Shaping the future: Our strategy for research and innovation in humanitarian response.

A global organisation that finds solutions to complex humanitarian problems through research and innovation..
Our purpose is clear: we work in partnership with a global community of humanitarian actors, researchers and innovators to improve the quality of humanitarian action and deliver better outcomes for people affected by crises.
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This funding call is now closed.

We are seeking proposals for research that will strengthen the evidence base for public health interventions in humanitarian crises and contribute to better health outcomes for people affected by crisis.

Addressing leading causes of morbidity and mortality, proposals must respond to a globally recognised current or anticipated health crisis in a humanitarian setting. This will be an on-going humanitarian crisis or an anticipated impending crisis. Proposals will be context specific and driven by evidence needs identified by stakeholders in the crisis setting. Your research question will address a critical public health evidence gap. It will be informed by people affected by the humanitarian crisis and demonstrate a clear demand for evidence from humanitarian operational organisations, policymakers or other evidence users.   

Proposals focusing on needs of women and girls are particularly encouraged. 

Get the full details in the Call Guidelines

For all key information about this funding call, including the eligibility criteria, application timelines, and a glossary of key terms, please read the Call Guidelines.

View Call Guidelines

Your proposal will demonstrate how the research findings will be used to inform humanitarian response, who the relevant stakeholders are and how the evidence will be used within the time frame of the study or immediately afterwards. You will have a clear and viable plan for the rapid uptake and application of research findings within humanitarian health policy, programming and/or practice. 


A globally recognised current or anticipated impending humanitarian health crisis of significant scale. Your research should aim to inform the real-time response to a health crisis that will be on-going during your research study. This could be a current health emergency which is expected to continue into 2023/24, or an anticipated health emergency. Find out more in our Call Guidelines and the video below.


Your research must respond directly to evidence needs that have been identified by humanitarian practitioners or policymakers who are responding to the health crisis where you will undertake your research. Your research objectives should also be informed by the people directly affected by the humanitarian crisis.

Research Uptake

All research should be designed so that humanitarian stakeholders will be able to rapidly apply the evidence produced to policy and practice. Research teams will need to be ‘positioned for impact’ with established stakeholder relationships in place or included as team members. Refer to the Call Guidelines and video below for more detail.

This funding call has a two-stage selection process: an initial Expression of Interest stage, and a subsequent Full Proposal stage for shortlisted applicants. If you are awarded a grant you will have up to 18 months to complete your research and uptake activities. 

We are currently awaiting confirmation that resources are available for this funding call. We anticipate that funds will be confirmed by 31 March, before applicants are invited to submit Full Proposals. However, as applicants to the R2HC, we want to make you aware that there is a slight risk that the full research call may not go ahead. 

Essential reading

It is important that you read the following before applying for this funding.

We also hosted a launch webinar on the 9th February where we introduced the two funding calls and answered questions. You can watch the webinar recording under videos below.

How to apply

All applications must be submitted via the online Common Grants Application system: 

All applications must be submitted in English. 


These videos provide important information about specific aspects of this funding call.

Play video
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Background resources

Additional resources to help you prepare your research proposal.


Title photo credit: WoMena Uganda.

Commonly Asked Questions

Can I undertake research on COVID-19?

This funding call is not specifically focused on COVID-19. In 2020, R2HC was able to fund 15 studies to support COVID-19 response in humanitarian settings through a dedicated funding call, which is now closed.

To be eligible for this funding call, if you want to focus on COVID-19, your proposal will need to clearly demonstrate that it meets the overall eligibility criteria and scope of the funding call as outlined in the Call Guidelines. Research studies must respond to critical evidence gaps identified by humanitarian practitioners that address leading causes of morbidity and mortality in a humanitarian health crisis setting.

What is the duration of the funding?

Successful Full Proposals will have up to 18 months  in which to undertake the research and uptake activities. Studies should plan to start in January 2023 and end in July 2024.

Are there any geographical restrictions for R2HC funding?

We do not fund research in countries that are not included in the DAC list of ODA recipients.

In addition, we are unable to fund research in countries that are currently subject to international sanctions. You should make yourself aware of the current sanction laws and relevant legislation, and be prepared to apply for any government licences if required. To be certain, we advise you to discuss with your legal counsel if required. 

How many proposals do you expect to be able to fund?

We hope to be able to fund 10-15 proposals across the two funding calls. However, this will depend on the total funding pot available (still to be confirmed) and the quality of the applications received. In previous years we have received approximately 150 eligible applications for our annual funding calls and been able to fund 5-10 proposals.

What happens to my Expression of interest once I've submitted it?

You will receive an email confirming receipt. Applicants will be informed of the outcome of the shortlisting process by mid-May 2022.

The Call Guidelines refers to a rebuttal stage. What is this and what will I need to do?

We include a rebuttal period in the review stage of the Full Proposal application process. This will provide an opportunity for applicants to respond to comments or questions raised by technical experts during their reviews. You will be given one week to provide clarifications. Your full proposal, the technical reviews, and your rebuttal response will then all be reviewed by Funding Committee members.

It will not be possible for you to amend your proposal in any way, just to provide additional information or clarifications. The rebuttal period is expected to be in July 2022.

What is the role of the Research Uptake Focal point?

We require that each study team includes a research uptake focal point.

To find out more about what we expect from this role and why it is so important, please watch this short video prepared by our Research Impact Manager, Cordelia Lonsdale.

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