UK-Philippines Joint Health Research Call

The Medical Research Council (MRC) and the Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (DOST-PCHRD) intend to work together to launch a joint call for research proposals which will support UK-Filipino health research collaborations.


The focus of this call is research into infectious diseases of relevance to the Philippines, particularly on diseases that impact the most vulnerable in society. This may include but is not limited to:

  • Dengue and dengue-like illness
  • Multidrug-resistant / extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (TB)
  • Drug-resistant malaria
  • Influenza-like illness
  • Leptospirosis
  • Sepsis
  • HIV
  • Hepatitis

Areas of particular research interest within the infectious disease space include:

  1. Genomics and molecular technologies: for novel biomarker identification, with a focus on host and pathogen ‘omics and host-pathogen interactions
  2. Diagnostics: Development of cost effective diagnostic tools (point of care; differential/discriminatory; confirmatory; early detection of most severe) for priority infectious diseases, utilizing or repurposing off-patent or lapsed and/or novel technologies
  3. Vaccines and therapeutics: exploratory/applied research which might lead to the development of new more effective prevention or therapeutic strategies
  4. Information and Communication Technology (ICT)/e-health: Development of user-friendly ICT solutions to accelerate the gathering and processing of health and related information for policymaking, and delivery of quality healthcare services

Support available

The funders wish to support the development and strengthening of new and existing UK-Filipino collaborations in the areas mentioned above.

Up to £640k will be available per partnership (£400k from UK, £240k from Philippines) to support activities over a 2/3 year period.

The total funding available for this call is as follows:

  • MRC – up to £2m (Funding provided to the successful UK applicants)
  • DOST-PCHRD – up to £1.2m (Funding provided to the successful Filipino applicants)

Applications will be required to have at least one UK Principal Investigator and at least one Filipino Principal Investigator. If appropriate, applications with industrial partners are welcomed (although no funding will be available to these partners).

The funders are looking to develop and strengthen UK-Filipino collaborations in this area, and support collaborations which will have a real impact in this field. Applicants must therefore successfully demonstrate the sustainability of the collaboration and the potential impact of the activities proposed.

Assessment and decision-making process

To be funded, proposals must be internationally competitive and at a standard equivalent to that normally expected to be supported by each funding organisation.

Key assessment criteria for the submissions will be:

  • Significance and Impact of the research
  • Scientific Rationale: novelty, importance and timeliness of the research
  • Design and Feasibility of the Project Plan
  • Partnership: including strength and clarity of collaborations and opportunities provided, quality of the project management structure proposed
  • Quality and suitability of the research environment and of the facilities
  • Value for money for Filipino and UK science
  • Ethical considerations and governance arrangements.

Applications will be externally peer reviewed and assessed by a joint MRC-PCHRD Review Panel in November 2015.

How to Apply

In order to identify peer reviewers and convene assessment panels in advance, it is important that researchers indicate their intention to submit a proposal. Please email an expression of interest by Friday 19 June.

Full applications must be submitted by UK PI’s to MRC via the Je-S application system by 4pm, Thursday 16 July 2015


The deadline for Expressions of Interest to this call is 19th June 2015. Full applications must be submitted by 16th July 2015. Funding decisions will be made by December 2015. Funding would then start from January 2016.

Due to Newton Fund restrictions, all MRC funding must be complete by March 2019, meaning that research projects must end by 31st December 2018. Therefore, to support 3 year projects, the projects must begin by 1st Jan 2016. If supporting 2 year projects, the start dates can be delayed to later in 2016.


Joint assessment process:

Funding decisions would be made through a joint process. This would include:

  • a joint application received from both the UK and Filipino PIs,
  • MRC and PCHRD carry out eligibility and internal checks and agree which proposals will go forward for assessment
  • a joint peer review process including UK and Filipino academic reviews (plus other international reviewers as appropriate),
  • a joint panel meeting of academic experts including experts from both the UK and the Philippines – provide funding recommendations to MRC and PCHRD
  • MRC and the DOST-PCHRD Governing Council meet to approve the recommendations made by the panel and agree a list of projects they wish to fund


Guidance for Applicants

UK-Philippines Expression of Interest Template

UK-Philippines Case for Support Template

DOST-PCHRD cost pro-forma


For further information, Filipino applicants should contact:

Mr. Paulo Landig

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Tel: (632) 837 75 37

Mr. Nico Parungao

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Tel: (632) 837 75 37

For further information, UK applicants should contact:  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


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