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International Development Research @ Cambridge


BBSRC, on behalf of the Department of Health and the UK Vaccine Network, has announced a £5 million call for ‘One Health Approaches to Accelerate Vaccine Development’. This call forms part of the UK government’s commitment to Official Development Assistance (ODA).

Vaccines are recognised as one of the most cost-effective approaches to prevent disease outbreaks in livestock and humans. Vaccination campaigns also have the potential to lead to global disease eradication as exemplified by eradication of rinderpest in 2011 and smallpox in 1980. The UK Vaccine Network, a £120 million ODA resource funding stream created to support the development of vaccines against pathogens of epidemic potential, convened working groups for the identification of the rate limiting steps in the vaccine development process:

  • basic research to gain fundamental understanding of the pathogen
  • understanding of natural protective immunity
  • identification of immune correlates of protection.

The groups also identified the need to invest in fundamental research on a range of pathogen families with the potential to give rise to an outbreak of as yet uncharacterised related pathogens (for example novel coronaviruses or bunyaviruses). Furthermore, they identified that vaccine development could be accelerated through comparative ‘One Health’ research and knowledge exchange across the veterinary and medical fields.

The call aims to support comparative ‘One Health’ research by bringing veterinary and medical vaccinologists together, in promoting antigen discovery, enhance understanding of disease pathogenesis, and accelerate vaccine development for a range of viral and bacterial families that are known to have a significant impact on animal and human health in low and/or middle income countries.

Research on the following viral and bacterial families is particularly encouraged: Arenaviridae, bunyaviridae, coronaviridae, filoviridae, flaviviridae, paramyxoviridae, togoviridae, enterobacteriales and coxiallaceae but research on other bacterial or viral families will be considered where a case can be made that there is significant outbreak epidemic potential.

Areas of possible focus include:

  • Pathogen biology
  • Antigen discovery, antigenic variability
  • Host pathogen interactions
  • Immunology
  • Immune correlates of protection - naturally acquired immunity.

It is envisaged that research will focus on one or more related bacterial or viral pathogens of veterinary and medical importance in countries on the OECD DAC list. However, research on zoonotic bacterial or viral pathogens is also welcomed.

Proposals should articulate how the outputs of the proposed research could enhance vaccine development for well characterized pathogens, newly identified pathogens or emerging pathogens in countries on the OECD DAC list.

The PI on the application must be based at an eligible UK research organisation and fulfil all of BBSRC’s standard eligibility requirements as set out in our grants guide. For the purposes of this call only it is permissible to have a named Co-I from an overseas research organisation based in a country on the OECD DAC list. 

Applications should not exceed £1.5 million (100% FEC) and awards will be made at 80% FEC. No capital expenditure, or equipment over £10,000, can be requested within this funding stream. BBSRC is not contributing any funds to this call but will making and administering the awards on behalf of the Department of Health. Due to the time limited nature of the funding, all proposals are required to start by 1 April 2018 and be completed by 31 March 2021. Any grant extensions beyond 31 March 2021 will only be considered under exceptional circumstances (in line with the Equality Act 2010) and will require Department of Health agreement on a case by case basis.


Please read more and apply here.







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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.


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