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The Improving Equitable Access to Healthcare Pump Priming Scheme is open to researchers from all Divisions, including eligible researchers in Oxford’s Overseas Programmes, offering pump-priming grants to build interdisciplinary collaborations in the area of increasing global equitable access to healthcare.


The Improving Equitable Access to Healthcare Pump Priming Scheme will make awards of £10,000 – £50,000 (exceptional applications for up to £100,000 will be considered) with the aim of pump-priming activity and building interdisciplinary research collaborations in the area of increasing global equitable access to healthcare.

As described by Wellcome, the barriers to equitable access include inadequate healthcare systems, lack of infrastructure, pricing practices, and sub-optimal regulatory and procurement processes. IP is also a barrier if rights are not secured and managed in a manner that enables equitable access.

Any research project will be considered that aims to address one or more of these barriers, or other causes of inequality in access to healthcare (see Eligibility).

This scheme is currently expected to have a single application round (see Deadline).

Source of Funds

Wellcome have provided funding for this scheme through the IP Revenue Retention mechanism.

Equitable Access to Healthcare Network

A symposium is planned for 2024 to facilitate the development of a network of researchers in Oxford and identify areas of shared interest. All researchers working in the area will be welcome to attend, and representatives of all projects funded through this scheme will present a summary of their projects. This symposium will also inform the direction of any future calls.

Eligible Applicants

Applications will be accepted from researchers employed by any Division or Department of the University of Oxford (including eligible researchers in Oxford’s Overseas Programmes), the Oxford Colleges or GLAM. College staff will need a host department within the University to manage the award.

Eligible applicants will have a contract of employment with the University of Oxford or a College to conduct research, and will normally hold a post that includes responsibility for developing their own research agenda. Early Career Researchers and Senior Post-Doctoral Researchers who are not yet independent (e.g. are employed on another PI’s grant) are eligible, provided that the applicant has the support of their line manager and meets the other eligibility criteria. 

Lead Applicants on fixed term contracts must have a contract of employment for the duration of the proposed project. Honorary or visiting members of Departments are not eligible to be a lead applicant, but may be named as a co-investigator.

Researcher Co-Investigators

Research staff who are providing significant intellectual input to the development of the research proposal but who are not eligible to be the Lead Applicant or a Co-applicant can be included on the application as a Researcher Co-Investigator (RCo-I). This allows named researchers who have made a major contribution to the proposal and/or management of the project to have their contribution recognised.

If you have questions about your eligibility, please contact the Fund Managers (see Contact).

Eligible Projects

Any research project that aims to increase global equitable access to healthcare will be considered. Applicants must describe how their project will improve access to healthcare in one or more countries on the current DAC List of ODA Recipients.

Projects must be interdisciplinary and involve researchers or groups from more than one field of research in the project team. Development of interdisciplinary collaborations within the University of Oxford is encouraged, but applicants can include collaborators from outside the University in their application.

The application form asks for information about the members of the interdisciplinary team and their contributions to the project. A successful application will describe how researchers from more than one discipline will come together to generate a shared answer to the research question.

All projects must start by 01 June 2024 and must be completed by 30 November 2025. Extensions beyond this date will not be granted.

Eligible Costs

The Scheme will normally make awards of £10,000 – £50,000, but exceptional applications for up to £100,000 will be considered.

Any direct costs of research are eligible for funding, except PI/Co-I time which is not an eligible cost for this fund. It is not essential to offer match funding but proposals that can leverage funding from other sources will be received favourably.

Applications must be submitted online via the Internal Research Award Management System (IRAMS). Guidance on using IRAMS for applicants, departmental approvers and administrators is available on the Research Support pages.

Letters of support are not essential but any additional statements regarding collaborators, overseas partners, or the project’s supporting environment are encouraged. 

Download the application form (‘Case for Support template’) from IRAMS and complete it using the headings provided on the form. The application from should be no longer than 3 pages at 11 point font. Submit this form combined with short CVs for the Lead Applicant and Co-applicants and any letter(s) of support as a single PDF.

IRAMS Departmental Approvers must give departmental support for all applications through IRAMS. Some departments may set an earlier internal deadline for this so please check with your local grants team and prepare your application well in advance of the advertised deadline. 

The application deadline for the Improving Equitable Access to Healthcare Pump Priming Scheme is Thursday 29 February 2024, 12 noon. This scheme is currently expected to have a single application round.

Outcomes will be announced by the end of March 2024.

The Improving Equitable Access to Healthcare Pump Priming Scheme is managed by the Research Funding and Strategy Team in the Medical Sciences Division. For more information on the scheme, please contact