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Research Strategy Office


The UKRI Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) is a new five-year £1.5 billion funding stream (2016-2020), accounted as part of the Government’s 2015 spending review. The fund has been created to address complex societal challenges by developing countries through:

  • challenge-led disciplinary and interdisciplinary research
  • strengthening capacity for research and innovation within both the UK and developing countries
  • providing an agile response to emergencies where there is an urgent research need.

Through disciplinary and interdisciplinary research aimed to advance agendas for sustainable development, poverty eradication, combating inequalities and strengthen global governance.  In building the capacity and capabilities for interdisciplinary approaches, research programmes will be able to provide an agile response to emergencies as they arise.

It forms part of the UK’s pledge to allocate 0.7% of Gross National Income to Official Development Assistance (ODA) commitment which is monitored by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to support cutting-edge research that addresses problems faced by developing countries.

The Research Councils have each received directly allocated portions of the GCRF. In addition to the funds allocated to Councils, there is a large amount of funding in the Collective Fund that remains unallocated at present. GCRF delivery partners are working towards a strategy for this and further details will be announced as soon as possible. The figure below outlines planned GCRF allocations to the UKRI in the next 5 years.