The Department for International Development, the Medical Research Council and Wellcome jointly fund this call in collaboration with the Economic and Social Research Council. All funders are committed to funding world-class research with high potential for impact on policy and practice.

Innovative proposals are sought from across the public health, social and biomedical sciences to the seventh annual call for the Health Systems Research Initiative.

Please note that two webinars have now been arranged to help applicants better understand the scheme and how applications are assessed. Please use the links below to choose a date to attend:

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

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 an LMIC.

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