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Tackling AntiMicrobial Resistance (AMR)

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR), is a term used to describe disease-causing organisms that have evolved to survive medicines that have been designed to kill them or stop their growth. While AMR is a concern for all types of pathogenic organisms, including viruses and fungal organisms, it is the increase in the numbers of bacteria that are becoming resistant to antibiotics that is a global priority for AMR research. Many modern medical advances are reliant on antibiotics - organ transplants and chemotherapy for example. If antibiotics are no longer effective, minor infections and even small cuts and scrapes could be fatal.

It is clear that AMR needs a globally co-operative interdisciplinary approach to tackle these challenges and all the Research Councils have been working together to identify key themes to target current and future investments.

The AMR Cross-Council Initiative is led by MRC and the funding is being delivered via four themes:

  • Theme 1: Understanding resistant bacteria in context of the host
  • Theme 2: Accelerating therapeutic and diagnostics development
  • Theme 3: Understanding the real world interactions
  • Theme 4: Behaviour within and beyond the health care setting.

More details on these themes can be found on the MRC AMR Cross-Council initiative webpage

AHRC is also a member of the AMR Funders' Forum (consisting of all the Research Councils, the Department of Health, BEIS, Veterinary Medicines Directorate, Food Standards Agency, Wellcome Trust etc.) which provides a forum for the sharing of information on activities relating to AMR (and in particular antibiotic resistance).

Current funding opportunities

AHRC, along with the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), the Medical Research Council (MRC), the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) are partnering in an Economic and Social Research Council-led funding initiative under the RCUK AMR initiative, Tackling antimicrobial resistance: behaviour within and beyond the healthcare setting.

Two types of proposal will be accepted:

  • Small scale pump priming grants - maximum of £250,000 at 100 per cent FEC for up to 24 months. These grants will be primarily for research relevant to the needs of Low and Middle Income Countries (LMICs). Closing dates - 16:00 20 July 2016
  • Large scale collaborative grants - maximum of £2 million at 100 per cent FEC for up to 48 months. These grants will be open to proposals focusing on the UK or global settings. Closing Dates – expression of interest 16:00 27 July 2016, Full grants, 16:00 8 September

More information, including call specification and how to apply can be found on the ESRC website.

ESRC AMR research Champion, Dr Helen Lambert (University of Bristol), is collecting expressions of interest for those wishing to engage with social science researchers on AMR Research. You can register an interest on the AMR Champion webpage.

Future funding opportunities

AHRC are currently scoping a funding call under AMR theme 3: Understanding Real World interactions in the indoor environment, to be launched in late 2016.

Closed funding opportunities

A funding call led by NERC and involving AHRC under AMR Theme 3 focussing on AMR in outdoor environments and the host microbiome has now closed. More information regarding the NERC led call can be found on the NERC website

Useful links

World Health Organisation Antimicrobial resistance factsheet

UK Five Year Antimicrobial Resistance Strategy