Area of investment and support

Area of investment and support: Antimicrobial resistance

The aim of this programme is to support and enable UK researchers to carry out unique research, in collaboration with colleagues around the world, to improve our understanding of antimicrobial resistance.

2021 to 2025
Partners involved:
Medical Research Council (MRC), Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), Innovate UK, Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), Research England, Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)

The scope and what we're doing

Antimicrobial resistance occurs when pathogens such as bacteria, viruses, fungi or parasites stop responding to the drugs used to treat them. This makes infections harder to cure.

Antimicrobial resistance poses a challenge to human, animal and plant health, as well as to the environment. Overuse and misuse of antimicrobials has led to a worldwide increase in antimicrobial resistance. This is resulting in an ever-increasing list of infections that are no longer susceptible to many commonly used drugs.

Urgent action is needed to stop the spread of resistance and speed up the development of new tools and treatments to tackle antimicrobial resistance.

Opportunities, support and resources available

Funding opportunities

Antimicrobial resistance is an important global health challenge and a priority for MRC. Discovery research to better understand pathogen virulence and identify targets for new prevention strategies, diagnostics and therapies is well represented in our portfolio. But there is a risk that these discoveries will not be taken forward to impact patients. To address this issue, the infections and immunity board will prioritise applications that propose interdisciplinary approaches developing new interventions to contain, control and mitigate antimicrobial resistance in bacteria, fungi, parasites and viruses.

MRC works with other research councils and Innovate UK to support a wide range of research. We also collaborate internationally through initiatives such as the Joint Programming Initiative on Antimicrobial Resistance (JPIAMR) and the Newton Fund.

Find information about applying for an MRC research grant.

Find Infections and Immunity Board funding opportunities.

Past projects, outcomes and impact

We fund a wide range of research on antimicrobial resistance in the UK and overseas. Recent highlights include:

Search for projects the antimicrobial resistance programme has funded.

Who to contact

Ask a question about the programme


Governance, management and panels

Antimicrobial Resistance Funders’ Forum

Antimicrobial resistance research in the UK is supported by a range of funders, including public sector organisations, charities and industry. The Antimicrobial Resistance Funders’ Forum (AMRFF) provides a forum for its member organisations to share information on activities relating to antimicrobial resistance. AMRFF members include research councils, health departments, and government bodies, as well as charities with a direct or indirect interest in AMR, and those who provide significant research and development budgets in this area.

The forum provides a framework for a more coordinated approach to tackling AMR, to maximise impact on national and international policies and activities.

The forum works to:

  • strategically overview the UK AMR research base to gain an understanding of its output, skill base, resources and impact
  • create a common vision for the future of AMR research and its implementation
  • add value to existing programmes of work through coordination, synergy of activities and gap awareness
  • coordinate and support setting up unilateral, bilateral or multilateral funding and delivery programmes
  • raise the understanding and profile of the AMR research base in the UK and internationally through proactive communication with relevant stakeholders.

Last updated: 25 November 2022

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