Researchers, policy-makers and business leaders from across the research and innovation community are invited to help tackle one of humanity’s biggest threats, anti-microbial resistance (AMR).  

  • funding will help establish cross-disciplinary research networks to develop new approaches to tackling AMR
  • networks will take a comprehensive approach, including culture, economics, behavior, biomedical and physical sciences, design and engineering, environmental sciences and more
  • part of UKRI’s Tackling Infections strategic theme

Researchers, policy-makers and business leaders can all play a part from across the research and innovation community, including:

  • social sciences and humanities
  • biotechnology
  • agriculture and food
  • tech and design
  • environment and engineering

Tackling the creeping pandemic of anti-microbial resistance – increasing resistance to antibiotics – is a large, complex problem, with terrible long-term consequences if left unaddressed. Ten million people each year are expected to lose their lives to it by 2050. And we know that it can’t be tackled by solely developing more antibiotics.

Instead, we need researchers from across disciplines to come together and look at all aspects of the problem – from human behavior and how we grow crops and rear animals for consumption to how we manage the environment or use technology, clinical management strategies or challenge established cultural norms.”

Dr Colin Miles, Head of Strategy, Advanced Manufacturing and Clean Growth

Overall, UKRI will award up to £10m in new funding, in two stages. This initial stage will allow groups of UK researchers to apply for a share of £3m to set up transdisciplinary networks to, for example:

  • develop new methods, technologies or common frameworks for data collection and analysis, including for example, rapid pathogen sequencing and antimicrobial usage.
  • work to improve data collection and standardization across disciplines  
  • look at the impact of climate change on AMR 
  • develop and evaluate broad, evidence-based interventions, like social, cultural and economic strategies or engineering/tech solutions, that go beyond pharmaceutical and chemical fixes
  • look at AMR in crop production and animals, including impacts on other reservoirs of resistance and on food security  

Tackling Infections is one of UKRI’s five strategic themes and these projects are just three of a number of investments in ways to investigate and better manage future infectious disease threats.

How to apply

For more information, including eligibility criteria and how to apply, check out UKRI’s funding opportunity.

We’re also running a webinar on 1 November to talk in more detail about the funding’s aims and allow researchers to ask questions.

Transforming tomorrow together

Through its five-year strategy Transforming Tomorrow Together 2022 to 2027, UKRI will harness the full power of the UK’s research and innovation system to tackle large-scale, complex challenges. To do this, it has identified five strategic themes, building on the millions that UKRI has invested and designed to encourage working across disciplines and building on existing investment and activity. 

Tackling infections will bolster our national defence and response capabilities by tackling infectious diseases that pose threats to people, livestock, crops and natural resources in more integrated and innovative ways. This will mean we’re better prepared for potential epidemics and more effectively tackle antimicrobial resistance.

Our aim is to build knowledge and capability to better detect and disrupt the emergence and spread of infectious diseases, accelerating the development of new vaccines and therapeutics. At the heart of this vision is our commitment to supporting world class discovery science and further understanding of disease.