UKRI Develop Interdisciplinary Research Proposals to Tackle Epidemic Threats

Closing Date: –

Seed funding to build interdisciplinary teams and develop research ideas to tackle epidemic diseases of humans, animals and plants.

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) has launched this opportunity as phase one of a flagship investment to better prepare for future epidemics as part of the UKRI Tackling infections strategic theme. Funding is being provided by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), Medical Research Council (MRC), Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), and Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC).

The award will provide seed funding to build interdisciplinary teams and develop research ideas to tackle epidemic diseases of humans, animals and plants. It is an interdisciplinary opportunity to better understand, predict and prevent (re-)emergence of infectious human, animal, and plant diseases of epidemic potential. It aims to improve epidemic preparedness by supporting interdisciplinary research that will improve understanding of these infectious disease threats, through building and expanding interdisciplinary research capacity.

The initiative will have two phases:

  • Phase one seed funding to develop interdisciplinary research teams and research questions that will bring new perspectives and approaches to epidemic preparedness research, drawing on a range of disciplines from across the remits of the research councils. It is anticipated that teams will subsequently seek phase two funding (or other funding opportunities).
  • Phase two programmatic awards will address research questions. UKRI anticipates providing opportunities for award holders to network and share insights and best practice to help build an interdisciplinary research community better prepared to address future threats.

Interdisciplinary teams will include researchers that cross the remits of the UKRI research councils, to bring fresh perspectives to current understanding of (re-)emerging human, animal or plant infectious diseases with epidemic potential. Working together with end users and stakeholders is encouraged. It is intended that the research ideas developed will enable better prediction as to the nature of future threats and how to control them and unlock new research opportunities, approaches and methods that would otherwise not emerge from established disciplinary thinking.

Phases one and two of this flagship investment are aimed at projects focusing on pathogens that are considered a significant threat now or in the future to human, animal and or plant health. Pathogens (such as bacterial, viral, parasitic, fungal) within all reservoirs are within scope, providing they have epidemic potential, including but not exclusive to humans, animals (farmed, companion and wild), plants (crops and wild), natural environments, and animal-human-environment interface. Applicants will be expected to justify the epidemic potential of the pathogen(s) included in their proposal. The intention is to support a portfolio of research across a range of pathogens and hosts. Applications are particularly encouraged that expect to yield insights applicable to more than one pathogen.

Receipt of seed funding through phase one is not a requirement to apply for phase two programmatic funding.

Awards in phase one will last for a fixed duration of nine months.

Funding body UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)
Maximum value £100,000
Reference ID S25467
Category Medical Research
Biotechnology and Biology
Natural Environment
Fund or call Fund