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Global health partnership funding

NIHR partners with other global health research organisations to fund high quality research and career development opportunities for researchers.

NIHR statement on ODA funding for its Global Health Research Portfolio

NIHR partners with other global health organisations to ensure a cohesive and sustainable approach to research in low and middle income countries (LMICs).

We work with established UK and international organisations that are leaders in health research - such as Wellcome and the African Academy of Sciences - and are part of a number of multi-funder initiatives, such as the Global Alliance for Chronic Diseases.

We work with our partners to support existing, high quality funding programmes and co-create new ones in areas where there is an identified need. Our partnership calls offer funding for research and to support career development, and are open to researchers in LMICs and in the UK.

We collaborate to fund research through more than 15 different partnerships worldwide. Our partnership funding accounts for around half of NIHR’s total global health research funding spend. 

We offer funding for global health research through several different programmes in collaboration with UK and international partners. These programmes offer direct funding to researchers in LMICs, as well as to researchers based in the UK working in equitable partnerships with LMIC investigators.

Our partnership funding calls focus on areas that are underfunded or where there is an unmet need - such as non-communicable diseases, surgery, injuries and accidents, and comorbidity - as well as global health priorities such as health systems research and maternal and neonatal health.

For example, we’ve co-funded research on maternal and neonatal health, adolescent health and implementation science with the Medical Research Council (MRC), part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). The MRC Applied Global Health Research Board determines topics for new funding calls bi-annually in January and July. We also partner with the MRC through the Global Alliance of Chronic Diseases, the Joint Global Health Trials initiative and the Antimicrobial Resistance in a Global Context programme. 

We support mental health research by co-funding the Global Mental Health Programme with our international partner Grand Challenges Canada. This programme funds high impact innovations that improve treatments or expand access to care for people, especially young people, living with or at risk of a mental health disorder. The funding calls offer proof-of-concept seed funding and funding for transition-to-scale research projects.

We are a member of the multi-funder group the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP), through which we fund annual research calls for collaborative clinical research projects in sub-Saharan Africa on poverty-related infectious disease

We partner with other global health organisations to offer career development opportunities for global health researchers. These opportunities offer support for researchers at all stages of their career, from masters students through to established investigators.

Small grants for early career researchers

Our partnership with the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene offers small grants for early career researchers in tropical medicine or global health. Funding awards of up £5,000 are available to early career researchers in LMICs to undertake clinical or scientific research or fieldwork in tropical medicine or global health. Funding is generally available once a year in spring.

Research fellowships

The NIHR-Wellcome Global Health Research Partnership offers a range of career development awards for researchers in the UK and in LMICs.

We co-fund three programmes for early-career researchers in LMICs:

Funding awards of up to £800,000 are available twice a year.

These are supplemented by three programmes for more established researchers in either LMICs or the UK:

Funding awards of up to £4 million are available three times a year.

Some of the research areas of particular relevance to these programmes include mental health, multimorbidity, non-communicable diseases, nutrition and snakebites.

Other career opportunities

We also offer career development opportunities through some of our other partnership initiatives:

Latest funding opportunities for global health research

NIHR Global Health Research Units

These awards will provide funding to a well-established, equitable research partnership or network of universities and research institutes in LMICs and the UK with an existing track-record of delivering internationally recognised applied global health research.

NIHR Global Health Research Groups

These awards will provide funding to collaborations of specialist researchers within universities and research institutes in LMICs and the UK who wish to establish new programmes of applied health research.

Global Health Systems and Policy Research - Researcher-led call

These awards will provide funding to research consortia to deliver global health research to improve whole health systems and health services for people in LMICs through equitable partnerships.

All global health research funding opportunities

Latest news from global health research

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