Increasing support for Global Health research in response mode

MRC has long supported research and training for global health issues, working with UK and international partners. In recent years we have spent around £50m each year, and in the Government’s spending review we are asked to increase support to above £80m per year, with further funds available for new cross-Council challenge programmes.

In 2016 we will be offering new Foundation Awards to help foster research and partnerships in new areas, and also issuing some targeted calls.  But we also want to encourage new research through all of MRC’s response mode schemes – for Programme and Project Grants, Fellowships, and Translational Grants. Extra funding will be available through our main Boards and Panels, and we aim to steadily increase support for global health research through this route over the next four years.

  • To receive funding as part of our Global Health portfolio, research must be primarily and directly relevant to health problems of developing countries. The primary aims, their importance and tractability, should be addressed in the Case for Support and Pathways to Impact.  The Proposal Form should reflect the global health aims in the Objectives, Summary and Impact Summary.  
  • Research can be “dual use” in the sense that it may also benefit the most developed countries, but the primary aim must be creation of knowledge to improve health in Low or Middle Income countries (LMICs)
  • MRC’s reviewers will, as always, critically assess the potential impact on health – in this case in the context of LMICs – when assessing the application
  • Research can be basic or applied, long-term or short-term, and we welcome proposals that work across Research Council boundaries.
  • The research proposed can be undertaken in UK institutions and in Low and Middle Income Countries. Research collaborations will be essential to address global health challenges in most areas, but not necessarily all. Applications should be led by an eligible UK institution (exceptions will be made in some targeted calls).
  • Institutes and Units supported by MRC or other Research Councils are eligible to apply, but must show that the project is additional to their core programme.

MRC’s Global Health Group will regularly review progress and future needs in global health research, and MRC and RCUK will be issuing more information to guide applicants on best practice, and on areas of particular priority, later in 2016.