UKRI-Southeast Asia Collaboration on Infectious Diseases

Closing Date: 30/05/2024

Opportunity for UK researchers to partner with Southeast Asia investigators to study infectious diseases with antimicrobial resistance and epidemics potential.

The Medical Research Council (MRC) is providing funding through the International Science Partnership Fund (ISPF) Official Development Assistance (ODA) budget to enable UK applicants to collaborate with partners in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Singapore to conduct research on infectious diseases with antimicrobial resistance and epidemics potential. Collaborations involving Southeast Asia (SEA) Least Developed Countries (Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia) are also encouraged.

The MRC will support collaborative research between the UK and at least one partner country in Southeast Asia. Multilateral research teams including more than two partners are encouraged. The research topic must be of primary relevance and benefit to either one or more low and middle income countries (LMICs) or the SEA region.

Projects must:

  • Address the challenges of AMR and pathogens with epidemic potential of relevance to Southeast Asia.
  • Enhance existing and develop new sustainable partnerships between the UK and SEA research partners.
  • Strengthen research capacity in the SEA region through supporting long-term research relationships.

To effectively tackle global infectious disease threats and challenges, including AMR and epidemic preparedness, a One Health approach is required to achieve sustainable change. Such approaches use integrated, interdisciplinary methodologies, recognising the interconnection between humans, animals (including wildlife, livestock, aquatic organism and companion animals), and environmental (including natural and built environment and climate change) factors, with the goal of improving outcomes for human health, animal health and ecosystems.

The MRC will support a diverse portfolio of activity. Examples of areas in which research may be conducted include but are not limited to:

  • Discovery research into the mechanisms underlying AMR or the emergence of pathogens of epidemic potential.
  • Drug discovery and novel therapeutics.
  • Development of innovative approaches to surveillance (novel technologies for surveillance).
  • Applied research including intervention development and testing (including vaccines, diagnostics), economic and policy research.
  • Multifaceted evidence-based interventions, including environmental, social, cultural and economic strategies.
  • Health systems research.
  • Digital health and artificial intelligence (AI) approaches.
  • Novel analytical or modelling methods.

Applications should demonstrate the added value provided through the international collaboration proposed, which may include access to:

  • Knowledge (from bench to bedside).
  • Expertise (scientific or socio-cultural).
  • Resources.
  • Cohorts.
  • Populations.

The fund is designed to strengthen research capacity within LMICs and the UK. All applicants are required to develop plans to strengthen research capacity within their application, which will be assessed by expert reviewers and inform funding decisions.

Proposals funded under this programme will be for three years. Successful applications must start by April 2025.

Funding body Medical Research Council (MRC)
Maximum value £1,000,000
Reference ID S26109
Category Medical Research
Science and Technology
Biotechnology and Biology
Fund or call Fund