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International Development Research @ Cambridge


This call is for applications for implementation research that can cover a range of diseases, conducted through close collaboration between researchers and national disease programmes.

The African region has long suffered from weakness in health systems, undermining the ability to meet health goals in a comprehensive, efficient and sustainable way. The region continues to bear the highest burden of HIV/AIDs, malaria, tuberculosis, neglected tropical diseases as well as other infectious diseases. There is a concerted global effort to accelerate the development of new or improved interventions such as drugs, vaccines, microbicides and diagnostics against communicable diseases, including neglected ones. Improving coverage of currently available health interventions is just as important. Implementation research can provide the evidence base for adjustment of health interventions and processes to the local context, but has been under-used, mainly due to lack of awareness of the benefits and to inadequate capacity. Implementation research to address low coverage, inefficient delivery of existing interventions and other bottlenecks can contribute towards universal health coverage (UHC) and the sustainable development goals (SDGs).

This call is a joint initiative between TDR, the Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases, the European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP) and the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Regional Office for Africa, who have a mutual interest in strengthening the capacity for health research in developing countries. The call reflects a commitment to increasing the level of implementation research in order to deliver high quality and cost-efficient health care solutions to people in resource poor settings.

The aim of this call is to strengthen capacity for implementation research conducted through close collaboration between researchers and national disease programmes. Diseases covered include malaria, tuberculosis, diarrhea, lower respiratory tract infections, yellow fever, and neglected tropical diseases. Implementation research activities supported by this call may be complementary to those supported through other stakeholders interested in these diseases.

The focus is on the following priorities, with illustrative research areas below. Note that this is not an exclusive list of submission possibilities:

  • Community case identification and management of illnesses including HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, diarrhea, lower respiratory tract infections, yellow fever, and neglected tropical diseases
    This includes strategies to ensure efficient case identification and management of one or many diseases, including solutions to overcome specific obstacles for efficient community case management. Proposals may address detection, compliance issues retention and treatment completion, or intervention to increase treatment completion rate.
  • Community involvement in the delivery of health interventions
    This covers challenges associated with community involvement and participation in the delivery of public health interventions in different populations. This may include aspects such as community ownership and sustainability of the interventions, how to improve uptake of services in the communities, and how to achieve greater involvement and participation of communities in the delivery of interventions to their populations.

Applicants must be based in African institutions, including national tropical/communicable disease control programmes, ministries of health, academic institutions, research institutes; and non-governmental organizations. Applications are particularly encouraged from early career investigators, women, or are from the group of least-developed countries.

Up to US$ 15 000 per grant are available for studies conducted throughout one year. Co-funding from domestic or other sources is encouraged.

Study duration: One year.


Please find further information here.

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.


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