Funding opportunity

Funding opportunity: Develop interdisciplinary research proposals to tackle epidemic threats

Start application

Apply for seed funding to build interdisciplinary teams and develop research ideas to tackle epidemic diseases of animals, humans and plants.

You must be a researcher employed by a research organisation eligible to apply for UKRI funding.

Your team will bring new perspectives crossing Councils’ remits to understand infectious disease threats.

The full economic cost (FEC) of your project can be up to £125,000. UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) will fund at 80% of the FEC.

The duration of this award will be fixed at nine months.

Who can apply

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

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:

  • the project lead should be the individual who will act as our main contact and coordinator
  • intellectual leadership of the project can be shared
  • the project lead, co-leads and researcher co-leads should be researchers based at an eligible research organisation (RO):
    • all UK higher education institutions (i.e., that receive grant funding from one of the UK higher education funding bodies)
    • independent research organisations (IROs)
    • public sector research establishments (check if you can apply for funding or may be eligible)
    • research council units, institutes or partner institutes. Funding is available to support research that is clearly additional to existing ‘core’ support and will be awarded following usual FEC rules of the administering Council (generally 80% FEC)
  • project leads and co-leads must have a contract of employment with an eligible RO for the duration of the grant prior to application. For applicants who 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 the project and the applicants will be provided
  • project leads are normally expected to be based in the UK, unless their research means they spend long periods overseas, or they are from eligible international research organisations, for example, CERN, research council international units
  • project lead can be from any discipline

International applicants

You can include international applicants as project co-leads (international) if they provide expertise not available in the UK and make a major intellectual contribution to the design or conduct of the project. An international co-investigator is an individual employed by an international RO who otherwise fits the normal definition of a co-lead. You must justify in your application why their expertise is required, see Applicant and team capability to deliver.

Project partners

A project partner is defined as a third-party person or organisation who provides specific contributions to the team and project. Project partners could include:

  • members of the business community
  • policymakers and others in the public, private and third sectors
  • practitioners such as clinicians, crop breeders, farmers, veterinarians, landowners
  • representatives from civil society, humanitarian and independent non-government organisations
  • people with lived experience
  • local communities

Organisations that are applicants on the project, including any named applicants’ organisations, cannot also be a project partner. UKRI Head Office Staff acting in their capacity as a UKRI employee are not eligible to be project partners.

Project partners are expected to provide contributions to the delivery of the project, either in cash or in kind, and should not therefore be seeking to claim funds from UKRI. However, where there are specific circumstances where project partners require funding for minor directly incurred costs such as travel and subsistence, this will usually be paid at 80% FEC unless otherwise stated by us. These costs will be subject to peer review.

Project subcontractor

A project subcontractor is defined as a third-party individual who is not employed as staff on the grant, who is subcontracted by a participating organisation to deliver a specific piece of work. Subcontractors will be allowed in line with UKRI terms and conditions for research grants.

Project partner and subcontractor entitlement to project outputs and intellectual property

Entitlement to the outputs of a project or intellectual property will be determined between the parties involved, however any access to project outputs or intellectual property must be in line with any relevant Subsidy Control regulation. Under UKRI terms and conditions for research grants you must ensure at all times that the grant funding awarded to you is compliant with the Subsidy Control Act 2022. Any entitlements will need to be set out in a formal collaboration agreement if a grant is awarded, as per FEC Grant condition RGC 12.1.

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

Aim

This funding opportunity is phase one of a flagship investment to better prepare for future epidemics as part of the UKRI Tackling Infections strategic theme.

Scope

Interdisciplinary epidemic preparedness flagship

The initiative is an opportunity to better understand, predict and prevent (re)emergence of infectious animal, human, and plant diseases of epidemic potential. It aims to improve epidemic preparedness by supporting interdisciplinary research that will improve our understanding of these infectious disease threats, through building and expanding interdisciplinary research capacity. This initiative will have two phases:

  • phase one seed funding to develop interdisciplinary research teams and research questions that will bring new perspectives and approaches to epidemic preparedness research, drawing on a range of disciplines from across the remits of the research councils. We anticipate teams will subsequently seek phase two funding (or other funding opportunities)
  • phase two programmatic awards will address research questions. We anticipate providing opportunities for award holders to showcase and share insights and best practice to help build an interdisciplinary research community better prepared to address future threats

Pathogens (for example, bacterial, viral, parasitic, fungal) within all reservoirs are within the scope of these funding opportunities, providing they have epidemic potential, including but not exclusive to:

  • animals (aquaculture, farmed, companion and wild)
  • humans
  • plants (crops and wild)
  • natural environments
  • animal-human-environment interface

Applications that are not pathogen, disease or host specific, for example developing new modelling approaches, pathway design, analytics and data requirements, are also in scope. Such projects should be well characterised and demonstrate applicability beyond the study system.

Receipt of seed funding through this funding opportunity is not a requirement to apply for phase two programmatic funding.

Phase one seed funding

We will provide seed funding to build interdisciplinary research teams to develop research ideas in epidemic preparedness for infectious animal, human, and plant diseases.

Interdisciplinary teams will include researchers that cross the remits of UKRI research councils, to bring fresh perspectives to our understanding of (re-)emerging animal, human, or plant infectious diseases with epidemic potential, including zoonotic disease. It is intended that the research ideas developed will enable better prediction as to the nature of future threats and how to control them and unlock new research opportunities, approaches and methods that would otherwise not emerge from interdisciplinary thinking within only one or two research council areas. We’re looking for novel and ambitious applications that could not be funded through standard, single research council led opportunities, with the goal of integrating knowledge and approaches across a broad range of disciplines and research and innovation areas to enhance epidemic preparedness.

While your research question will not be fully formed (as this is part of the purpose of the funding), we do expect you to have assembled a core team and identified a challenge area that would benefit from an interdisciplinary approach. We anticipate that the research team may evolve over the duration of the seed funding, towards a final team that will seek phase two (or other) funding.

As this flagship is intended to stimulate new and creative ways of defining and approaching research questions, it is a great opportunity for researchers to make new connections with disciplines and institutions outside their usual area. Working together with end users of research, communities and other stakeholders is strongly encouraged. Partnerships should be equitable and sustainable with all parties committed to the co-creation and implementation of ideas.

The seed funding through phase one is anticipated to support the following kinds of activity and the resources needed to undertake them, for example:

  • evidence gathering and synthesis, strategic reviews and research needs or impact assessments
  • identifying novel data sets and resources for future research in the area
  • planning and hosting of workshops and meetings to explore for example, research challenges and approaches
  • building appropriate research strategies, plans and applications, embedding a One Health approach, if appropriate
  • bringing together working partnerships and collaborations, including co-development or co-creation with affected or at-risk communities
  • developing leadership teams and management or operational structures
  • negotiations with host institutions and partner funders (if appropriate)
  • developing communications, stakeholder engagement and knowledge exchange strategies
  • small, short-term feasibility studies to demonstrate viability of approach where this is necessary and adds value

Substantive research will not be supported through phase one. Research applications developed during phase one can be submitted to phase two of this programme (or other funding opportunities), which will coincide with conclusion of phase one.

Phases one and two of this flagship investment are aimed at projects focusing on pathogens that are considered a significant threat now or in the future to animal, human or plant health. You will be expected to justify the epidemic potential of the pathogen(s) or types of pathogen(s) included in your application. Applications focusing on more fundamental, non-specific or generalisable activity (such as models or predictive tool development) should specify the pathogen or disease type the project is based on and justify why it has been chosen. The intention is to support a portfolio of research across a range of pathogens and hosts. We particularly encourage applications that expect to yield insights applicable to more than one pathogen and host.

Themes could include, but are not limited to:

  • understanding the context, impacts of and interplay between biological, physiological, cultural, environmental (natural and built), political, legal and socioeconomic factors affecting infectious disease (re-)emergence, transmission and epidemiology
  • understanding factors contributing to the spill over of infectious diseases between different species, as well as the different factors affecting these risks and the opportunities for intervening to effect change
  • developing and evaluating multifaceted evidence-based disease control interventions to prevent infection and interrupt transmission in animals, humans or plants, that go beyond pharmacological interventions, for example:
    • social (including structures and systems), ecological and cultural interventions that could be at an individual, community or regional level
    • biosecurity or environmental strategies
    • aspects of the built environment
  • scoping of novel analytical or modelling methods, for example, the integration of diverse data sets yielding new interdisciplinary insights
  • developing innovative new tools and methods for detecting and responding to outbreaks including identifying novel pathogens with epidemic potential
  • developing ways of comparing the impact of prevention strategies that factors in the complex and wide-ranging effects these can have. This might include multiparameter modelling, learning from communities affected by prior outbreak prevention strategies, and assessment of cost effectiveness
  • lessons learned from previous outbreaks to inform prediction and prevention activities, including understanding communities’ priorities, risks, needs, and capacities in their response to outbreaks

A place-based approach may be acceptable, for example with a focus on a geographically defined community. Where this approach is taken, potential for wider scale up and applicability should be demonstrated.

For more information on the background of this funding opportunity, go to the ‘Additional information’ section.

Duration

The duration of this award is fixed at nine months. Awards must start within one month of award to maximise the opportunity to apply for stage 2 programmatic awards.

Funding available

The FEC of your project can be up to £125,000.

UKRI will fund 80% of the FEC.

We expect to fund 10 to 15 applications.

What we will fund

You can request funding for:

  • interdisciplinary applications that have been co-developed and cross the boundaries of at least three research councils
  • international collaborations where suitable collaborators in the UK do not exist or where this adds significant value
  • professional enabling staff where they are providing project specific support that goes beyond activities included in estates and indirect costs

What we will not fund

We will not fund:

  • siloed, single discipline projects that lack interdisciplinary integration, perspectives or approaches
  • applications that do not cover the remit of at least three UKRI research councils
  • projects that do not embed the research and innovation community in the process
  • product development costs
  • development or evaluation of new interventions including agrochemicals, diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines
  • projects related to antimicrobial resistance
  • surveillance, except as a component of a wider holistic programme
  • fees or stipends for postgraduate studentships

International collaboration

UKRI is committed in ensuring that effective international collaboration in research and innovation takes place with integrity and within strong ethical frameworks. Trusted research and innovation (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.

Further guidance and information about TR&I, including additional where applicants can find additional support, can be found on UKRI’s website

Find out about getting funding for international collaboration.

Equitable partnership principles

When undertaking research and innovation activities outside the UK, you must recognise and address the possible impact contextual, societal and cultural difference on the ethical conduct of those activities.

Researchers should also follow principles of equitable partnerships to address inherent power imbalances when working with partners in resource-poor settings.

Applying the principles will encourage equitable access, especially in low and middle income countries (LMICs), while maintaining incentive for innovation. You should consider the principle from the start of the research and development cycle.

Read UKRI’s guidance on research in a global setting.

How to apply

We are running this funding opportunity on the new UKRI Funding Service. You cannot apply on the Joint Electronic Submissions (Je-S) system.

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.

To apply

Select ‘Start application’ near the beginning of this Funding finder page.

  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 support@funding-service.ukri.org Please allow at least 10 working days for your organisation to be added to the Funding Service.
  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.

Watch our research office webinars about the new Funding Service.

For more guidance on the Funding Service, see:

Deadline

UKRI must receive your application by 27 February 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

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

UKRI will publish the outcomes of this funding opportunity on the UKRI website.

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

Summary

Word limit: 550

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

We may make this summary publicly available on external-facing websites, so make it suitable for a variety of readers, for example:

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

Guidance for writing a summary

Clearly describe your proposed work in terms of:

  • context
  • the challenge the project addresses
  • aims and objectives
  • potential applications and benefits
  • the team and working approach

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
  • professional enabling staff
  • research and innovation associate
  • technician

Only list one individual as project lead.

Find out more about UKRI’s new grant roles.

Application questions

Research council remit

Word limit: 250

Select which research councils’ remits your application meets.

What we are looking for in your response

In the text box, list the name of all the applicable research councils from the following:

AHRC
BBSRC
EPSRC
ESRC
MRC
NERC
STFC

Explain:

  • rationale for how your application is relevant to the remits of three or more research councils
  • why the work would not be suitable for single research council led funding

This is for administrative purposes to aid initial application checking.

Vision

Word limit: 250

What are you hoping to achieve with your proposed work?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Explain how your proposed work:

  • identifies a vision that is complementary to the aims of the programme, both in:
    • describing the research idea you seek to co-develop including justifying the epidemic potential of the pathogen(s) or disease type chosen
    • building an interdisciplinary research team capable of co-designing research plans
  • has the potential to advance current understanding, or generate new knowledge, thinking or discovery within or beyond the field or area
  • is timely given current trends, context, and needs

Guidance: while your research question will not be fully formed (as this is part of the purpose of the funding), we do expect you to have assembled a core team and identified a challenge area that would benefit from an interdisciplinary approach.

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

Approach

Word limit: 1,250

How are you going to deliver your proposed work?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Explain how you have designed your approach so that it:

  • will enable the development of your research idea(s) in epidemic preparedness for infectious, animal, human or plant diseases
  • takes into account previous work and identifies limitations of current approaches
  • embeds interdisciplinary approaches, including identifying potential challenges in designing interdisciplinary research and outlining how these will be overcome
  • shows and justifies co-creation and design involving the range of disciplines required for successful development of the research question and plans
  • shows how the work will enable new research opportunities, approaches and methods through the integration of distinct disciplinary perspectives
  • is feasible, and comprehensively identifies any risks and how they will be managed

In this section we also expect you to:

  • set out the activities that you will undertake to build an interdisciplinary team and develop your research question and plans that will bring new perspectives and approaches to epidemic preparedness
  • describe how you will work together as a team to ensure that the different disciplines can integrate and contribute in a meaningful and timely way, for example how you will ensure that it is equitable and sustainable with all parties committed to the co-creation and co-delivery of ideas
  • outline your approach to leadership and decision making, across multiple organisations (if applicable)
  • explain how your approach to data management will align with the common principles on research data (if applicable)

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

Applicant and team capability to deliver

Word limit: 1,500

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

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Evidence of how your team has:

  • 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
  • contributed to developing a positive research environment and wider community

Guidance: you should also justify the inclusion of project co-leads (international) and professional enabling staff (if applicable).

Context: we recognise that applications might draw together relevant expertise from multiple organisations and regions. For administrative purposes it is necessary to identify a single project lead who must be affiliated with the lead research organisation. The project lead and their research office will be ultimately responsible for the administration of the grant and collaboration arrangements. However, the balance of activity and leadership across the leadership team and partner organisations can be shared as is appropriate for your application.

The word count for this section is 1,500 words: 1,000 words to be used for R4RI modules 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 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
Additions

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.

Ethics and responsible research and innovation (RRI)

Word limit: 200

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

Resources and cost justification

Word limit: 250

What will you need to deliver your proposed work and how much will it cost?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Justify the application’s more costly resources, in particular:

  • project staff
  • significant travel for field work or collaboration (but not regular travel between collaborating organisations or to conferences)
  • any consumables beyond typical requirements, or that are required in exceptional quantities
  • all facilities and infrastructure costs
  • all resources that have been costed as ‘Exceptions’

Assessors are not looking for detailed costs or a line-by-line breakdown of all project resources. Overall, they want you to demonstrate how the resources you anticipate needing for your proposed work:

  • are comprehensive, appropriate, and justified
  • represent the optimal use of resources to achieve the intended outcomes
  • maximise potential outcomes and impacts

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

Word limit: 250

What are the approaches and activities planned to enable and facilitate greater EDI in your project?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

EDI plans that are project-specific and focus on activities beyond any institutional activities already in place.

While we do not expect project teams to have specific expertise in EDI, the plans should still demonstrate an understanding of any EDI challenges associated with the project.

You are encouraged to consider the following questions. Not all need to be addressed, these are prompts for your consideration:

  • what are the key EDI challenges in your project?
  • how will EDI issues be managed?
  • how will EDI outcomes be measured?
  • what steps will you take to raise awareness of and mitigate against the impact of bias in your group and the wider community in terms of gender, ethnicity or any other protected characteristic through processes, behaviours and culture?
  • how will this good practice be captured and shared with the wider community?

These plans should be feasible and proportional to the level of funding. Examples of what could be included in the EDI plan are:

  • actions to promote inclusive participation in interdisciplinary activities
  • EDI advocacy

Project partners

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

What the assessors are looking for in your response

A project partner is a collaborating 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.

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

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

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.

Project partners: letters (or emails) of support

Word limit: 10

Upload a single PDF containing the letters or emails of support from each partner you named in the ‘Project partner’ section.

What the assessors are looking for in your response

A project partner is a collaborating 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.

If you do not have any project partners, simply add ‘N/A’ into the text box, mark this section as complete and move to the next section.

Each letter or email you provide should:

  • be no more than 2 A4 pages
  • confirm the partner’s commitment to the project
  • clearly explain the value, relevance and possible benefits of the work to them
  • describe any additional value that they bring to the project

Unless specifically requested, do not include any sensitive personal data within the attachment. Upload details are provided within the service on the actual application.

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

Do not provide letters of support from host and co-project lead research organisations.

Facilities

Word limit: 200

Does your proposed research require the support and use of a facility?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

If you will need to use a facility, follow your proposed facility’s normal access request procedures. Ensure you have prior agreement so that if you are offered funding, they will support the use of their facility on your project.

For each requested facility you will need to provide the:

  • name of facility, copied and pasted from the facility information list (DOCX, 35KB)
  • proposed usage or costs, or costs per unit where indicated on the facility information list
  • confirmation you have their agreement where required

If you will not need to use a facility, you will be able to indicate this in the Funding Service.

References

Word limit: 500

List the references you have used to support your application.

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Include all references in this section, not in the rest of the application questions.

You should not include any other information in this section.

We advise you not to include hyperlinks, as assessors are not obliged to access the information they lead to or consider it in their assessment of your application.

If linking to web resources, to maintain the information’s integrity, include persistent identifiers (such as digital object identifiers) where possible.

How we will assess your application

Assessment process

We will assess your application using the following process.

All UKRI councils have been involved in agreeing the review process and subsequently selecting reviewers, to reflect the interdisciplinary nature of this funding opportunity.

Panel

We will invite a panel of interdisciplinary experts to review and score your application against the specified criteria for this funding opportunity and rank it alongside other applications after which the panel will make a funding recommendation.

All UKRI councils will be involved in making the final funding decision. We’ll take a portfolio approach to ensure a breadth of proposals are supported where the quality of applications allows.

UKRI reserves the right to introduce an initial shortlisting stage if demand is high.

Feedback

If your application was discussed by the panel, 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
  • Approach
  • Applicant and team capability to deliver
  • Ethics and responsible research and innovation
  • Resource and cost justification
  • Equality, diversity and inclusion

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

IMPORTANT NOTE: The Helpdesk is committed to helping users of the 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 the remit of this specific funding opportunity email: TacklingEpidemics@ukri.org

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

Email: support@funding-service.ukri.org
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 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 here: Improving your funding experience.

Sensitive information

If you or a core team member need to tell us something you wish to remain confidential, email TacklingEpidemics@ukri.org

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

Background

This funding opportunity is part of the one of five strategic themes included in the UKRI strategy 2022 to 2027: transforming tomorrow together.

The opportunity has been developed including insights from an international workshop held by UKRI in partnership with the Academy of Medical Sciences and InterAcademy Partnership, ‘Interdisciplinary research in epidemic preparedness and response’.

Webinar for potential applicants

We held a webinar for potential applicants on 15 November 2023.

Watch the webinar (Zoom).

See the FAQs from the webinar (PDF, 155KB).

Networking events

We will also hold two virtual networking events on 21 November 2023 1:30pm to 4:30pm UK time, and 27 November 2023 9:30am to 12:30pm UK time. This will provide a live virtual space to facilitate active networking and provide information about individuals’ skills and expertise (both offered and wanted) to aid collaboration and development of research teams. Due to the focus and need for interdisciplinarity in applications we encourage attendance at a networking event. The events will be identical in format but may differ in attendees.

To sign up to the networking events, please fill in the survey.

For any other questions please contact tacklingepidemics@ukri.org

We are also providing access to a private group on a virtual platform named Guild. This is to further aid connections and sharing of information while this funding opportunity is open. You can request access to this group through registering interest via the webinar or networking event sign up. Please note, that for all the networking activities including Guild we are utilising a third-party organisation, The Collective, to support these efforts. As such, contact information will need to be shared for them to facilitate the networking activities that you register interest for.

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.

Updates

  • 14 December 2023
    Webinar FAQs added under 'Additional info'.
  • 7 November 2023
    Networking event survey link added under 'Additional info'.

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