The UK government has invited the research and innovation community to help tackle one of humanity’s biggest threats, antimicrobial resistance (AMR).


Source: CDC/ Antibiotic Resistance Coordination and Strategy Unit

Medical illustration of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteria,

The funding will help to set up new, or build on existing cross-disciplinary networks to develop new approaches to tackling AMR;  and to take a comprehensive approach, including culture, economics, behaviour, biomedical and physical sciences, design and engineering, environmental sciences and more.

It’s all part of UK Research and Innovation’s (UKRI) 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; and environment and engineering.

Researchers needed 

Dr Colin Miles, Head of Strategy, Advanced Manufacturing and Clean Growth, said: ”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 behaviour 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.

New funding

Overall, UKRI will award up to £10 million in new funding, in two stages. This initial stage will allow groups of UK researchers to apply for a share of £3 million 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 standardisation 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 or 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, explore UKRI’s funding opportunity.

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