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Global health trials scheme

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We are now pleased to jointly announce the launch of the fifth call for proposals under this initiative.

The Wellcome Trust, the UK Medical Research Council (MRC) and the UK Department for International Development are committed to strengthening the evidence base for improving health in low- and middle-income countries. Together we are investing a total of £15 million for the fifth call of this initiative to fund late-stage trials of interventions that will help improve health in these countries, by addressing the major causes of mortality and morbidity. The costs will be shared equally between the three funders.

The scheme is focused on late-stage (equivalent to phase III/IV) clinical and health intervention trials evaluating efficacy and effectiveness. However, Phase IIb trials of major relevance to the objectives of the call may be considered. If you are considering submitting a Phase IIb stage trial please consult one of the partner agencies involved for further guidance. The scheme is aimed at funding Randomised Controlled Trials (RCTs), although other types of methodologies may be used alongside the RCT to explore implementation and operational issues.

The scope of the scheme includes, but is not limited to, behavioural interventions, complex interventions, disease management, drugs, vaccines and hygiene and diagnostic strategies. The scheme is open to the best proposals which address any major health related problem affecting low- and middle-income countries, particularly those that affect the most vulnerable populations. Although the breadth of the scheme is deliberately wide, we particularly welcome proposals for research into chronic non-communicable diseases, in recognition of the increasing burden of these conditions in low- and middle-income countries. We also welcome innovative proposals which address reproductive, maternal and newborn health.

Priority will be given to proposals that are likely to produce implementable results and that are designed to address the major causes of mortality or morbidity in low- and middle-income countries.

What's included

A total of £15 million pounds is available. This amount is expected to fund several awards.

Support may be requested for:

  • All research costs that are attributable to the trial
  • Cost of hosting trial steering and data monitoring committees
  • Training and support for a trial manager.

Costs will be shared equally between the three funders.

Please refer to the MRC website for further costs information.


Trials should be based in low- or middle-income countries. Academic groups based either in the countries where the studies will take place or based in the UK are eligible to apply.

Please refer to the MRC website for more information on the eligibility criteria.

Application process

Applications should be submitted to and will be processed by the MRC on behalf of the three partner agencies.

Outline phase

Applicants are asked to submit an outline proposal in the first instance using the UK Research Council’s Joint electronic Submission (Je-S) System. Please refer to the MRC’s website for further details on how to apply.

The deadline for outline proposals was 16:00 BST on Thursday 25 September 2014.

Full proposal phase

If invited, applicants will then be required to complete and submit a full application. We expect that the time between invitation to full application and deadline for submission of full applications will be approximately two and a half months.

Applicants who wish to discuss their proposal informally can do so by contacting Dr Marta Tufet at the Wellcome Trust: m.tufet@wellcome.ac.uk.

For more information on the key issues your proposal should address, details of the funding on offer and application and eligibility criteria, visit the Medical Research Council online or email Meriel Flint ( meriel.flint@headoffice.mrc.ac.uk).


This is an annual competition.

  • Outline application deadline: 16:00 BST Thursday 25 September 2014
  • Full application deadline: March 2015
  • Decisions: May 2015


Informal enquiries can be addressed to Dr Marta Tufet at the Wellcome Trust: m.tufet@wellcome.ac.uk.

For more information on the key issues your proposal should address, details of the funding on offer and application and eligibility criteria, visit the Medical Research Council online or email Meriel Flint ( meriel.flint@headoffice.mrc.ac.uk).

Awards made

Trials funded by the Joint Global Health Trials Initiative

Phase 1


Professor Diana Gibb, Medical Research Council
A randomised trial of therapy shortening for minimal tuberculosis with new WHO-recommended doses and FDC drugs in African/Indian HIV+/HIV- children

Professor Mark W Rowland, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Combination interventions for controlling malaria transmitted by pyrethroid resistant mosquitoes: a novel bed net with synergist and IRS formulation

Dr Hector Garcia, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Peru
Pilot Study - a case for free supply of anti-epileptic drugs in resource-poor regions

Professor Kathryn Maitland, Imperial College London
MICA: children's oxygen administration strategies trial

Dr Patrick Phillips, MRC Clinical Trials Unit at University College London
Two-month Regimens Using Novel Combinations to Augment Treatment Effectiveness for drug-sensitive Tuberculosis: the ‘TRUNCATE-TB’ trial

Dr Immo Kleinschmidt, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
From malaria control to sustainable elimination: cluster randomised trial comparing targeted versus generalised vector control in South Africa

Dr Karen M Devries, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
The Good Schools Study: a cluster randomised controlled trial of an intervention to prevent violence against children in Ugandan primary schools

Dr Anatoli Kamali, MRC/UVRI Uganda Research Unit on AIDS, Uganda
Pilot Study - uptake and impact of HIV combination (HIVCOMB) interventions on HIV incidence among fishing communities in Uganda

Dr Anita Zaidi, Aga Khan University, Pakistan
A double blind randomised community-based trial of amoxicillin versus placebo for non-severe pneumonia in children aged 2-59 months in Pakistan

Professor Tazeen Jafar, Aga Khan University, Pakistan and National University of Singapore, Singapore
Pilot Study - integrated primary care strategies to reduce high blood pressure: a cluster randomised trial in rural Pakistan and Sri Lanka


Professor Richard Price, University of Oxford
Improving the radical cure of vivax malaria: a multicentre randomised comparison of short and long course primaquine regimens

Dr Audrey Prost,University College London
Community intervention to improve growth among children under two in rural India

Mr Arri Coomarasamy, University of Birmingham
Effectiveness of antibiotic prophylaxis during surgical evacuation of the uterus for miscarriage management in low-income countries (AMS trial)

Professor Umberto D'Alessandro, MRC Unit, The Gambia
Primaquine's gametocytocidal efficacy in malaria asymptomatic carriers treated with dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine

Dr Gail Davey, University of Sussex
Randomised controlled trial of podoconiosis treatment in northern Ethiopia

Dr Carlton Evans, Imperial College London
Community randomised evaluation of socioeconomic intervention to prevent TB

Professor Graham Foster, Queen Mary, University of London
Step-down affordable treatment for chronic hepatitis B infection in Africa and India Acronym - STEP-HEP

Professor Stephen Gordon, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine
An advanced cookstove intervention to prevent pneumonia in children under five years old in Malawi: a cluster randomised controlled trial

Professor Oye Gureje, University of Ibadan, Nigeria
A cluster randomised controlled trial of a STEPped CARE intervention for depression in primary care

Dr Sarah Staedke, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
School-based treatment with ACT to reduce transmission; evaluation of the community impact of intermittent preventive treatment for malaria in Uganda

Dr Ambrose Talisuna, University of Oxford
Efficacy of mobile phone short message service (SMS) on malaria treatment adherence and post-treatment review

Professor Sir Brian Greenwood, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
A trial of the benefit of including azithromycin in the drug combination used for seasonal malaria chemoprevention in African children


Dr Somphou Sayasone, Swiss Tropical and Health Institute, Switzerland
Tribendimidine for the treatment of liver fluke infection in South-east Asia

Professor Diana Gibb, Medical Research Council
Reduction of Early mortaLITY in HIV-infected African adults and children starting antiretroviral therapy: REALITY trial

Dr Jeremy Day, University of Oxford Clinical Research Unit, Vietnam
A clinical trial of dexamethasone to reduce mortality in cryptococcal meningitis

Dr Badara Cisse, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Randomised trial of spatially targeted control to virtually eliminate malaria in areas of very low incidence and patchy transmission in Senegal

Dr Penelope A Phillips-Howard, Liverpool John Moores University
The effectiveness of Mooncups to reduce school absenteeism, and sexual and reproductive harms in Kenyan schoolgirls

Dr Thuy Le, University of Oxford
A randomised, open-label, comparative study of Itraconazole vs Amphotericin B for the induction therapy of Penicilliosis

Dr Alison Grant, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
TB fast track: effect of a point-of-care TB test-and-treat algorithm on early mortality in people with HIV accessing ART

Professor Feiko ter Kuile, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine
Intermittent screening and treatment or intermittent preventive therapy for control of malaria in pregnancy in Indonesia

Dr Mark Hatherill, University of Cape Town, South Africa
MVA85A Tuberculosis vaccine prime and selective delayed BCG boost in infants of HIV-infected mothers

Dr Andrew Weeks, University of Liverpool
Induction of labour in pre-eclamptic women: a randomised trial comparing balloon catheter with oral misoprostol

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