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Global Challenges Research Fund: Building Resilience

As part of the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF), the AHRC is partnering with ESRC on a joint call, led by NERC, to generate inter disciplinary research which can address the issue of 'Building Resilience'.

The concept of resilience is widely applied to a number of areas but for the purposes of this call, the definition in the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction will be used: “The ability of a system, community or society exposed to hazards to resist, absorb, accommodate and recover from the effects of a hazard in a timely and efficient manner, including through the preservation and restoration of its essential basic structures and functions.” Building Resilience is about making people, communities and systems anticipate and be better prepared to withstand catastrophic events – both natural and man-made – as well as more able to absorb and bounce back more quickly and emerge stronger from these shocks and stresses.

The call recognises that building resilience to environmental hazards is a complex issue requiring a holistic approach encompassing not just knowledge about the environment but the socio-economics, infrastructure, governance, and culture of a community that is affected. It will require new inter-disciplinary research and recognition of the importance of engaging with beneficiaries and user organisations to understand what knowledge is required and how it can be implemented to design solutions that help all parts of society.

The call is open to proposals addressing resilience to natural and man-made environmental hazards in a range of developing world contexts. The focus is on how to build resilience in relation to both sudden and slow-onset environmental hazards (e.g. land-degradation, deforestation, drought, hurricanes, climate change) taking into account the intersections and relationships with other contexts such as conflict and fragility, poverty and famine, urbanisation, economics and health / disease risks.

The call will fund foundation-building activities to stimulate the creation of inter-disciplinary international research communities; to enable broader, deeper and more effective collaborations with beneficiaries and user organisations at the forefront of the development agenda; test new innovative ideas and inter-disciplinary approaches for addressing the issue of developing resilience. All proposals are expected to take an inter-disciplinary approach, bringing together environmental science with social science and the arts and humanities.


A total of £3.3m of funding is available for this call. Awards are expected to vary in scale according to the nature of the activities proposed and not to exceed £200k (at 100% full economic costs). The funders anticipate funding 15-20 projects ranging from 3-9 months. A small number of projects of 12 months duration can be funded. Successful projects will be expected to start no later than 1 November 2016.


There will be a workshop on 19 July 2016 to provide more information on the call and facilitate the development of collaborations between academics from different disciplines and between academics, beneficiaries and users. To apply to attend please complete the online application form by 27 June 2016.

Proposals must be submitted via the UK research councils' Joint Electronic Submission (Je-S) system by 16:00 on 6 September 2016

For further details please see the Announcement of Opportunity.

Announcement of opportunity (PDF, 297KB)