Applications Open for UK-India COVID-19 Partnership Initiative

The Medical Research Council (MRC) and Indian Department of Biotechnology (DBT) have launched a call to support research collaborations between researchers in India and the UK. Projects should explore comparisons with South Asian populations in the two countries to improve understanding of COVID-19, with a view to improving health outcomes.

Applications to this scheme must demonstrate potential impact in both the UK and India. The call will support research collaborations lasting up to 18 months that provide rapid activation outputs. Funded research should:

Study related ethnic groups in different environments.

Explore the role of external influences and demographic variables in influencing COVID-19.

Improve understanding of the differential outcomes in populations of similar ethnic origin.

The primary population of focus should be Indian, but, where justified, applicants may include an additional focus on other south Asian populations within the UK and India. Studies can involve mechanistic studies of the disease and its long term effects; virology, immunity and pathophysiology; and epidemiology.

All proposals will need to be able to show how progress within the period of award could make a valuable contribution to the understanding, diagnosis, prevention or management of the COVID-19 outbreak. Interdisciplinary proposals are welcomed, where appropriate.

Applicants must be eligible to apply for funding from their respective country’s funding agency. For the UK-based participants, standard UKRI eligibility criteria apply. Research organisations that are eligible to apply to the MRC, such as MRC units and institutes, may apply to this call.

All projects must have a Principal Investigator (PI) based at a UK Research Organisation (RO) and a PI based at an Indian RO. 

UK-based applicants may request up to a maximum of £1 million per project at 80% full Economic Cost (fEC), with smaller requests also encouraged; with the equivalent, in terms of research effort, from DBT for the Indian component. UK and Indian applicants do not need to request equal amounts from both sides. The size of grants will vary according to the needs of each research project but will need to provide a robust case for value for money.

For UK applicants, intent to submit forms should be submitted by the 11 November 2020 (23:00) deadline.

Full proposals should be submitted by the UK lead principal investigator (on behalf of both UK and Indian investigators) by the 1 December 2020 (16:00) deadline.

More information about this research funding opportunity and the application process is available on the RESEARCHconnect funding information platform. RESEARCHconnect provides up-to-the minute content, insight and analysis on research funding news and policy. To find out more about how RESEARCHconnect can keep you in the know, and subscription fees, contact us today.