MRC Launches UKRI GCRF Health and Context Call 2019

The Medical Research Council (MRC) has launched a ‘Health and Context’ call as part of its range of activities under the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF).

The purpose of the call is to fund proposals for interdisciplinary research addressing wider contextual factors contributing to the burden of infectious and non-communicable diseases (NCDs). These factors may include social, cultural, historical, and religious beliefs and practices, or wider biological, ecological and environmental factors. MRC wishes to fund consortia conducting ambitious research that:

Goes beyond description to determine causal relationships between contextual influences and health.

Develops or tests feasible interventions that are sensitive to or mitigate contextual influences on health.

This call is being led jointly by the MRC, Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC), Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC), Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), and Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), and applications may fall within the remit of any of, or across, these councils. It also involves the GCRF Challenge Leader for Global Health, and is one of a series of UKRI GCRF collective calls of relevance to health.

Applications from across the spectrum of basic to applied research are eligible for this call. Where appropriate, applicants should engage with communities in the research planning process, and for applied research, engage with local, regional, and national stakeholders to maximise impact. Subject areas may comprise, but are not limited to:

Contextual drivers of non-communicable or infectious disease risk (such as contaminated drinking water, agriculture and food production, hygiene, sexual behaviours, air pollution, work practices, wider land-use and environmental changes).

Contextually driven barriers to management and treatment of infection/NCD, which may include altered diagnostic, vaccine or drug efficacy.

Feasible interventions that take account of or mitigate contextual drivers of increased rates of infection/NCD.

Identification and management of clusters of coexisting health conditions (multimorbidities) that are particularly prevalent in a particular community.

Proposals must be led by an organisation eligible to receive funding from UKRI or an equivalent eligible research organisation in a country on the OECD DAC recipient list. The research team can be drawn from any relevant academic discipline.

The call is open to UK-based PIs and applications directly from PIs at LMIC research organisations. Applications involving industrial collaborators are eligible and should follow the MRC Industry Collaboration Agreement (MICA) process.

Up to £20 million is available. Individual projects should cost no less than £1 million and no more than £2 million. Funding will be provided at 80% FEC for UK costs, and 100% FEC for overseas costs.

PIs may apply for research grant funding for a duration of up to three years, and awards are required to start before 31 March 2020.

Outline applications should be submitted via the Joint Electronic Submissions (Je-S) system by the 2 April 2019 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.