How to apply for Global Health funding

Funding for global health research is managed through the Global Health Research Programme.

The Global Health Research Programme supports high-quality applied health research for the direct and primary benefit of people in low and middle-income countries (LMICs), using Official Development Assistance (ODA) funding.

It supports areas of applied health research and training that are underfunded or where there is an unmet need. Funding is awarded on the basis of the following criteria:

  • Research that is primarily and directly relevant to patients and public of low and middle income countries as identified on the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Development Assistance Committee (DAC) list (ODA compliant)
  • Research of very high quality and with strong impact potential
  • No disadvantages based on areas of diversity, including gender or disability


Global Health funding opportunities


How to apply for global health funding

Find out if you're eligible

UK-based (England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland) higher education institutes and research institutes are eligible to apply for NIHR global health funding.

Applications can be either from single UK institutions or from groups of institutions (joint applications), including institutions in ODA-eligible countries.

Any joint applicants will be expected to have significant input and form part of the leadership structure, including having joint leads from the UK and the ODA-eligible country. Such joint management arrangements need to be fully described in the application.

Applicants should check the guidance documents for individual funding opportunities to find out the specific eligibility requirements. Please contact the relevant funding programme if you have further questions regarding eligibility.

Demonstrate ODA compliance

In order to be eligible to receive ODA funding, applications must demonstrate how they meet ODA compliance criteria and outline:

  • which LMIC(s) on the OECD DAC list of ODA-eligible countries will directly benefit;
  • how the application is directly and primarily relevant to the development challenges of those countries; and
  • how the outcomes will promote the health and welfare of a country or countries on the DAC list.

Decide which programme to apply to

Researchers can apply for a number of different types of global health funding from the NIHR, including funding for research projects, funding for research infrastructure, career development funding and funding from schemes developed with our partners.

Find out more about our funding  streams

Sign a contract

The NIHR funds research by contracting researchers’ organisations on behalf of the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care. 

The NIHR will issue a research contract to the institution for signing.

 See an example of an NIHR ODA standard research contract.

The NIHR Health Policy and Systems Research Development Award has a slightly different contract.

Once returned, the contract will be signed by the Department of Health and Social Care and returned to the institution within a couple of weeks.

Researchers who have successfully applied for NIHR Research and Innovation for Global Health Transformation (RIGHT) funding first go through a period of due diligence before a contract is issued. Research offices are required to complete the NIHR Global Health due diligence form.

If you have any questions about contracts, including delays, re-costing or moving institution, please contact your research programme team.