UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) has announced the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) Collective Programme. This new programme will bring together a wide range of researchers from across the UK and developing countries to generate innovative solutions to intractable development issues and contribute to enabling healthier and safer lives, sustainable development and prosperity for all.

This new programme is part of the GCRF, a £1.5 billion fund announced by the UK Government in 2015, and part of the UK’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) commitment, designed to stimulate research on the challenges faced by developing countries.

The UKRI GCRF Collective Programme will consist 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, and resilience. Research across these is contributing to realising the ambitions of the UK Government’s aid strategy and progressing the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The individual programme calls will be officially launched throughout the first half of 2019, and the ESRC will administer seven of them on behalf of UKRI:  

Cities and sustainable infrastructure


  • GCRF Education as a driver of sustainable development Network Plus (closed)
  • GCRF Early Child Education

Resilience to environmental shocks and change

Security, protracted conflict, refugee crises and forced displacement


  • GCRF Gender and intersectionality network plus (Closed)

A number of pre-call announcements have already been published and others will follow across December and January.