"The international development secretary, Justine Greening, has launched an emergency research initiative to look into spread of Ebola, which has claimed more than 1,200 lives in west Africa.
The £6.5m programme co-funded by the Wellcome Trust was announced a day after a director of Medecins sans Frontieres (MSF) accused western leaders of taking "almost zero" interest in the crisis in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.
Greening said she hoped the research would "better equip those working on the ground so they can tackle the outbreak as effectively as possible".
Val Snewin, international activities manager at Wellcome Trust, said: "There's an urgency to this. We are not an emergency team, but what we can do is mobilise research. Unless someone is willing to commit to research you cannot learn to improve things either later in this outbreak or the next one."
The Department for International Development and the trust hope to have research commissioned and completed within two months, meaning it could have an impact on the current crisis, which is expected to last more than six months".