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UK Collaborative on Development Sciences (UKCDS)

Visit UK Collaborative on Development Sciences website

UKCDS is a group of 14 UK government departments and research funders working in international development. This includes BBSRC, who are one of the founding members.

A small coordinating team (the Secretariat) brings this group together with researchers and other key organisations to share knowledge and identify opportunities for collaboration.

By stimulating collaboration, UKCDS ensures the best science is funded and used to benefit international development, as well as the UK.


The UK spends approximately £450 million a year on research directly relevant to international development. The goal of UKCDS is to make the most of this investment.

The UKCDS members and Secretariat work together to:

  • provide a more coordinated approach to research for international development
  • maximise the impact of UK research funding on international development outcomes.


  • To improve stakeholder collaboration in research for international development
  • To encourage research policies and practices of UK funders to reflect good practice in development
  • To support the UK to be a global leader in science for development and its application.

Given the multidisciplinary nature of science for development, their remit is broad and varied, covering all sciences and involving stakeholders in government, research organisations, higher education institutions and NGOs.

Current focus areas

  • Global health
  • Engineering
  • Natural disasters
  • Capacity strengthening
  • Research communications and impact

The UKCDS Secretariat is also the national contact point for international cooperation calls in the EU's Horizon 2020 programme.


International Relations