About us

Our vision

A global research response to infectious diseases and related threats driven by the needs of people in low-resource settings.

Our mission

To advocate and collaborate for the advancement of infectious disease research that is driven by the needs of people in low-resource settings and to strive for equitable solutions in the response to any infectious disease threats.

The Coalition for Equitable ResearCh in Low-resource sEttings (CERCLE) advances research driven by the needs of people in low-resource settings around the world.

Our membership comprises more than 900 scientists, physicians, funders and policymakers from 98 countries, united by a shared goal – to ensure that the needs of people in low-resource settings are represented and prioritized in the global research agenda.

Our principles

  • Leverage global expertise and promote partnerships to support impactful research 
  • Promote sharing of research knowledge and data, and remove obstacles to timely research
  • Champion equitable research and advocate for translation of its outputs into policies and practices, and affordable access to its products
  • Advocate for equitable research funding to address key LRS priorities

Our history

In April 2020, 77 scientific organizations from 30 countries came together to officially form the COVID-19 Clinical Research Coalition, with a Comment published in The Lancet.

This decision was prompted by the stark inequities that were exposed in the global research response to the pandemic. Out of the billions of dollars allocated to support COVID-related research and development activities, a mere 5.5% was granted to research based in low- and middle-income countries.

Over the next two years, the Coalition’s research and advocacy activities grew rapidly, attracting over 800 new members. During this period, the Coalition established 13 working groups to address different research priorities related to the COVID-19 response, organized 28 webinars, 5 jointly coordinated workshops, initiated multiple funded projects led by the working groups, and published 16 articles in high-impact journals.

Despite COVID-19 no longer being a public health emergency, the Coalition recognizes that the structural inequities in the global research landscape will continue to plague us in the absence of a coordinated and sustained movement for equitable research driven by the needs of people in low-resource settings. Thus, in 2023, the members decided to rename the Coalition to CERCLE and expand its scope beyond COVID-19 to tackle obstacles impeding equitable research in these settings.

Why the Coalition for Equitable Research in Low-Resource Settings?

Coalition: We are an alliance of individuals and institutions advocating for change in the research landscape. By organizing ourselves in the form of a coalition, we draw on our collective strength to call for impactful changes.

Equitable Research: We believe that equity is the central tenet of global health and thus, we strive to champion a global research response that is fair, inclusive and driven by the needs of those who are the most marginalized and underrepresented. To achieve this, we facilitate collaborations, both North-South and South-South. We also seek to ensure that the outputs of research is accessible and affordable to all.

Low-Resource Settings: This term recognizes the diversity that exists within countries, including the presence of significant poverty and exclusion even within wealthier regions. It highlights marginalization, equity issues, limitations on research infrastructure, irrespective of location, and acknowledges the need for a more inclusive approach.​
In using this term, we also recognize its limitations: that it perpetuates a negative narrative that portrays some countries as helpless. It may reinforce stereotypes that countries are incapable of progress or development, leading to the responsibilities of national governments being overlooked, and to a focus on short-term solutions rather than sustainable development. The LRS term may also dismiss the strengths and resilience of these communities. ​

We are looking for dedicated individuals and institutions who are eager to contribute their expertise and commitment to fast-track research in infectious diseases with potential for epidemics and pandemics, as well as antimicrobial resistance (AMR), specific to low-resource settings.