EDCTP joins forces with WHO AFRO and TDR to fund implementation research

09 October 2017

A new partnership has been formed between EDCTP (representing its members namely the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the UK Medical Research Council (MRC) and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida)), TDR (the Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases), and the World Health Organization’s Regional Office for Africa (WHO AFRO) in recognition of a mutual interest in strengthening the capacity for health research in African countries. Collaboration between these three partners has been realised through a recently launched call “Joint WHO-AFRO/TDR/EDCTP Small Grants Scheme for implementation research on infectious diseases of poverty”, which will close on 30 November 2017.

“EDCTP is pleased to be able contribute to small start-up grants that would facilitate collaborations between researchers and health professionals in national disease programmes in sub-Saharan Africa.”

Prof. Moses J. Bockarie, EDCTP Director of South-South Cooperation and Head of Africa Office

The call is aimed at strengthening capacity for implementation research conducted through close collaboration between researchers and national disease programmes. Diseases covered include malaria, tuberculosis, diarrhoea, lower respiratory tract infections, yellow fever, and neglected tropical diseases. Implementation research activities supported by this call may be complementary to those supported through other stakeholders interested in these diseases. Only residents from the WHO African Region are eligible to apply.

This call signifies a commitment by the funders to increasing the level of implementation research in order to deliver high quality and cost-efficient health care solutions to people in resource-poor settings. Whilst EDCTP and TDR already have a long-established partnership in research capacity development, this is the first time that EDCTP and WHO AFRO are collaborating on a joint initiative, reflecting the expansion of the second EDCTP programme (EDCTP2) as a true European-African partnership and the extension of its scope to include product-focused implementation research and to strengthen African research capacity in this area.

“The collaboration between WHO AFRO, TDR and EDCTP will align the strategic priorities of the three organisations for strengthening implementation research in sub-Saharan Africa”

Dr Ole Olesen, EDCTP Director of North-North Cooperation

WHO AFRO is managing the implementation of the call, with a TDR contribution of up to US$ 150,000 and an EDCTP contribution of up to € 300,000. EDCTP’s contribution will be jointly provided by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the UK Medical Research Council (MRC) and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida). As such, this small grants scheme also represents a joint initiative between the three European countries: Germany, Sweden and the UK. National research activities such as this, which fall within the scope of EDCTP and are independently funded and administered by EDCTP member countries, are an integral part of the EDCTP2 programme. These so-called Participating States’ Initiated Activities (PSIAs) contribute to achieving our common objectives and, when implemented jointly and through EDCTP, demonstrate EDCTP’s role in promoting the coordination and alignment of national research programmes and activities on poverty-related diseases – one of the key objectives of the EDCTP2 programme.

Application and further information

For information on application please download the following text in English, French and Portuguese, respectively:



TDR, the Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases, is a global programme of scientific collaboration that helps facilitate, support and influence efforts to combat diseases of poverty. It is hosted at the World Health Organization (WHO), and is sponsored by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the World Bank and WHO. Read more at the TDR website.

WHO AFRO is one of the six regional offices of the World Health Organisation (WHO). As the technical agency and custodian of public health in Africa, WHO AFRO seeks to galvanise political commitment, foster collaboration and align strategic priorities in advancing the health agenda in the region, especially around the Sustainable Development Goals. Strategic partnerships, effective engagement and coordinated action are critical for addressing the urgent and ever changing health needs of people living in Africa. Read more at the WHO AFRO website.

The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) promotes education, science and research as an important contribution to securing Germany’s prosperity. Education and research are the foundations on which to build its future in a changing world. Research helps us to discover the new and improve on the known. Thanks to excellent research we are finding solutions to global problems and devising strategies for sustainable growth. Read more on the BMBF website.

The mission of the United Kingdom Medical Research Council (MRC) is to improve the health of people in the United Kingdom – and around the world – by supporting excellent science, and training the very best scientists. We are a non-departmental public body funded through the government’s science and research budget. Read more on the MRC website.

The Swedish international development cooperation agency (Sida) is a government agency working on behalf of the Swedish parliament and government, with the mission to reduce poverty in the world. Through its work and in cooperation with others, it contributes to implementing Sweden’s Policy for Global Development (PGU).

It implements the Swedish development policy that aims to enable people living in poverty to improve their lives. Another part of our mission is reform cooperation with Eastern Europe. The third part of our assignment is to distribute humanitarian aid to people in need of assistance. Read more on the website of Sida.