Economics of Tobacco Control Research Initiative

About this scheme

Key information

Career level
Post doc
Early career researcher
Mid-career researcher
Established independent researcher
Industry researcher
Non-clinical researcher
Health professional
Research area
Cancer prevention
Policy research
Preliminary submission
Final submission
Committee review
Funding period
up to 4 years
Funding amount
$300,000 – $1million Canadian Dollars
We're funding economic research to support tobacco control policy in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).

Eligible organisations

Applications must be submitted by a lead applicant organisation from a low- or middle-income country (LMIC) in one or more of:

  • Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Asia
  • Middle East
  • North Africa
  • Latin America
  • Caribbean

Institutions from an eligible region may co-apply with institutions from LMICs.

Some countries considered high risk may not be eligible (see FAQ for details).

Applicant organisations can be private (e.g. non-governmental organisations, cooperatives, unions, civil society organisations, non-profit foundations or divisions of for-profit organisations) or public research organisations (e.g. from governmental departments, agencies, or ministries).

Applicant organisations must:

  • Be registered as a legal entity in an eligible country
  • Have a key corporate objective to carry out independent research
  • Have a corporate policy to allow researchers to publish freely in the international academic literature
  • Declare any conflicts of interest
  • Not have any past or current affiliations with the tobacco industry*

Applications may include experts from third-party organisations in the role of advisers or consultants to the project, but not as principal or collaborating investigators. Third-party organisations are not required to be located in eligible countries.

Please consult the frequently asked questions for complete details of the eligibility criteria and roles for each type of participant organisation as well as additional information on this call.

*We will not provide funding to any research team who are or have been a recipient of funds from the tobacco industry, including via third-party organisations such as Foundation for a Smoke-free World, or to any team working in close proximity to such a team. See our full policy on tobacco industry funding​.

Eligible projects

The general objective of the call is to generate evidence that provides the economic rationale for the prevention of tobacco-related diseases and the research uptake by policy actors that allows for the adoption of tobacco-control policies across LMICs in the eligible regions. This includes building LMIC capacity to demonstrate institutional leadership and conducting economic and policy research on tobacco control.

The specific objectives of the call are to:

  1. Support collaborations between multi-disciplinary teams of researchers, knowledge brokers and policy makers in generating trusted economic rationale for policy action.
  2. Attract economists, policy research institutions, and non-governmental organisations in LMICs with the local knowledge and expertise required to forge relations and dialogue with Ministries of Finance and other key government actors.

Generating evidence to implement effective fiscal and policy measures for tobacco control is at the heart of this initiative. Projects should aim to enable the strengthening of implementation of effective tobacco control measures, with a particular emphasis on supporting finance ministries in their efforts to increase tobacco taxes.

Applications are encouraged to address at least one of the following research themes:

  • Best practices in tobacco taxation
  • Economic impacts of tobacco use
  • Economic impact of tobacco control policies and programmes 
  • Policy barriers to fiscal measures imposed by international or regional economic agreements
  • Health equity and differential economic impact of policies on low-income groups, women, indigenous people
  • Financing mechanisms for tobacco control and non-communicable disease prevention

How to apply to this scheme

The application process has 2 stages: 

  1. Concept notes
  2. Full applications

The deadline for concept notes has now passed and we are not accepting new applications to this scheme.

Concept notes will be peer reviewed in the week commencing 22 January 2018. 

Successful applicants will be invited to submit full proposals following a decision by the Governance Committee by the end of February 2018.

The deadline for submission of full proposals will be 9 April 2018.

Details of how applications will be judged can be found in the full call specification document.

The following types of research are considered to lie outside the scope of this Call and will not be funded:

  • Purely descriptive research on tobacco use and tobacco-related problems
  • Limited-scope projects that only provide demand-elasticity estimates without providing the broader economic rationale for taking action with tobacco control measures
  • Projects solely focused on researching alternative livelihoods to tobacco farming
  • Purely epidemiological or observational studies
  • Project that generate evidence but with no clear approach to position research for use

Cancer Research UK contact details

Natalie Varney

Grants Manager

International Tobacco Control Programme

In partnership with

Our role in beating cancer globally

We're the largest independent funder of cancer research in the world. We support the best scientists, doctors and nurses to discover new ways to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer across the world.

Our International Tobacco Control programme

Our International Tobacco Control Programme’s vision is to reduce tobacco related disease and deaths in LMICs by reducing the number of people who smoke and the number of young people taking up smoking.