Application Opens: 2013-10-13
Application Closes: 2013-11-10 at midnight GMT
Summary of funding available across the four research questions
Applications are invited for funding to support work on any of four research questions identified at the recent TB MAC meeting on ‘Modelling to support rational introduction of new drugs and regimens’. Two awards of US$72,500 are available (ie the total funds available across all four research questions = US$145,000).
Title: Modelling to support rational introduction of new drugs and regimens
Reference: TB MAC RFA 3
Duration: Up to 9 months
Funds available: US$145,000 in total across all four research questions
Number of awards available: 2 (Two awards of US$72,500)
Submission opening date: Oct 13th 2013
Submission closing date: Nov 10th 2013
Decisions announced: Dec 9th 2013
Contact: Olivia Ross-Hurst

Details of research question #1 “What is the optimal allocation of a limited resource to the control of MDR TB?”

The effective management of MDR-TB is a high priority for tuberculosis control, but how should limited funds be allocated so as to achieve the best possible outcome? The standard approach to resource allocation, namely cost-effectiveness analysis, does not solve the problem of how to distribute a finite resource among competing priorities — for instance, the balance of investment in treating drug sensitive and drug resistant TB to minimize MDR-TB. Results from this study would inform the rational use of both present and future drug regimens in preventing and reversing the spread of drug resistance.

Work Required

Interventions on MDR TB control broadly separate into 1) preventing acquired TB through improving the existing diagnosis and treatment of drug sensitive TB cases, and 2) preventing transmission of MDR by more/earlier diagnosis and successful treatment of existing MDR TB cases, but could also include treatment of latent TB infection or alternative creative approaches. Successful applications will consider different combinations of interventions.

Specific consideration should be given to:

A. Model requirements
– The model should use currently available drugs and diagnostic tools
– The proposal should evaluate two or more contrasting and relevant epidemiological settings (by incidence, HIV or MDR prevalence).
– The model should consider both economical and epidemiological aspects

B. Applicants should clearly specify, and consider how the sensitivity of their results depends on:
– Epidemiological setting (TB incidence and mortality, initial prevalence of MDR and HIV)
– Choice of MDR-TB indicators to be optimized
– Current levels of TB control
– Scale of interventions


The aims are (1) to develop a mathematical framework for optimal allocation of resources to MDR-TB control, and (2) to present results for two or more epidemiological settings.


  1. To develop a mathematical framework for optimal allocation of resources to MDR-TB control
  2. To present results for two or more epidemiological settings

Assessment criteria

All applications will be reviewed by expert reviewers. All applications to this research question will be scored against the following criteria:

  • Is the research question and plan well-described
  • Is the research team qualified to conduct this research
  • Is the budget and timeline appropriate for the proposed activity
  • Is the proposal likely to meet the aim and objectives outlined in the RFA
  • Is the dissemination and impact maximisation plan adequate
  • Does the proposal explain how models and data will be shared for maximum public utility
  • Show a clear understanding of the limitations of present analysis for resource allocation (cost-effectiveness etc), and propose an improved mathematical framework for analysis
  • Show how the modelling will be tied to data, preferably for countries/settings where the management of MDR-TB is a high priority
  • Explain how collaborations have been or will be developed to carry out the project and apply the results


1) One manuscript (5-20 pages):
i) draft submitted to TB MAC by grant end date
ii) submitted for publication to an international peer-reviewed scientific journal by grant end date + 3 months
2) One presentation (15-30 slides):
i) submitted to TB MAC by the grant end date, and
ii) presented at a TB MAC or other international meeting/conference by grant end date + 6 months.
3) To prepare a brief to explain how the results could be applied in practice, how the findings will be disseminated, and how models and data will be shared for maximum public utility, by grant end date + 3 months.
A contract will be issued from LSHTM either to an institution or to an applicant personally in the form of consultancy fees.
Standard terms
Work done with and for TB MAC is subject to a standard set of terms that require information sharing between all groups working within TB MAC. A full set of terms is available on request.
Members of the TB MAC Secretariat and Advisory Panel are not eligible for this award.
Applications should include a proposal limited to three pages (excluding references, and with a minimum of 11 point font size). Proposals should include: (i) an introduction to the topic; (ii) description of previous work in the area by the applicants; (iii) description and justification of the intended approach; (iv) timeline for the proposed work; (v) budget and its justification. In addition, the principal applicant should provide a separate short bio-sketch (one page summary of qualifications, research interests, key funding publications and major sources of research support).
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