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Global Alliance for Chronic Diseases (GACD) - Prevention and management of chronic lung diseases




Call Focus: Implementation Research 

Regional Focus: Low- and middle-income countries


The Medical Research Council, in partnership with the Global Alliance for Chronic Diseases (GACD), is seeking to generate new knowledge on interventions and their implementation for the prevention and management of chronic lung diseases in low- and middle-income countries.

The MRC will invest up to £2m for this initiative. This amount is expected to fund several awards.

Outline Proposals must be submitted via the JeS System by 4pm on Tuesday, 15 September 2015.


This request for applications is issued under the auspices of the Global Alliance for Chronic Diseases (GACD). Members of the GACD include the:

  • Australian National Health and Medical Research Council
  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research
  • Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences
  • Research & Innovation Directorate General of the European Commission
  • Indian Council of Medical Research
  • National Institutes of Health in the United States of America
  • UK Medical Research Council
  • South African Medical Research Council
  • Mexico’s National Institutes of Health
  • Thailands’ Health System Research Institute

The following principles of the GACD are reflected in this request for applications:

  • Committed to improving health gains while reducing health disparities in LMICs.
  • Focused on research topics where the need for evidence to inform policy, programmes and practice is most urgent.
  • Pursuing knowledge translation and exchange approaches that are designed to maximise the public health benefits of research findings.
  • Identifying common approaches for implementation, integration and scaling up within different health systems.

It is expected that learning from individual projects will provide evidence that will support local decision-making. Cumulative learning across funded projects is expected to provide a basis for evidence-informed recommendations for national and international organisations.

To learn more about the GACD, please visit our website:


With the burden of chronic non-communicable diseases rapidly increasing, the Global Alliance for Chronic Diseases (GACD) is launching a call for proposals with a focus on implementation research which examines interventions that aim to prevent and/or manage chronic lung diseases in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC (as defined by The World Bank).

Through the launch of a global call the GACD aims to develop a global network of researchers that can enhance the cumulative learning across the individual projects, and work towards understanding how socio-economic, cultural, geopolitical and policy contexts have influenced results and how findings might be adapted and applied in different settings.

The funded researchers will form part of a Network which will meet annually to discuss their research and share information in order to develop approaches to standardise data collection, and wherever feasible to use these standardised approaches in their respective projects.

To learn more about the GACD, please visit our website:


Implementation research proposals are invited.  Implementation research considered under this programme examines what interventions work, for whom, under what contextual circumstances and whether the intervention(s) are affordable, adaptable and scalable in ways that are sustainable, accessible and equitable?

The focus of this programme is to address chronic lung diseases which have environmental exposures such as indoor, outdoor and occupational air pollution, and /or smoking, as a major risk factor.

Proposals must focus on chronic, non-communicable lung diseases and have an emphasis on research into implementation of prevention and/or management strategies derived from existing knowledge and research.

Responses to this call will be funded under the Global Alliance for Chronic Diseases partnership, which aims to address the growing burden of chronic non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Thus, the primary focus of proposals should be NCDs such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Lung Cancer or Asthma.  However, if the proposal is located in a site where there are co-morbidities with infectious lung diseases, proposals may include consideration of those co-morbidities.

Proposals must demonstrate how their chosen approach is expected to lead to improvements in health and health equity.

Proposals should develop understanding of the contextual factors (e.g. health systems, intersectoral policy) which affect the implementation of proposed interventions, indicating how those contextual factors and their impact will be analysed.  Please provide clear justification for the site(s) chosen and how the results from single or multi-site studies will provide insights into intervention implementation in heterogeneous populations and contexts.  How would those contextual factors affect future implementation of the approach and its scalability?

The methods chosen should be those that are most appropriate for addressing the research questions and should be clearly justified.

Research that addresses structural, systems-level, policy-level and regulatory issues, or population-based intervention approaches as a means to prevent and/or manage chronic lung disease are encouraged.  Proposals must provide evidence of a health economics dimension (for example assessing cost effectiveness) and potential scalability of the proposed intervention(s).  Proposals that have a health economics orientation as their primary focus are encouraged.

Proposals must address the scalability and sustainability of the proposed approach.  Projects should describe a clear proposed pathway to embedding the intervention (assuming that it is known or shown to be effective) into policy and practice which addresses how:

  • Local and/or national policy makers will be engaged from the start and throughout the project as well as at the end.
  • The project outcomes/evidence will be utilised for the scaling up of the intervention on a local, national and international level.
  • Future scaled-up implementations will fit within the local health systems, socio-political, social, cultural economic, policy and regulatory context.
  • Socio-economic determinants of health, equity gaps and gender issues will be taken into account in adapting the intervention and implementation strategy
  • Local stakeholders such as patient groups or community groups will be included 

​Examples of topics that applications might address are (one of or combinations of):  

  • Structural interventions or policies designed to promote improved health outcomes. For example, evaluating the contribution of public policies to lung diseases prevention efforts, or monitoring the potential effects of such policies if adopted and implemented;
  • Evaluate the impact of interventions (including policy interventions) for reducing environmental exposure and mitigating their effects in indoor and/or outdoor air pollution;
  • Approaches to implementing accessibility of or adherence to, pharmaceutical, or other promising or proven interventions;
  • Study the implementation of cost-effective and affordable approaches to prevention and management  of chronic lung diseases;
  • Assess current policy for prevention (e.g. fiscal, tax and information policy related to tobacco) taking into account the context in which they are implemented. Inter-sectoral policies are of particular interest.
  • Optimise tobacco cessation interventions, identify the most cost-effective interventions for resource-constrained settings and integrate smoking cessation into health systems;
  • Investigate how health systems can be adapted to improve prevention, detection and management of chronic lung diseases, for instance through integrated care models.   

The following types of projects DO NOT fall within the scope of this call:

  • Aetiological work, mechanistic, or epidemiological research, which is not part of a wider study to develop implementation science approaches.
  • Replication of effectiveness studies and clinical trials testing the efficacy or effectiveness of new or established pharmacological agents (or combination of agents) which have wider effects than those relating to lung diseases.
  • Clinical trials of new diagnostic tools, devices or pharmacological agents.   Studies can, however, include research on implementation of diagnostic tools, devices or pharmacological agents where there is existing evidence of efficacy and effectiveness. 
  • Phase I or Phase II trials.

The funded researchers will form part of a network of researchers which will meet annually to discuss their research and share information and data in order to develop approaches to standardise data collection, and wherever feasible to use these standardised approaches in their respective projects. Attendance at these annual meetings for at least two team members must be included in the proposed budget.   

Proposers can include costs for additional networking and capacity building activities between GACD-funded teams, such as ideas for establishing visiting fellowships or shared training or mentoring activities between GACD-funded institutions. 


This GACD call funds partnership working between UK researchers and researchers based in low and/or middle income countries.

The Principal Investigators applying for this call must be hosted by a UK institution which is eligible for UK Medical Research Council funding. MRC Units and Institutes are also eligible to apply to this call.

All projects submitted must include co-investigators from the low or middle income country(ies) where the work will take place.

It is not permitted for the same person to be Principal Investigator on more than one proposal submitted to this call.

Full eligibility details can be found here: GACD guidance: how to apply (PDF, 82KB)

Funding availability

The MRC will make up to £2m available for this scheme and would expect to use this amount to fund several projects.

How to apply

Outline Proposals must be submitted via the Je-S system by 4pm on Tuesday, 15 September 2015.

Full details on how to apply to this scheme can be found here:
GACD guidance: how to apply

Please refer queries to Alex Harris:

If your query relates to whether the topic of your proposal fits the remit of this funding scheme, please contact Jill Jones, Programme Manager for Global Health Strategy:

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7395 2207

Email: and