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BBSRC in the UK and the São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) in Brazil have announced a joint Newton Fund call for collaborative research proposals focussing on Anti-Microbial Resistance (AMR) and insect pest resistance in livestock and agriculture. Although this call is being managed by BBSRC, all disciplines are welcomed to consider how they might address the aims of the call.

Proposed projects should aim to inform, in the context of the wider Brazilian agri-ecosystem, efforts to combat AMR and insect-pest resistance in Brazil by investigating one or more of the following priority areas:

  • Host pathogen/pest interactions
    • Understanding the role of host-pathogen host-pest interactions in the development and transmission of resistance including the role of farmed animal, crop and soil microbiomes in acting as a reservoir, drug target or alternative control strategy
    • Understanding the implications of reducing the inappropriate use of antimicrobials and insecticides, for example as growth promoters, prophylactic use, excess use on GM resistant crops.
  • Underpinning mechanisms
    • Understanding the underpinning mechanisms associated with the emergence, persistence, transmission, evolution, co-selection of relevant resistant pathogens/insect pests or resistance genes
    • Understanding mechanisms of action of antimicrobials/insecticides
    • Identification/validation of novel targets for novel antimicrobials and insecticides.
  • Epidemiology
    • Identification of key agriculturally relevant drivers and reservoirs
    • Understanding of prevalence, pathogenicity and transmission dynamics (genetic, organism and host level), including the biological effects of agricultural management practice on disease epidemiology
    • Mathematical modelling in an AMR and/or insecticide resistance context.
  • Disease management and control
    • Diagnostics for pathogens and/or insect pests, especially rapid on farm diagnostics; and other biological tools and technologies that can support decision making
    • Novel alternatives for pathogen control, including immune stimulation and biocontrol
    • Novel agents for pathogen and/or insect control, including antimicrobials and insecticides, therapeutics and vaccines.

The primary focus should be on microbiological pathogens and/or insect pests of relevance to Brazilian arable crops, farmed animals and reservoirs in agricultural soils, and agents designed to target them; including bactericides, fungicides, broad spectrum antimicrobials and insecticides. This includes pathogens with zoonotic potential where the focus is on farmed animal health. The work also needs to be clear in how it addresses Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) objectives. This excludes research with a human health focus; and animal research on a human only disease where the animal is a vector for the human disease or is being used as a model species.

While they cannot receive funding, we would like to encourage work with relevant industry partners, where applicable, including farming, breeding and the agricultural supply industry.

The call is being managed as a two stage process with the first stage (open now) being a pump-priming proposal. Only applicants that hold a successful pump-priming award will be eligible to submit full proposals to the second stage call, and these proposals will receive additional peer review. The pump-priming grants will be short-term projects of up to 12 months awarded to a maximum of £80,000 (80% FEC) in the UK with matched contribution from FAPESP providing the Brazilian component. Please note that it is not necessary to request an equal amount of money from both sides but it is envisaged a balanced partnership in terms of research effort. BBSRC and FAPESP are looking to support around 10 pump-priming projects to establish new or build on existing collaborations. Spend against the pump-priming projects must take place between April 2018 and March 2019.


Please find further information and apply here.

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