Area of investment and support

Area of investment and support: Global health

We aim to support UK and low and middle-income country scientists to establish partnerships, participate in global health research opportunities and respond to global challenges in biomedical and health research.

Partners involved:
Medical Research Council (MRC)

The scope and what we're doing

MRC has a broad portfolio of global health investments, spanning:

  • fundamental discovery science
  • intervention development
  • clinical trials
  • implementation science.

The investments are delivered through the Applied Global Health Research Board, our MRC units in the Gambia and Uganda, as well as granting programmes such as the African Research Leaders scheme and the Global Alliance for Chronic Diseases.

Global health research can be supported through all of MRC’s boards and panels, please see MRC’s Funding Finder to find the opportunity most appropriate to the remit of your research.

We will build on our historical portfolio of global infections research while strengthening other areas of major health needs such as:

  • chronic non-communicable diseases
  • mental health
  • maternal, neonatal, child and adolescent health.

MRC FCDO concordat

For more than 2 decades MRC and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO, previously the Department for International Development) have had a concordat agreement in place to support UK-led biomedical and public health research tackling priority health problems in low and middle-income countries.

The concordat provides support to MRC units in the Gambia and Uganda, the African Research Leader scheme, and supports global health research projects funded through the Applied Global Health Research Board.

This new board is intended to promote a flexible approach to funding which is responsive to the needs of low and middle-income countries and provides an option for encouraging applications in specific strategic areas of mutual interest, for example:

  • infections
  • maternal and newborn health
  • implementation science
  • adolescent health
  • early child development.

Why we're doing it

Global health strategy

The Applied Global Health Research Board is one mechanism through which MRC delivers against its commitments to global health research outlined in the upcoming strategic delivery plan.

The commitments include:

  • developing the role of MRC’s new Applied Global Health Research Board
  • establishing a portfolio of high priority investments
  • delivering best global health practice by prioritising equitable working
  • investing in research capacity strengthening globally.

MRC’s work in global health is motivated by a principle of equity and a recognition of inequity. Equitable partnerships are central to the Board strategy, and are informed by the UK Collaborative on Development Research ‘Building Partnerships of Equals’ report (PDF, 4.5MB).

Opportunities, support and resources available

Funding opportunities

You can apply for global health funding through multiple routes. For example, you can apply for standard grants through the remit, programmes and priorities appropriate to the remit of your research.

If you would like advice about whether your global health project is in remit for MRC please contact

Who to contact

If you are considering submitting a proposal to the Applied Global Health Research Board or if you are not sure which board to apply to, please contact MRC international.


Governance, management and panels

MRC research boards hold their own research budgets and review and manage scientific activity within their specialist areas.

Find out more about the membership of the Applied Global Health Research Board.

Last updated: 27 July 2023

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