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Growing research capability to meet the challenges faced by developing countries

Date: 22/08/2016

The Global Challenges Research Fund is today launching a call for applications for strategic programmes designed to grow research capability to address the challenges faced by developing countries. The aims of the call are to enhance existing and to build new collaborations between UK researchers and researchers in developing countries, and to increase the engagement of the UK research base with the many actors and agencies involved in responding to the needs of the world’s poorest populations.

At this stage we are inviting ‘Intentions to Submit’ applications. The call is aiming to support awards in the range of £2 - 8 million over four years.

Organisations will be limited to leading on no more than two applications (though they can be co-applicants on others) and applications should be from single institutions or small consortia of institutions.

Applications are expected to set out a coherent and strategic vision including: how they link to existing institutional partnerships and strategies for supporting research on international development, how they will complement existing investments, and how they will seek to ensure that capacity and capability is sustained and strengthened in the future.

Programmes may encompass a range of activities, with a strong emphasis on building meaningful and lasting partnerships with researchers and other partners (NGOs, governments and business) in developing countries and how these researchers and partners have been involved in framing the research questions and identifying the pathways to impact.

Initiatives should build on the strengths of the applicant organisation/s and be framed around up to three development challenges, as informed by the UK Aid Strategy and/or the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Professor Andrew Thompson, Chief Executive of AHRC, said: “This first call from the GCRF Collective Fund will help galvanise researchers in both the UK and developing countries to work in partnership in order to solve some of the most pressing problems faced by developing countries. We want to see projects which will enhance existing internationally-focused expertise as well as harnessing UK-focused expertise for the benefit of low and middle income countries.”

Professor Jane Elliott, RCUK International Champion and Chief Executive of ESRC, said: “The challenges facing societies and individuals across the globe cross national and disciplinary boundaries. The GCRF Collective Fund will significantly increase investment in research focused on the challenges faced by the world’s most vulnerable populations.”

All applications will need to demonstrate that they meet ODA compliance criteria (see GCRF ODA Guidance) outlining which country/countries on the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) list will directly benefit. Applicants will also need to show how their application is directly relevant to the development challenges of those countries, and how the outcomes will promote the economic development and welfare of a country or countries.

The deadline for Intentions to Submit is 25 October 2016 and the closing date for full proposals is 6 December 2016.

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Further information

RCUK Communications Team
Tel: 01793 444387 or email: communications@rcuk.ac.uk

Notes to editors

  1. Full details on the Call for Applications
  2. 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 seven UK Research Councils are:
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