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Research and Innovation for Global Health Transformation

The Research and Innovation for Global Health Transformation (RIGHT) programme funds interdisciplinary applied health research in low and middle income countries (LMICs) on areas of unmet need where a strategic and targeted investment can result in a transformative impact.

Guidance on impact of COVID-19 on NIHR funded and supported research

The Research and Innovation for Global Health Transformation (RIGHT) programme funds applied health research for the primary and direct benefit of people in low and middle income countries (LMICs). 

RIGHT aims to strengthen capacity for research and boost knowledge exchange through funding equitable partnerships between researchers in the UK and those in LMICs.

The programme promotes interdisciplinary approaches to research, including, but not limited to, collaborations between clinical, health economics, statistics, qualitative and social sciences disciplines.

RIGHT funds research on preventing ill health and optimising disease management in LMICs that are eligible for Official Development Assistance (ODA). To date, the programme has funded research on:

  • multimorbidity
  • mental health
  • epilepsy
  • infection-related cancers
  • severe stigmatising skin diseases

Funding amount and duration

RIGHT typically awards funding of £1-5 million (maximum of £5 million) for research with a duration of 3-5 years. Funding awards are made to partnerships led by two joint lead investigators, one from an LMIC institution and one from a UK institution.

“NIHR RIGHT funding has allowed us to establish a multidisciplinary team of enthusiastic African clinical academic researchers to innovate clinical practice and strengthen diagnostics services for children with virus-related lymphoma, as well as increase translational research capacity.”
Anna Schuh, Associate Professor at the University of Oxford and Chief Investigator of the SEREN initiative

RIGHT runs one or two funding calls a year on commissioned topics in applied health research. See the dates for our funding calls.

How to apply

RIGHT holds two-stage funding calls, with a mandatory Intent to Submit form during stage 1. Stage 1 is a shortlisting process that involves submitting an outline application. Stage 1 applicants invited to submit to stage 2 are required to produce a full application that then undergoes peer review. 

An independent international Funding Committee considers eligible applications at stage 1 and stage 2.

Research proposals should be online through the Research Management System. We supply word document template application forms to help researchers prepare their proposal ahead of online submission.

Proposal and Partnership Development Awards

An important aspect of RIGHT funding is the partnership building between researchers in the UK and those in LMICs. Proposal and Partnership Development Awards (PPDAs) of up to £10,000 are available to support partnership development during preparation of a RIGHT stage 2 application.

All RIGHT applicants that are successful at stage 1 and are invited to submit a stage 2 application are eligible to apply for a PPDA. Find out more in the PPDA Guidance for Applicants. You can also download the PPDA Template Application Form and PPDA Finance Summary Form.

RIGHT funds research proposals from researchers in UK-based (England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland) and LMIC higher education institutions and research institutes. 

Applications must include a lead, co-applicant or joint lead applicant from a country eligible for Official Development Assistance (ODA) funding and relevant to the research proposal. Applications must demonstrate how the research proposal meets ODA compliance criteria.

Find out more about ODA eligibility

RIGHT will support:

  • Applied health research that is of primary and direct benefit to people and patients in LMICs
  • Interdisciplinary applied research teams with demonstrable expertise and a track-record of ensuring clinical research is transferred into benefits for patients
  • Proposals that incorporate research questions around gender, age, social barriers to health, economic impact and equity that demonstrate strong partnerships with institutions in LMICs
  • Proposals that demonstrate joint leadership between the LMIC and UK research partners and have clear plans to engage with other relevant partners. 
  • Proposals that include relevant engagement with policy makers, patients, the public, civil society organisations, communities and charities
  • Proposals that include PhD and master’s students based in LMICs.

RIGHT will not support:

  • Proposals that are not eligible for ODA funding
  • Proposals that do not include two joint lead applicants, one of which must be in a LMIC and one in the UK
  • Basic research or experimental medicine, including research on animals
  • Proposals to develop new biobanks and biosample collections
  • Epidemiological studies
  • Evaluations of existing services, where the programme of work does not include evidence-based development and improvement of these services
  • Single randomised controlled trials
  • Proposals that solely replicate research already undertaken in high income countries
  • Proposals that primarily focus on observational research, secondary research or health policy implementation.

The selection criteria used by the RIGHT Funding Committee are:

  • Relevance of the proposed research to the research requirement outlined in the Guidance for Applicants
  • Quality of the research design and work plan
  • Strength of the research team
  • Impact of the proposed work
  • Quality of the proposed management arrangements
  • Value for money provided by the application
  • Strength of the community engagement and involvement, where relevant to the research question(s)
  • Equity of partnerships and approach to capacity building

Applications to the RIGHT programme are peer reviewed by professional and public reviewers, then considered by a funding committee.

The committees recommend projects for funding to the Department of Health and Social Care, which approves which projects should be funded. 

Members of NIHR Committees are required to declare any interests which conflict, or may be considered to conflict, with NIHR business, or may be perceived as influencing decisions made in the course of their work within NIHR programmes. All members are asked to complete the Register of Interest form annually, which is intended to capture long term predictable interests that could be perceived to lead to conflicts of interest. These and other interests are judged on a case by case basis at individual meetings.

NIHR registry of interests

Committee chair

The RIGHT Funding Committee is chaired by Professor Tom Solomon. The Funding Committee for call 3 was chaired by Dr Marie-Paule Kieny

Committee members

View the full membership of the call 1, call 2 and call 3 Funding Committees.

Meeting minutes

To date RIGHT has held three funding calls. See the dates for our funding calls.

Call 3 - multimorbidity (2019)

RIGHT call 3 will fund research on interventions to improve outcomes for people with multimorbidities in LMICs. 

Call 3 launched in October 2019. The research awarded funding will be announced in March 2021.

Call 2 - mental health (2019)

RIGHT call 2 funded research on the development and evaluation of interventions to improve outcomes for people in LMICs affected by mental health issues.

Call 2 was announced in October 2018. A total of £20 million was awarded to six pieces of research in May 2020. The funding awards ranged from £3-5 million over 3-4 years, with the new research starting in January 2020.

Call 1 - epilepsy, infection-related cancers and severe stigmatising skin diseases (2018)

RIGHT call 1 funded research on: 

  • Reducing the public health burden of epilepsy
  • Improving prevention, diagnosis, treatment, access to services for infection-related cancers
  • Reducing the public health burden of severe stigmatising skin diseases

Call 1 launched in June 2018. A total of £34 million was invested into eight pieces of research on epilepsy, infection-related cancers and severe stigmatising skin diseases in November 2019. Awards ranged from £3-5 million over 3-4 years.

We offer a wide variety of assistance during all stages of the research process. If in doubt, please get in touch.

Tel: 020 8843 8057

Email: ccf-globalhealth@nihr.ac.uk

Our operating hours are 9am to 5pm.

Latest funding opportunities for global health research

Global Health Research Centres Call 1 - Research and Institutional Capacity Strengthening in Non-Communicable Diseases

The first call of the Global Health Research Centres programme will fund and designate NIHR Global Health Research Centres in non-communicable diseases.

NIHR Global Health Research Presentation and Training Travel Award Pilot (GHR PTTA)

This award gives applicants the opportunity to plan a personalised presentation, training (skills/techniques/career development) and networking experience in another part of the NIHR (within the UK or a LMIC).

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.

Research and Innovation for Global Health Transformation - call 4

The fourth call of the Research and Innovation for Global Health Transformation (RIGHT) programme will fund research on unintentional injuries, and urgent and emergency care, in low and middle income countries.

All global health research funding opportunities

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