Emergency funding of COVID-19 research among EDCTP 2020 calls for proposals

03 April 2020

Today, EDCTP is publishing seven 2020 calls for proposals to support clinical research on poverty-related diseases, including neglected infectious diseases, and research capacity development in sub-Saharan Africa. The calls represent an investment of more than €80 million.

The first call to open is the Mobilisation of funding for COVID-19 research in sub-Saharan Africa. The emergency funding initiative which is open to applications from 03 April and closes on 17 April 2020, is part of the European response to the COVID-19 emergency.

“At this critical time, EDCTP has activated its emergency funding mechanism in view of the rapidly rising numbers of COVID-19 cases being reported from affected countries, including more and more sub-Saharan African countries. We call upon all our member states and global partners to join hands with us and co-finance the desperately needed collaborative clinical research involving COVID-19 to be conducted in sub-Saharan Africa.”

Dr Michael Makanga, EDCTP Executive Director

COVID-19 emergency call for proposals

EDCTP invites proposals for collaborative clinical research studies, i.e. Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Actions (RIA), to support research activities in sub-Saharan Africa to manage and/or prevent the spread of the current COVID-19 outbreak.

Mobilisation of funding for COVID-19 research in sub-Saharan Africa research (RIA2020EF)

Call budget: €4.75 million (This amount may increase depending on the response of the EDCTP member countries by 17 April 2020)
Opening date: 03 April 2020
Deadline: 17 April 2020

Proposals must demonstrate the study will

  • Address urgent research questions in the context of the current COVID-19 outbreak, in line with the research priorities of the Global Research Roadmap and the WHO R&D Blueprint for rapid activation of R&D activities during epidemics;
  • Strengthen national and local research capacity;
  • Coordinate and collaborate with other research and/or humanitarian activities operational in the countries affected;
  • Comply with International Council on Harmonisation – Good Clinical Practice (ICH-GCP), regulatory and ethical standards;
  • Commit to open access and data sharing principles.

The submission deadline is 17 April 2020. EDCTP has prepared an expedited review and approval procedure. Studies awarded funding will be invited to begin preparations for the grant agreement while being allowed to commence project activities immediately, with the date of submission of the proposal being the earliest possible starting date. The EDCTP2 grant agreement must be signed within two months of notification of award.

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EDCTP 2020 calls for proposals

Six EDCTP 2020 calls for proposals will open 10 April 2020 with various deadlines in July and August 2020, allowing ample time to prepare proposals.

Ethics and regulatory capacities (CSA2020ERC)
Call budget: €2.5 million
Expected number of grants: 6-8
Open date: 10 April 2020
Deadline: 16 July 2020

This call for proposals aims to support sub-Saharan African countries to establish and/or develop robust national medicines regulatory systems and capacities for ethical review of clinical research and use of medicinal products and technologies in humans, as well as national and international collaboration in compliance with established, internationally acceptable good practices. This scheme targets projects with active involvement of National Ethics Committees (NECs) and/or National Regulatory Authorities (NRAs) from countries with both weak and strong ethics and regulatory capacities in SSA.

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EDCTP Regional Networks (CSA2020NoE)

Call budget: €18 million
Expected number of grants: 4
Open date: 10 April 2020
Deadline: 23 July 2020

EDCTP has funded four regional networks, defined geographically as Southern, Eastern, Western, and Central Africa. These were established following a call for proposals in the EDCTP 2015 work plan. The specific objectives of these EDCTP Regional Networks included: strengthening clinical research capacity in order to be able to conduct multi-country clinical trials to ICH-GCP standards; enhancing collaboration and optimising the use of resources and infrastructures within the network; offering training and mentorship aimed at promoting professional development and scientific leadership in clinical trials; strengthening South-South and North-South collaborations between researchers and institutions; encouraging and promoting networking and dialogue between researchers, communities and policy makers to maximise the impact of clinical research in Africa.

The purpose of this Call for Proposals is to provide continued funding to EDCTP Regional Networks that have demonstrated significant progress towards achieving the pre-defined deliverables set out in the 2015 call.

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Capacity development for disease outbreak and epidemic response in sub-Saharan Africa, in collaboration with Africa CDC (CSA2020E)

Call budget: €5 million
Expected number of grants: 7-10 grants
Opening date: 10 April 2020
Deadline: 30 July 2020

This call for proposals aims to establish an African cohort of epidemiologists. Support will be given to 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 work force development. Master’s courses with practical field research experience are the preferable level of training. They are of relatively short duration and likely to deliver the required number of high-quality staff that is urgently needed in epidemic zones of sub-Saharan Africa.

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Career Development Fellowships in poverty-related diseases and child and adolescent health (TMA2020CDF)

Call budget: €3.75 million
Expected number of grants: 16-25
Open date: 10 April 2020
Deadline: 05 August 2020

The purpose of this call for proposals is to support early- to mid-career researchers (“fellows”) by providing them with opportunities to train and develop their clinical research skills. The objectives are 1) to promote retention of postdoctoral researchers and postgraduate medical researchers in the clinical or field research of sub-Saharan Africa; and 2) equip the fellows to establish themselves as independent researchers with ability to establish their own research teams at host institutions in sub-Saharan Africa.

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Innovative approaches to enhance poverty-related diseases research (RIA2020I)

Call budget: €23.4 million
Expected number of grants: 5-15
Open date: 10 April 2020
Deadline: 13 August 2020

This call for proposals aims 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 PRDs 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.

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Strategic actions to maximise the impact of research on reducing disease burden, in collaboration with development cooperation initiatives (RIA2020S)

Call budget: €23.4 million
Expected number of grants: 5-15
Open date: 10 April 2020
Deadline: 13 August 2020

The purpose of this call for proposals is to support distinct strategic actions which are part of a large-scale programme of development cooperation actions. Projects should focus on research to maximise the uptake of products and health interventions in sub-Saharan Africa. This may include actions to: enhance the uptake of research findings or products and interventions; provide evidence to translate findings into policy guidelines and clinical practice; improve implementation, delivery and roll-out of interventions to increase population coverage, acceptability and adherence; improve the monitoring of product safety post-marketing and surveillance; pragmatic clinical trials evaluating interventions under real-world clinical care settings. The projects should be implemented in conjunction with development cooperation initiatives that are supported by national and/or international development cooperation initiatives and/or other funders, including relevant WHO initiatives where appropriate.

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EDCTP 2020 work plan

The 2020 calls for proposals may also be found in the EDCTP Annual Work Plan 2020, which was approved by the European Commission on 24 March 2020 and by the EDCTP Board on behalf of the General Assembly on 27 March 2020.

Moreover, the work plan contains other EU-funded EDCTP activities to be commenced in 2020 (such as work shops and stakeholder meetings) and a description of the Participating States’ Initiated Activities (PSIAs).

PSIAs are research activities funded and managed by EDCTP member countries themselves which are nonetheless considered to be part of the EDCTP programme and count as financial contributions by the member countries. PSIA’s contribute to achieving the overall objectives of the EDCTP2 programme.

EDCTP Work Plan 2020 (PDF)