Funding opportunity

Funding opportunity: Applied global health partnership: stage one

Apply for funding to set up a new research partnership to enable the development and delivery of novel applied research that will address global health challenges and inequities, developing a portfolio of high-quality partnerships, which will be diverse, promote multidisciplinarity and strengthen global health research capacity.

We encourage applications from project leads based in:

  • low and middle-income countries (LMICs)
  • UK, working in partnership with LMIC researchers

If you are successful with your pre-application, you will be invited to apply through the UKRI Funding Service.

Who can apply

Before applying for funding, check the Eligibility of your organisation.

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) has introduced new role types for funding opportunities being run on the new UKRI Funding Service.

For full details, visit Eligibility as an individual.

Who is eligible to apply

To be eligible to apply for this funding opportunity you must:

  • be eligible as an individual
  • be based at either an eligible UK research organisation, or based in a:
    • research organisation in a low or middle-income country (LMIC), with degree-awarding powers recognised by the government in which the organisation is based
    • research-focused institute based in an LMIC either funded by the government of the country in which the organisation is based, or by a not-for-profit organisation
    • research-focused not-for-profit organisation based in an LMIC with dedicated research capacity

Medical Research Council (MRC) particularly encourages applications from:

The board recognises that applied global health research requires the involvement of a diverse range of collaborating organisations in order to affect sustainable change.

Applications involving a not-for-profit organisation based in an LMIC will be eligible to be named project co-lead (international). This can include grass-roots organisations and community groups.

If you do not have a contract of employment for the duration of the proposed project, by submitting an application the research organisation is confirming, if it is successful:

  • contracts will be extended beyond the end date of the project
  • all necessary support for you and the project will be provided, including mentorship and career development for early career researchers

Who is not eligible to apply

You are not eligible to apply if:

  • you are based in a high-income country (does not include UK project leads, who are eligible), or in India. You are not eligible to be project lead, but may be eligible to be project co-lead (international)
  • you are based in China. You are not eligible to be project lead but may be eligible to be either a project partner or project co-lead (International) with £0 cost. The researcher should only be included where expertise cannot be found either in the UK or a DAC listed country
  • It is expected that researchers from India and any high-income countries make a significant contribution to their own research costs, including covering their own overheads. Where India is included in a project there must be at least two other LMICs involved in the project.

UKRI is unable to support ODA research and innovation activities taking place in China, or where China is the direct beneficiary. This means the ODA compliance statement submitted by applicants should not identify China as part of the project’s rationale/justification. Providing no UK funding flows to China, it is permissible for China-based researchers to be involved in UKRI funded activities, when part of a consortia of internationally based researchers. China-based researchers are not eligible to lead applications.

Equality, diversity and inclusion

We are committed to achieving equality of opportunity for all funding applicants. We encourage applications from a diverse range of researchers.

We support people to work in a way that suits their personal circumstances. This includes:

  • career breaks
  • support for people with caring responsibilities
  • flexible working
  • alternative working patterns

Find out more about equality, diversity and inclusion at UKRI.

What we're looking for


The applied global health research board funds research to address global health challenges and inequities. Our remit includes applied research that will lead to tangible change in health policy and practice in the near future by developing practical, impact focused research.

We’re looking to fund strategically important, original partnerships providing a distinct and important contribution to the research landscape. The partnerships should be driven by the research needs of the LMICs involved, and should be multi-country, ideally demonstrating that the partnership will generate generalisable benefits for the research community.

Partnerships should be linked to high-quality research programmes and should demonstrate how the partnership will facilitate the development and delivery of future novel applied research. Partnerships should clearly demonstrate how the research field will benefit from the bringing together of the research teams involved.

We welcome cross-sector partnerships combining expertise to meet a global health challenge. You can include a broad range of partners, and non-academic partners are permitted. We particularly encourage engagement with civic society and policymakers. You can read our case studies detailing examples of successful partnership grants and why we funded them.

We will fund partnerships between diverse groups of researchers. These partnerships must:

  • establish new, high-value collaborative activities or capabilities in several LMICs
  • add value to high-quality scientific programmes of applied research that are already supported by grants from Medical Research Council (MRC) and other funders
  • present a cohesive set of activities underpinned by a robust governance structure
  • include stakeholder engagement with a broad range of partners
  • demonstrate how the partnership will enable future applied research to be conducted

You can apply for funding for a partnership to address any health topic of relevance in the context where the research will be conducted.

The MRC partners with the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) to support global health projects. Some of the projects funded through the Applied Global Health Research Board in specific strategic areas of mutual interest such as climate and health, women and girls’ reproductive health, early childhood development and epidemic preparedness will be funded under this partnership.

Types of collaboration

Collaborative activities can include:

  • networking and partnership activities – establishing multidisciplinary, multi-country collaborative partnerships or consortia, fostering or enabling a national or international strategy across the field, enabling knowledge sharing or creation across institutions
  • situational analyses or evaluation of the policy landscape to facilitate priority setting in collaboration with a wide range of stakeholders
  • infrastructure support for establishing a unique shared resource or helping to exploit it, for example staff, systems, equipment, seminars, workshops – this could include a coordinated set of needs-led and complementary networking activities, including outreach work and travel, with a defined output
  • platform activities such as specialist data and software platforms or resources
  • training, career development and capacity building in strategically important areas
  • support small scale, pump-priming projects may be considered but specific research questions should not be the focus of the partnership – these projects should be interdisciplinary, high risk or gain projects which will demonstrate the novel capability of a new partnership

Successful partnership grants usually include a combination of these components. We will reject applications for funding only networking activities.

We expect partnership grants to reach maturity by the end of the initial award. You should find alternative ways of funding any follow-on activities.

Through our investments in global health research, we aim to:

  • support a portfolio of high quality, high priority, diverse investments to improve health, encouraging:
    • innovation in study design
    • multi-disciplinarity to address global challenges
    • diverse health topics: prioritise local relevance with potential for global impact
  • prioritise equitable partnerships
  • invest in research capacity strengthening
  • promote co-design and co-production with communities, policy-makers and health practitioners

Strengthening research capacity as part of your application

We are committed to strengthening research capacity within low and middle-income countries LMICs and the UK. You are required to develop plans to strengthen research capacity within your application, which will be assessed by expert reviewers and inform funding decisions.

We encourage you to start discussing capacity strengthening priorities as early as possible, in consultation with key stakeholders, both within and outside of your project team. For example:

  • researchers
  • laboratory technicians
  • data collectors
  • field workers
  • managers
  • practitioners
  • policymakers
  • research management offices

We take a broad view of where capacity strengthening activities could be targeted, however plans must be directly linked to the proposed project. Activities could target the individual, institutional or contextual level (or span multiple levels), and plans should be proportionate to the scale of the project, with larger projects expected to be more ambitious.

Examples of capacity building include, but are not limited to:

  • building leadership skills amongst early career researchers
  • opportunities for mutual learning across the project team, such as through staff exchanges (for example, the wider health context, engagement with policymakers and research management)
  • building capacity to work collaboratively, across disciplines and across practice-research boundaries (for example, with policymakers, managers and practitioners in the system)
  • providing mentoring to improve the capacity of less-experienced researchers to generate new knowledge and achieve policy impact
  • team members attending training courses to develop specific expertise or obtain relevant qualifications (excluding masters and PhDs)
  • opportunities for staff and associated health managers to author or co-author journal and conference papers and participate in national and international conferences
  • building organisational capacity (for example, in management, finance or communications)
  • formation of LMICs research networks

Find further resources, tools and guides on strengthening research capacity provided by the UK Collaborative on Development Research.

Although new investigator research grants are not available through the applied global health research board, we are committed to supporting early career researchers in applied global health. The board will consider each applicant’s career stage and proposed mentorship arrangements during funding discussions.

Areas we will not fund

We will not fund:

  • stand-alone hypothesis-driven research projects suitable for the Applied global health research: stage one funding opportunity
  • stand-alone capacity strengthening applications without clear links to high-quality applied research programmes
  • discovery research or research that includes an applied component that fits within a current MRC remit, programme or priority. This includes early translation and feasibility studies in the remit of the Developmental pathway funding scheme (DPFS). Applicants wishing to do early translational or pilot studies should carefully consider whether the proposed work fits the remit of these other panels first before submitting to AGHRB
  • partnerships that are focused on observational research
  • partnerships where the focus is on surveillance, unless the partnership is based around applied research into novel methods for surveillance
  • early phase clinical trials (phase 1 and 2a)

Board opportunities

These opportunities represent areas of specific strategic focus that help to inform discussions at funding meetings, but you can submit partnership applications that focus on any applied global health topic.

Maternal and neonatal health

The MRC maternal and neonatal health area of investment aims to provide funding for innovative applied research to address the global burden of maternal and neonatal mortality and morbidity.

Early childhood development

The board supports research in early childhood development, which encompasses the physical, socio emotional, cognitive and motor development of children from birth to eight years of age.

Early childhood development is the outcome of the nurturing care for early childhood development report. This is a range of education, health, nutrition and social protection inputs and environments. Applications in this area will be jointly funded by FCDO as part of a coordinated effort to increase and scale up the evidence base for early childhood development interventions.

Read more about the early childhood development area of investment.

Adolescent health

The adolescent health area of investment aims to fund innovative applied research to improve adolescent health in LMICs.

Implementation science

Maximising impact from research remains a priority for MRC. To ensure that we meet this priority, we are funding research to address the implementation gap and progress interventions towards real-world impact.

We expect this research to ensure that evidence-based health interventions are implemented in an accessible and fair way for the most vulnerable populations.

If you are unsure whether your application fits the remit described, please send a one-page summary of your plans to


We will fund projects lasting up to five years, although projects typically last three to four years.

Funding available

The resources you request should be appropriate for the objectives of your application. We will accept applications of all sizes from £150,000 up to approximately £1 million MRC contribution. MRC typically fund 80% of full economic cost (excluding eligible international costs, which are funded as exceptions (100%)). We will take value for money into account when assessing applications.

Equitable partnerships, including financial equity, are a key principle of the Board. Applications in which the majority of the funding is allocated to the UK, plus any high income countries (or India), will be rejected.

What we will fund

You can request funding for costs such as:

  • a contribution to the salary of the project lead
  • 100% salary costs for project leads and project co-leads (international), based within an LMIC
  • support for other posts such as research and technical
  • research consumables as part of small scale/pump priming research activities (note, research activities should be minimal)
  • equipment
  • travel costs
  • data preservation, data sharing and dissemination costs
  • estates and indirect costs
  • research capacity strengthening activities (excluding Masters/PhD fees and stipends)

Please note: costs attributed to high income countries (those not on the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development Assistance Committee (DAC) list of official development assistance recipients), or India must not exceed 30% of the full economic cost grant value. There is no cap on eligible funds going to international co-investigators from DAC list countries.

What we will not fund

We will not fund:

  • master’s and PhD studentships
  • UK publication costs (publication costs where all the authors are from LMICs can be included)
  • funding to use as a ‘bridge’ between grants

Team project partner

You may include project partners that will support your partnership project through cash or in-kind contributions, such as:

  • staff time
  • access to equipment
  • sites or facilities
  • the provision of data
  • software or materials

Where there is engagement from individuals based in government agencies, international intergovernmental organisations (for example, the World Health Organization), or other stakeholder organisations (for example, industry collaborators) you should include them as a named project partner.

Each project partner must provide a statement of support (not required for stage one).

If your application involves industry partners, they must provide additional information if the team project partner falls within the industry collaboration framework (not required for stage one).

Find out more about subcontractors and dual roles.

Who cannot be included as a team project partner

Any individual included in your application with a core team role cannot also be a project partner.

Any organisation that employs a member of the application core team cannot be a project partner organisation, this is incudes other departments within the same organisation.

If you are collaborating with someone in your organisation, consider including them in the core team as project co-lead, or specialist. They cannot be a project partner.

Supporting skills and talent

We encourage you to follow the principles of the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers and the Technician Commitment.

Trusted Research and Innovation (TR&I)

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) is committed in ensuring that effective international collaboration in research and innovation takes place with integrity and within strong ethical frameworks. TR&I is a UKRI work programme designed to help protect all those working in our thriving and collaborative international sector by enabling partnerships to be as open as possible, and as secure as necessary. Our TR&I Principles set out UKRI’s expectations of organisations funded by UKRI in relation to due diligence for international collaboration.

As such, applicants for UKRI funding may be asked to demonstrate how their proposed projects will comply with our approach and expectation towards TR&I, identifying potential risks and the relevant controls you will put in place to help proportionately reduce these risks.

See further guidance and information about TR&I, including where applicants can find additional support.

Find out about getting funding for international collaboration.

How to apply

Following the mandatory pre application stage, we are running this stage one funding opportunity on the new UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Funding Service. You cannot apply on the Joint Electronic Submissions (Je-S) system.

Submitting your application

Pre application stage

You must contact us at before you apply to check if your application is suitable. MRC international team will confirm if you are able to apply. You must do this at least six weeks before the deadline.

You should email the programme manager, attaching a brief description of your application. The document may be up to two pages outlining the proposed partnership.

Please copy the bullet points below as a template. The document must include:

  • the title of the potential partnership and project lead
  • the LMICs involved in the partnership (please note partnerships involving a single LMIC are not in scope for this opportunity)
  • an estimate of the likely cost to MRC including staff and equipment

You should explain the aims of the partnership, including:

  • the nature of the partnership and its activities, including a list of work packages and their aims, activities and outcomes
  • the applied health research that will be enabled by the partnership

Stage one application stage

You should only start the stage one application if you have been invited by email to do so after the pre-application stage. The start application link will be provided via email.
The project lead is responsible for completing the application process on the Funding Service, but we expect all team members and project partners to contribute to the application.

Only the lead research organisation can submit an application to UKRI.

If you are based in an LMIC research organisation, you can register your organisation by contacting and provide your organisation name, country and city.

If the lead research organisation is an NHS organisation, check it is available in the Funding Service. You are encouraged to check this early as there may be additional steps for the organisation to be set up before you can apply.

To apply

Follow the link to the Funding Service provided in your invitation email to start your application.

  1. Confirm you are the project lead.
  2. Sign in or create a Funding Service account. To create an account, select your organisation, verify your email address, and set a password. If your organisation is not listed, email
    Please allow at least 10 working days for your organisation to be added to the Funding Service. We strongly suggest that if you are asking UKRI to add your organisation to the Funding Service to enable you to apply to this funding opportunity, you also create an organisation Administration Account. This will be needed to allow the acceptance and management of any grant that might be offered to you.
  3. Answer questions directly in the text boxes. You can save your answers and come back to complete them or work offline and return to copy and paste your answers. If we need you to upload a document, follow the upload instructions in the Funding Service. All questions and assessment criteria are listed in the How to apply section on this Funding finder page.
  4. Allow enough time to check your application in ‘read-only’ view before sending to your research office.
  5. Send the completed application to your research office for checking. They will return it to you if it needs editing.
  6. Your research office will submit the completed and checked application to UKRI.

Where indicated, you can also demonstrate elements of your responses in visual form if relevant. You must:

  • use images sparingly and only to convey important information that cannot easily be put into words
  • insert each new image onto a new line
  • provide a descriptive legend for each image immediately underneath it (this counts towards your word limit)
  • files must be smaller than 5MB and in JPEG, JPG, JPE, JFI, JIF, JFIF, PNG, GIF, BMP or WEBP format

Watch our research office webinars about the new Funding Service.

For more guidance on the Funding Service, see:


Applications should be self-contained, and hyperlinks should only be used to provide links directly to reference information. To ensure the information’s integrity is maintained, where possible, persistent identifiers such as digital object identifiers should be used. Assessors are not required to access links to carry out assessment or recommend a funding decision. You should use your discretion when including reference and prioritise those most pertinent to the application.

References should be included in the appropriate question section of the application and be easily identifiable by the assessors, such as Smith, Research Paper, 2019.

You must not include links to web resources to extend your application.


MRC must receive your completed partnership application through the Funding Service by 3 December 2024 at 4:00pm UK time.

You will not be able to apply after this time.

Make sure you are aware of and follow any internal institutional deadlines.

Following the submission of your application to the funding opportunity, your application cannot be changed, and applications will not be returned for amendment. If your application does not follow the guidance, it may be rejected.

Personal data

Processing personal data

MRC, as part of UKRI, will need to collect some personal information to manage your Funding Service account and the registration of your funding applications.

We will handle personal data in line with UK data protection legislation and manage it securely. For more information, including how to exercise your rights, read our privacy notice.

Publication of outcomes

MRC, as part of UKRI, will publish the outcomes of this funding opportunity at Applied global health research board – funding decisions.

If your application is successful, we will publish some personal information on the UKRI Gateway to Research.


Word limit: 550

In plain English, provide a summary we can use to identify the most suitable experts to assess your application.

If awarded we usually make this summary publicly available on external-facing websites, therefore do not include any confidential or sensitive information. Make it suitable for a variety of readers, for example:

  • opinion-formers
  • policymakers
  • the public
  • the wider research community

Succinctly describe your proposed work in terms of:

  • goals to be addressed, please identify a concise and clearly articulated ultimate aim of the partnership
  • its context
  • the global health challenge the partnership addresses and its potential impact
  • its aims and objectives
  • its potential applications and benefits

Core team

List the key members of your team and assign them roles from the following:

  • project lead (PL)
  • project co-lead (UK) (PcL)
  • project co-lead (international) (PcL (I))
  • researcher co-lead (RcL)
  • specialist
  • grant manager
  • professional enabling staff
  • research and innovation associate
  • technician
  • visiting researcher

Only list one individual as project lead.

Project leads can be from eligible UK or LMIC research organisations.

We expect all applications to this opportunity to include project co-lead (international) based at LMIC research organisations.

Find out more about UKRI’s core team roles in funding applications.

Application questions


Word limit:10

Provide up to five keywords that describe your application.

What assessors are looking for in your response

Provide up to a maximum of five keywords, for example: maternal health, malaria, implementation science, sub-Saharan Africa.

This is for administrative purposes to help with the initial application processing and will not affect the overall assessment of your application.


Word limit: 1,000

What are you hoping to achieve with your proposed work?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Explain how your proposed work:

  • is of excellent quality and importance within or beyond the field(s) or area(s)
  • has the potential to advance current understanding, generates new knowledge, thinking or discovery within or beyond the field or area
  • is timely given current trends, context and needs
  • impacts world-leading research, society, the economy or the environment
  • includes LMIC researchers in the intellectual design and the setting of the research agenda and its ongoing strategic direction
  • ensures that partnerships are equitable

We also expect you to:

  • explain how your work is strategically important for the LMICs involved, and how the partnership will contribute to the current or future applied research landscape
  • explain why establishing a partnership is necessary in this area, how the partnership is novel or adds value to the current research landscape
  • explain the applied research in which the partnership is embedded
  • explain how the outputs of the partnership will have regional or global impact or widely generalisable outcomes

References may be included within this section.

You may demonstrate elements of your responses in visual form if relevant. Further details are provided in the Funding Service.


Word limit: 1,500

How will you deliver your proposed work?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Explain how you have designed your work so that it:

  • is innovative, effective and appropriate to achieve your objectives
  • is feasible, and comprehensively identifies any risks to delivery and how they will be managed
  • has an appropriate governance structure
  • if applicable, uses a clear and transparent methodology for small scale proof of principle work
  • if applicable, summarises the previous work and describes how this will be built upon and progressed
  • will maximise translation of outputs into outcomes and impacts
  • describes how your, and if applicable your team’s, research environment (in terms of the place, its location, and relevance to the project) will contribute to the success of the work
  • ensures an equitable role for the LMIC researchers in setting the research agenda and strategic direction of the partnership

We also expect you to:

  • explain how the partnership will be planned and managed
  • explain how the partnership will enable researchers to work together, network and build capability in a strategic area
  • demonstrate how the partnership will benefit the wider research community
  • if applicable, explain how partnership services, equipment or infrastructure will be accessed by the wider research community
  • outline future plans for sustaining the partnership beyond MRC funding, or for funding applied research which may develop from the partnership
  • outline how engagement of relevant stakeholders, such as end-users, healthcare workers, policymakers and implementers, is embedded throughout the design and delivery of the partnership
  • outline any plans for coproduction and co-development of future research
  • explain the proposed timeline including milestones and a diagrammatic workplan, such as a Gantt chart, which can be embed within the text box

References may be included within this section.

You may demonstrate elements of your responses in visual form if relevant. Further details are provided in the Funding Service

Research capacity strengthening

Word limit: 250

What are your capacity strengthening plans for the research project?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Explain how you have embedded appropriate capacity building activities within the proposed work. Explain how your capacity strengthening activities:

  • are appropriate to the LMIC research needs and the objectives of the project
  • will benefit the LMIC researchers and communities involved

Within this section we expect you to:

  • detail research capacity building needs, opportunities and planned activities
  • explain who will participate in delivering these activities and who will benefit from them

Applicant and team capability to deliver

Word limit: 1,650

Why are you the right individual or team to successfully deliver the proposed work?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Evidence of how you, and if relevant your team, have:

  • the relevant experience (appropriate to career stage) to deliver the proposed work
  • the right balance of skills and expertise to cover the proposed work
  • the appropriate leadership and management skills to deliver the work and your approach to develop others
  • opportunities for LMIC leadership and management
  • contributed to developing a positive research environment and wider community

You may demonstrate elements of your responses in visual form if relevant. Further details are provided in the Funding Service.

The word count for this section is 1,650 words: 1,150 words to be used for R4RI modules (including references) and, if necessary, a further 500 words for Additions.

Use the Résumé for Research and Innovation (R4RI) format to showcase the range of relevant skills you and, if relevant, your team (project and project co-leads, researchers, technicians, specialists, partners and so on) have and how this will help deliver the proposed work. You can include individuals’ specific achievements but only choose past contributions that best evidence their ability to deliver this work.

Complete this section using the R4RI module headings listed. Use each heading once and include a response for the whole team, see the UKRI guidance on R4RI. You should consider how to balance your answer, and emphasise where appropriate the key skills each team member brings:

  • contributions to the generation of new ideas, tools, methodologies, or knowledge
  • the development of others and maintenance of effective working relationships
  • contributions to the wider research and innovation community
  • contributions to broader research or innovation users and audiences and towards wider societal benefit

Provide any further details relevant to your application. This section is optional and can be up to 500 words. You should not use it to describe additional skills, experiences, or outputs, but you can use it to describe any factors that provide context for the rest of your R4RI (for example, details of career breaks if you wish to disclose them).
Complete this as a narrative. Do not format it like a CV.

UKRI has introduced new role types for funding opportunities being run on the new Funding Service.

For full details, see Eligibility as an individual.

Project partners

Add details about any project partners’ contributions. If there are no project partners, you can indicate this on the Funding Service.

A project partner is a collaborating third party organisation who will have an integral role in the proposed research. This may include direct (cash) or indirect (in-kind) contributions such as expertise, staff time or use of facilities.

The individual named as the project partner contact, cannot be included in your application as a member of the core team, in any core team role.

The project partner organisation cannot be an applicant organisation, where any member of the core team is based. For example, you cannot include a different department based within the applicant organisation as a project partner.

If an individual or organisation outside the core team is responsible for recruitment of people as research participants or providing human tissue for this project, list them as a project partner.

Add the following project partner details:

  • the organisation name (searchable via a drop-down list or enter the organisation’s details manually, as applicable)
  • the project partner contact name and email address
  • the type of contribution (direct or in-direct) and its monetary value

If there are specific circumstances where project partners do require funding for minor costs such as travel and subsistence, these project partner costs should be claimed and justified within the resources and costs section of your application.

If a detail is entered incorrectly and you have saved the entry, remove the specific project partner record and re-add it with the correct information.

For audit purposes, UKRI requires formal collaboration agreements to be put in place if an award is made.

Letters or emails of support are not required from project partners at stage one of the application process (they will be required if you are invited to apply to the full application stage two).

If your stage one application includes industry project partners, you are not required to complete the Industry Collaboration Framework (ICF) review, until the stage two application process is relevant to your proposed work. Find out more about ICF.

Ethics and responsible research and innovation (RRI)

Word limit: 500

What are the ethical or RRI implications and issues relating to the proposed work? If you do not think that the proposed work raises any ethical or RRI issues, explain why.

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Demonstrate that you have identified and evaluated:

  • the relevant ethical or responsible research and innovation considerations
  • how you will manage these considerations

Consider the MRC guidance on ethics and approvals.

You may demonstrate elements of your responses in visual form if relevant. Further details are provided in the Funding Service.

Financial information and equity

Word limit: 500

Provide a high-level indication of how much each research organisation will need.

Applications in which the majority of the budget is allocated to the UK will be rejected.

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Provide a breakdown of the funding requested for each eligible organisation, by copying and pasting the table provided into the text box. You should then add the cost figures relevant to each organisation involved. The table has separate column headings, which will allow you to clearly define the costs you are claiming for each participating organisation, depending on where they are based:

  • low and middle-income countries (LMIC)
  • the UK
  • non-UK high income countries (HIC) including India

Important note: a narrative justification of your costs is not required during stage one of the application process.

Further organisation finance guidance
Low- and middle-income countries (LMIC)

LMICs are defined as those on the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and Development Assistance Committee (DAC) list.

You must include costs associated with LMIC organisations as exceptions (100%).

Important note: You can claim an additional 20% on top of the total LMIC exception costs for each specific LMIC organisation. These additional funds are a contribution towards indirect costs incurred by the LMIC overseas organisation over the duration of the project (excluding India).

Important note: There is no cap on eligible funds attributed to international project co-leads from DAC list countries, excluding India.

UK based research organisations costs

All UK based costs must comply with the principles of full economic costing (FEC) of applications and claimed accordingly (if the application is successful, we would typically fund 80% of the UK based costs claimed).

High Income Country based international organisation (including India) costs

A HIC international organisation (based overseas, including India), will not be on the OECD DAC list of official development assistance recipients (therefore not defined as an LMIC).

Costs associated with HIC international organisations must be claimed as an exception (100%).

All costs attributed to international HICs, including India must not exceed 30% of the total FEC costs claimed.

Do not include indirect costs for organisations based within any HIC international organisation, as these are not permitted. Do not claim the 20% extra costs as this is for LMIC based organisations only (excluding India).

Provide a breakdown of the funding request per organisation by completing the table provided in the Funding Service.

Related applications

Word limit: 800

Is this application related to another application to MRC or other funding organisation?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

If not enter ‘N/A’.

If yes, state your previous reference number and explain how this new application is related to the other application.

If the related application was submitted to another funder, you should identify the name of the funder and when you applied.

If this is a resubmission, describe how it differs from the previous application and how feedback on the previous application has been considered and acted on.

How we will assess your application

Assessment process

We will assess your application using the following process.

Peer review

Your outline application will be reviewed by independent board members and MRC’s global health faculty of experts.


We will review the comments and scores for each application. Shortlisted applications will be invited to submit a stage two application.


We aim to complete the stage one assessment process within four months of receiving your application. The funding decision will be made on applications invited to stage two approximately six months from receipt of the stage two application.


We will give feedback with the outcome of your application.

Principles of assessment

We support the San Francisco declaration on research assessment and recognise the relationship between research assessment and research integrity.

Find out about the UKRI principles of assessment and decision making.

We reserve the right to modify the assessment process as needed.

Assessment areas

The assessment areas we will use are:

  • vision of the project
  • approach of the project
  • capacity strengthening plans of the project
  • capability of the applicant or applicants and the project team to deliver the project
  • ethical and responsible research and innovation considerations of the project
  • value for money and equity of the project

Find details of assessment questions and criteria under the ‘Application questions’ heading in the ‘How to apply’ section.

Contact details

Get help with your application

If you have a question and the answers aren’t provided on this page

Important note: The Helpdesk is committed to helping users of the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Funding Service as effectively and as quickly as possible. In order to manage cases at peak volume times, the Helpdesk will triage and prioritise those queries with an imminent opportunity deadline or a technical issue. Enquiries raised where information is available on the Funding Finder opportunity page and should be understood early in the application process (for example, regarding eligibility or content/remit of an opportunity) will not constitute a priority case and will be addressed as soon as possible.

Contact details

For help and advice on costings and writing your proposal please contact your research office in the first instance, allowing sufficient time for your organisation’s submission process.

For questions related to this specific funding opportunity please contact

For general questions related to MRC funding including our funding opportunities and policy email:

Any queries regarding the system or the submission of applications through the Funding Service should be directed to the helpdesk.

Phone: 01793 547490

Our phone lines are open:

  • Monday to Thursday 8:30am to 5:00pm
  • Friday 8:30am to 4:30pm

To help us process queries quicker, we request that users highlight the council and opportunity name in the subject title of their email query, include the application reference number, and refrain from contacting more than one mailbox at a time.

You can also find information on submitting an application.

Sensitive information

If you or a core team member need to tell us something you wish to remain confidential, email

Include in the subject line: [the funding opportunity title; sensitive information; your Funding Service application number].

Typical examples of confidential information include:

  • individual is unavailable until a certain date (for example due to parental leave)
  • declaration of interest
  • additional information about eligibility to apply that would not be appropriately shared in the ‘Applicant and team capability’ section
  • conflict of interest for UKRI to consider in reviewer or panel participant selection
  • the application is an invited resubmission

For information about how UKRI handles personal data, read UKRI’s privacy notice.

Additional info

Webinar for potential applicants

We held a webinar on 7 December 2023 to provide more information about the funding opportunity and a chance to ask questions.

Watch the webinar (Zoom)

Passcode to access the recording: H6RXwk@i

Research disruption due to COVID-19

We recognise that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused major interruptions and disruptions across our communities. We are committed to ensuring that individual applicants and their wider team, including partners and networks, are not penalised for any disruption to their career, such as:

  • breaks and delays
  • disruptive working patterns and conditions
  • the loss of ongoing work
  • role changes that may have been caused by the pandemic

Reviewers and panel members will be advised to consider the unequal impacts that COVID-19 related disruption might have had on the capability to deliver and career development of those individuals included in the application. They will be asked to consider the capability of the applicant and their wider team to deliver the research they are proposing.

Where disruptions have occurred, you can highlight this within your application if you wish, but there is no requirement to detail the specific circumstances that caused the disruption.

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