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The Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) is a five-year £1.5 billion funding stream, announced as part of the Government’s 2015 spending review. It forms part of the UK's Official Development Assistance (ODA) commitment, to support cutting-edge research which addresses the most pressing problems faced by developing countries.

GCRF, administered through the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and other delivery partners including the national academies, addresses global challenges through disciplinary and interdisciplinary research, strengthens capability for research and innovation within both UK and developing countries, and provides an agile response to emergencies and opportunities.

Social science is a core discipline to deliver this global agenda and ESRC will play an integral role in developing and delivering the GCRF, working alongside its partners.

Peer review group

ESRC has established peer review group formed specifically to assist with the review of applications to ESRC Global Challenges Research Fund calls. If you are interested in being part of this group, find out how to apply.

Funding opportunities

UKRI GCRF Collective Programme

The UKRI GCRF Collective Programme consists of a series of calls designed to enhance the overall impact across the six strategic GCRF Challenge portfolios in:

  • global health
  • education
  • sustainable cities
  • food systems
  • conflict and displacement
  • resilience

Research across these calls is contributing to realising the ambitions of the UK Government’s aid strategy and progressing the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Find more about the Collective Programme open calls.

We will also publish links to other ESRC GCRF funding opportunities when they are announced. A number of opportunities will be announced throughout 2019-2020.