Funding opportunity

Funding opportunity: Expression of interest: COVID-19’s impacts on disabled people

UKRI/AHRC GCRF urgency grants highlight notice for innovation awards or case studies on COVID-19’s impacts on people with disabilities

The AHRC, on behalf of UKRI, working in partnership with the UN Partnership to Promote the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Multi Partner Trust Fund (UNPRPD MPTF) is pleased to announce a new funding initiative for innovation awards or case studies on the impacts of COVID-19 on persons with disabilities under the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF).

This call aims to bring together UK and LMIC cross-disciplinary research expertise with UNDP and UNPRPD members country offices as relevant, governments, civil society (in particular those representing persons with disabilities) and persons with disabilities to co-produce a cluster of innovation awards or research case studies.

The aim of these awards or studies is to build the evidence base about the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic on persons with disabilities.

To explore the development of new participatory, co-produced and other mixed research methods and approaches drawing across disciplines for undertaking situational analysis in developing countries and to inform the development of strategies for disability inclusive recovery from the pandemic and ‘building back better’ to a more disability inclusive world.

Discussions with UNPRPD have identified that as the COVID-19 pandemic has become a global public health emergency, there is a need for collaborative research that can help LMIC countries develop national frameworks for disability inclusive recovery.

This research need includes supporting innovative research approaches to enhance situational analysis, reflecting local cultural contexts and co-produced with persons with disabilities, on the status and experience of persons with disabilities and how they have been impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic and its wider societal impacts.

For example, on sustainable livelihoods, delivery of services, human rights, cultures, and behaviours. This includes the repercussions of responses to the pandemic on persons with a wide range of disabilities, the intersections with gender, age and other inequalities and the strategies for supporting disability inclusive recovery within the medium to long term.

Applicants may apply for funding of up to £100,000 (FEC) over a period of up to 6 months in duration.  Eligibility and funding for this highlight notice is the same as for the AHRC GCRF Urgency grants pilot scheme.

The Principal Investigator must normally meet standard AHRC eligibility criteria and awards will normally be made to a UK research organisation eligible to receive AHRC funding. Proposals may only be accepted from LMIC country Principal Investigators from an organisation that leads or has previously led and held UKRI grants as the lead research organisation.

All applications led by organisations outside of the UK must be able to provide a UKRI grant reference for a grant led and held by the organisation or they will not be eligible to apply as the lead research organisation under this highlight notice.

Proposals for innovation awards or case study research must focus on at least one LMIC or development assistance committee list country amongst the 39 countries with which UNPRPD has established a joint national programme as detailed on the UNPRPD website, with the exception that we do not expect to fund projects focused primarily on China or India.

We wish to fund innovation awards or research case studies addressing a range of different continents and LMIC contexts.

Where appropriate, in addition to innovation awards or case studies focused on a single country, awards or studies could address regions within countries, cross-border areas or compare or contrast several countries (this can include other LMIC countries as long as at least one of the countries of principal focus is a country with which UNPRPD has established a national programme).

In addition, we would particularly welcome proposals addressing any of the following three LMIC countries below with which UNPRPD has agreed inclusive country-specific COVID-19 response and recovery plans and situational analysis, to which the innovation awards or case study research funded through this highlight notice would enhance, complement and add value:

  1. Cambodia
  2. Nepal
  3. Zimbabwe.

Projects funded under this highlight notice are expected to inform inclusive future planning at a national or regional level for recovery from the pandemic and to contribute to shared learning, experience and expertise across contexts to develop broader frameworks for building disability inclusive recovery and futures.

The AHRC is leading on this collaboration with UNPRPD MPTF on behalf of UKRI but this highlight notice is open to applications across all relevant disciplines and cross-disciplinary or cross-Council proposals are welcomed.

Full details on how to apply can be found in the highlight notice below which should be read in conjunction with the AHRC GCRF Urgency grants pilot scheme call documents, particularly with regard to the eligibility requirements and guidance on costing outlines in that call documentation.

Closing dates

The deadline for expressions of interest (EOI) for proposals under this highlight notice is 16:00 22 September 2020.

The deadline for full proposals for invited full proposals following the submission of an EOI is expected to be 16:00 10 November 2020.

Timetable for highlight notice

  • 31 July 2020 – Launch urgency highlight notice
  • 22 September 2020 – Closing date for submission of (EOIs via SmartSurvey
  • w/c 29 September 2020 – Feedback on EOIs or invitations to submit full proposals
  • 10 November 2020 – Closing date for invited full proposals to be submitted through UKRI Joint Electronic Submission Service (Je-S)
  • w/c 14 December 2020 – Expert Panel meeting considers proposals
  • w/c 4 January 2021 – Notification of outcomes of full applications
  • 1 February 2021 (inclusive) – Projects start
  • February 2021 – ‘Inception meeting’ (virtual) for projects organised by co-ordination team
  • April 2020 – Interim reports or workshop (dates to be confirmed to award holders)
  • June- July 2021 – Workshop to share results of projects. Projects end or report.
  • August 2021 – Synthesis or dissemination activities led by co-ordination team

How to make an application

Full details of this highlight notice are available below.

Interested applicants will be required to submit an EOI using this SmartSurvey form. If the EOI is considered to fall within the scope of the scheme and this highlight notice, applicants will then be invited to submit a full application through Je-S (deadline 10 November, to be confirmed) for consideration through an accelerated peer review process (expert panel meeting).

Should applications be invited to submit a full application through Je-S, instructions on how to apply will be provided.

Further information


For more information please contact: AHRC enquiries

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