Funding opportunity

Funding opportunity: Applied global health research

Apply for funding to support research that will address global health challenges and inequities.

We will accept proposals of all sizes, including large research projects and small to medium-scale applications.

We are looking to develop a portfolio of high-quality global research, which will be diverse, promote multidisciplinarity and strengthen global health research capacity.

We encourage applications from principal investigators based in:

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

Interested applicants should note the applied global health funding opportunity is now split into separate ‘research’ and ‘partnership’ outline application processes. Applicants are advised to read both this ‘applied global health research’ funding opportunity and the ‘applied global health partnership’ funding opportunity, before deciding which one is the best fit for their application.

The Simpler and Better Funding programme is currently working with all councils to roll out opportunities on the new Funding Service during 2023. For further information please see council transition to the new Funding Service and our pathway for change.

Who can apply

Who is eligible to apply

To be eligible to apply for this funding opportunity you must be eligible as an individual.

You must be based at an eligible research organisation. These include:

  • universities or higher education institutions based in the UK, and includes the following:
    • UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) approved independent research organisations or NHS bodies
    • public sector research establishments
    • MRC institutes
    • MRC units and partnership institutes (including those in The Gambia and Uganda)
    • institutes and units funded by other research councils
  • organisations in LMICs with degree-awarding powers recognised by the government in which the organisation is based
  • research-focused institutes based in LMICs 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 organisations based in LMICs with dedicated research capacity

MRC particularly encourages applications from:

  • overseas researchers based in LMICs
  • researchers who are eligible to apply for MRC funding and work in equitable partnership with LMIC researchers

For a list of LMIC countries, read the Development Assistance Committee list of official development assistance recipient countries.

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 co-investigators. This can include grass-roots organisations and community groups.

Who is not eligible to apply

Principal investigators based in the UK or eligible LMIC research organisations are eligible to apply. If you are based in a high-income country, or in India you are not eligible to be principal investigator, but may be eligible to be co-investigator.

If you are unsure regarding eligibility please contact

China is no longer eligible for funding.

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.

Equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI)

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

Read MRC’s guidance on flexible working and career breaks. You can also find out more about MRC’s current EDI initiatives and EDI at UKRI.

What we're looking for


We’re looking to fund research projects that will develop practical solutions to global health challenges and inequities. The aim is to fund a portfolio of high-quality global research, which will be diverse, promote multidisciplinarity and strengthen global health research capacity.

This includes:

  • late-stage intervention development and testing, which can include global health trials from phase 2b (efficacy) onwards
  • implementation and scale-up research
  • health systems, health policy and health economics research

We also welcome cross-sector research combining expertise to meet a global health challenge. For example, a single proposal may include aspects of urban planning, health policy and non-communicable disease research. The research question might involve different disciplines and approaches from outside the health sector, but the primary objective must be health focused.

The resources you request should be appropriate for the objectives of your application. We will accept applications of all sizes, including large applications of approximately £2 million and small to medium-scale applications. We will take into account value for money when assessing applications.

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

Examples of areas in which applied research may be conducted include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • maternal and neonatal health
  • early childhood development
  • adolescent health
  • healthy ageing
  • sexual and reproductive health
  • infectious diseases, including neglected tropical diseases and COVID-19
  • non-communicable diseases, including mental health disorders
  • multimorbidity
  • nutrition and food security
  • snakebite
  • intentional and unintentional injury
  • urban health, including indoor and outdoor air pollution, road traffic accidents and healthy housing
  • planetary health
  • informal settlements, conflict zones and displaced populations
  • primary, secondary and tertiary prevention
  • detection and diagnostics
  • mobile health
  • treatment, including surgery
  • pain management and palliative care

The MRC FCDO concordat supports global health research projects funded through the Applied Global Health Research Board in specific strategic areas of mutual interest, for example:

  • infections, including epidemic and pandemic preparedness and response
  • maternal and newborn health
  • implementation science
  • adolescent health
  • early child development
  • sexual and reproductive health and rights
  • climate and health

Strengthening research capacity as part of your application

We are committed to strengthening research capacity within LMICs and the UK. All applicants are required to develop plans to strengthen research capacity within their proposal, which will be assessed as part of the peer review process 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 proposals 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 context where it is being conducted in the subject of the research, engagement with policymakers and research management)
  • building capacity to working 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

UK Collaborative on Development Research further resources, tools and guides on strengthening research capacity.

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:

  • 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) and the Public Health Intervention Development (PHIND) Panel. Applicants wishing to do feasibility studies should carefully consider whether the proposal fits the remit of these other Panels first before submitting to AGHRB
  • observational or prevalence studies
  • studies where the focus is on surveillance, unless the proposal is applied research into novel methods for surveillance research
  • stand-alone capacity strengthening proposals without clear links to high-quality applied research programmes
  • 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 research proposals 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 8 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. Proposals 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

Adolescent health has been a recent focus of investment for MRC, FCDO and the National Institute for Health Research, in partnership with the Economic and Social Research Council.

Read more about the adolescent health area of investment.

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.

This complements existing applied global health schemes addressing late-phase trials and health systems research by providing a regular funding opportunity for research, using robust implementation science approaches.

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

Read more about the implementation science area of investment.

If you are unsure whether your proposal fits the remit described, please send a 1 page summary of your proposal to


We will fund projects lasting up to 5 years, although projects typically last 3 to 4 years.

Funding available

We will accept proposals of all sizes up to approximately £2 million.

What we will fund

You can request funding for costs such as:

  • a contribution to the salary of the principal investigator and co-investigators
  • support for other posts such as research and technical
  • research consumables
  • equipment
  • travel costs
  • data preservation, data sharing and dissemination costs
  • estates and indirect costs

Please note: costs attributed to international co-investigators from high income countries (those not on the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development 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:

  • masters 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 partners

You may include project partners that will support your research 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) applicants should include them as a named project partner.

Each project partner must provide a statement of support.

If your application involves industry partners, you should also read the industry collaboration framework section.

Find out more about subcontractors and dual roles.

Who cannot be included as a team project partner

The individual named as the contact for the project partner organisation cannot also be a named applicant, such as all those with a role of ‘investigator’ and any other named member of staff.

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.

How to apply

Applying using Je-S

You must apply using the Joint Electronic Submission (Je-S) system and follow the below guidance before accessing Je-S.

We recommend you start your application as soon as possible after the funding opportunity opens on 24 May 2023.

If you are a UK lead applicant, follow the UK researchers Je-S guidance section.

If you are a LMIC researcher who is leading an outline application, follow the process outlined in the ‘LMIC based lead overseas researchers’ section.

If you are an investigator or researcher based within an LMIC research organisation not currently registered on Je-S, follow the ‘self registration process’ section.

LMIC based lead overseas researchers

Overseas researchers that are based at an LMIC and leading an application, should firstly visit Je-S to download a list of Je-S registered organisations and check if their lead LMIC organisation has previously been awarded UKRI funding.

If you find your lead LMIC organisation within the list of Je-S registered organisations, it is important to contact the submitter pool members of your organisation as soon as possible. This is to discuss arrangements to ensure the timely Je-S submission of your application.

The final submission must be completed before 1 August 2023 at 4:00pm UK time when this funding opportunity closes.

Further information on how to view submitter pool members details within Je-S is available within the supplementary guidance for outline submissions to the applied global health research board  in the ‘additional info’ section.

Self registration process

If your LMIC research organisation has not previously received UKRI funding, whether you are a principal or co-investigator within an application, you are required to submit directly to MRC through Je-S.

You must navigate to the Je-S login page and select the option ‘self-registration for organisations’ to add your LMIC organisation to the Je-S database.

Je-S account process for overseas researchers

Following the completion of the self-registration process, any overseas researchers without Je-S accounts should follow the create Je-S account application process as soon as possible. You should do this by navigating to the Je-S home page or by selecting ‘create an account’.

Each researcher should ensure they create the correct Je-S account type, by selecting the option (check box) adjacent to the description ‘an Applicant on a Standard or Outline Proposal (Principal/Co/Researcher Co–Investigator)’.

Once completed, create the Je-S application.

UK researcher Je-S guidance

You are advised to liaise with your organisation’s research office as soon as possible, to discuss your intended application.

This early discussion will allow your host organisation to plan your application submission and ensure you complete your application in a timely fashion. This allows your organisation adequate time to complete necessary application checks before they complete the final submission to MRC through Je-S.

If you are a researcher based in the UK or at an overseas MRC unit who has not created a Je-S account, navigate to the Je-S home page and select ‘create an account’.

If you have already created a Je-S account, but have forgotten your account username or password, you can retrieve a hint to your password and confirmation of your Je-S account username.

If you already have a Je-S account, ensure you have the correct level of Je-S account required to be included as an investigator (within the Je-S proposal).

If your organisation is eligible to apply for UKRI funding (for example, NHS Trust), but the organisation has not yet completed the UKRI eligibility process, you can still apply for this funding opportunity. You must follow the self-registration process as indicated above.

Submitting your application

You must apply using the Joint Electronic Submission (Je-S) system.

This funding opportunity will not be available in Je-S, until it opens on 24 May 2023.

You can find advice on completing your application in the ‘supplementary guidance for outline submissions to the applied global health research board’ in the ‘Additional info’ section.

We recommend you start your application early.

Your host organisation will also be able to provide advice and guidance.

Before starting an application, you will need to log in or create an account in Je-S using the correct process for you, based on the information at the start of this section.

When applying:

  1. Select ‘documents’, then ‘new document’.
  2. Select ‘call search’.
  3. To find the opportunity, search for: Applied Global Health Research Board Outline Round 5 2023.

This will populate:

  • council: MRC
  • document type: outline proposal
  • scheme: standard outline
  • call/type/mode: Applied Global Health Research Board Outline Round 5 2023

Once you have completed your application, make sure you ‘submit document’.

You can save completed details in Je-S at any time and return to continue your application anytime during the opportunity opening period.

As stated in the MRC guidance for applicants, it is your responsibility to ensure:

  • you apply to the correct funding opportunity
  • you select the correct type of grant you are applying for (partnership or research grant)
  • your application is submitted before the published funding opportunity closing date and time.


Mandatory attachments to include with your Je-S outline proposal are:

  • case for support (up to five sides of A4, plus one side of A4 for references)
  • CVs (up to two sides of A4 per person)
  • publications (no more than one side of A4 per person)
  • resubmissions only: other attachment (up to two sides of A4)

Letters of support are optional (up to two sides of A4 per letter).

Indicating your application is a research grant

Select the ‘grant type’ option from the application document menu, within the Je-S application form. Within the section, select the radio button adjacent to the ‘Research grant’ option and select the ‘save’ button.


MRC must receive your application by 1 August 2023 at 4:00pm UK time.

You will not be able to apply after this time. If your lead organisation is currently eligible to receive MRC funding, please liaise with your research office as soon as possible in the application process, leaving enough time for your proposal to pass through your organisation’s Je-S submission path before the advertised deadline.

You should ensure you are aware of and follow any internal institutional deadlines that may be in place.

If your lead research organisation is not currently eligible on Je-S and you have completed the self-registration of your organisation, when you submit your completed proposal through Je-S, this process will submit the document directly through Je-S to MRC.

How we will assess your application

Assessment process

Examination of applications

Following the closure of the applied global health research board (AGHRB) funding opportunity, all submitted applications will be examined by MRC to ensure the proposed project is within science remit of the AGHRB funding opportunity.

When we have completed the application examination process, we will advise those with an application outside of the remit of the AGHRB funding opportunity that their application has been rejected.

Applications within the science remit of the AGHRB funding opportunity will be taken forward to assessment by independent board members and MRC’s global health faculty of experts.

We will assess your application using the following process.

MRC will assess your proposal in 2 stages.

Stage 1

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

The criteria for assessment includes:

Vision for the project:

  • the importance of the research question and whether the application is driven by the needs of populations in the LMIC where the research is taking place
  • the potential economic and societal impact of the proposed research in LMICs, including appropriate engagement plans with users, key stakeholders and target populations, and the appropriateness of communication and knowledge exchange plans


  • the likelihood that the level of innovation will lead to significant new understanding
  • is the approach feasible, appropriate and effective to achieve the objectives
  • have risks been identified, and management strategies put in place

Capability of the applicants and team to deliver the project:

  • the appropriateness of the research team, research environment, stakeholder partners and user participation and engagement.
  • have LMIC researchers had intellectual input into the setting of the research agenda and its ongoing strategic direction? Are the partnerships equitable?

Capacity strengthening:

  • embedding appropriate capacity building activities within the research proposal


  • identifying any ethical or research governance issues, or both

Resources requested:

  • demonstrating that the funds requested are reasonable and justified by the importance and scientific potential of the research, and that the budget is equitable

Read further information about the assessment criteria.

Stage 2

If your outline application is successful, you will be invited to submit a full application. Invited full applications are subject to international peer review before consideration by the board.

You will be given the opportunity to respond to reviewer comments. The board will review all applications, including reviewer comments and applicant responses, to make a funding decision.


We aim to complete the assessment process and inform you of the decision within 3 months of receiving your application.

We will provide guidance on how to prepare a full application if you are successful at stage 1, along with feedback from the initial review.

The expert review panel meeting will take place approximately 3 months after the closing date.


We will provide you feedback by email. Feedback will consist of a summary of the comments provided by the board and faculty involved in the assessment of your application.

Principles of assessment

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) supports the San Francisco declaration on research assessment (DORA) and recognises the relationship between research assessment and research integrity.

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

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, some personal information will be published on the UKRI Gateway to Research.

To see summaries of successful AGHRB applications, you can search project reference IDs from the funding decision spreadsheet on Gateway to Research.

Contact details

Get advice on developing your application

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.

It is also expected that you will have been in touch with the MRC international team prior to developing your proposal.

General application queries for this funding opportunity

MRC international

If you have a query about scientific aspects of your research proposal, or you have a query related to the supplementary guidance in the ‘additional info’ section, please contact MRC international.

It is also expected that you will have been in touch with the MRC international team prior to developing your proposal.


We will forward your enquiry to the relevant programme manager.

International programme managers

Samantha Palmer, Programme Manager for Global Health (maternal and neonatal health, policy, board operations and peer review)


Dr Hannah Boycott, Programme Manager for Applied Global Health (non-communicable disease, infectious disease, ageing)


Dr Caroline Harris, Programme Manager for Applied Global Health (adolescent health, clinical trials, implementation science, health systems, capacity building)


Victoria Swann-O’Flynn, Programme Manager for Interdisciplinary Global Health (Climate and health, early child development, AI and data science)


MRC general policy enquiries

For general MRC policy enquiries not covered by the supplementary guidance, please contact the MRC research funding policy and delivery team.


Get help with applying through Je-S



01793 444164

Opening times

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Additional info

Personal information

MRC, as part of UK Research and Innovation, 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.

Supporting documents

Supplementary guidance for outline submissions to the Applied Global Health Research Board – Research Grant (PDF, 532KB)

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