The Department for International Development, the Economic and Social Research Council, the Medical Research Council and Wellcome jointly fund the Health Systems Research Initiative and are committed to funding world-class research that addresses key questions on strengthening and improving health systems in developing countries with high potential for impact on policy and practice. 

Following an excellent response to this programme from the research community, funding has been secured for an annual call under this initiative until 2021. 

Innovative proposals are sought from across the public health, social and biomedical sciences to the sixth annual call for the Health Systems Research Initiative. Please note that there are two different types of grant available:

Research Grants, which are larger stand-alone research projects. Proposals are expected to address clearly defined challenges faced by health systems, 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 low and middle-income countries.

Foundation Grants, which are smaller and shorter than research grants and can be either: 

  • Exploratory, for example, looking into existing health systems and investigating the underlying causes beneath perceived problems, or:
  • To conduct pilot work to build the necessary knowledge and methodological base to support a future full proposal.

How to apply

Projects with Principal Investigators (PIs) from LMICs are strongly encouraged and all proposals must include Co-Investigators from the LMIC in which the research is taking place. Principal investigators can be based in the UK or any LMIC.

To apply and see the full details including call specification, eligibility, scope and the application process, visit the MRC website.