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Interdisciplinary Research Hubs to Address Intractable Challenges Faced by Developing Countries

Copyright: CIAT on Flickr by CC 2.0

Call status: Closed
Previous call: 14 July 2017 - 9 November 2017


The Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) is a five year £1.5 billion fund and a key component in the delivery of the UK Aid Strategy: tackling global challenges in the national interest. The fund aims to ensure that UK research takes a leading role in addressing the problems 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.

Research Councils UK invites proposals from eligible UK research organisations to establish and lead a number of challenge-led and impact-focused GCRF Interdisciplinary Research Hubs which meet the aims of Official Development Assistance. Between £8-20 million (full economic cost) will be available for each Hub, provided over a five year period starting on 1 December 2018. Depending on the quality of the applications received we anticipate awarding 12-15 Hubs.

Each Hub is required to demonstrate:

  • Challenge and impact focus - address a specific currently intractable development challenge(s) with realistic pathways with the potential to deliver a broad range of measurable impacts, and a clear plan for sustaining and further developing the work undertaken during the lifetime of the Hub
  • Interdisciplinary research excellence - anchored by well-integrated interdisciplinary approach which demonstrates both underpinning research excellence and the ability to think across, between and within the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and that adds significant value to existing global research efforts
  • Global partnerships - a commitment to capacity building and a programme of research and supporting activities which is co-developed with international partners, through genuine and equitable partnerships with researchers and relevant development agencies; third sector and Civil Society Organisations; industry and other private sector organisations; policy makers
  • Organisation and leadership - strong research and operational leadership which incorporates robust financial and risk management, assurance, governance and effective monitoring and evaluation, and facilitates the ability to learn and adapt over the lifetime of the Hub.

How to apply

This call is closed to applications.

Assessment will be through a two-stage process. The first stage will comprise of a short mandatory Intention to Submit survey and call for outline proposals. Following this, the most competitive outline proposals will be invited to develop full proposals.

The Intention to Submit survey must be completed by 29 September 2017. Outline proposals must be submitted via Je-S by 9 November 2017, 16:00. Late submissions will not be accepted.

Header image copyright: CIAT on Flickr by CC 2.0

External contact

Sian Rowland, Research Councils UK

01793 444014


Global Challenges Research Fund

Related calls: multidisciplinary innovation partnerships knowledge exchange GCRF