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Pre-call Announcement - Tackling antimicrobial resistance: human and animal behaviour

21 April 2016

ESRC led cross council AMR Theme 4 pre-call announcement identifies key challenges and sets out timetable for funding.

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR), especially resistance to antibiotics, is a major global problem. We are facing a rise in the number of bacteria becoming resistant to existing antibiotics without an increase in new antibiotics or new treatments. It is clear that an interdisciplinary approach is needed to tackle these challenges and make a step change in addressing antimicrobial resistance.

The Research Councils, along with other UK funders including the National Institute for Health Research, have been working together to identify a number of research opportunities and challenges to tackling the rise in AMR within four themes. Further information on the cross-Research Council initiative can be found on the here:

We are planning to announce a call for both smaller pump priming grants and larger collaborative research grants which will address theme 4 of the cross-Research Council initiative: ‘Behaviour within and beyond the health care setting’.

Funders working in partnership on this call will be the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), the Medical Research Council (MRC), the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), the Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD).

Through this call we aim to expand understanding of how behaviour impacts on antimicrobial resistance relevant to both humans and animals across contexts and cultures, and how it can be influenced to create different future scenarios. We use a broad definitionof behaviour and the scope of the call includes research relevant to the UK or global landscape and research of specific benefit to countries in receipt of official development assistance (ODA). Proposals should be highly collaborative, have a strong focus on real world impact and must be led by a UK researcher.

We expect that proposals will be invited to address one or more of the following challenges:

  • awareness and engagement
  • public health as an alternative to the use of antibiotics: preventing infection and transmission
  • informal markets and access to antibiotics
  • stewardship and appropriate use of antibiotics
  • behaviour as it relates to animals and AMR.

Full guidance on eligibility, closing dates and how to apply to the call will be published on the ESRC website in May 2016. A provisional timetable is shown below.

A town meeting, where applicants can gain additional information and discuss ideas with potential collaborators, will be held in June 2016. Information on how to apply to attend the town meeting will be published on the ESRC website shortly.

Provisional timetable:

Apply to attend the town meeting (optional) May 2016
Full guidance on how to apply to this call Mid-May 2016
Town meeting Early June 2016
Application deadline (pump priming grants) July 2016
Application deadline (larger collaborative grants) September 2016
Grants commence 2017


Further information

All details are subject to change. Potential applicants can register their interest via the ESRC AMR Champion website to receive updates on the call and town meeting arrangements. (See option in left hand menu).

The current focus of this initiative is on resistant bacteria of humans and animals. We acknowledge antimicrobial issues in other classes of pathogens and other target species such as plants, but these will not be addressed through this initiative.

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