The UK Clinical Research Collaboration (UKCRC) has issued a call for outline applications to receive consortium grants under its Translational Infection Research Initiative.

This is the second Phase of the initiative, which was launched by the UKCRC in June 2007 with commitments of up to £16.5 million in total from seven funding partners and a goal of bolstering research into viral and bacterial infections. The latest call is for consortium grants only, with a deadline of 1 September 2009.

Funding for translational infection research is distributed through two channels: consortium grants, aimed at fostering multidisciplinary, multi-sectoral partnerships to conduct high-quality, goal-oriented infection research and to build academic capacity, training and infrastructure in the field; and strategy development grants, which should enable researchers to develop realistic and relevant research strategies and partnerships with the potential for significant national impact.

Two consortium grants and five strategy development grants were awarded in Phase I of the Translational Infection Research Initiative (2007-08). Up to £8 million is available in the Phase 2 (2009) funding round and the expectation is that one to two consortia will get individual grants of £3-£4 million for a period of five years.

Once the outline applications are in, the UKCRC plans to issue an invitation for full consortium grant proposals in December 2009, with a provisional deadline of March 2010 for these applications.

The Translational Infection Research Initiative is backed by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council; the Health and Social Care Research and Development unit of Northern Ireland’s Public Health Agency; the Medical Research Council; England’s National Institute for Health Research; the Chief Scientist Office of the Scottish Government Health Directorate; the Wales Office of Research and Development for Health and Social Care; and the Wellcome Trust.

The initiative arose from a Strategic Planning Group set up by the UKCRC in February 2006 to develop a co-ordinated approach to improving research into microbiology and infectious diseases in the UK.