R2HC Support Application guidance
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Application guidance

Application guidance

Last updated 02/02/2021


Our Research for Health in Humanitarian Crises programme aims to improve health outcomes for people affected by humanitarian crises by strengthening the evidence base for public health interventions. R2HC encourages world class research through fostering collaboration between operational humanitarian agencies and research institutions. R2HC aims to bridge the gap between research and practice in relation to public health interventions in humanitarian crises.

R2HC offers funding for a range of humanitarian research studies through applications to our specific funding opportunities including the Annual Open and Formative Research Call as well as Responsive and Thematic Calls.

Concepts and framing

Research uptake

For R2HC it is crucial that research we fund has a measurable, positive impact on improving the public health response in humanitarian crises. This commitment is reflected in the grants that we fund; all applicants are asked to submit with their proposals a clear vision for impact, demonstrating that the evidence they will produce can lead to tangible changes for people affected by crisis.

They are asked to outline their intended ‘pathways to uptake’, detailing how they will ensure that humanitarian stakeholders can access, use and apply the learning and findings generated by the study. R2HC supports grantees post-award to develop research impact goals and stakeholder engagement strategies to amplify learning and promote use of evidence using our Research Impact Toolkit, via team workshops, peer learning activities and through providing tools and resources.

We are also undertaking research to inform the humanitarian health research community about ‘Pathways to Uptake’ to help study teams overcome barriers to uptake and deliver greater impact through research.

Contact c.lonsdale@elrha.org to find out more about our approach to uptake and impact.

Funding calls

R2HC offers a range of research opportunities, recognising the value of shorter and longer-term research in response to a range of existing and unforeseen research needs. These include:

  • Annual Open Research: this is a funding mechanism for research that is usually 2-3 years in length, open in scope to any topic relevant that address any critical public health evidence gap that seeks to inform humanitarian health response. We have launched an open research call on an annual basis since 2013.
  • Responsive research: this funding mechanism responds to unforeseen crises, such as recent COVID-19 and Ebola outbreaks. It aims to fund rapid research, usually 3-12 months in length, which can inform the crisis response in real-time.
  • Formative research: this is funding for exploratory research addressing any critical public health evidence gap, that contributes to the design of a longer-term study. Studies are usually 12 – 18 months long. Calls for Formative research applications are run in parallel to our Annual Open research calls.
  • Thematic research: we are currently exploring the potential to launch research funding calls focused on specific health themes. This will help to build bodies of evidence in thematic areas, responding to identified research gaps and priorities.
  • Seed fund grants: we offer seed grants to support shortlisted applicants in our Annual open research calls. These small grants support research teams to strengthen their research partnerships. They are also used to improve knowledge of research settings and build relationships with communities affected by humanitarian crises and other stakeholders.

Connecting you with experts

We collaborate with a wide network of humanitarian health researchers and practitioners. We can put you in touch with experienced academics or practitioners from many different thematic fields if you need support in developing your research team. Just write to us letting us know what you’re looking for.

Technical guidance

Health economists

R2HC is keen for applicants to consider how health economics can be applied in their studies. Cost analyses often provide important data which can inform humanitarian decision-makers. We have connections with a number of health economists working in humanitarian health research, and can facilitate connections for applicants interested in including economic analysis into proposals.

In March 2021, health economists from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine presented a webinar outlining how health economics can be used to strengthen humanitarian health research. Watch it again here.

Quality of Care

In February 2021, a team from the World Health Organization delivered a webinar focused on quality of care. They introduced a technical package on quality of care in fragile, conflict-affected and vulnerable settings. The package presents a flexible approach to planning action on quality, focused around implementation of a set of evidence-informed quality interventions. The webinar explored ways in which quality of care can be incorporated in research proposals. Watch it again here.


Am I eligible for funding?

Any not-for profit organisation based in any country is eligible to apply for funding. However, you need to be a legally registered organisation and you need a bank account registered to that organisation. If you are selected for funding, you will need to be able to pass our Due Diligence process and agree to our standard terms and conditions.

In addition to the above, every funding opportunity is unique and will have its own assessment criteria. The assessment criteria will be outlined in the Call Guidelines. We recommend that you carefully review the Call Guidelines and make sure you meet the assessment criteria, and then demonstrate this as explicitly as possible in your application.

How do I register my interest and apply for funding?

Each of R2HC’s funding opportunities will be advertised in our newsletters and on our website. This will be your opportunity to apply, if you feel you are eligible and can match the call’s criteria. We are only able to accept applications in response to a specific funding call.

You must submit your application via our online application system by the given deadline. You can find out more about how to do this in the Call Guidelines. All applications must be submitted in English.

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