Results of our grants programme 2017/18

24 Jul 2017

In response to our recent call for proposals for small grants and travel scholarships, RSTMH is pleased to announce that we have awarded more than £100,000 in grants funding for clinicians and scientists across the field of tropical medicine and hygiene. 

We were inundated with applications for this round of grants, with almost 350 submissions coming in across the two areas. Please below for the breakdown.

Small grants:
  • 17 winners
  • 162 assessed
  • 217 applications
Travel scholarships:
  • 17 winners
  • 90 assessed
  • 122 applications

Of these total Submissions, we are supporting 17 small grants with a total of £83,695, and 17 travel scholarships totalling £16,915.

Overall, more than 300 applications were received. The applicant pool for both funding opportunities was split nearly equally between men and women, at 53% male and 47% female candidates applying to each. Researchers who applied for both small grants and travel support are based across all the continents, with the U.K., Nigeria, and Kenya comprising the most applications. There was also great diversity in the countries to which researchers sought to travel:

Small grants
  • Nigeria (26)
  • Kenya (16)
  • U.K. (12)
  • Ghana (12)
  • Uganda (10)
Travel scholarships
  • U.S. (9)
  • France (8)
  • Uganda (7)
  • South Africa (6)
  • U.K. (6)
Small grants

Small grant applications spanned many health and science disciplines, including immunology, health service research, disease prevalence studies, drug/insecticide resistance, vector control, and diagnostics, among others. Research proposals focused on 62 different disease areas, with malaria (33), HIV/AIDS (18), tuberculosis (13), maternal and infant health (8), and schistosomiasis (8) the most common topics. Some of the research supported by RSTMH grants include:

  • ‘Antibiotic resistance of the gut microbiome of sickle cell disease children in Ghana’ (Kwabena Obeng Duedu, University of Health and Allied Sciences, Ghana)
  • ‘Exploring the salivary glycome of Aedes aegypti’ (Karina Mondragon-Shem, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, U.K.)
  • ‘A crown of thorns? Coronavirus diversity in Puerto Rican bats and implications for public health monitoring’ (Anna Rose Sjodin, University of Connecticut, USA)
  • ‘Investigation of different African host response to M. tuberculosis complex lineages’ (Leopold Tientcheu Djomkam, Medical Research Council Unit, The Gambia)
Travel scholarships

The majority, around two-thirds, of travel scholarship applications were submitted with the intention of attending or presenting at a conference. Early-career researchers from a variety of fields and backgrounds applied, though most applicants were students (23 PhD, 5 Masters, 4 DPhil, 2 MD/medical, and 1 undergraduate). Common subjects of applications included HIV/AIDS, typhoid/salmonellosis, sexual health, diabetes, infectious disease, and microbiology. This year’s successful applicants will be attending conferences in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Jamaica, Panama, Sri Lanka, and the U.K. and training courses in Australia, Kenya, Tanzania, the U.K., and Vietnam.

We would like to thank all those who submitted proposals for this year’s grants round. We’re sorry that so many people were not successful this year, which was partly due to the increase in submissions. We’re currently talking to our partners in global health, to see if we may be able to fund more applications in future years, and we’ll let you know about this in due course.

For our winners, who we’ll tell you more about shortly, we wish them luck with their research or travel, and look forward to hearing about their outcomes in the coming months.

We would also like to thank the Grants and Awards Committee, and our assessors, who have worked tirelessly to review such a large number of applications this year.