29. May 2024

Request for Proposals for Addressing the Environmental Dimensions of AMR through intervention and implementation research

The Environment and AMR

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is extensively described in humans, animals, and to a lesser extent in the environment as the key One Health sectors. However, the relative roles of these sectors in the development, transmission, and persistence of AMR, and the associated risks to human and animal health, are yet to be unequivocally elaborated.

Bacteria in water, soil, air, and crops, are quantitatively the most prevalent bacteria. Some of these can be pathogenic to animals and humans and serve broadly as sources and reservoirs of AMR that can become incorporated into human and animal commensals and pathogens over time. AMR in the environment is further complicated or exacerbated by anthropogenic activities, including the influx of AMR genes from livestock and human waste via manure and sewage and the entry of antimicrobial residues from pharmaceutical industries, intensive crop and livestock farming, and hospital waste.

The built environment presents a further challenge. Various factors contribute to the development and spread of AMR in built environments, including the use of antimicrobial agents in cleaning products, including disinfectants, improper waste management, and the design of healthcare facilities. Understanding how these factors may contribute to the AMR problem is crucial for implementing effective mitigation strategies.

This is a call for multi-disciplinary intervention and implementation research proposals that mitigate the impact of antimicrobials and AMR in the natural and/or built environment on human and animal health. Studies that cross multiple One Health sectoral interfaces are strongly encouraged because integrated solutions are lacking but needed to address AMR as a global problem.

The scope of this request for proposals

The scope for the current request for proposals is for projects in the public health sphere that aim to mitigate the evolution and transmission of resistance in the natural or built environment to reduce the risks for human and animal health. Proposals are expected to show proof of concept.

We broadly define the ‘environment’ to include soil, air, the built environment, and water (including sewage). Proposals should focus on environmental settings that are considered likely hot spots for human and animal exposure to high concentrations of antimicrobial residues and high concentrations of drug-resistant bacteria, antimicrobial resistance genes, and associated mobile genetic elements. Such hotspots may include, but are not limited to: healthcare facilities, intensive livestock and aquaculture production systems, and human/animal downstream exposures to waste discharged from pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities.

Within the activities of your proposal, it would be considered desirable to include the use of quantitative methodologies to evaluate the impact of risks associated with such exposures, as well as tested mitigation measures, on both human and animal health. Such risk assessment might include complementary research activities in the proposed work plans that include human, animal, plant, and/or other health consequences of environmental AMR exposures.

As ICARS focuses on testing evidence-based solutions for AMR while generating contextualized evidence for policy and practice, all proposals must incorporate the intervention and implementation research framework as outlined in Mitigating antimicrobial resistance (AMR) using implementation research: a development funder’s approach – PMC (nih.gov).

Proposals may test interventions that have shown promising results in other settings (existing evidence base for their effectiveness and impact) or propose new/innovative interventions. We would also expect proposals to specify how teams will evaluate the effectiveness of the interventions (intervention research), as well as the enablers and barriers for the uptake of these interventions (implementation research) including details on study design, study tools, analysis approach, etc. For the implementation research component, we expect a comprehensive behaviour change and economic impact evaluation. A policy impact evaluation is additionally encouraged.

Purely observational studies (i.e., solely measuring AMR burden in the environment, establishing surveillance for AMR in the environment, etc.) will NOT be considered for this proposal round.

Templates and Process

Download all the relevant documents below:

Request for Proposals
Project Proposal Template
Gantt Chart Template
Budget Guidelines
Budget Spreadsheet 1
Budget Spreadsheet 2
Template for the CV of Researchers in the project team

The deadline for submission is 1 August 2024.

If you have any questions, please email RFP_EDAR@icars-global.org.

We look forward to receiving your proposal!

Watch the webinar recording