Antimicrobial resistance (AMR), is a term used to describe disease-causing organisms that have evolved to survive medicines that have been designed to kill them or stop their growth. The numbers of bacteria that are becoming resistant to antibiotics are increasing, with the development of new antibiotics and treatments being slower to emerge. It is clear that AMR is a hugely complex problem with a range of influences, driven by human activity as much as by biological mechanisms. Biomedical and clinical expertise alone cannot tackle AMR and globally co-operative interdisciplinary approaches are needed to tackle the challenge.
The Research Councils are working together on a cross-council initiative to tackle AMR. Four themes have been identified as areas for research activity across the Council remits and a number of funding calls have been held. More details can be found on the MRCwebsite
The AHRC, working with RCUK partners, is leading on a funding call under Theme 3: Understanding Real World Interactions. The call, focusing on AMR in the built and indoor environment will be launched in November 2016. The call is expected to be for full proposals for pump-priming awards of up to £250,000 and up to 36 months duration. The deadline is expected to be in February 2017. AHRC anticipate funding in the region of 8-12 projects.
The call will invite innovative, cross disciplinary proposals that increase our understanding of the role that human and animal interactions with, and within, the indoor and built environment play in contributing to, or preventing, the evolution of AMR, and the potential for culturally informed, creative and design-led approaches to generate innovative ways to address the challenges of AMR in indoor and built environments.
Key areas which it is expected that the call will cover include:
- Places, Spaces, Cultures and Practices: Interactions with and within the Indoor and Built Environment
- Pathways and Journeys through the Built Environment and the Dynamics of Change
- Creative, Collaborative and Disruptive Innovation, Experiments and Design in Indoor/ Built Environments
- Reflection, Learning, Data and Valuing Impacts from Changes to the Indoor/ Built Environment
The call will encourage the development of new perspectives and creative thinking on the challenges of AMR through bringing distinctive Arts and Humanities and design research approaches more centrally into cross-disciplinary research and practice relating to AMR in the indoor and built environment. The call will seek to support boundary-crossing collaborations and dialogue between arts and humanities researchers and other disciplines, professions and fields of practices, including those that cross Research Council boundaries. Proposals involving arts and humanities researchers who may not have previously engaged with AMR will be welcomed.
Design is a priority research area for AHRC, and while proposals may contain expertise from across the AHRC remit and beyond, including cross-disciplinary areas such as medical and health humanities, it is considered that design, in its broadest definition has huge potential to contribute to this research area.
AHRC will be holding an all-day networking and information event in Central London on 30 November 2016. The event will provide an opportunity to discuss research opportunities relevant to the call and for interested researchers and collaborators to network: