This call is now closed. The following is for information only.

The ESRC, the Medical Research Council (MRC), the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) are pleased to invite proposals to the UK-China AMR Partnership Initiative.

This initiative will provide funding for high quality collaborative research projects focused on addressing the growing global burden of antimicrobial resistance, specifically antibacterial resistance of clinical and veterinary relevance in China.

In total up to £4.5 million will be made available for this initiative on the UK side with up to 3 million RMB per project from NSFC.

The UK contribution to this call will be channelled from the Newton Fund. This is an initiative intended to strengthen research and innovation partnerships between the UK and emerging knowledge economies to promote economic development and social welfare of partner countries.

The objective of this Newton Fund call will be to deliver significant two to three year research funding for internationally competitive and innovative collaborative projects between researchers from China and the UK that will allow the pursuit of shared research interests. Each project will therefore require both a UK and a Chinese principal investigator.


Through this call, the funders are looking to support proposals that target one or more of the following areas, with interdisciplinary proposals encouraged:

  • Understanding the development of resistance, the epidemiology, and the transmission dynamics of antibacterial resistance within and between species (genetic, bacterial and host levels).
  • Developing antibiotics, alternative approaches and diagnostics to appropriately treat and prevent resistant bacteria of clinical/veterinary importance. This may include: understanding the mechanisms of action; the use of antibiotics and alternative therapies currently in practise for both humans and animals; development of rapid point of care diagnostics; associated business models and economic issues.
  • Understanding behaviours in order to reduce the development, emergence and spread of antibacterial resistance within and beyond human and animal healthcare settings. This would include antibiotic prescribing and real world use, but also broader public health approaches such as in hygiene and infection control practises, in both human and animal settings. It would factor in barriers to behaviour change such as organisational and cultural norms, and financial incentives to prescribe drugs.
  • Understanding the functions of different aspects of the healthcare and veterinary systems and sources of health advice as well as their interrelationships. Understanding how 'formal' systems can draw on local, ‘informal’ practices. Is it possible to provide universal access to appropriately regulated therapies? What is the supply chain for antibacterials? Can the supply chain be mapped? What are the global and local incentives for supply and demand of antibacterials?

This call has been launched under the Newton Fund and as such all research projects should be collaborative in nature and be focussed on addressing research of relevance to China.

Key dates

  • Call launch - mid December 2015
  • Closing date for investigators to indicate their intention to submit a proposal - 15 January 2016
  • Deadline for investigators to submit proposal - 1 March 2016
  • Panel decision meeting - end of May 2016
  • Applicants informed of outcome - early June 2016
  • Grants commence - 1 July 2016.

The Newton Fund

The UK contribution will be channelled from the Newton Fund. The Newton Fund is an initiative intended to strengthen research and innovation partnerships between the UK and emerging knowledge economies to promote economic development and social welfare of partner countries. It was launched by the Chancellor in April 2014, and will deliver £375 million of funding over the course of five years.

The Fund forms part of the UK's Official Development Assistance (ODA) commitment which is monitored by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). ODA funded activity focuses on outcomes that promote the long-term sustainable growth of countries on the OECD Development Assistance Committee list. Newton Fund countries represent a sub-set of this list.

The Newton Fund requires that the funding be awarded in a manner that fits with Official Development Assistance (ODA) guidelines. All applications under this call must therefore be compliant with these guidelines.