We are creating a unified UKRI website that brings together the existing research council, Innovate UK and Research England websites.
If you would like to be involved in its development let us know.

The Global Challenges Research Fund

Official Development Assistance (ODA) update

Please refer to ODA review for the latest information on ODA.

The Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) is a £1.5 billion fund announced by the UK Government in 2016 to address complex global development challenges and support collaborative research that will improve the economic prosperity, welfare and quality of life of people in Low and Middle Income Countries (LMIC). The Fund tackles a wide range of the issues highlighted in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals from inequality, conflict and violence to promoting respect for human rights, inclusive development, social justice and well-being for people and communities across the developing world. The establishment of the Fund recognises the need for holistic approaches, drawing on strengths across the research base - including the arts and humanities - to address development challenges such as poverty reduction, improving global public health, enhancing resilience to natural and man-made disasters, displaced populations, rapid urbanisation and inclusive education. Collaboration and partnership with overseas researchers, governments, NGOs and other organisations is a core part of the GCRF and to ensuring that the research supported engages fully with relevant cultural and historic contexts, knowledge bases, creativity, languages, diverse voices and beliefs in LMICs.

An allocation of £26 million from GCRF for the next four years is allowing us develop opportunities for the Arts and Humanities research community. To date, AHRC has made over 100 awards through distinct GCRF funding schemes, our existing funding schemes and through schemes led by other Research Councils such as Resilience (led by NERC) and Forced Displacement (led by ESRC). See here for further details and a list of funding opportunities. In addition, together with the other delivery partners of GCRF, we are exploring new opportunities for transformative cross-disciplinary approaches. You can also find out more about GCRF on the UK Research and Innovation website.


Please visit our filter page which shows all GCRF calls on our website, past and present.

Overarching Themes

The AHRC is developing its strategy and approach for engaging with the Global Challenges Research Fund. We have identified some initial overarching themes (PDF, 257KB) where we think the arts and humanities can make strong contributions to global challenges. These are indicative, not exhaustive. 

GCRF Strategic Advisory Board

A GCRF Strategic Advisory Group was created to support the development of the Government’s Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) with representation across all disciplines and relevant sectors. The main tasks for the Strategic Advisory Group are to develop a common strategic approach between the Fund’s delivery partners, helping them to work together to inform the strategic research priorities that optimise the use of the fund and ensure that it addresses the problems faced by developing countries. It will also advise on the effectiveness of processes and mechanisms for delivering the fund. More information on the Strategic Advisory Group is available here. An AHRC GCRF Strategic Advisory was also established in 2016.

Interactive map of AHRC’s Global Challenges Research Fund Awards

The interactive map below allows you to browse the AHRC’s awards by the country or countries of focus. For more detailed information of a specific award on Gateway to Research, choose a country and click on the grant reference number in the list below the map.

See more international case studies on our case studies page.