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Growing research capability to meet the challenges faced by developing countries

Please note that this call is now closed.

The Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) RCUK Collective Fund invited applications for strategic programmes to grow research capability to meet the challenges faced by developing countries. The GCRF aims to support excellent research that addresses the challenges faced by developing countries, informing evidence based solutions through:

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

The Growing Research Capability Call made 37 awards in the range of £2-8 million over four years with the aim of growing the research base in the UK and strengthen capacity overseas to address research challenges informed by the expressed needs of developing countries. A link to the news announcement can be found here, and a link to the shortlisting and interview panel membership document can be found here .

For more information on the call, please refer to the Call document

A summary of the 37 projects funded under the Growing Research Capability is available.

Summary of Awards


Principal Investigator




Mark Johnson

Goldsmiths College

GCRF GlobalGRACE (Global Gender and Cultures of Equality)


Adele Jones

University of Huddersfield

None in Three(Ni3) - A Centre for the Development, Application, Research and Evaluation of Prosocial Games for the Prevention of Gender-based Violence


Tim Benton

University of Leeds

GCRF-AFRICAP - Agricultural and Food-system Resilience: Increasing Capacity and Advising Policy


Elizabeth Cottier-Cook

Scottish Association For Marine Science

GCRF GlobalSeaweed* - Safeguarding the future of seaweed aquaculture in developing countries


Catherine Brooksbank

EMBL - European Bioinformatics Institute

Capacity building for bioinformatics in Latin America


Colin Robinson

University of Kent

GCRF establishment of biopharmaceutical and animal vaccine production capacity in Thailand and neighbouring South East Asian countries


Mathew Baylis

University of Liverpool

GCRF: One Health Regional Network for the Horn of Africa (HORN)


Howard Griffiths

University of Cambridge

Transforming India's Green Revolution by Research and Empowerment for Sustainable food Supplies


Federica Di-Palma

Earlham Institute

Preserving, Restoring and Managing Colombian Biodiversity Through Responsible Innovation


John Bryne

University of Ulster

GCRF - Low cost technologies for safe drinking water in developing regions (SAFEWATER)


David Worsley

Swansea University

Strategic University Network to Revolutionise Indian Solar Energy (SUNRISE)


Elena Korosteleva

University of Kent

GCRF-COMPASS: GCRF Comprehensive Capacity-building in Eastern Neighbourhood and Central Asia: research integration, impact governance and sustainable communities


Nigel Paul

Lancaster University

RECIRCULATE: Driving eco-innovation in Africa: capacity-building for a safe circular water economy


Bayard Roberts

London Sch of Hygiene and Trop Medicine

GCRF: RECAP - Research capacity building and knowledge generation to support preparedness and response to humanitarian crises and epidemics


Martin Knapp

London School of Economics & Pol Sci

STRiDE: Strengthening responses to dementia in developing countries (GCRF)


Richard Sullivan

King's College London

GCRF RESEARCH FOR HEALTH IN CONFLICT (R4HC-MENA): developing capability, partnerships and research in the Middle and Near East (MENA)


Ya Ping Wang

University of Glasgow

GCRF Centre for Sustainable, Healthy, and Learning Cities and Neighbourhoods (CSHLH)


Michael Keith

University of Oxford

GCRF: Building capacity for the future city in developing countries (PEAK)


Caren Levy

University College London

Knowledge in Action for Urban Equality


Barbara Adolph

International Institute for Env and Dev

GCRF: Social and Environmental Trade-offs in African Agriculture


David Hulme

The University of Manchester

GCRF: DAMS 2.0: Design and assessment of resilient and sustainable interventions in water-energy-food-environment Mega-Systems


Neil Burgess

World Conservation Monitoring Cen WCMC

GCRF - Training for Development: East African Growth Corridors and the China to Africa connection


Jonathan Goodhand

School of Oriental & African Studies

GCRF - Drugs and (dis)order: Building sustainable peacetime economies in the aftermath of war


Hilary Ranson

Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine

GCRF Partnership for Increasing the Impact of Vector Control (PIIVeC)


Sobha Sivaprasad

Moorfields Eye Hosp NHS Foundation Trust

Increasing eye research capacity and capabilities to tackle the burden of blindness in India: a research-based UK-India Collaboration (ORNATE INDIA)


Peter Von Dadelszen

St George's University of London

GCRF: The PRECISE (PREgnancy Care Integrating translational Science, Everywhere) Network: a sub-Saharan network for placental disorders


Linda Bauld

University of Stirling

GCRF: Building capacity for applied research to reduce tobacco-related harm in low and middle income countries


Graham Sandford

Durham University

A Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases


Mark Sculpher

University of York

GCRF:Thanzi la Onse (Health of All):  Frameworks and analysis to ensure value for money health care - developing theory, changing practice


Robert Wilkinson

The Francis Crick Institute

GCRF-Crick African Network


John Danesh

University of Cambridge

Cambridge Alliance to Protect Bangladesh from Long-term Environmental Hazards (CAPABLE)


Catherine Robinson

Bangor University

GCRF: South Asia Self Harm research capability building initiative (SASHI)


Richard Lark

NERC British Geological Survey

GCRF: Strengthening Capacity in Environmental Physics, Hydrology and Statistics for Conservation Agriculture Research.


Michael John Roberts

National Oceanography Centre

Sustainable Oceans, Livelihoods and food Security Through Increased Capacity in Ecosystem research in the Western Indian Ocean (SOLSTICE-WIO)


Alan Blyth

National Centre for Atmospheric Science

GCRF African Science for Weather Information and Forecasting Techniques (African SWIFT)


Justin Sheffield

University of Southampton

GCRF - Building REearch Capacity for sustainable water and food security In drylands of sub-saharan Africa (BRECcIA)"


Mel Austen

Plymouth Marine Laboratory

GCRF Building capacity for sustainable interactions with marine ecosystems for health, wellbeing, food and livelihoods of coastal communities

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