Funding opportunity: MRC GCRF pump-priming

Research and Innovation Development Office

Category: Calls

17 July 2017

UK institutions may apply to the Medical Research Council's 'Confidence In' funding scheme, which provides block grants enabling sub-funding of small, pump-priming activities.

In this case, the resultant projects will be around the theme of global nutrition, and form part of the Global Challenges Research Fund.

Proposed activities in the institutional application would include, for example, networking events, small research projects for future investigation, travel. Up to £200,000 is available, where UK activities would be paid at the customary 80% fEC, and activities by Low or Middle Income Country (LMIC) participants would be paid at 100% fEC.

A wide range of eligible subject areas are defined in the list copied below.

MRC states:

"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 1,000+ 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 (eg family and intergenerational dynamics; education and literacy)
  • Effects of cconflicts, 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 (eg 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)."

If ARU researchers in FSE , FMS or other faculties are interested in pursuing this university-level funding, please alert RIDO as soon as possible.


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