Global Challenges Research Fund

The Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) is a £1.5 billion fund from the UK Government to support cutting-edge research that addresses the challenges faced by developing countries.


GCRF aims to:

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

GCRF is administered through delivery partners including the Research Councils and national academies.

GCRF forms part of the UK's Official Development Assistance (ODA) commitment, which is monitored by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). ODA-funded activity focuses on outcomes that promote the long-term sustainable growth of countries on the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) list. GCRF funding will be awarded in a manner that fits with Official ODA guidelines.

GCRF at Lancaster

Many areas of the University's research have the potential to address the challenges faced by the countries in the developing world. As part of the UK's commitment to spend 0.7% of its gross national income (GNI) on aid every year, the Research Councils have been set targets for funding research which meets overseas aid criteria.

Since last year, the Research Councils have been announcing new funding initiatives, and many staff at Lancaster University will be well placed to respond.

Further Information

The presentations from previous events for Lancaster University staff are available from the box on the right.

RCUK have created an interactive visualisation of awarded GCRF projects, including the distribution of projects across the globe, the topics of awarded projects and which research council funded each specific project. Academics interested in specific research topics in a region can use this to check what is already going on in their chosen research area.

If you are interested in being kept up-to-date with opportunities and developments relating to the Global Challenges Research Funding, please email:

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