The UK Department of Health and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) have announced the launch of two new funding schemes for applied global health research. Intended to improve the health of people in low and middle-income countries, the schemes represent an investment in UK research totalling £60 million over the next five years.
The schemes, open to researchers at UK universities and research institutes, are:
- NIHR Global Health Research Units: Aimed at universities and research institutes able to demonstrate strong track-records of world class research who aim to consolidate and expand this work. This scheme will make grants of up to £7 million over a four-year period beginning in April 2017.
- NIHR Global Health Research Groups: Intended to support existing specialist academic groups wishing to transition into the field of global health. Awards are worth a maximum of £2 million over three years.
Of particular interest are proposals addressing historically underfunded fields of research such as non-communicable diseases, mental health, surgery, tobacco control and road safety, as well as applied social science and economic research, whether as part of a broader scheme of work or as standalone specialisms.
UK universities and research institutes have a long tradition of outstanding research in and for developing countries, and major improvements in global health have arisen from that work. This initiative aims both to bolster UK universities’ and research institutes’ existing capacity to undertake such research, and to encourage those UK universities and research institutes not currently engaged in international development work to consider starting work in this area.
Additionally, the schemes are designed to enhance work by the Department for International Development (DFID) in developing countries, Medical Research Council (MRC) undertakings, and various globally-focused NIHR funded programmes.
The deadline for applications to both schemes is 26 January 2017, and awards will be made in April 2017.