Ongoing and upcoming research funding in AMR was summarised at last week’s Research Councils UK meeting on AMR at Heathrow. The meeting also served as a networking event for those engaged with AMR research across a range of disciplines, as covered by the seven research councils involved in the cross-council Tackling AMR Initiative.
Regarding funding, we were told that there will continue to be funding for AMR research for some time. The nature of the research in AMR is becoming more collaborative and this is what they are keen to fund in a lot of new initiatives, but in addition we should also apply for funding AMR projects through response mode funding from single research councils too. They emphasised that AMR is a priority area so they are open to good applications not just through AMR-specific routes.
Joint Global Health Trials scheme – call 8
This DfID, NIHR, MRC and Wellcome Trust funding call is for interventional research to address any major health related problem in LMICs (defined by the World Bank’s DAC criteria). The call text highlights an interest in funding complex interventions delivered I community settings including in primary health care. Proposals can be for research grants or development grants. The call closes on 14th September 2017.
Newton Funding Announcements
Launched in 2014, the Newton Fund uses science and innovation partnerships to promote economic development and social welfare of partner countries. The Newton Fund is part of the UK’s official development assistance (ODA). See here for a full list of Newton funding opportunities.
UK-Thailand Joint Initiative on Infectious Diseases and Non-Communicable Diseases.
This initiative has been launched under the Newton Fund. Under the initiative, the MRC will operate two separate calls that will run in parallel with one another:
1) The MRC-NSTDA infectious diseases call (which includes AMR, especially MDR-TB as one of four specific disease areas) total funding around £2m to be shared between approx. 4 projects; and
2) The MRC-TRF non-communicable diseases (NCDs) call.
The deadline for expressions of interest is 31st July, closing date for applications is 19th September.
UK-China, Philippines, Thailand Swine & Poultry Research Initiative
Deadline is soon: Call closes 13th July 2017
Global AMR Innovation Fund (GAMRIF)
Dame Sally Davies announced at the meeting a bilateral agreement with China which will be £10m delivered by Innovate UK on behalf of the Department of Health. The scope of the call will soon be on their website but will include Traditional Chinese Medicine evaluated for humans in combination with existing antibiotics; discovery of new drugs and vaccines for infections in humans and livestock; identifying new agents to increase energy conversion in livestock; optimise use of current antibiotics; develop tools for diagnosis, treatment selection and surveillance of bacterial infections in ABR. Register with the knowledge transfer network of Innovate UK to get more information.
Tim Jinks from the Wellcome Trust, head of the Drug Resistant Infection programme, did not announce any funding calls. He encouraged people to apply in the usual existing channels for AMR research, which is going to remain as it is eg basic science on AMR sits in the science division rather than under an AMR umbrella. Except for their CARBX (public-private-partnership) calls. But we should be aware that the Wellcome Trust intends not only to occupy a funder space in the AMR world, but also intervening with particular goals from their AMR group about epidemiology of DRI; New treatments; Accelearating clinical assessments; and Global governance systems. They are aiming to achieve a transformative impact on AMR through the delivery of a coordinated set of activities, with £175m funding from Wellcome to deploy on these activities.
Other funding to watch out for soon
Pre-call announcement Newton UK-India and China
If you are interested in the topic of AMR in India, research proposal ideas will be discussed in a ‘sandpit’ mechanism, a 3.5 day workshop in week of 6th November in India, location tbc. Expressions of interest in workshop are open for participating in this (contact email@example.com). This will be a precursor to 3-year grants starting summer 2018. This is administratively led by ESRC on behalf of the research councils.
The RCUK-NSFC AMR China Centre partnerships, which builds upon the 2015 China AMR Partnership Initiative, will provide funding for ‘centre partnerships’. Up to £8m RCUK contributions to be matched by NSFC. Can now register your interest in hearing about the call, including for an upcoming workshop (contact firstname.lastname@example.org). These 3-year projects are hoped to start in January 2019.
More Newton Funding
Watch the website – additional calls will be coming soon, including with Brazil. Includes AMR in agricultural settings, including resistance in farmed animals and crop pathogens. A workshop is planned for the autumn.
GCRF Hubs call
challenge led and outcome focused programmes of research to address specific currently intractable ODA challenge(s). AMR will be listed as one.
We were told that there may or may not be AMR in these UK Governent Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund initiatives which aim to bring together the UK’s leading research with business.
This is a UK cross-government fund worth £1.3bn over the next 5 years, to support growth needed in ODA countries for poverty reduction to make development sustainable. The Prosperity Fund will provide expertise and technical assistance in areas of UK strengths. AMR funding is suggested to be included within this.
Department of Health funding
DH is funding AMR research in various ways. We were told further allocations are to be made from the Ross Fund and Fleming Fund. Framed as a ‘global health security’ issue, £477m of UK ODA, focusing on LMICs, with the aim of contributing to a ‘world safe and secure from infectious disease threats and promotion of Global Health as an international security priority’. The focus is on Prevention, Detection, and Response.
This is an international platform of member states trying to tackle AMR. Starting as a European initiative 4-5 years ago, it now includes Canada, India, Egypt, S. Africa and Japan. Their mission is to bring science and research to the front of discussions, to coordinate and to fund AMR research. Four more calls are now in the pipeline, including
- Networks/working groups call on surveillance (surveillance knowledge gaps to be addressed by JPIAMR Networks)
- Networks/working groups call on Virtual Research Institute (conceptualising a VRI)
- Joint Research of proposals call (new targets, new compounds, new tools for new antibiotics, addressing WHO priority list bacteria)
- Fellowship programme