Home Grants and Funding Opportunities Incentive Grants for Young Researchers from Low- and Middle-Income Countries


The WHO Global NCD Platform and the Defeat-NCD Partnership (UNITAR) in collaboration with the Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research (WHO) intend to roll out an incentive grants programme to strengthen the capacity for implementation research in low- and middle-income countries. The programme will facilitate the development of and demand for locally-generated research to address context-specific problems and propose action-oriented solutions. The programme will also encourage partnerships among implementers, policy-makers, and researchers to identify the barriers to scaling up NCD and mental health interventions and improve the uptake of research results for effective policy and programme development.

Scope and Activities

It is intended that the grants will support research projects that address the following:

  • Identify gaps, implementation challenges, and national priorities, and propose solutions with the potential to influence policy and practices for NCD prevention and control and promotion of mental health and well-being in LMICs.
  • Engage diverse stakeholders across sectors and actors throughout the research process.
  • Explore the best strategies to create strong partnerships between governments, NGOs, the private sector, researchers, communities, and individuals (particularly vulnerable populations) to address NCD prevention and control and promotion of mental health and well-being.
  • Identify lessons about implementation and propose feasible actionable solutions within the context.
  • The results of this work may inform further research into this area in the future, including testing such practices and mechanisms in various settings.


The submitted proposals can address a wide variety of issues aimed at scaling up NCD prevention and control and promotion of mental health and well-being, establishing multisectoral and multistakeholder coordination mechanisms, and understanding innovative integrated delivery models to shift from disease-focused treatment approaches to sustainable person-centered health systems. The goal is to accelerate country-level responses towards target 3.4 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: By 2030, reduce premature mortality from NCDs through prevention and treatment and promote mental health and well-being.

Completed research reports with findings and recommendations;

Policy brief incorporating the outcomes of research and recommendations;
Dissemination of research findings through WHO and the Defeat-NCD Partnership conferences, webinars, and/or other media;
The Global NCD Platform, the Defeat-NCD Partnership, and the Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research, may consider a potential publication of research results of selected projects in peer-reviewed, open-access journals.

Strengthened capacity of individual young researchers in LMICs to carry out research and act as catalysts for institutional change.

An increased critical mass of researchers with up-to-date skills to identify needs and develop solutions for scaling up interventions for NCD prevention and control and promotion of mental health and well-being in LMICs;

Production of research results with the potential to influence policy and practices for NCD prevention and control and promotion of mental health and well-being at national and global levels.

This call specifically targets individual young researchers, who are enrolled in accredited academic institutions (applicants may refer to the World Higher Education Database (WHED) http://www.whed.net/) and will be conducting research projects as part of their master’s degree requirements. Projects leading to a doctoral degree will only be considered if the research can be completed within 12 months from the date of the grant award.

Priority will be given to researchers based in LMICs. Proposals from LMIC researchers based in institutions of high-income countries may be considered on a case-by-case basis. In all cases, and regardless of where researchers are based, the focus of the research itself must be on LMICs.

The applicants should meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Be under 35 years of age (a copy of a national passport or other valid identification may be requested for reference purposes only);
  • Be a national of LMIC and conduct research related to LMICs. Priority will be given to researchers enrolled in institutions of LMICs. The list of countries by income group is available for reference at
  • Be enrolled in a course of study at the time of application leading to a graduate degree (master’s in health or a related discipline. Doctoral degree candidates will be considered if they complete the project within 12 months from the date of the award) from an accredited university. (Applicants may refer to the World Higher Education Database
    (WHED) http://www.whed.net/ );
  • Conduct research as part of their academic study;
  • Must not be fully dependent on this incentive grant to conduct their research; proof of the availability of other funding may be required;
  • Be fluent in English, as only submissions in English will be accepted at this time;
  • The researchers should be prepared to submit their Institutional Review Board approval of projects (if required). In addition, the researcher must obtain a letter of permission from the thesis supervisor authorizing the conduct of the study and submission of the proposal to WHO and the Defeat-NCD Partnership for the incentive grant.
  • The researchers should demonstrate the availability of funding for the project as this incentive grant is intended to be complementary not a sole source of support for the research project.

Application process

  • Deadline: Thursday, 30 September 2021, 23:59 CEST, size limit per email: 7MB
  • Applications submitted after this deadline will not be considered.
  • Only successful candidates will be notified by 15 November 2021.
  • Only submissions in English will be considered at this time.
  • Submissions should be directed to [email protected]
  • Please use the following subject line: WHO-DNCD grant proposal: Implementation research against NCDs.


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