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Research and Innovation Ideas to Address COVID-19 in the UK and in Low- and Middle-Income Countries

BBSRC wishes to encourage new research and innovation projects as part of the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) response to the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Proposals are invited for short-term bioscience research activity aimed at addressing and mitigating the impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak on the UK. Proposals can be received under this call at any time and will be assessed on a rolling basis. Full details on how to apply, including links to a short application form and a list of key research questions, can be found at:

Proposals are also invited for short-term projects addressing and mitigating the health, social, economic, cultural and environmental impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak in Low- and Middle-Income Countries through the UKRI Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) / Newton Fund Agile Response Call. Proposals can be received under this call at any time and will be assessed on a rolling basis. Full details on how to apply, including details of what we are looking for and a short application form can be found at:

In both the UK facing and GCRF/Newton Agile calls, UKRI has put in place a process to allow researchers to propose repurposing existing BBSRC awards to address COVID-19 research priorities. For further details go to:

Contributions from the biosciences

Research and innovation are at the heart of the national and global response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The biosciences are vital in responding to and mitigating the negative impacts of COVID-19 on health, wellbeing and economic prosperity.

As a part of encouraging research projects to the UKRI response to the pandemic, we are keen to draw the attention of the biosciences research and innovation community to UKRI’s list of research questions for COVID-19 []. The list identifies areas of interest in addressing and mitigating the impacts of the outbreak on the UK.

The biosciences can contribute hugely to answering many of the UKRI research questions (for example in immunology, virology, epidemiology and bioinformatics) often working in partnership with other disciplines, including the biomedical, environmental and data sciences.

The UKRI questions are being kept under regular review and are designed to be a guide to the requirements of the UK facing call.

For the GCRF / Newton COVID-19 Agile Response Call, we are keen to encourage proposals involving the biosciences that build upon current international development research and innovation portfolios covering health and food systems (noting impacts upon the global food system). As for all GCRF and Newton projects, there should be close working in partnership with researchers based in Low- and Middle-Income Countries.

The need for new research

Through the UK and LMIC facing calls, BBSRC is encouraging new research projects and related data collection of up to 18 months duration, which will extend the evidence base and make a significant contribution to the understanding of, and response to, COVID-19 and its impacts. These projects will address fundamental gaps in our knowledge and provide practical evidence that could be of use in considering ways of responding to or mitigating the pandemic and its impacts, with a strong emphasis on producing findings that can be used during the research as well as on its completion.

Contact details

For further details contact:

Related calls: partnerships Newton Fund international health collaboration