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Global maternal and neonatal health


The NIHR Global Health Research Programme and the Medical Research Council (MRC) are inviting high-quality proposals across the spectrum of basic to applied research to address the burden of maternal and neonatal mortality and morbidity in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). 

Improvements in maternal and neonatal health rely on both innovation and better implementation of existing interventions. The broad remit of this call - covering the periods of pre-conception, pregnancy and birth, and postpartum - reflects the range and complexity of the challenges faced and the interdisciplinary efforts required. 

Research topics may comprise (but are not limited to):

  • Management and treatment of neonatal morbidity and chronic maternal morbidity caused by the birthing process. This includes development of ‘bundles’ of interventions to address multiple risks in the neonatal period.
  • Provision of perinatal mental healthcare to mothers and fathers, including those affected by stillbirth, and with consideration given to sociocultural factors that may lead to stigma and blame.
  • Postpartum care in humanitarian settings, particularly for people who have endured complicated pregnancies and/or traumatic birth experiences.
  • Aetiology, detection and management of stillbirth, miscarriage, preterm birth, intrauterine growth restriction, pre-eclampsia, abruptio placentae, sepsis and postpartum haemorrhage.
  • Identification of population-relevant biomarkers and risk factors that allow prediction of complications that may occur during pregnancy, delivery, and beyond.
    Targeted intervention to improve pre-conception health beyond traditional fortification and supplementation (for example, promoting healthy lifestyle choices, improved health literacy, and better nutrition before and between pregnancies).
  • Contraception and sociocultural issues around women’s reproductive rights.
  • Diagnosis and treatment of comorbid infection, including consideration of vertical transmission and/or impact and management of non-communicable diseases.

We particularly encourage proposals focusing on the postpartum period.

Principal investigators in LMICs can apply directly to this call without the need for a UK partner. Applications led by UK principal investigators must include LMIC co-applicants and be founded upon genuine equitable partnerships.

This funding call is run in partnership with the MRC and is administered by its Applied Global Health Research Board

The previous MRC-NIHR maternal and neonatal health call explicitly separated seed-funding from research grant applications. This separation has been removed for this call, and applications for small- and large-scale activities will be considered and assessed in the same way. 

Closing date: 7 Apr 2020 17:00 (16:00 GMT+1)