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Aims of the GCRF

What is it?

The Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) was announced in 2015 as part of the UK Government’s commitment to Official Development Assistance for developing countries:

“[GCRF] provides an additional £1.5bn of resource spend over the next five years to ensure that UK research takes a leading role in addressing the problems faced by developing countries. This fund will harness the expertise of the UK’s research base to pioneer new ways of tackling global challenges such as in strengthening resilience and response to crises; promoting global prosperity; and tackling extreme poverty and helping the world’s most vulnerable.”

What is Official Development Assistance? 

As part of the UK’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) commitment research funded by the GCRF should:

  • Aim to promote the welfare and economic development of a country or countries on the OECD Development Assistance Committee list of ODA recipients;
  • Be designed to address a development need, and;
  • Focus on developing country problems.

What are the challenges? 

Within the broad framework of the ODA, UK Aid Strategy and UN Global Goals for Sustainable Development, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) has identified three challenge areas

Equitable Access to Sustainable Development

• secure and resilient food systems supported by sustainable marine resources and agriculture
• sustainable health and well being
• inclusive and equitable quality education
• clean air, water and sanitation
• affordable, reliable, sustainable energy.

Sustainable Economies and Societies

• sustainable livelihoods supported by strong foundations for inclusive economic growth and innovation
• resilience and action on short-term environmental shocks and long-term environmental change
• sustainable cities and communities
• sustainable production and consumption of materials and other resources.

Human Rights, Good Governance and Social Justice

• understand and respond effectively to forced displacement and multiple refugee crises
• reduce conflict and promote peace, justice and humanitarian action
• reduce poverty and inequality, including gender inequalities.

How is this being funded?

The GCRF delivery partners are: UKRI, Scottish Funding Council, Higher Education Funding Council for Wales, Higher Education Division Northern Ireland, Academy of Medical Sciences, Royal Society, British Academy, Royal Academy of Engineering and UK Space Agency. Calls for research funding are issued regularly.


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