Global Issues From Health to Humanitarian Crises to be Tackled in Ambitious Research Programme

Date: 21/07/2017

Leading experts from the UK and in developing countries across the world are joining forces to tackle some of the most serious global challenges in a new multi-disciplinary research programme launched today.

In one of the most ambitious international research programmes ever created, £225 Million has been invested across 37 interdisciplinary projects to address challenges in fields such as health, humanitarian crises, conflict, the environment, the economy, domestic violence, society, and technology.

Key Figures For GCRF

The Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) Research Councils UK Collective Fund is supporting projects in the range of £2 – 8 million over four years.

It aims to build upon research knowledge in the UK, and strengthen capacity overseas, to help address challenges, informed by expressed need in the developing countries.

Jo Johnson, Minister for Universities and Science, said: “From healthcare to green energy, the successful projects receiving funding today highlight the strength of the UK’s research base and our leadership in helping developing countries tackle some of the greatest global issues of our time.

“At a time when the pace of scientific discovery and innovation is quickening, we are placing science and research at the heart of our Industrial Strategy to build on our strengths and maintain our status as science powerhouse.”

Professor Andrew Thompson, RCUK GCRF Champion, said: “The 37 projects announced today build research capacity both here in the UK and in developing countries to address systemic development challenges, from African agriculture to sustainable cities, clean oceans, and green energy, to improved healthcare, food security, and gender equality.”

Projects consist of UK and developing-country researchers, working together as equal partners. The AHRC is leading on 2 of the 37 projects, and supporting 1 project with the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). These funded projects are:

  • The DARE Centre: The Centre for the Development, Application, Research, and Evaluation of Prosocial Games for the Prevention of Gender-based violence
  • Global GRACE: Global Gender and Cultures of Equality
  • Comprehensive Capacity-Building in Eastern Neighbourhood and Central Asia: Research, Integration, Impact Governance, and Sustainable Communities (ESRC-led)

Professor Thompson added: “The ambition is to lay the foundations for a sustained and targeted research effort to address the most intractable challenges faced by the world today, climate change, disease and epidemics, food insecurity, rapid urbanisation, and forced displacement and protracted conflict.”

Professor Sir Mark Walport, Chief Executive designate of UK Research and Innovation, said: “In the same way that facing these global challenges requires a multi-national response, finding the solutions to them requires researchers from many disciplines to work together. The Global Challenges Research Fund makes that possible, and means that the UK’s world-leading researchers are able to get on with the job of working with each other and partners across the globe to make the world and society more sustainable.”

To find out more about the AHRC-led projects and those led by other research councils, see the GCRF Capabilities information pack

Contact details

Simon Wesson

RCUK Media Campaigns Officer 

simon.wesson@rcuk.ac.uk

01793 444067 

Research Councils UK (RCUK) is the strategic partnership of the UK’s seven Research Councils. Our collective ambition is to ensure the UK remains the best place in the world to do research, innovate and grow business. The Research Councils are central to delivering research and innovation for economic growth and societal impact. Together, we invest £3 billion in research each year, covering all disciplines and sectors, to meet tomorrow’s challenges today. Our investments create new knowledge through: funding research excellence; responding to society’s challenges; developing skills, leadership and infrastructure; and leading the UK’s research direction. We drive innovation through: creating environments and brokering partnerships; co-delivering research and innovation with over 2,500 businesses, 1,000 of which are SMEs; and providing intelligence for policy making. Find out more about our work at www.rcuk.ac.uk. 

The Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) is a £1.5 billion fund that supports cutting-edge research which addresses the global issues faced by developing countries. It harnesses the expertise of the UK’s world-leading researchers, focusing on: funding challenge-led disciplinary and interdisciplinary research; strengthening capacity for research, innovation and knowledge exchange; and providing an agile response to emergencies where there is an urgent research need. It forms part of UK Government’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) commitment and is overseen by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), and delivered through 17 delivery partners including the Research Councils, the UK Academies, the UK Space Agency and funding bodies. 

More details on each of the 37 grants can be found in the Growing research capability to meet the challenges faced by developing countries brochure. For further details on exact elements on the projects, please contact the associated institution’s press team.

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