skip to content

Office for Translational Research

NIHR COVID-19 Urgent Public Health Research response

National prioritisation of funded studies, irrespective of whether they are funded by the public sector, industry or charities. Also, in partnership with UKRI, prioritisation of studies that require funding. This aims to prevent duplication of effort and to ensure that the capacity of the health and care system to support research is not exceeded.


Rolling submission

Horizon 2020 Framework Programme:  European Research Area Corona Platform

The European Research Area corona platform is a one-stop shop providing comprehensive information about funding opportunities in relation to Coronavirus at European Union and national level.  (please visit the link)

Deadline Date:  Rolling submission

  • External call
  • Funding level: Not specified
National Institutes of Health (US) Central source of information on NIH COVID-related research funding calls (please refer to the following link)
European Open Science Cloud: COVID-19 fast track funding

Supporting activities and actions that deploy open science methods and resources and make use of the EOSC communities in order to address COVID-19 related issues. Selected topics of interest include: Opening up virus-related research and data; Sharing of infrastructures and services; Developing open design equipment for fighting COVID-19; Sharing sampling test methodologies and data; Developing open science methodologies for monitoring the spread of COVID-19.

Deadline Date: Rolling submission

  • External call
  • Funding level: Up to €45K
NIHR-BHF Cardiovascular Partnership: Call for COVID-19 Cardiovascular Disease Flagship projects

The NIHR-BHF Cardiovascular Partnership supports the development and delivery of COVID-19 research projects across the UK. Key questions of interest: Understanding the nature and importance of cardiovascular complications in COVID-19 infection; Understanding why patients with heart and circulatory dieases are at greater risk of adverse outcomes; Understanding the short and longer-term impact of the COVID-19 pandemic for people with heart and circulatory diseases; Gaining mechanistic insights into individual responses to the COVID-19 infection, its effect on the function of the heart and the circulatory system. Existing resources can be repurposed and deployed nationally plus there may be opportunities for sourcing additional resources and funding if projects put forward in this process are deemed to be high quality and of national priority.

Deadline Date: Rolling submission

  • External call
  • Funding level: Not specified
Ferring COVID-19 Investigational Grants

Funding for exploratory, basic and clinical research grants to collect data and expand knowledge about the effects of SARS-CoV-2 on reproduction, pregnancy, and foetal/neonatal health.

Deadline Date: Rolling submission until 31st October 2020 (response within 14 days of receipt)

  • External call
  • Funding level: Up to €25K
UKRI/NIHR: COVID-19 Rapid Response Rolling Call

The research scope of this call is Virology, Immunity and Pathophysiology; Diagnostics; Epidemiology; IPC and PPE; Public Health, Media and Communication; Clinical Management; Primary, Adjunctive and Supportive Therapies; Vaccines; Health and Care Delivery; and/or Underpinning. All proposals will need to be able to show how progress within the period of award could make a valuable contribution to the understanding, diagnosis, prevention and/or management of the COVID-19 outbreak, with data and tools/reagents generated under this call to be made widely available.

Deadline date: Rolling submission until 1st April 2021

  • External call
  • Funding level: Not specified - 'value-for-money'

Short-term projects addressing and mitigating the health, social, economic, cultural and environmental impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak - new research or innovation with a clear impact pathway that has the potential (within the period of the grant) to deliver a significant contribution to the understanding of, and response to, the COVID-19 pandemic and its impacts AND/OR supports the manufacture and/or wide scale adoption of an intervention with significant potential AND/OR
gathers critical data and resources quickly for future research use

Deadline date:  Currently open - response within 10 days of submission

  • External call
  • Funding level:  Not specified
NERC Urgency Grant Scheme (see UKRI COVID call above)
Mozilla Open Source Support Program: COVID-19 Solutions Fund

Funding for reasonably mature open source technology projects which are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic in some way such as hardware, software and software which provides solutions for secondary effects of COVID-19.

Deadline Date:  Rolling submission

  • External call
  • Funding level:  Up to $50K
Cambridge-Africa ALBORADA Research Fund COVID-19 Emergency Awards

For Cambridge and African researchers working together to address COVID-19 in Africa. Projects are expected to address an immediate need defined by the African partner in relation to a regional, national or local COVID-19 response.

Deadline Date:  Rolling submission

  • Internal/local call
  • Funding level:  Up to £20K

Travel and subsistence funding for appropriately qualified public health professionals, clinicians and academics who wish to offer science and technical advice to support the immediate response to COVID-19 in low and middle-income countries

Deadline Date:  Rolling submission (apply for approval prior to travel)

  • External fund
  • Funding level: Not specified
NIHR/UKRI: Highlight notice - COVID-19 and Ethnicity (part of the UKRI/NIHR COVID-19 Rapid Reponse Rolling Call)

With emerging evidence of an association between ethnicity and COVID-19 incidence and adverse health outcomes, proposals are welcomed in two areas: 1. Impact of COVID-19 and association between ethnicity and COVID-19 in the general population; 2. Impact of COVID-19 specifically on people working in health and social care from BAME backgrounds.

Deadline Date: rolling submission

  • External call
  • Funding level: Not specified - 'value-for-money'

May 2020

MRC/DfID/ESRC/Wellcome: Health Systems Research Initiative Call 7: Providing evidence to strengthen health systems in low and middle income countries

Foundation grants: In recognition of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the funders welcome proposals to research 1. The impact of the pandemic on health systems (this does not need to focus directly on COVID-19, it could explore wider health systems research beyond containing the infection, for example knock on effects on health systems provision); 2. Ways to enable health systems to respond to this or future pandemics more effectively.

Deadline date:  28th May (4pm)

  • External call
  • Funding level: Up to £200K
American Lung Association: COVID-19 and Emerging Respiratory Viruses Research Award

There is an urgent need to better understand the pathobiology and clinical implications of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) viral infection that leads to the morbidity and mortality seen with COVID-19, as well as increase knowledge about the potential emerging threat of other novel respiratory viruses. We are looking for proposals to advance research against emerging respiratory pathogens like SARS-CoV-2.

Deadline date:  30th May 2020

  • External call
  • Funding level: USD $100k for up to two years

June 2020

NIHR/UKRI: Highlight notice - COVID-19 virus (SARS-CoV-2) research on transmission (part of the rapid response rolling call)

This highlight notice identifies the need for further rapid research using epidemiological methods to determine risk factors for transmission, which groups are most likely to become infected (i.e. who is transmitting infection to whom?), and in what environments transmissions occur. Research applications are invited to investigate the routes of transmission in different environments and groups.

Deadline Date:  1st June (9am) rolling submission thereafter

  • External call
  • Funding level: Not specified - 'value-for-money'
NIHR/UKRI: Highlight notice - COVID-19 virus (SARS-CoV-2) research on priority groups: transmission, risk factors and seroprevalence (part of the rapid response rolling call)

This highlight notice identifies a policy need for further research with children, health and social care workers, and residents in nursing and residential care homes.  Research applications are invited to investigate transmission, exposure, risk factors for disease acquisition and seroprevalence in priority groups. Research applications are invited to investigate the role of children in transmission. Research in other groups and settings is also welcomed in the NIHR-UKRI call.

Deadline Date:  1st June (9am) rolling submission thereafter

  • External call
  • Funding level: Not specified - 'value-for-money'
Transform Fund Call for Innovation 2020: Islamic Development Bank

Supporting IsDB member countries' long-term preparedness and response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Focusing on the application of advanced technology; innovative health supply chain management systems; development of low-cost rapid tests and screening methods; or capacity building interventions specifically in relation to six selected UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Deadline Date:  1st June 2020

  • External Call
  • Funding level:  Up to $1 million
SAEMF: COVID-19 Research Grant

The purpose of this award is to support emergency care research related to COVID-19, which may include diagnostics, safety, therapeutics, disaster preparedness, or other relevant topic areas. The focus is on self-limited research projects that are impactful in the current or future practice of emergency medicine and can be completed in a one-year time frame. The goals of the grant align with mission of the SAEMF to improve emergency patient care through supporting the development of innovative researchers, expert educators and future academic emergency medicine leaders.

Deadline Date:  1st June 2020

  • External Call
  • Funding level:  Up to USD $25,000
Therapeutic Innovation Australia: Pipeline Accelerator COVID-19

This scheme will focus solely on projects related to COVID-19. This can include any aspect of the national or global response, including (but not limited to) high throughput screening (HTS), assay development, drug repurposing, diagnostic development, pre-clinical and clinical trial support, analytical validation and pilot scale production.

Deadline Date: 15th May (Round 1) then 5th June (Round 2)

  • External call
  • Up to AUD 50K
Emergency Medicine Foundation

The goals of the Emergency Medicine Foundation COVID-19 Grant are to conduct research that will provide high-impact new knowledge to advance emergency patient care, improve response of hospitals/healthcare and EMS systems, and protect emergency medicine healthcare professionals during pandemics.

Deadline Date: 5th June (6pm EST)

  • External call
  • Funding level: Up to $100K
Newton Institutional Links Grants: UK, Indonesia, Thailand and Turkey

British Council scheme enabling partners in the UK, Indonesia, Thailand and Turkey to collaborate internationally and gain access to new research environments, facilities, knowledge and expertise in order to enhance the quality of their research and translate research and innovation into economic and societal benefit. Priority areas are identified in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Deadline Date:  12th June 2020 (4pm UK time)

  • External Call
  • Funding level: £50K - £150K
Microsoft Corporation: Artificial Intelligence for Health - call for COVID-19 grant proposals

The program provides Azure cloud and High-Performance Computing capabilities for collaborations with COVID-19 researchers while tackling this critical challenge. Focusing in the following areas: Data and insights (safety and economic impact); Treatment and diagnostics; Allocation of resources (hospital space and supply chain); Dissemination of accurate information; Scientific research to further understanding of COVID-19.

Deadline Date:  15th June

  • External Call
  • Funding level: Not specified
Department of Health and Social Care including NIHR, GB    Global Effort on COVID-19 (GECO) Health Research

Global Effort on COVID-19 (GECO) Health Research is a new cross UK government funding call aiming to support applied health research that will address COVID-19 knowledge gaps. The focus is on understanding the pandemic and mitigating its health impacts in low and middle-income countries (LMIC). The call prioritises epidemiology, clinical management, infection control and health system responses.

Deadline Date:  22nd June 2020, 10th August 2020, 28th September 2020.  Applications due by 12 noon UK time. 

  • External Call
  • Funding level: £1,000,000
British Council:  Newton Fund Institutional Links Mexico

The British Council runs Institutional Links in partnership with research and higher education institutions globally.

We also deliver Institutional Links under the Newton Fund. Newton Fund Institutional Links grants facilitate research that tackles local development challenges such as extreme weather conditions, access to affordable health care, food and energy security.

The Fund aims to promote the economic development and welfare of either the partner countries or, through working with the partner country, to address the problems of low-income and vulnerable populations.

Deadline Date:  26th June (4pm)

  • External Call
  • Funding level: Up to £150,000
Intensive Care Society: COVID-19 new investigator award

Pump-priming grants that will lead to further and more substantial support from other grant awarding bodies. All applications must be focused on COVID 19 treatment and scientific discovery. One of the awards will be specifically for a basic science COVID 19-focused research project.

Deadline Date:  26th June (5pm)

  • External Call
  • Funding level: Up to £15K each (total budget £45K)
British Council: Newton Fund impact scheme – Peru

British Council, in partnership with UK Research and Innovation, on behalf of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, invites calls for the Newton Fund impact scheme with Peru.  Providing  funding for current and previously funded Newton Fund grantees who worked in collaboration with individuals in Peru.  Aim is to stimulate new pathways to broaden impact into other areas or significantly extend impact from previous projects.
• Health – public health, vaccines, diagnostic tests and Covid-19;
• Science, innovation and technology in socioeconomic development – sustainable management of natural resources, industrial processing, biochemistry and genetic improvement.

Deadline Date:  30 Jun 20 - Applications due 12 noon UK time.

  • External Call
  • Funding level: amount max £65,000

July 2020

Addenbrooke's Charitable Trust
Application form available from OTR - email:

Provides 'pump priming' for pilot projects that aim to strengthen applications for external funding.  Research should be relevant to strategic priorities within CUH. Currently identifying funds and donors to support COVID-19 research

Deadline Date:  Research Advisory Committee Meeting Dates (2020): 15 Jan, 1 Apr, 1 Jul, 7 Oct

  • Internal/local call
  • Funding level:  Less than £25K (typically ~£10K)
EDCTP: Ethics and regulatory capacities

Supporting sub-Saharan African countries in establishing and developing robust national medicines regulatory systems and capacities for ethical review of clinical research and use of medicinal products and technologies for use in humans. Within this, applicants should also consider the global COVID-19 crisis.

Deadline Date:  16th July 2020 (5pm CEST)

  • External call
  • Funding level: Budget €2.5 million (expect to award 6-8 grants each worth up to €500K)
EDCTP: Capacity development for disease outbreak and epidemic response in sub-Saharan Africa, in collaboration with Africa CDC

Call for Proposals is to establish an African cohort of epidemiologists by supporting institutions in sub-Saharan Africa and Europe that provide master’s training in epidemiology and biostatistics, as part of the Africa CDC’s framework for public health workforce development. Due to the extraordinary global crisis of COVID-19 that is also affecting African countries, this topic should also be considered by applicants.

Deadline Date:  30 July 2020, 17:00 CEST Evaluation results  expected to be made available by 30 November 2020

  • External call
  • Funding level: €5 million
IBM Call for Code Global Challenge

Call for Code asks innovators to create practical, effective, and high-quality applications based on one or more IBM Cloud™ services (for example, web, mobile, data, analytics, AI, IoT, or weather) that can have an immediate and lasting impact on humanitarian issues. Teams of developers, data scientists, designers, business analysts, subject matter experts and more are challenged to build solutions to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 and climate change. Winning solutions are deployed in communities that need the most help.

Deadline Date:  27th April for early COVID-19 solutions then 31st July final submission deadline

  • External call
  • Funding level: winner receives $200K plus networking, mentoring and implementation support

August 2020

EDCTP Innovative Approaches to Enhance Poverty-Related Diseases Research

The purpose of this call is to fund a number of small- to medium-scale clinical trials and/or clinical research studies that can deliver proof-of-concept or validation of smart, highly innovative technologies or concepts to prevent, treat or diagnose poverty-related diseases in sub-Saharan Africa. The call is strictly aimed at supporting novel innovations, and therefore excludes concepts and technologies that have previously been commercialised, rolled out, tested in large trials, or are already in routine use in healthcare settings. Due to the global COVID-19 crisis that is also affecting African countries, this topic should also be considered by applicants.

Deadline Date:  13th August 2020 (5pm)

  • External call
  • Funding level:  Budget €23.4 million (expect to award 5-15 grants)
Collaboration For Development Of AI Support For COVID-19 Diagnosis And Prognosis

Call for collaboration with colleagues in China for development of AI support for COVID-19 diagnosis and prognosis from imaging and clinical data.

Deadline Date:  Not specified - open call

  • Internal/local call
  • Funding level:  Not applicable


Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) - Call for Multidisciplinary Research into Epidemics and Pandemics - SARS-CoV-2

The effects of the current SARS-CoV-2 outbreak have shown that epidemics and pandemics cannot be managed on a solely national level; instead, the global framework needs to be taken into account. To be better prepared for the diverse aspects of global waves of infection, it is essential to support wide-ranging research across different disciplines. In addition to investigating the current pandemic, it is important to identify fundamental research questions that produce generalizable scientific findings.

Deadline Date:  1 September 2020.

  • External call
  • Funding level:  Not specified
EPSRC:  Medical robotics for contagious diseases challenge

EPSRC through the UK-RAS Network and in collaboration with Imperial College London, Wellcome, KUKA and Intuitive Surgical, invites calls seeking innovative ideas that could aid in the response to COVID-19 offering a unique opportunity to galvanize medical robot technologies, as they play an increasingly major role in combating contagious diseases.

Deadline Date:  30th September 2020

  • External call
  • Funding level:  £15,000

Currently Closed

EIT Health: Call for proposals addressing management and response to pandemics

Submissions in the following areas are invited which address one or more topics related to the prevention and management of the current COVID-19 pandemic as well as future pandemics: hindering disease spread and prevention of outbreaks; optimising screening and diagnosis; treating people better; healthcare organisations' resource management, logistics and supply chains; and/or data-driven initiatives.

Deadline date:  27th May 2020 (4pm Munich time)

  • External call
  • Funding level: Not specified
PCORI:  COVID-19 Targeted PFA

PCORI is issuing a new research funding announcement with an accelerated timeline to support innovative, high-impact studies that fit clearly within our core mission of patient-engaged and patient-centered comparative clinical effectiveness research. The objectives of this announcement are to (1) strengthen the understanding of different approaches to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on individuals, communities, healthcare providers, and healthcare systems; and (2) provide evidence to inform clinical and public health responses, decision making, and planning.

Deadline date:  26th May, 2020 at 5pm ET

  • External call
  • Funding level: Up to US$30 million.  This PFA may be re-issued if funds are available.
British Society for Rheumatology: Research funding call

Supporting BSR members with little or no previous engagement with research. For a standalone research project or a pilot study in the following areas: Research recommendations resulting from published BSR guidelines; Using BSR registers or audit data; Paediatric and adolescent rheumatology; Health services research; Chronic pain (including fibromyalgia) and rare diseases, including impact of COVID-19 on rheumatology patients.

Deadline date:  25th May 2020

  • External call
  • Funding level: Up to £40K
ViiV Healthcare: HIV & COVID-19

Seeking basic and clinical research proposals for Investigator Sponsored Studies within three specific areas of interest to help improve understanding and management of the COVID-19 pandemic in people living with HIV: 1. Epidemiology and real-world data 2. Healthcare systems management initiatives addressing patient care and outcomes in the COVID-19 environment 3. Biomarkers indicative of disease susceptibility, severity, progression or mechanism.

Deadline date:  18th May (midnight)

  • External call
  • Funding level: Up to £250K (although budgets over £250K will be reviewed for their necessity)
EHDEN: COVID-19 Rapid Collaboration Call

Data and derived insights and evidence are the lifeblood of pandemic decision-making, whether clinically for patient care, or for governments in making the right decisions in responding to SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19. Outside of a pandemic, as well as during this one, real-world health data is often fragmented, siloed in poorly interoperable systems and requires considerable curation to work with. This call provides financial and technical support to assist with harmonising your data to the OMOP common data model, with a view to linking Data Partners together and with researchers for quicker open science on SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19.

Deadline Date: 14th May (5pm CET)

  • External call
  • Up to €50K

1. Pump-priming fund - mono-disciplinary and interdisciplinary collaborative research activities that address problems of developing countries and aims to develop sustainable and innovative solutions;

2. Travel and networking fund - building partnerships with research and delivery partners in developing countries, as well as facilitating coordination with GCRF project partners  in the UK, multinational, public and philanthropic research institutions;

3. Response fund - rapid response to emergencies, funding for urgent research needs, response to emergencies in developing countries, such as disease outbreaks.

Deadline Date:  15th May 2020

  • Internal/local call
  • Funding level: 1. Up to 80K;    2. Up to £15K;    3. Up to £30K
Public Engagement Starter Fund (2020)

Small grants for UoC researchers to undertake innovative public engagement with research activities.

Deadline Date:  15th May 2020 (notification by end July)

  • Internal/local call
  • Funding level: Up to £1,500
Tsinghua University-Cambridge University Joint Research Initiative: Extraordinary Call for Proposals

This initiative is issuing an extraordinary funding call for a number of collaborative projects between academic groups at the two universities that are seeking to address urgent challenges in relation to the Covid-19 global health emergency. Projects can address any aspect of the Covid-19 emergency, though priority will be given to projects with potential impact on a short to medium-term timescale and that demonstrate strong collaboration between the two institutions.

Deadline Date:  8th May 2020 (5pm local time)

  • Internal call
  • Funding level:  Up to £12.5K
AXA Research Fund: Mitigating Risk in the Wake of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Supporting emergency research initiatives in protecting vulnerable populations from epidemics and catastrophes; improving data collection and quality in health; understanding the effects of confinement and social distancing; or early warning and preparedness. Preference will be given to projects with a local focus and potential applicability on a global scale.

Deadline Date:   7th May 2020 (4pm Paris time)

  • External call
  • Funding level:  Up to €250K
FastGrants (EmergentVentures)

To enable fast funding for COVID-19 related science.

Deadline Date:  Currently paused due to high number of submissions