AHRC-MRC GCRF Global Public Health; Partnership Awards Pre-Call Announcement

Date: 07/02/2017

The Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) offers a unique opportunity for the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and Medical Research Council (MRC) to co-design a global public health initiative. The forthcoming call seeks to bring together expertise in medical science and health interventions in developing countries, with an understanding of local knowledge, cultural dynamics, community engagement and trust.

The MRC and AHRC plan to launch two consecutive partnership award calls in 2017. The first will run from February with a deadline in June, with funding decisions made in the summer. The second will run from September with a deadline in December, with funding decisions made in March 2018. A networking workshop will be hosted during both calls to facilitate the development of new partnerships between the AHRC and MRC communities, and to provide briefing on the objectives of the call.

The overarching driver of this proposed partnership building activity is to build inter-disciplinary research capacity and capability in both the UK and developing countries, jointly and collaboratively, and across career stages. The joint funders aim to generate reciprocal benefits through integrating the understanding of cultures, beliefs and histories into medical and public health challenges in a global context, and to equip the next generation of researchers to work collaboratively, blending biomedical and humanities research with potential for impact in policy and practice around the world.

In order not to limit the potential for inter-disciplinary innovation under this activity, the call is open to proposals addressing any global public health issue affecting low and middle countries (LMICs). Relevant themes that could be considered include, but are not limited to:

  • Understanding public health in relation to cultural and population change, migration/mobility, cultural diversity
  • Public health in cities and the effects of urban migration
  • Contextually appropriate, user-led / co- design to improve health systems or services
  • Delivery of public health programmes in relation to legal frameworks; belief systems and ethical considerations
  • Trust in science and community preparedness for medical research and trials
  • Addressing health challenges in contexts of humanitarian crises, including conflict

This list is intended to illustrate the range of opportunities and not be exhaustive or indicate priority areas for the call.

Eligible activities and funding available

Activities under this initiative should aim to lay the foundations for networks and researcher relationships between expertise in the medical sciences and the arts and humanities internationally, and teams should include an appropriate mix of both of these expertise.

The following activities are permissible under this partnership grant scheme:

  • Establishing inter-disciplinary collaborative partnerships or consortia
  • Developing strategy to strengthen research activity across the field
  • International knowledge sharing across research departments, or between Institutions and across sectoral boundaries
  • Career development, inter-disciplinary skills enhancement and capacity building
  • Widening/extending the disciplinary breadth of existing teams/partnerships (e.g. through placements, embedding, ethnographic research, etc)
  • Small scale, pilot, proof of principle, exploratory, inter-disciplinary, higher risk projects to explore innovative boundary crossing collaborations

The funding available for each call from MRC and AHRC is £2million in total. The duration of these grants should be between 18-24 months. The funding requested should be commensurate with the activities intended for these projects, but as they are not intended to fund pure research or basic science, the main costs for these are likely to be staff wages and travel costs. Costs of up to £200,000 fEC could be appropriate, although the scale of the awards will be flexible to meet the needs of the research.

Networking and Information Event

To support networking and discuss the objectives of this activity, the AHRC and MRC will be holding the first all-day networking and information event in central London on 12th April 2017. The event will provide an opportunity to discuss partnership opportunities relevant to the call and for interested researchers and collaborators to meet and discuss opportunities for partnership working under this funding scheme. Further details of the event and how to apply for a place can be found on our event pages. Further information about the call will be announced on the AHRC and MRC websites in due course. For more details, please contact gph@ahrc.ac.uk

Return to news list