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GCRF Strategic Advisory Group

The Global Challenge Research Fund (GCRF) is a BEIS initiative which operates across a number of delivery partners, including the Research Councils, National Academies, UK Space Agency and HEFCE.

Role of the Group

The primary purpose of the Strategic Advisory Group is to advise on the strategic development and delivery of the Global Challenge Research Fund, and specifically:

  • engagement with research and stakeholder communities and the facilitation of new ideas and opportunities
  • the development of a strategic research agenda and prioritisation of challenge topics
  • the effectiveness of RCUK strategies and mechanisms, including mechanisms to build capability where it is needed to address existing deficits
  • integration of ODA and non-ODA challenge research, where this is sensible to do so
  • the allocation of research funding, consistent with the Haldane principle.

Responsibilities of SAG members:

  • to act within the 7 Principles of Public Life (Nolan principles), in particular to provide independent, informed advice, avoiding actual or perceived conflicts of interest by taking a collegiate approach to policy and strategy development;
  • to act as “generous generalists”
  • to validate and challenge constructively RCUK’s perspectives drawing on the available evidence and their own experiences;
  • to take individual and collective ownership of the advice they provide, whilst recognising the separation of that advice from responsibility for the decisions made, which rests with the Research Councils or other delivery partners;
  • to use their own networks to gather intelligence that can be brought to bear in policy development and to disseminate RCUK policies and strategies.

The membership of GCRF SAG should:

  • Reflect the breadth of disciplines across Research Councils UK
  • Diverse across career stages and life course
  • Drawn from academe, government, business and other stakeholders
  • Include an international/global perspective

The current SAG members are:

  • Professor Sir Mike Aaronson, University of Surrey - Chair
  • Professor Katrina Brown, University of Exeter
  • Ms Jess Camburn, Elrha
  • Professor Barbara Evans, University of Leeds
  • Professor Charles Godfray, University of Oxford
  • Professor Sir Andy Haines, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
  • Professor Richard Jones, University of Sheffield
  • Professor Helen Sang, University of Edinburgh
  • Professor James Stirling, Imperial College London
  • Mr Simon Trace CBE, Independent consultant
  • Professor Jeff Waage, London International Development Centre
  • Professor Jim Watson, University of Sussex
  • Professor Sir Alan Wilson, University College London
  • Professor Alan Winters, University of Sussex

The initial members of the group have been invited to ensure a breadth of expertise and experience across disciplines research and interactions with developing nations. It will meet for the first time in early June 2016.


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