Skip to main content
University of Bath

Global Challenges Research Fund

The Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) is a £1.5 billion fund from the UK Government to address challenges faced by developing countries.

Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF)
Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF)

About GCRF

The £1.5 billion Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) was announced by the UK Government in late 2015, to support cutting-edge research that addresses the challenges faced by developing countries. It supports programmes for:

  • promoting challenge-led disciplinary and interdisciplinary research, including the participation of researchers who may not previously have considered the applicability of their work to development issues
  • strengthening capacity for research, innovation and knowledge exchange in the UK and developing countries through partnership with excellent UK research and researchers
  • providing an agile response to emergencies where there is an urgent research need

GCRF forms part of the UK’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) commitment, which is monitored by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

The GCRF delivery partners are: UK Research and Innovation, Scottish Funding Council, Higher Education Funding Council for Wales, Higher Education Division Northern Ireland, Academy of Medical Sciences, Royal Society, British Academy, Royal Academy of Engineering, and UK Space Agency.

Information about writing a GCRF application can be found on the GCRF wiki.

Due diligence

If your research proposal or project involves co-investigators from overseas institutions, we have to complete financial and capability due diligence checks. Further information is available.

Funding scheme panel members

Research England distributes funds for research through quality-related (QR) funding, including the GCRF funding scheme which is allocated to universities.

University Panel members:

  • Professor Jonathan Knight, Pro- Vice Chancellor Research (Chair)
  • Dr Richard Bowman, Department of Physics
  • Professor James Copestake, Department of Social and Policy Sciences
  • Professor Andrew Crane, School of Management
  • Professor Joe Devine, Department of Social and Policy Sciences
  • Dr Mirella Di Lorenzo, Department of Chemical Engineering
  • Dr Eleonora Fichera, Department of Economics
  • Professor Marcelle McManus, Department of Mechanical Engineering
  • Professor Chick Wilson, Associate Dean of Research, Science

The 2018/19 GCRF call closed on 28 September 2018.

Successful projects

These are projects from Principle Investigators (PIs) at the University, who were successful in securing GCRF funding from the 2018/19 internal call:

Engineering and Design

  • Davide Mattia, Chemical Engineering: Cellulose microbeads as carriers for plant-growth enhancing nanoparticles
  • Mirella Di Lorenzo, Chemical Engineering: SmARTER: Sustainable Approaches for Resilience Building in North East Brazil
  • Pete Walker, Architecture and Civil Engineering: Safer communities with natural hazard resilient housing

Humanities and Social Sciences

  • Louise Brown, Social and Policy Sciences: Implementing sustainable social work interventions in low and middle income countries
  • Melanie Channon, Social and Policy Sciences (SPS): Menstrual taboos and menstrual hygiene policy in Nepal: A multi-method scoping study to understand the barriers to good menstrual hygiene for adolescent girls
  • Joe Devine, Social and Policy Sciences (SPS): New Policy Responses to Extreme Poverty in Bangladesh: What difference does it make?
  • Roy Maconachie, Social and Policy Sciences (SPS): Mapping opportunities for improving the environmental sustainability of artisanal gold mining in Sierra Leone


  • Neil Brown, Biology and Biochemistry: New tools to uncover novel regulators of fungal sex, disease and toxin contamination
  • Richard Bowman, Physics: Metrology for all
  • Julie Barnett, Psychology: Exploring policy interventions to reduce the health impact of air pollution in Ulaanbaatar
  • Nick Priest, Biology and Biochemistry: GCRF Paraguay: The development of a genomics toolkit for surveillance of Chagas Disease
  • Janet Scott, Chemistry: Bio-inspired, smart, stable enzymatically driven antimicrobials, designed not to increase antimicrobial resistance (BioSSEA)