International Research Funding Agencies

Major Funding Agencies

National Institutes of Health

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is the principal health research agency of the US Federal Government; it is a component of the Department of Health and Human Services. With headquarters in Bethesda, Maryland, the NIH is a large, complex organization composed of 27 distinct institutes and centers. Most applications for support are unsolicited and originate with the individual investigators who develop proposed plans for research or research training within an area of interest to the NIH. Occasionally, to hasten the development of a program or to stimulate submission of applications in an area of high priority or special concern, an institute will issue a Program Announcement (PA) to describe new, continuing, or expanded program interests, or issue an RFA inviting grant applications in a well-defined scientific area to accomplish a scientific purpose.

NIH funding opportunities can be found at *

For international funding, it would also be useful to visit the website of the Fogarty International Center. The Fogarty International Center’s mission is to promote and support scientific research and training internationally to reduce disparities in global health. *

NIH Forms and Applications can be found at *

Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Through its grants to individuals and institutions, HHMI supports the efforts of scientists and educators, colleges, and universities, museums and biomedical research organizations. The largest privately funded education initiative of its kind in the United States, HHMI's grants program is enhancing science education for students at all levels, from the earliest grades through advanced training. Grants awarded by HHMI fit within two general categories: research grants for individuals and science education grants for institutions. Most HHMI grants are awarded through competitions that have specific objectives and eligibility criteria. Except for the medical student fellowship competition, the international research scholar competitions, and the HHMI-NIH research scholar competition, application is by invitation only. *

European Union

Life sciences, genomics and biotechnology for health is one of seven major thematic priorities of the European Union’s Sixth FrameWork Programme (FP6). All areas within the Life Sciences, genomics and biotechnology for health are open to international co-operation. In general, projects must have a minimum number of participants from Member States, Candidate States and/or other Associated States, but beyond this participation is open, in principle to legal entities from any country. There is a particular focus on co-operating with organisations from INCO target countries (African, Caribbean, Pacific, Asian & Latin American countries; The Mediterranean partner countries; Russia and the New Independent states; Western Balkan Countries), and on countries with Scientific and Technical co-operation agreements.

The Wellcome Trust

The Wellcome Trust is an independent research-funding charity, established under the will of Sir Henry Wellcome in 1936. It is funded from a private endowment. Its mission is ‘to foster and promote research with the aim of improving human and animal health’. To this end, it supports 'blue skies' research and applied clinical research. It also encourages the exploitation of research findings for medical benefit. *

Department for International Development

The Department for International Development (DFID) is the UK Government department responsible for promoting sustainable development and reducing poverty. The central focus of the Government’s policy is a commitment to the internationally agreed Millennium Development Goals, to be achieved by 2015. These seek to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, achieve universal primary education,promote gender equality and empower women, reduce child mortality,improve maternal health,combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases,ensure environmental sustainability and develop a global partnership for development. DFID’s assistance is concentrated in the poorest countries of sub-Saharan Africa and Asia, but also contributes to poverty reduction and sustainable development in middle-income countries, including those in Latin America and Eastern Europe. Areas in India that qualify for DFID funding are Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal and Orissa. *

Ford Foundation

The Ford Foundation is a resource for innovative people and institutions worldwide. Their goals are to strengthen democratic values, reduce poverty and injustice, promote international cooperation and advance human achievement. Since their interests are more social than research oriented, before a request is made for a grant or program-related investment, a brief letter of inquiry is advisable to determine whether the foundation’s present interests and funds permit consideration of the request. *

Rockefeller Foundation

The Rockefeller Foundation is a knowledge-based global foundation with a commitment to enrich and sustain the lives and livelihoods of poor and excluded people throughout the world. In order to maximize its resources and leverage the Foundation's strengths, grantmaking is organized around four thematic lines of work: Creativity & Culture, Food Security, Health Equity and Working Communities. *

Grant Funding Databases


This is a website supported by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the Burroughs Wellcome Fund. It is an American-based resource but has a searchable, continuously updated, database of US based and international funding opportunities in biomedical research. It contains programs that offer training and research funding for graduate and medical students, postdoctoral fellows, and junior faculty, as well as programs in science, math, engineering, and technology for undergraduate faculty and students. There are over 1400 funding programs in the GrantsNet database. *

Research and Development Information

RDInfo is a UK based site that provides researchers with direct access to up to the minute information on health-related funding opportunities. This service is a Joint University of Leeds and Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust project, exclusively funded by the Department of Health. The site is searchable by criteria, including free text. *