Global health research

NIHR revamps its global health research portfolio

More researchers from low and middle income countries (LMICs) than ever are set to benefit from access to global health research funding, following a ground-breaking move from the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR).

The NIHR has refreshed it global health research portfolio and, for the first time, all worldwide projects can be led by LMIC-based researchers.

The changes mean that all projects funded by as part of the NIHR global health research portfolio can be led or co-led by researchers in LMICs, as UK co-leads are no longer mandatory.

Two new global health research programmes have also been announced, including the researcher-led project as well as the health policy and systems initiative.

The former is named so because researchers can apply for funding for topics of their choice, with the programme aimed at improving outcomes for LMICs’ most vulnerable. The first funding call will open for applications on 17 July 2024 and will run once a year from that point.

The second new initiative is designed to improve understanding and effectiveness of health systems in LMICs, with its first funding call expected next February.

“The NIHR is working hard to ‘shift the centre of gravity’ and reduce barriers between LMIC researchers and UK international development funding,” explained NIHR’s director of global health programmes, Professor Kara Hanson.

“With this new, refreshed portfolio of programmes, we want to create a world where researchers and institutions in LMICs can plan and apply to appropriate opportunities, and take on leadership positions in funded international research partnerships.”

The NIHR’s Research on Innovations for Global Health Transformation programme is also changing from ‘Innovations’ to ‘Interventions’ to better reflect the initiative’s intention of identifying and testing interventions that address high burden and under researched health problems. The programme’s eight funding call will launch on 17 July 2024.

Image credit: iStock

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NHE May/June 2024

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