July 2019

Research preparedness starts now

As a network of research funders focused on infectious disease outbreak rapid response and preparedness, GloPID-R members are cognizant of the challenges the scientific community confronts in executing research while at the same time planning and mounting an emergency response to an infectious disease outbreak.

The Ebola outbreak, which WHO recently declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC), gives us a stark reminder of the complexities of conducting research during a quickly spreading epidemic. GloPID-R members are committed to staying current on the latest research results, streamlining funding methods, and developing international and regional collaborations to better leverage existing resources.

Many of GloPID-R’s priorities are established during its annual general assembly, the latest of which took place in Tokyo, Japan in May 13-14, 2019, hosted by the Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED). The representatives of the world’s major funding institutions convened and released new reports in social science, data sharing and chikungunya.

The members agreed that preparedness dialogue and collaboration before an outbreak is key to support the national research plans and infrastructures. During an outbreak, the research funding must align with national priorities. To that end, one of GloPID-R’s working groups will focus on how members can more effectively coordinate funding for research preparedness.

Another important evolution in GloPID-R is a new ambitious strategy to reinforce members’ capacity to develop rapid and aligned funding in outbreaks, to support development of research preparedness activities, and to help with the interactions with other stakeholders. This new structure will allow GloPID-R to be more dynamic and active in the future and better positioned as a consortium of funders.

As the whole world has its eye on the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and now Uganda, Ana Maria Henao Restrepo (WHO) presented the situation in DRC North Kivu and the response at the General Assembly. She highlighted the increased number of cases due to insecurity issues, the great work of the field teams, and the distribution of cases. Learning from the previous experience in 2014, research was rapidly integrated in the response, particularly in regards to the challenges of treatment and vaccinations. A new strategy was developed to adapt to the unique situations in the current outbreak. Several conference calls were held by GloPID-R Chairs during the outbreak, including with CEPI and WHO to discuss the current outbreak and facilitate funding for future projects. This coordination of research funding efforts shall be continued.

Lassa fever is also a priority infectious disease for GloPID-R members to discuss during the General Assembly. Chioma Dan Nwafor (NCDC) presented an update on the Lassa fever outbreak in Nigeria highlighting the fact that it has been a neglected disease without any clinical trials or vaccine development since the first cases in 1969. Huge efforts are now being made to improve preparedness and response.

Finally, two ancillary events were conducted in coordination with the General Assembly: one focused on social science and the other on data sharing. Dr. Kevin Bardosh presented the Funders’ Forum for Social Science’s report “Towards people-centered epidemic preparedness and response: From knowledge to action.” Commissioned by Wellcome, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and UK DFID on behalf of GloPID-R, the report outlines the gaps and opportunities for social science research during outbreaks.

Presentations were made on data sharing across three EC funded consortia on Zika (ZIKAlliance, ZIKAction and ZikaPLAN) and another on a study for mapping data on infectious diseases. The presentations identified that although progress is being made in data sharing when partners are willing, many challenges still remain on developing an open data sharing platform.

Many obstacles and challenges exist when it comes to infectious disease outbreaks. However, as the popular Chinese proverb goes, “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” With this in mind, GloPID-R members are making preparedness a top priority to facilitate a rapid and effective emergency response during an outbreak. GloPID-R’s approach will be global, look at all types of research, all steps involved in it and support research capacity building and preparedness.

Best regards,

Charu Kaushic
GloPID-R Vice Chair

GloPID-R Activities

New publications available

GloPID-R is on the move with new publications furthering our work toward infectious disease preparedness and response.

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The newly designed GloPID-R Roadmap for Data Sharing in Public Health Emergencies (PHEs) unveiled during the 2019 General Assembly

The GloPID-R Roadmap for Data Sharing in PHEs was presented at the side event on Data Sharing during the GloPID-R General Assembly in Tokyo on May 13, 2019.

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GloPID-R Member Activities

Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)Leveraging Scientific Expertise to Build an Ebola Toolkit for Psychosocial Interventions at the Acfas Conference

On May 29, 2019, amidst the Association francophone pour le savoir (Acfas) Congress – the largest francophone scientific conference in North America, the Government of Canada hosted a breakfast panel discussion on the topic of Ebola and its effect on the mental health of local communities.

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European Commission & CIHRNew Consortium ReCoDID Launched to Facilitate Data and Sample Sharing for Infectious Diseases

Reconciliation of Cohort data in Infectious Diseases (ReCoDID), a Horizon 2020 project funded by the European Commission (EC) and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), had its inaugural kick-off meeting May 6-7 in Heidelberg, Germany.

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The Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development (ZonMw)10 Million Euros Awarded for One Health Research in Netherlands

In the next five years, Erasmus MC, together with partners from the Netherlands Centre for One Health, a partner organization of The Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development (ZonMw), member of GloPID-R, will investigate how the Netherlands can be better prepared for infectious diseases transmitted by mosquitoes.

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WellcomeWellcome advances knowledge of cholera and influenza vaccines at global meetings

Wellcome, through the Vaccine Priority Area, attended the recent Global Taskforce for Cholera Control where Wellcome and Department for International Development’s (DFID) funded researchers presented on their projects.

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Other News

G20 Leaders Reaffirm Commitment to Global Health

G20 leaders met in Osaka on June 28-29, 2019 to address major global economic challenges. They mainly focused on global trade, digital transformation, climate and energy, and inequalities while also recognizing other pressing issues like global health.

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Highlight Event: European Research and Innovation Days - September 24 26, 2019

European Research and Innovation Days is the first annual policy event of the European Commission, bringing together stakeholders to debate and shape the future research and innovation landscape.

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Funding Calls

European Union Horizon 2020 - SC 1 Health, demographic change and wellbeing - Work Programme 2018-2020 (Updated July 3, 2019)

SC1-BHC-13-2019: Mining big data for early detection of infectious disease threats driven by climate change and other factors


It is expected that proposals develop:

  • the technology to allow the pooling, access, analysis and sharing of relevant data, including next generation sequencing;
  • the innovative bio-informatics and modelling methodologies that enable risk modelling and mapping; and
  • the analytical tools for early warning, risk assessment and monitoring of (re-) emerging infectious disease threats.

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Vaccines against Lassa virus diseases - Joint call with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI)

  • Call budget: € 40 million
  • Open date: November 2, 2019
  • Close date: April 7, 2020


The purpose of this call for proposals is to support distinct strategic actions (clinical research activities) which are part of efforts to prepare and conduct a large-scale clinical trial that has the potential to achieve proof of concept and/or the demonstration of pivotal efficacy of novel candidate vaccines against LASV.

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Upcoming Events

5th African Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases and Biosecurity

Global Emerging Pathogens Treatment Consortium (GET)

Abuja, Nigeria
August 7-9, 2019

OPTIONS X for the Control of Influenza

International Society for Influenza and other Respiratory Virus Diseases

August 28 – September 1, 2019

11th European Congress on Tropical Medicine and International Health (ECTMIH 2019)

Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene

September 16-20, 2019
Liverpool, UK

Yersinia 2019

Institut Pasteur de Madagascar

September 16-19, 2019
Antananarivo, Madagascar

ERS International Congress 2019

European Respiratory Society

September 28 – October 2, 2019
Madrid, Spain

World Health Summit

October 27-29, 2019
Berlin, Germany

ESWI Science Policy Flu Summit

European Scientific Working Group on Influenza

November 20, 2019
Marseille, France


American Society of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene

November 20-24, 2019
Maryland, USA

3rd International Conference on Zika Virus and Aedes related Infections

Target Conferences

February 13-16, 2020
Washington D.C., USA

19th International Congress on Infectious Diseases International Society for Infectious Diseases (ISID)

February 20-23, 2020
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

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The GloPID-R Secretariat is a project which receives funding from the European Union’s Horizon Europe research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 101094188.