Research projects

Current research involving University of Edinburgh staff working with counterparts in India includes the following:


The University of Edinburgh has formal links (MoUs) with more than 30 institutions in South Asia and works with many more. There are numerous partnerships ongoing or being developed. Some of the major ones are listed below:

Centre for Neurodevelopmental Synaptopathies (CNS):

This partnership between Institute for Stem Cell Science and Regenerative Medicine (InStem) in Bangalore and Edinburgh University combines expertise in several fields of neurobiology including synaptic function and plasticity, human stem cells and cognition-behaviour with the initial goal of investigating autism spectrum disorders (ASDS) and intellectual disability (ASD/ID).

Solutions for anti-microbial resistance:

Microbes are becoming resistant to antibiotics rapidly to due to variety human actions e.g., unnecessary prescription in healthcare, blanket prescription in agriculture and careless release of antibiotics into the environment. The University of Edinburgh in collaboration with several organisations in India brings together an interdisciplinary team to learn and support each other towards development of solutions to the global anti-microbial resistance challenge. These include 

  • Investigating the Design and Use of Diagnostic Devices in Global Health (DiaDev), 
  • Diagnostics for One Health and User Driven Solutions for AMR (DoSA)

Delhi air pollution – health and effects: DAPHNE

The primary aim of this project is to understand the early life effects of air pollution in Delhi by estimating exposure-response relationships between ambient air pollution exposures and health effects (birth weight, acute respiratory infections in children < 2 years) and asthma exacerbations in adolescents aged 12-18 years. This project led by the University of Edinburgh is in collaboration with several institutes in India.

Economical diagnostic technologies for tuberculosis:

The study aims to utilise a revolutionary DNA profiling technology and “no wash” optical labelling of patient sputum, with a focus on deployment in primary care and low resource settings. It will address the key needs of patients, clinicians and the World Health Organisation’s stated deliverables of affordable, reliable point-of-care TB diagnostics. The University of Edinburgh leads on this project in collaboration with partners in Europe and India.


RESPIRE aims to reduce the impact and number of deaths caused by respiratory diseases in Asia in partnership with collaborators from 4 Asian countries – Bangladesh, India, Malaysia and Pakistan. Funded by the National Institute for Health Research.

Pesticide suicides in Asia:

Pesticide suicides are one of the three most common global means of suicide, causing over 150,000 deaths each year. Effective prevention which focuses on improving medical care of poisoned people and of removing highly hazardous pesticides from agriculture is the aim of the project.

GCRF South Asian Nitrogen Hub:

The Hub is to develop an approach that links the many impacts of human alteration of the nitrogen cycle on environment, health, food security and climate resilience. This project led by NERC Centre for Ecology and Hydrology with the University of Edinburgh as a major partner.

Co-Benefits of Largescale Organic Farming On HuMan Health (BLOOM):

This project is a cluster-randomised controlled evaluation of the health effects of AP Community-managed Natural Farming (APCNF). APCNF is implemented through RySS and is the world’s largest chemical-free agroecology and regenerative agriculture programme. The study will undertake the following aspects: Carry out a community-based, cluster-randomised controlled evaluation. Baseline assessments of over 2,000 households across two districts in AP will be conducted to coincide with Kharif (monsoon season). Follow-up assessments will be conducted 1 and 2 years later. A wide range of outcomes will be explored including pesticide exposure, diet, crop yield, household income, diabetes and kidney disease, and child growth and development.

Gujarat Biotechnology University (GBU):

The University of Edinburgh is collaborating with the Government of Gujarat in the establishment of this new institute for post-graduate education and industry-oriented research. GBU aims to deliver novel research and project-based Masters and PhD programmes in biotechnology – an area which we expect will make major contribution to the society’s needs in the coming decades.  It will have world class infrastructure and services, Edinburgh designed curricula, co-created research programmes and industry engagement. The University will start functioning in August 2021.

Navigating the grid in the "world-class city": poverty, gender, and access to services in India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka:

This project focuses on the efforts of the urban poor to access vital services (water, transport, communications), while attending to how these efforts intersect with the dynamics that shape patterns of access to urban land and housing. It asks: under what conditions do the formal and informal communicative channels, personal connections, and 'phatic labour', by which everyday access to urban grids is enacted, encourage pro-poor outcomes?

Other partnerships:

In addition to the above major projects, the University’s engagement with India has increased significantly with a large number of ongoing smaller projects. Some of the collaborations are in the areas of: energy; wildlife conservation and animal health; avalanche prediction; Avian Influenza infections in domestic poultry; and understanding Indian federalism and democracy.


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