Launch of South Africa-UK Antibiotic Accelerator Initiative

In April 2019, the UK Medical Research Council (MRC) and South African MRC (SAMRC) launched the South Africa–UK Antibiotic Accelerator under the umbrella of the Newton Fund. The main objective of this initiative is the promotion of the economic development and welfare of South Africa.

The Accelerator is providing funding for high-quality collaborative research partnerships focused on addressing the growing global burden of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), specifically AMR in (South) Africa, through drug discovery

The funders are seeking to support a genuinely collaborative SA-UK Antibiotic Accelerator composed of hubs in the UK and South Africa, with integrated opportunities for capacity building. Bids should seek to build on existing collaborations, initiatives, databases, novel chemistry and compound libraries where possible, and propose a robust governance and management structure that will ensure the sustainability of the Accelerator. The final accelerator will include multiple geographically distributed groups focusing on different work packages with a robust overarching governance mechanism to ensure equitable distribution of funds in line with the objective of the initiative.

The Accelerator is not a physical entity, but rather an agreed collaboration and a way of working together. The successful Accelerator will be jointly funded by the Newton Fund and the SAMRC. The Accelerator will comprise one hub in the UK and one hub in South Africa. Each hub may comprise researchers/research groups from multiple research disciplines and preferably from multiple research organisations. Within the hubs, research nodes should contribute in an integrated way, to clearly defined work streams or packages.

The project will be led by a UK Principal Investigator (PI) and a South African PI. PIs may only submit one application to this scheme as PI but may be involved in more applications if listed as a Co-Investigator. For support under this call, applicants must be eligible to apply for funding from their respective country’s funding agency:

For the UK, applicants must be from an RO eligible for funding from UKRI.

South African applicants must be eligible for funding from SAMRC. Investigators from South African public universities, science councils (including the SAMRC) and other public research organisations are eligible, as are registered not-for profit research organisations and intramural and extramural SAMRC research units. For-profit institutions are not eligible.

All proposals for this call must meet Newton Fund requirements. In particular, proposals must be compliant with Official Development Assistance (ODA) funding rules. Applications with industry engagement are welcomed, however, funding will not be provided to industrial partners by MRC or SAMRC.

Up to £3.3 million ~ R60 will be made available for a single Accelerator. The UK costs should be requested at 80% FEC and the SA costs at 100% FEC.

Research Grants under this call can be up to three years in duration and must start on 1 April 2020, with an end date no later than 31 March 2023.

A compulsory Intention to Submit must be completed using the online form by the 22 July 2019 (23:59) deadline. Full applications are conditional on having submitted an intention to submit.

Full applications must be submitted by UK PI’s on behalf of both UK and South Africa PIs to the MRC by 5 September 2019 (16:00).

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.