DHSC Launches COVID-19 Rapid Response Rolling Call

The Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) has launched this call through UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) to support rapid research into coronavirus/COVID-19. The call follows a similar rapid response call launched through these organisations in February 2020, which focused on active intervention development, including vaccines and therapeutics, and diagnosis and understanding of COVID-19.

This new rolling call will specifically support UK-led academic, SME and wider industry research that will address a wide range of COVID-19 knowledge gaps/needs, and which will lead to a benefit in UK, potentially international, public health within 12 months. All proposals will need to be able to show how progress within the period of award could make a significant contribution to the understanding, prevention and/or management of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Studies should preferably build on existing relationships, including with relevant commercial, practice or policy partners and relevant data/resource holders. Interdisciplinary proposals are welcomed, where appropriate. Proposals must be timely, with rapid activation, to enable early and valuable outcomes to be established and/or to access time-dependent resources.

Academic Principal Investigators applying for this call must be hosted by a UK institution eligible for UKRI funding. Research institutes, including UKRI Units/Institutes, for which the Research Councils have established a long-term involvement as major funder, are also eligible for this call. Applications from Small and Medium Enterprises (including start-up or ‘spin-out’ companies), government arms-length bodies, and NHS organisations (including NHS Trusts and NHS Foundation Trusts), and equivalent UK authorities are also encouraged in alignment with NIHR funding policies. Awards to UK-based, non-SME commercial entities will also be considered.

Researchers from overseas research organisations in affected countries providing important local engagement and context are welcomed as Co-Investigators on proposals. Other overseas researchers may be Co-Investigators, if they provide necessary expertise/access to resources not available in the UK. Specialist services or expertise may be brought into the team through consultancy or sub-contract arrangements, however, appropriate justification must be provided. Sub-contractors and collaborators (who are partners in the bid but not directly funded by it) may be based outside of the UK.

Requested costs for UK-based researchers should be 80% of full economic costs (fEC) and, where relevant, for overseas researchers should be 100% of direct costs only. The call will cover 100% costs for SME and NHS trusts across the whole of the UK. The size of grants will vary according to the needs of each research project, but applicants must provide a robust case for value for money.

There is currently no fixed end date to this rolling call. The aim is to review completed proposals within four weeks of submission. Successful applicants will be required to return their award acceptance within five working days of receipt, together with an invoice, from their Administering Authority. Grants are expected to start within four weeks of award notification.

Applicants must apply by first filling out the NIHR Clinical Research Network’s COVID-19 enquiry form.  Applicants requiring funding will then be invited to complete a full application.

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.

RESEARCHconnect is closely monitoring all the relevant news about the coronavirus (COVID-19) and the consequences for the funding landscape. This dedicated page will keep you updated on which funds and extra support have been announced to counteract the impact of the outbreak.