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Cambridge Global Challenges


The “Confidence in” schemes are used to demonstrate MRC’s support for institutional development in key strategic areas. The “Confidence in Global Mental Health Research” scheme is part of its suite of activities under the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF): it provides institutional “pump-priming” funds that will lay the grounds for future large scale, multi-disciplinary, cross-country global mental health research bids to address issues of primary relevance to Low and Middle Income Countries (LMIC).
Medical Research Council



Subject areas may comprise, but are not limited to:

Mechanistic understanding:

  • Interplay  between nutrition and: co-morbidities; infections; inflammation;  gut  health and function; gut microbiome; NCDs; cognition and mental health;  lifestyle and physical activity;
  • Nutritional adequacy in health and disease;
  • Molecular bases for individual and population responses to nutrition.

Nutrition through  the life course:

  • First 1000+ days: pre-conception, pregnancy, infancy and early childhood;  reversibility and mitigation of  childhood malnutrition effects;
  • Adolescence;
  • Ageing.

Understanding of nutrition and dietary patterns:

  • Food  production and supply chain  and linkages to human health (production of  nutritious healthy food; sustainable  agriculture and farming in harmony with ecosystems;  environmental effects through agriculture;  food hygiene; effects of marketing, food policy and food tax on diet);
  • Cultural and socio-economic context  (e.g. family and intergenerational dynamics; education and literacy);
  • Effects of  conflicts, migration, natural disasters;
  • Mental health status effects on nutrition;
  • Double burden of over and under nutrition.

Nutritional Interventions:

  • Informed by mechanistic evidence and  context-specific factors;
  • Use of  interventions to improve mechanistic understanding;
  • Monitoring and assessment of outcomes of ongoing interventions.


  • Improvement and standardization of methodologies to enable robust measurement (e.g. food intake, food composition);
  • Affordable methods to monitor nutrition;
  • Biological markers of food nutritional value and surrogate markers to measure health outcomes;
  • More efficient use of existing data and resources (samples, cohorts).

UK research organizations can only lead on one application for an award of up to £200,000 for the duration of up to 12 months. Projects are required to start as soon as possible after the funding decision and no later than 1 March 2018.

For further details, please check the Call Guidance Notes.

Please get in touch for more information on the internal selection process that will be set up according to University’s Restricted Calls policy (Departmental deadline: 4th August 2017; MRC deadline: 14th September 2017) and about the Global Challenges Forum's funding preparations meetings that support this other similar calls.


Cambridge Global Challenges is a Strategic Research Initiative of the University of Cambridge that aims to enhance the contribution of its research towards addressing global challenges and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.

Funding Opportunities

Find out about open funding opportunities, pre-call announcements, responsive calls, studentships and awards relevant to the global...