UKRI-NHMRC Built Environment and Prevention Research Scheme will support Australian participation and collaboration in world-leading prevention research seeking to address the shared burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) influenced by the built environment. 

Program Description

NHMRC is partnering with UK Research and Innovation’s (UKRI) Medical Research Council (MRC) and Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC) to support research proposals that aim to generate evidence that can be translated into actionable, sustainable and cost-effective ways of preventing NCDs, to improve population health and reduce health inequalities in the UK and Australia. 

Funding is for up to three years and NHMRC has committed up to $4 million to support the Australian component of projects commencing in 2020. The areas listed below are given as examples of aspects of the built environment in which multi-disciplinary research proposals are welcomed:

  • urban planning and regeneration
  • city design, including increasing conditions that promote health such as ‘active travel’ and access to green space
  • housing
  • transportation systems
  • air quality, both indoor and outdoor, and noise 
  • the indoor environment
  • neighbourhood diversity, including social regeneration and social cohesion, and access to health services
  • the relationship between the built environment, extreme weather events, and their impact on health.

Proposals need not be restricted to the examples cited as applications across the breadth of the built environment are encouraged.

For more information on the call, refer to the MRC website

Application Process

  • NHMRC will advertise this call through GrantConnect, Tracker, RAO Alert and on the NHMRC website.
  • NHMRC opens the grant opportunity in NHMRC's grants management system for researchers to participate in the call:
    • UK Principal Investigator (PI) submits to the MRC the Intention to Submit on behalf of the research collaboration.
    • Full application to be submitted by UK PI on MRC’s Joint electronic submission (Je-S) system on behalf of the UK and Australian research collaboration. This copy of the proposal will be used for the joint UK and Australian peer review process.
    • Australian CIA must complete and upload to NHMRC’s Research Grants Management System (RGMS), the full application form (including an identical copy of the Case for Support and the Justification of Resources) submitted to the MRC and address all of the eligibility criteria to be considered for a grant
  • Eligible applications are externally peer reviewed (step 1) and shortlisted if required:
    • Applications are assessed against eligibility criteria and applicants are notified if not eligible. 
    • The UK PI will be given opportunity to respond to external peer reviews on behalf of the UK and Australian research collaboration
  • Joint MRC-ESRC-NHMRC Peer Review Panel assessment (step 2):
    • Peer reviewers assess applications against the assessment criteria including an overall consideration of value for money 
    • The proposals with the highest scores will be funded in rank order until funding is exhausted
  • NHMRC funding recommendations approval process.


The UKRI-NHMRC Built Environment and Prevention Research Scheme has specific eligibility criteria, applications will be excluded from consideration if eligibility requirements are not met:

  • A research project must consist of Australian researchers collaborating with a research team from the UK involved in the call.
  • Proposals must seek to generate research outcomes relevant to the prevention of NCDs in the context of the built environment in the UK and Australia.
  • Submission of the compulsory Intention to Submit form. This is a compulsory stage and a full application will not be considered if an Intention to Submit is not provided.  

Grant at a glance

Level of funding