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Pre-announcement: BBSRC/NERC-CONICET Joint Awards for AMR in the Environment

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Development of tools and solutions to tackle the development and transmission of antimicrobial resistance in the environment that may pose a significant threat to human health.

Call status: Closed
Workshop: 10-14 September 2018
Previous call: 19 June 2018 - 16 July 2018

Summary

A memorandum of understanding has been signed between the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) in the UK and the Ministry of Health in Argentina to promote cooperation in antimicrobial resistance (AMR). The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), on behalf of the DHSC, and the National Scientific and Technical Research Council (CONICET) in Argentina are consequently pleased to pre-announce a joint call for collaborative research proposals focussing on AMR in the environment, opening in October 2018. BBSRC and NERC have been allocated up to £5 million of UK Aid to commit to this call with a matched research contribution funded by CONICET.

An opportunity is now available to express interest in attending a partnering workshop hosted by CONICET in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on 10-14 September 2018.

Attendance at the workshop will not be mandatory to apply to the call. We expect researchers attending the workshop to represent their colleagues in developing the scientific programme and collaborations.

Partnership-building workshop

The workshop will provide opportunities for face-to-face networking and for new UK-Argentina research collaborations to develop. The workshop will enable participants to better:

  • understand key challenges around AMR in Argentinian agriculture and more widely, and its impacts on the emergence and spread of resistance in the environment that are also relevant to other low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) (PDF), and
  • consider the research landscape and relevant expertise available in the UK and Argentina.

Participants should explore how their existing expertise in AMR could be applied in the agricultural and environmental sectors. A key aspect of this workshop will be for participants to identify how individual projects could interact with each other to give added value to the funded project portfolio.

The workshop is expected to include an in-country site visit to help provide participants with some real context behind the key challenges in agricultural/environmental AMR for Argentina that new collaborative research projects could aim to address. The outputs of the subsequent funding call must be applicable to both Argentina and other LMICs.

Purpose of the call and process

The aim of the partnership is to build on existing peer-reviewed evidence to generate new knowledge and provide the deeper evidence base that can help to reduce the impact of drivers of AMR in the environment from agricultural sources as they apply to Argentina and LMICs.

It is likely to be a requirement that, at an appropriate time, each funded project produce outputs that translate research into policy, such as policy briefings or best practice position papers for LMICs, as well as the usual academic outputs. Where researchers are working in similar areas, we would expect them to work together to produce best practice position papers towards the end of the funded projects.

Outline scientific scope

Proposed projects should aim to inform efforts to combat AMR in LMICs by investigating one or more of the following priority areas:

  • Research to underpin the creation of a theoretical framework for the surveillance and reporting on antimicrobial resistance and use of antibiotics, biocides and metals in agricultural and/or animal husbandry and how this framework might differ when applied to Argentina versus other LMICs
  • Research to support options for animal husbandry and welfare practices that support antibacterial stewardship in agriculture to minimise emergence, transmission and/or exposure risk of resistance in the environment
  • Research to support development of strategies for manure, slurry and waste management that minimises the risk and persistence of antibacterial resistance, antibiotics, biocides and metals in the environment
  • Proposals should consider the implications of land use, socio-economic factors (for example incentives, technologies and their adoption/uptake and management practices), and climate change (for example water availability, etc.) on the sustainability and efficacy of proposed strategies to reduce the impact of agriculture on the emergence and spread of AMR in the environment.

We are particularly interested in organisations/experts that have:

  • expertise in one or more of the above-mentioned priority areas
  • experience of collaborating with international partners
  • experience in working on AMR challenges and solutions with an official development assistance (ODA) benefit
  • the capacity to transfer existing expertise relating to AMR to new applications in the agricultural and environmental sectors.

Funding

Travel and subsistence costs and other costs of attending the workshop will be covered by BBSRC, provided that claims are in accordance with UK Research and Innovation’s Travel, Subsistence and Expenses Policy (PDF), within the limits set by HMRC (see: GOV.UK: Scale rate expenses payments: employee travelling outside the UK).

How to apply

This call is closed to applications.

We therefore invite Expressions of Interest (EoI) from eligible UK researchers who are interested in taking part in this partnership-building workshop and are able to contribute expertise and experience to the discussions with Argentinian counterparts.

Please use the BBSRC grants guide (see downloads) to check if you are eligible to receive BBSRC (UKRI) funding before submitting an EoI.

UK applicants should complete an EoI using the Key Survey form: Key Survey: UK-Argentina Joint Awards for AMR in the Environment (read our Terms of use: Key Survey.). The application deadline for the workshop is 16 July 2018, 16:00. There will be a competitive selection process to ensure a balance of expertise, coverage of the scope areas and institutional representation at the workshop.

Submission of an EoI participation application will be taken to mean that the applicant is available to attend on the specified dates and will make a commitment to attend if selected. The partnership-building workshop will take place during 10-14 September 2018, but applicants should note this does not include the time needed to travel between the UK and Argentina either side of these dates. Additional details of the location, venue, visa, travel and accommodation arrangements will be provided to those invited to participate.

If successful, information provided in the expertise and experience section of the EoI form will be made available to everyone invited to attend the partnering workshop to facilitate networking and collaboration at the event.

Please note that applicants who do not attend the UK-Argentina workshop will still be eligible to apply to the funding call.

Global Antimicrobial Resistance Innovation Fund

This call forms part of DHSC’s Global Antimicrobial Resistance Innovation Fund (GAMRIF). GAMRIF was established to provide seed funding for innovative research and development, specifically in neglected and underinvested areas, in the field of AMR. GAMRIF is a £50m Official Development Assistance (ODA) investment, which means all projects funded must meet ODA-eligibility requirements, and support research primarily and directly for the benefit of people in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The Fund takes a ‘One Health’ approach, seeking to invest in potential solutions to reduce the threat of AMR in humans, animals, fish and the environment. The Fund seeks to leverage additional global funding through interaction with international government bodies, public-private partnerships, product development partnerships, and global funding mechanisms.

See Official Development Assistance - UK Research and Innovation Newton Fund Guidance (PDF).

Timetable

Stage Date
Expression of interest for workshop opens - UK researchers 18 June 2018
Expression of interest for workshop closes - UK researchers 16 July 2018, 16:00
Inform successful UK applicants 18 July 2018
Joint UK-Argentina workshop 10-14 September 2018
Call opens Early October 2018
Application deadline Mid November 2018
Project start date 1 August 2019
Project duration 34 months

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