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Global Challenge Research Funding

Global Challenge Research and Impact at Teesside University aims to:

  • develop research capability and capacity in developing countries through skills and ideas development, networking, and coproduction with universities, industry, and policymakers
  • build research and innovation collaborations and sustainable and equitable partnerships that benefit the economies and societies of those countries
  • increase staff and student mobility with low and middle income countries.

Our development related research activities will be delivered through our interdisciplinary Grand Challenge Themes of: Health and Wellbeing; Secure and Resilient Societies; Sustainable Environments; and Digital and Creative Economies. The Grand Challenge Themes, which form the central plank of our institutional research strategy, are based on research excellence and are aligned to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Global Challenge Research Funding - gcrf goals

Our strategic priority objectives are to:

  • Expand our international network across all categories of developing countries on the DAC List2 of ODA recipients
  • Create sustainable, solution focussed research partnerships with existing collaborative partners in upper and lower middle income countries
  • Support pump priming activities with lower middle income countries for future collaborative research proposals for GCRF, Newton and other Funders and
  • Build research capacity and capability in the least developed countries
  • To move toward a more balanced portfolio of research partnerships with low and middle income countries.

The UK Global Challenge Research Fund

The Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) is a £1.5 billion investment fund announced in 2015 to support excellent research with impact that addresses the challenges faced by developing countries. The fund will run to 2021 and seeks to:

  • promote challenge-led disciplinary and interdisciplinary research
  • strengthen capacity for research, innovation and knowledge exchange in the UK and developing countries
  • provide an agile response to emergencies where there is an urgent research need.

The Global Challenges Research Fund explained

This short animation provides an overview of the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF), highlighting the global challenges that exacerbate poverty and hinder sustainable development and describes how GCRF funded research aims to tackle these issues.

The GCRF is monitored by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and is a part of the UK’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) commitment. ODA research can be applied or fundamental and can be carried out in a developed or developing country. All research projects, though, must ensure that the primary purpose is to promote the economic development and welfare of a developing country or countries. All GCRF projects are required to evidence ODA compliance.

Global Challenge Research Funding focused on three priority areas of work:

Equitable Access to Sustainable Development

  • secure and resilient food systems supported by sustainable marine resources and agriculture
  • sustainable health and well being
  • inclusive and equitable quality education
  • clean air, water and sanitation
  • affordable, reliable, sustainable energy.

Sustainable Economies and Societies

  • sustainable livelihoods supported by strong foundations for inclusive economic growth and innovation
  • resilience and action on short-term environmental shocks and long-term environmental change
  • sustainable cities and communities
  • sustainable production and consumption of materials and other resources.

Human Rights, Good Governance and Social Justic

  • understand and respond effectively to forced displacement and multiple refugee crises
  • reduce conflict and promote peace, justice and humanitarian action
  • reduce poverty and inequality, including gender inequalities

Institutional and Project-Based Funding

Funding for Global Challenge Research and Impact activities can be accessed through institutional quality-related funding, managed by the University’s GCRF Board, and external funding distributed through the an UKRI Collective Fund and individual UK Research Councils. External funding opportunities are announced on the UKRI GCRF webpage.

GCRF funding facilitates capacity building across countries and the chance to share skills, ideas and research opportunities. It can broaden understandings of research methodologies, approaches, and impact and leads to innovative international and interdisciplinary research that seeks to address some of the world’s most complex challenges. GCRF encourages a problem-based approach to research that requires both collaborative working and creative thinking.

Resources and Guidance