Grants Opportunities

Call 8 Research Grant: Health Systems Research Initiative – Outline Stage


Call 8 Research Grant: Health Systems Research Initiative – Outline Stage

Deadline: 19-Jan-21

The UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) is inviting applications for its Health Systems Research Initiative (HSRI) Call 8 Research Grant – outline stage.

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The purpose of this scheme is to provide funding for the best proposals to generate new knowledge to strengthen and improve health systems in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), the Medical Research Council (MRC) and Wellcome jointly fund this call in collaboration with the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).

Programme Aims

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The programme’s aims are to fund methodologically rigorous, high-quality interdisciplinary research that will:

generate evidence on:
the structure and dynamics of health systems;
how to strengthen and improve health systems for people living in LMICs through the delivery of evidence-based interventions or structural changes (for example strengthening governance, management, health workforce or supply chain);
provide evidence that is of direct relevance to decision-makers and practitioners in the field, linking health systems with defined outcomes (e.g. health, confidence, financial protection);
demonstrate an appreciation of current theories and frameworks in health systems research and/or other social or political science theory of relevance to health systems;
where focused on a particular aspect of the health system, proposals must demonstrate how interventions relate to and affect wider elements of the system such as governance, financing, health workforce, information systems, service delivery, etc.
Programme Priorities

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Research funded through this call could:

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engage with the contextual dynamics that shape and/or undermine effective health systems in developing countries;
offer practical solutions to implement health care improvements;
evaluate the health system at scale;
illustrate how the research findings can contribute to increasing knowledge and to the discourse for addressing other health challenges.
Funding Information

There is an expected £3-4m available for this programme.
Applicants may request support for:
all research costs that are attributable to the project. For example, appropriate percentages of the investigators’ time, scientific, technical and administrative staff including statisticians, research nurses etc., consumables, items of equipment, data /sample handling and archiving and travel;
UK research will be funded at 74% of the Full Economic Cost (FEC). Research incurred by overseas Research Organisations and investigators is eligible to be funded at 100% of FEC.
Eligibility Criteria

This call is open to and particularly encourages researchers to apply from low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) as well as the UK. If an application is the UK led, there must be a clear partnership with, and scientific leadership from, the countries where the project will take place.
Principal Investigators:
This scheme is open to Principal Investigators who are employed by eligible research organisation based in LMICs where the work will take place and to Principal Investigators who are employed by an eligible UK institution.
Applicants based in China or India are not eligible to be the Principal Investigator of an application to this call but are welcomed as international Co-Investigators within proposals.
Eligible UK institutions include UK Higher Education Institutions, Research Council institutes, and eligible Independent Research Organisations (IROs).
For researchers based in LMICs, eligible institutions include higher education institutions and non-profit research institutions.
Research Institutions based outside the UK will be asked to complete additional eligibility and financial checks before an award is offered, and awards will be dependent on satisfactory completion of those checks and on-going monitoring.
MRC units and institutes can apply to this call; usual rules for funding grants to MRC units and institutes will apply.
It is not permitted for the same person to be a Principal Investigator on more than two proposals submitted to this call.
Co-applicants and collaborators:
The nature of this scheme means that would expect applicants to be predominantly based in LMICs.
Funding for co-applicants and collaborators in other regions can be requested but would expect that the majority of funds would support the costs in the LMIC where the research will be conducted.
Investigators employed by an institution in China, India or a high-income country outside the UK cannot be a Principal Investigator on a proposal but can be a Co-Investigator and are expected to make a significant contribution to their own research costs, including covering their own overheads.
Application Assessment

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Applications will be considered by an expert panel convened specifically for this scheme jointly agreed by the Medical Research Council, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and Wellcome, in collaboration with the Economic and Social Research Council. Additional scientific experts will be invited to provide written comments if the funders and/or Panel Chair deem this necessary.
The panel’s decision will be final and will not be open to appeal. Please ensure that all necessary information is incorporated in your application as there will not be an opportunity to add additional information after submission.
How to Apply

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Applications will be submitted to and processed by MRC on behalf of the partner funding agencies.
This Research Grant call has a two-stage application process: an obligatory outline stage and a full application stage. Decisions for an invitation to the full stage are expected in March 2021 with funding decisions expected in October 2021.
Applications which do not follow the guidelines may be rejected.
When applying select:
council: MRC;
document type: Outline Proposal;
scheme: MRC Jointly Funded Initiatives Outline;
call/type/mode: Joint Health Systems Research Initiative Call – Outline 2021.
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