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International Development Research @ Cambridge


This page summarizes funding opportunities of relevance to the response to COVID-19 in ODA-target countries. Please note that the Office for Translational Research summarizes other funding calls here and that the Research Operations Office summarizes the updates provided by research funders on their position regarding grant holders, grant applications and COVID-19 research here


University of Cambridge

GCRF QR – Emergency Responses
Please note the ongoing internal Emergency Responses call here. The GCRF ROO team is open to receiving COVID-19 proposals specifically addressing local issues in ODA-target country, whilst noting external funding opportunities that might be more appropriate in many cases (please see below).


United Kingdom and International

UK and International Funding Opportunities
UK has committed £105m to fund research for COVID-19. The UKCDR Epidemics Preparedness and Response Group provides updates on funding opportunities made available by UK and international funders here – including UKRI schemes to address COVID-19 and to switch existing funding to COVID-19 priority areas.

UKRI GCRF/Newton Fund Agile Response call to address COVID-19
Proposals are invited for short-term projects addressing and mitigating the social, economic, cultural, environmental and other health impacts (outside the scope of the NIHR/UKRI GECO call – please see below impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak in Low and Middle Income Countries – and you will need to show that you can start work within 4 weeks of the funding being confirmed. Researchers holding existing UKRI GCRF grants should in the first instance consider whether they could repurpose that funding to address the objectives of this call. Applying from outside the UK: The funders strongly encourage applicants from LMIC countries to apply to and participate in this call. LMIC country Principal Investigators from an organisation that lead or have previously led and held UKRI grants and have undergone Je-S registration and due diligence checks are eligible to be lead applicants for this call. 

THET Health Worker Action Fund (HWAF)
Supports established Health Partnerships – in receipt of THET funding since 2011, in Ethiopia, Myanmar, Somaliland, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia – to protect the physical and mental health of LMIC health workers who are engaged or preparing to be engaged in the frontline treatment of Covid-19. Maximum of £5,000.

AAS Funding for Covid-19 Research & Development Goals for Africa
A call to action for African scientists to attend to the research and development needs of the COVID-19 outbreak for the continent as identified by African scientists. Researchers already holding a grant or a sub-grant in the DELTAS Africa, Grand Challenges Africa, H3Africa, FLAIR or any other programme of the AAS eligible. Supported by Sida (Sweden), Wellcome Trust, and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Up to US$200,000, to be held for 2 years.

[Deadlines: 10th August and 28th September] UKRI NIHR Global Effort on COVID-19 (GECO) Health Research call
For proposals addressing the direct health impacts of COVID-19 in LMICs that fall within the scope of priority areas 3 (epidemiology), 4 (clinical management), 5 (infection control), 9 (social sciences and humanities responses to the outbreak) of the WHO COVID-19 Global Research Roadmap, or the indirect consequences of the pandemic through other health issues on LMICs, such as (but not limited to): mental health, domestic violence, inter-personal violence, water and sanitation, maternal and neonatal health, nutrition, chronic conditions, and the wider impact on the health system or health service delivery.  Applications will be accepted from eligible institutions based in the UK or in LMICs. Up to £1m per award.

[Deadline: 30th July] EDCTP Africa CDC Capacity development for disease outbreak and epidemic response in sub-Saharan Africa
Reliable epidemiological data is often unavailable or severely limited in resource-limited settings in sub-Saharan Africa, and this knowledge gap is further aggravated by a shortage of skilled personnel in epidemiology and biostatistics to efficiently monitor, analyse and interpret these data to inform policy and decision making. The call invites proposals is to establish an African cohort of epidemiologists by supporting institutions in sub-Saharan Africa and Europe that provide master’s training in epidemiology and biostatistics, as part of the Africa CDC’s framework for public health workforce development. €5 million for 7-10 projects.

[Deadline: 31st October] AHRC GCRF Urgency Grants pilot 
The call – for arts and humanities research of unanticipated urgent research needs such as disasters and humanitarian emergencies – is open for COVID-19 related proposals. Up to £150,000, up to 12 months.

COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator - $125 million in seed funding to speed-up the response
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Wellcome, and Mastercard have committed up to $125 million in seed funding to speed-up the response to the COVID-19 epidemic by identifying, assessing, developing, and scaling-up treatments. Please note that a traditional funding call will not be released: to learn more about the process please contact

Funding available for UK-Israel partnerships for COVID-19 related research
The Israeli Ministry of Science and Technology is committed to providing funding for a number of proposals from Israeli researchers and their institutions that are in need of international partners. Please find details of the proposals attached and contact Joana Westphal (, Unversities UK International (UUKi)'s Policy Officer for the Middle East and North Africa, if you would like further information.

United Nations fund tor COVID-19 recovery in LMICs
The UN is establishing a new trust fund to help low- and middle-income countries respond to the COVID-19 emergency and recover from the socio-economic shock.


Currently closed

[Deadline: 14th April 2020] University of Cambridge COVID19 rapid response grant
The University’s institutional grants for translational research and impact acceleration have come together to launch this cross-disciplinary funding scheme. Funding is available for translational research projects across all disciplines which have credible potential impact in tackling the COVID19 pandemic. The University expects to fund projects to start immediately or in a very short timescale. Funded projects will be expected to achieve successful outcomes in a short space of time and to be completed within one year. University academic staff from any discipline may apply, however projects must be able to be carried out without access to currently closed University buildings and laboratories. We anticipate funding projects such as, but not limited to: clinical trials, data modelling, development of software tools. Any questions should be sent to Completed applications should be sent to by 12 noon on 14th April.

[Deadline: 17th April 2020] EDTCP Mobilisation of funding for COVID-19 research in sub-Saharan Africa
EDCTP invites expressions of interest proposals to support research activities in sub-Saharan Africa to manage and/or prevent the spread of the current COVID-19 outbreak of up to €500,000. Proposals must demonstrate the following:  a) Addressing urgent research questions in the context of the current COVID-19 outbreak, in line with the research priorities of the Global Research Roadmap and the WHO R&D Blueprint for rapid activation of R&D activities during epidemics. b) Strengthening of national and local research capacity. c) Coordination and collaboration with other research and/or humanitarian activities operational in the countries affected, following principles of good participatory practice for emerging and re-emerging pathogens. d) Compliance with International Council on Harmonisation – Good Clinical Practice (ICH-GCP), regulatory and ethical standards. e) Commitment to open access and data sharing principles. 

[Deadline: 27th April] IBM Call for Code Global Challenges
Call for Code asks innovators to create practical, effective, and high-quality applications based on one or more IBM Cloud™ services (for example, web, mobile, data, analytics, AI, IoT, or weather) that can have an immediate and lasting impact on humanitarian issues. Teams of developers, data scientists, designers, business analysts, subject matter experts and more are challenged to build solutions to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 and climate change. Winning solutions are deployed in communities that need the most help.

[Deadline: 14th May] Elhra funding to support COVID-19 response in humanitarian settings
Focusing on LMICs, this call aims to fund public health research that will produce robust findings that will contribute to the effectiveness of the current humanitarian response and increase the evidence base for future responses to similar infectious disease outbreaks. Proposals will be eligible for research that targets a) refugees or IDPs in camps or urban humanitarian settings, or conflict-affected people in humanitarian settings in LMICs and b) health systems and health care workers supporting the COVID-19 response in humanitarian settings in LMICs.

[Deadline: 1st June] Transform Fund Call for Innovation 2020: Islamic Development Bank
Supporting IsDB member countries' long-term preparedness and response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Focusing on the application of advanced technology; innovative health supply chain management systems; development of low-cost rapid tests and screening methods; or capacity building interventions specifically in relation to six selected UN Sustainable Development Goals.

[Deadline: 17th June] Africa COVID-19 Rapid Fund – led by Nationa Research Foundation South Africa, in collaboration with UKRI
This call covers three strands: i) research (USD100,000), ii) science engagement: call to science and health journalists and communicators (USD20,000) and iii) science engagement: call to science advisers (USD50,000). Researchers and science engagement practitioners from the following countries are eligible to apply:  Botswana, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and in the context of the African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA) Nigeria and South Africa. For the research strand and applicable only to Nigeria and South Africa, only ARUA member universities will be eligible to participate. For the two strands on science engagement, practitioners across all the countries, including Nigeria and South Africa may apply.

LifeArc – £10 million for therapeutics development
LifeArc has made available an initial £10M for the identification of therapeutics that can be rapidly deployed to treat COVID-19. The aim is to run trials in patients during the current epidemic. It is anticipated that applications will be for funding to repurpose one or more drugs that are generic, already licensed, or are in late stage development for another indication.

Cambridge-Africa ALBORADA Research Fund COVID-19 Emergency Awards
Cambridge-Africa is operating a rolling emergency funding scheme to make awards, up to a maximum for each award of £20,000, to Cambridge and African researchers working together to address COVID-19 in Africa. Projects are expected to address an immediate need defined by the African partner in relation to a regional, national or local COVID-19 response.

Welcome to Cambridge Global Challenges

Cambridge Global Challenges is the Strategic Research Initiative (SRI) of the University of Cambridge that aims to enhance the contribution of its research towards addressing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, with a particular focus on the poorest half of the world’s population.


Join the Strategic Research Initiative

Register to Cambridge Global Challenges and to the SRI's mailing list here.


Learn about the support we provide 

Information on how Cambridge Global Challenges can support your research is shared here.


Contribute to Cambridge's response to COVID-19 in the Global South

Join working groups that invite your collaboration, create a new working group and learn about available funding opportunities here.


Contact us

Research Strategy Manager (Dr Sara Serradas O'Holleran):​.