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Request for Applications to address the Global and African health challenges of Non-communicable diseases, Multimorbidity and One Health

RFA pressCape Town | A new partnership between the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) and the United Kingdom Research and Innovation (UKRI) Medical Research Council (UKRI MRC) has been established to promote collaboration between researchers in South Africa and the UK to tackle the health challenges of South Africa under the umbrella of the UK’s International Science Partnerships Fund (ISPF). This joint research programme also aims to promote collaboration with researchers from other African countries.

Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are among the most common causes of death globally. Infectious diseases and NCDs have a high prevalence in Africa, and their co-existence in many individuals contributes to morbidity and mortality. Climate and environmental changes are also increasingly impacting human health and health outcomes. The concept of One Health recognises the interconnectedness of people, animals, plants and the environment, which presents challenges of endemic and emerging zoonotic diseases, neglected tropical diseases, vector-borne diseases, antimicrobial resistance, food safety and security, environmental contamination, climate change and other health threats.

The Requests for Applications (RFAs) aim to address some of these challenges by seeking innovative projects in the areas of NCDs, co-morbidity or multimorbidity of infectious diseases and NCDs, and climate and health, One Health and zoonosis.

The focus of applications should be on translational research that integrates laboratory-based research, clinical research, and population-based research, with the long-term objective of improving scientific understanding of, and providing solutions for, the unique attributes of NCDs, co- and multimorbidities involving both infectious diseases and NCDs, and One Health in African populations.

Funding Level

The RFA will provide grants of up to 3 years in duration with a budget limit of R14 million per project.  Application budgets should be commensurate with the proposed scope of work. Projects must be led by investigators from South African institutions who are citizens or permanent residents of South Africa. A UK co-investigator must be included and additional investigators from other African countries are encouraged.

Dr Mark Palmer, Director of International Strategy for UKRI MRC, said: “Across the African continent, the UK and the wider world, people’s lives are affected daily by deadly and debilitating health conditions ranging from diabetes and cardiovascular disease to mental health and infectious diseases. To try to reduce this burden of disease, UKRI MRC has developed a new research funding opportunity with our South African counterpart through the International Science Partnerships Fund. We are delighted that this joint programme will enable researchers from across Africa and the UK to share expertise and develop new approaches to tackle these serious diseases. We hope this work will bring about health advances and benefit millions for generations to come.”

The President and CEO of the SAMRC, Professor Glenda Gray, said the SAMRC was excited to partner with the UKRI’s MRC to address these major burdens of disease. “We aspire to continue to improve the quality of life of South Africans through responsive funding of research that addresses these major diseases. We are optimistic that projects supported through these RFAs will provide a platform to potentially transform and improve the lives of vulnerable populations,” said Gray.

Only one application is allowed per principal investigator across the three published ISPF calls – applicants may submit applications for either NCDs OR Co- and multimorbidity of infectious diseases and NCDs OR Climate and Health, One Health and Zoonosis.

Please refer to the RFA documents for further details:


  • NCDs: 12 April 2024 @17h00 SAST
  • Multimorbidity: 15 April 2024 @17h00 SAST
  • One Health: 17 April 2024 @17h00 SAST

Please note:

All applications must be submitted through the SAMRC Application Portal ISPF Calls.

Also note: Applications received after the closing date and time will not be considered.

For further enquiries:

Dr Marlon Cerf
Grants, Innovation and Product Development

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