Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), Zika and Ebola are just a few of the infectious diseases with increasing incidence in the past 20 years that have created headlines worldwide. In addition, major killers from the past such as tuberculosis have re-emerged because some strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis have developed resistance.
Growing populations are a major reason that infection can spread more easily. Populations are also ageing, adding to the number of people with potentially poorer health. This makes them more susceptible to disease and more likely to become sources of transmission.
Predicting and avoiding pandemics in the future requires focusing on research initiatives to understand these emerging and re-emerging pathogenic microorganisms.
Through its Challenge Programme, the Novo Nordisk Foundation is therefore focusing on research on emerging infectious diseases, one of three themes for the 2019 Challenge Programme. The Foundation awards up to DKK 360 million annually under the Programme. The grants of DKK 60 million each are paid out over 6 years. Applications may be submitted now; the deadline is 6 December 2018.
Under this theme, the Foundation will award grants for research projects that investigate infectious microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses, fungi and protozoa. Research projects may, for example, examine the biology and incidence of newly emerging pathogens or examine the conditions that promote their growth. Projects may also develop systems that can monitor the incidence of newly emerging infectious diseases and existing infectious diseases that have re-emerged as a threat. Research projects aiming to develop more rapid, less expensive and more precise diagnostic methods may also be eligible. Applications may also be submitted for developing new medicines for combating infectious diseases.
“Emerging infectious diseases are a major global challenge. The aim of this Challenge Programme theme is to obtain knowledge on the biology of infectious pathogens to be able to predict and prevent outbreak of disease. We also want to contribute to developing medicine to treat diseases if they spread and thereby improve people’s health,” says Niels-Henrik von Holstein-Rathlou, Head of Research and Innovation Grants, Novo Nordisk Foundation.
The Challenge Programme was established 5 years ago, and the Board of the Foundation recently earmarked DKK 1.8 billion (€241 million) for continuing the Programme for the next 5 years. Emerging Infectious Diseases is one of three themes for the 2019 Challenge Programme. The other two themes are Modern Plant Science – Towards a Sustainable World and How Dietary Factors Affect the Human Microbiome.
Read more about each research theme, the application criteria and the application process here.
About the Challenge Programme
The Challenge Programme focuses on in-depth research on specific global challenges within annually selected research themes.
The Foundation awards up to DKK 360 million annually under the Programme, with themes varying from year to year. The grants of DKK 60 million each are paid out over 6 years and provide research groups with the opportunity to carry out research on an important problem within the themes chosen.
The approach can be cross-disciplinary and is not limited to any particular method or discipline. Projects must be based at a Danish university, hospital or other non-profit research organization. Read more about the Challenge Programme here.
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