Accelerating the Sustainable Control and Elimination of NTDs (Ascend) is funded by the UK Government’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) to advance the impact and sustainability of national programmes tackling neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). Ascend comprises of two lots – one focusing on South Asia, East and Southern Africa (lot 1) and the other on West and Central Africa (lot 2). A core component of the programme is the Ascend Research and Innovation Fund which finances research and innovation projects to accelerate progress towards control and elimination of NTDs.
Ascend lot 1 is implemented by a consortium of technical partners led by Crown Agents Limited, including Abt Associates, Oriole Global Health and the Royal Tropical Institute. Crown Agents Limited now invites applications requesting funding for potential research or innovation projects. Projects will propose research or innovative approaches to accelerate progress towards control and elimination of NTDs. Projects may also explore how adaptive NTD delivery can be supported to ‘build back better’ to minimise the risks of COVID-19 whilst also accelerating the elimination of NTDs. Projects can be at any stage from hypothesis testing, to pilot studies to scaling-up.
Applicants may apply for funding ranging from £25,000 to £350,000. Proposed projects will have to be completed by 31 January 2022 and must relate to one or more of the following NTDs and target countries:
- NTDs: lymphatic filariasis, onchocerciasis, schistosomiasis, visceral leishmaniasis, and trachoma
- Target countries: Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Sudan, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Bangladesh, and Nepal
This is an open Call for Applications under which applications are invited from any organisation. Applicants may be non-profit, academic, for-profit or government-owned organisations, either independently or in partnership or consortia. Applicants may be national or international organisations; international organisations are encouraged to show national collaboration and capacity strengthening within the target countries.
The full Call for Applications (CFA) document can be downloaded below.
The deadline for submission of applications is 10:00 hours (UK time) on Friday 29 January 2021. Applications must be submitted electronically in accordance with instructions contained in the CFA. Late applications will be rejected. Applicants are also requested to notify Crown Agents of their intention to submit an application by 15 January 2021.
The Fund is looking to invest in a range of projects that vary in size and focus. Proposed projects will be evaluated by an evaluation committee to assess their eligibility, contribution to Ascend objectives, feasibility, viability and value for money. Selected projects will be submitted to FCDO for approval.
Successful applicants will be expected to sign a subcontract based on terms set out in the CFA.