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.
Call for expressions of interest: Fleming Fund TAG
The Fleming Fund is seeking expressions of interest to join their technical advisory group (TAG).
The aim of the Fleming Fund is to improve laboratory capacity and diagnosis as well as data and surveillance of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in low to middle income countries (LMICs) through a One Health approach.
The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) is supporting the UK Department of Health to secure voluntary members for a Technical Advisory Group (TAG) for the Fleming Fund programme.
The Department of Health currently draws upon a ten member interim TAG to provide guidance on the strategic direction of the fund and quality of the project’s design.
The Department wishes to establish the TAG to support the implementation of the Fleming Fund to 2021-2022.
Voluntary membership will consist of no more than 20 members, who will be expected to provide up to a maximum of five days’ worth of support annually for at least two years.
The TAG will support the Department of Health in its leadership of the Fleming Fund, the largest global project designed specifically to address the global threat of AMR. The Fund will ultimately support the development of national actions to tackle AMR in LMICs.
The Department will wish to draw on a range of expertise relevant to all aspects of implementation of the Fleming Fund. Prospective members will need to have specific experience/qualifications. Candidate requirements can be found on the NIHR website: https://www.nihr.ac.uk/about-us/how-we-are-managed/managing-centres/nihr-central-commissioning-facility/fleming-fund-technical-advisory-group.htm
Please address any questions to the Fleming Fund at FlemingFund@dh.gsi.gov.uk.
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.
Global Public Health: GCRF Partnership Awards
AHRC-MRC Global Public Health: GCRF Partnership Awards Call 2:
The AHRC and MRC are launching the second call of their joint Global Public Health: GCRF Partnership Awards. In order not to limit the potential for inter-disciplinary innovation under this call, the call is open to proposals addressing any global public health issue affecting low and middle countries.
Following feedback from the first call there are two scales of award that can be applied for under this second call:
- Small Partnership Awards (maximum value of £50,000 fEC, for up to 18 months) can be used for initial activities that will build new partnerships between UK and LMIC researchers across the MRC and AHRC disciplines, with a focus on global public health.
- Large Partnership Awards (maximum value of £200,000 fEC for 18-24months) can include a comprehensive package of work that will build new or develop existing partnerships between UK and LMIC researchers across the MRC and AHRC disciplines, with a focus on global public health.
Funder deadline: 26 October 2017
UK-Vietnam Partnership on Infectious Disease Research
UK-Vietnam Partnerships for Infectious Disease Research
The UK Medical Research Council (MRC), and Vietnamese Ministry of Science and Technology are pleased to invite research proposals to the UK-Vietnam Partnership on Infectious Disease Research, through the Newton Fund. This initiative will provide funding for high-quality collaborative research projects focused on Infectious Diseases. Areas of particular research interest within the infectious disease space include, but are not limited to:
- HIV and other Sexually Transmitted Infections
- Respiratory Infections
- Neglected Tropical Infections
- Antimicrobial Resistance (excluding epidemiological and surveillance activities)
The funders welcome proposals across the spectrum of biomedical research activities, including, but not limited to:
- Basic research on pathogen; genomics; aetiology of disease
- Understanding mechanisms of diseases
- Development of vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics, and other health interventions (public health, behavioural, nutritional)
- Population health sciences, clinical studies and epidemiological research which will provide data needed to conduct future interventions development work.
Please note: Researchers planning to submit to this scheme are asked to submit a short expression of interest to firstname.lastname@example.org by 7 November 2017. The Expression of Interests received will assist the funders in preparing for peer review. This step will not involve an assessment of the proposal; applicants should not, therefore, expect to receive feedback from the funders.
Funder deadline: 12 December 2017
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