MRC Health Systems Research Initiative Call 7, 2020
Deadline for applications(outline stage): 21 Jan 2020
A Webinar will be taking place on Friday 29 Nov at 10:00 GMT to help applicants understand the scheme and how applications are assessed.
Innovative proposals are sought from across the public health, social and biomedical sciences to the seventh annual call for the Health Systems Research Initiative. Up to £4.7 million is available for funding foundation and full proposals under this call.
The Department for International Development (DFID), the Medical Research Council (MRC) and Wellcome jointly fund this call in collaboration with the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). All funders are committed to funding world-class research with high potential for impact on policy and practice.
Launched in 2013, this programme will generate world-class and cutting-edge research that addresses key questions on strengthening and improving health systems in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Following an excellent response to this programme from the research community, funding has now been secured for an annual call under this initiative until 2021.
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 the health workforce or drug supply)
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
where focussed 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.
There are two different types of grant available:
Research grants, which are larger stand-alone research projects exploring big new ideas. Proposals are expected to address a clearly defined challenge faced by health systems (such as an existing problem or challenge of instituting new programmes or interventions), either within a system or in considering external influences on a system. Proposals must situate this clearly-defined challenge within an understanding of the broader health system linkages and describe how and why findings from the project have the potential to improve the health of people living in LMICs.
Foundation grants, which are smaller and shorter. Proposals can be either:
exploratory, for example, retrospective, diagnostic analyses looking into existing health systems, investigating the underlying causes beneath perceived problems or to explore possible health system innovations, under-researched areas, or creative approaches that have the potential to be developed further
to conduct pilot work to build the necessary knowledge and methodological base to support a future full proposal, this could include work to pilot an intervention, feasibility/preliminary work to conceptualise broader research questions on the health system.
Projects with principal investigators from LMICs are strongly encouraged and all proposals must include co-investigators from the LMIC in which the research is to take place. Principal investigators can be based in the UK or an LMIC.
For more information, or to apply, visit the call webpage.