in a South African cohort and effect of HIV infection.


Ewen M Harrison

University of Edinburgh

Feasibility of a cluster randomised trial of a nutritional intervention to improve outcomes after cancer surgery in low-income countries


Sarah Barman

Kingston University

Classification of oral lesions using deep learning for early detection of oral cancer


Robert Michael Ewing

University of Southampton

Towards new therapeutic strategies: Zika-driven oncolysis of brain tumor cells


Michael Donnelly

Queen's University of Belfast

A study of the implementation of population-based bowel cancer screening in Malaysia


Arnie David Purushotham

King's College London

A pilot study to develop an efficacious oral cancer screening strategy for India


Matthew Allsop

University of Leeds

Understanding data and information needs for palliative cancer care to target mobile phone-based intervention development in Uganda and Zimbabwe


Ling Yang

University of Oxford

Developing a multiplex serology panel to detect and quantify Epstein-Barr virus infection


David James Adams

Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute

Identifying the drivers and vulnerabilities of acral lentiginous melanoma through the study of PDX models from Latin American patients


Julian Peto

London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Preventing cervical cancer in older Vietnamese women


Jonine Figueroa

University of Edinburgh

Improving earlier diagnosis and precision medicine for reduced mortality of breast cancer in Kenya

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