BSc (Hons) International Relations with Spanish

About the Global Challenges Research Fund

The Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) is a five year, £1.5 billion fund announced by the UK Government to support cutting-edge research that addresses the challenges faced by developing countries through:

  • challenge-led disciplinary and interdisciplinary research
  • strengthening capacity for research and innovation within both the UK and developing countries providing an agile response to emergencies where there is an urgent research need
  • GCRF is administered through delivery partners including the Research Councils and national academies.

Due to the government reduction in the budget for Official Development Assistance (ODA), UKRI is reviewing all ODA funding for financial year 2021 to 2022. 

There is now a gap in the budget between allocations and commitments to grant holders of £120 million. 

Whilst the review is ongoing the true impact on individual grants is unknown, but any questions can be emailed to:

More information on UKRI's ODA review

Useful links

UK Strategy for GCRF

UKRI interactive map of funded projects

UKRI GCRF home page including a list of current calls

Official ODA guidance from OECD

GCRF guidance on ODA

GCRF Challenge Areas

DAC list of ODA recipients

List of UN Sustainable Development Goals

UK Aid Strategy

ICAI Report on UK Aid in a Changing World

UKCDS introduction to the GCRF

For guidance on international due diligence guidance please see UKRIs update fEC and training grant terms and conditions


DAC – Development Assistance Committee (of the OECD)

GCRF – Global Challenges Research Fund

ICAI – Independent Commission for Aid Impact

ODA – Official Development Assistance

OECD – Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development

SDG’s – Sustainable Development Goals (UN)

UKCDS – UK Collaborative on Development Sciences

UKRI – UK Research and Innovation

Latest GCRF funded projects

Plymouth projects and activities

Project SoilSCANER: Soil Science for Citizen ActioN and EmpoweRment Led by Professor Will Blake and funded by the BBSRC Citizen Science programme

Project Sustainable prevention of foot ulceration secondary to diabetic and leprotic neuropathy in Nepal This project is led by Professor Jonathan Marsden and aims to undertake research to inform the design of effective footwear and build research capacity in Nepal.

Project  One Ocean Hub Professor Kerry Howell is a partner in the new One Ocean Hub led by Strathclyde University, which aims to transform our response to the urgent challenges facing our oceans.

Project  Jali Ardhi (Care for the Land) project: Realising land management change in degraded Maasai grazing lands Led by Professor Will Blake and funded by NERC as part of the Innovation Follow On call – ODA.

Project  Blue Communities Led by Professor Melanie Austen and funded by the GCRF and UKRI via NERC.

World population map 

Project – Socio-ecological resilience to soil erosion driven by extreme climatic events: past, present and future challenges in East Africa Led by Professor Will Blake and funded by NERC.

News article – Soil erosion in Tanzania – in pictures Published in The Guardian on 4 May 2017.

NetworkDisplacement Studies Research Network Led by Dr Sana Murrani.

Project – Conserving Cultural Heritage: The Resilience of Forcibly Displaced Syrian Artisans in Jordan Led by Dr Haya Al-Dajani and funded by ESRC and AHRC.

Project – Performing Empowerment: Disability, Dance, and Inclusive Development in Post-Conflict Sri Lanka Co-led by Adam Benjamin and funded by AHRC. Lead organisation is University of York.

Project – Research for Emergency Aftershock Forecasting (REAR) Co-led by Professor Iain Stewart and funded by NERC, ESRC and AHRC. Lead organisation University of Edinburgh.

Project – To work towards the exchange of robotics technology for the safe and efficient harvest of fruits and vegetable crops grown in glasshouses and plastic tunnels Led by Dr Martin Stoelen and funded by STFC (Newton Fund).

Project A development study to examine feasibility and acceptability of pulmonary rehabilitation in Uganda for adults with chronic respiratory disease Led by Rupert Jones and funded by MRC, Wellcome and DFID.

Details of the 2017 Global Challenges event