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GCRF Foundation Awards for Infection Research

The AHRC is partnering with the BBSRC, ESRC, MRC and NERC on a joint call as a part of the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) to support multidisciplinary Foundation Awards for Infection Research. Foundation awards aim to be flexible, moderately sized, short to medium-term investments targeted towards novel research objectives – that address the challenges faced by the developing world. The five Research Councils involved have agreed to make up to £9M available for this call subject to the quality of proposals received. MRC is leading and managing the call on behalf of the other funders.

The aims of GCRF Foundation Awards for Infection Research are to:

  • To develop new or expand existing strands of ODA applicable research and partnerships targeting LMIC infectious disease priorities
  • Enhance the capability of groups to widen their research scope to tackle global infections of relevance to developing countries
  • Support teams in taking an immediate, short-term, value-adding step towards global transformative change
  • To provide groundwork to build capabilities and capacities and developing inter-disciplinary approaches able to address LMIC priorities in Infection Research.

Recognising that sustainable research success will, in many cases, depend on the development of particular research capabilities in LMIC partner countries, Foundation awards can be used to build capability through collaboration, as a secondary objective of the proposal.

Areas of opportunity include but are not limited to:

  • Detection and diagnostic development
  • Epidemiology / Large scale data analysis / Comparative studies
  • Cultural, social, economic, environmental and political influences on the emergence and spread of infections
  • Modelling
  • Pathogen biology, including bacteriology, virology, parasitology, and fungal research
  • Transmission, including environmental reservoirs, vector ecology and the behavioural and cultural environments
  • Vector/Host-pathogen interactions (including immune response development / protective immunity/ susceptibility/ immunomodulation through the life course)
  • Chronic and co-infections (including immune responses through the life course)
  • Co-morbidity (infection / non-communicable disease)
  • Microbiome – role in resilience / susceptibility / modulating the success of therapeutic intervention
  • Early stage prevention, tailored design opportunities and intervention development
  • Emergence of resistance, and combating resistance in non-bacterial infection.

Given on-going calls and highlight notices in the areas of antibacterial resistance and vaccines research and development and plans for further initiatives in these areas, proposals whose primary focus is on these topics are not included in this call.

Foundation awards are moderately sized short-to-medium term investments. They are expected to vary in scale according to the nature of the research question and extent of the multidisciplinary aspects of the proposal. The total funding requested for each project is not expected to exceed £600k (80% FEC)

Awards are expected to start on 1 April 2017 and in the region of 24 months duration.