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Five new advisers for the Global Challenges Research Fund


Five new members have been appointed to the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) Strategic Advisory Group. The new members with varied backgrounds from academia and international development have been appointed for an initial two years to provide advice and support to the GCRF.

The main task for the Strategic Advisory Group is to provide independent advice on the strategic research priorities of the GCRF and ensure the fund is optimised to address the problems faced by developing countries. The group will also advise on the effectiveness of processes and mechanisms for delivery of the GCRF.

The new members are:

  • Mr Simon Trace CBE, Independent consultant, previously Chief Executive Officer of Practical Action, and Strategic Development Director for the UK NGO Water Aid.
  • Professor Barbara Evans, holds the chair in Public Health Engineering in the School of Civil Engineering at the University of Leeds.  Her research activities centre on sanitation, hygiene and water services in the global south. 
  • Professor Katrina Brown, holds a chair in social science at the University of Exeter. Her research activities centre on environmental change, international development, vulnerability and resilience.
  • Professor Jim Watson, Director, UK Energy Research Centre and Professor of Energy Policy, University of Sussex. His research expertise is in energy, climate mitigation and innovation policies.
  • Ms Jess Camburn, Director of Elrha. Elrha’s mission is to improve humanitarian outcomes through research, partnership and innovation. Jess has previously led humanitarian and development programmes in Africa, Asia and Europe. 

The five new members will join the initial ten members announced earlier this year. The group has been convened to ensure a breadth of expertise and experience across research disciplines and interactions with developing nations. Another call for nominations for members will be announced in 2017.

The Global Challenges Research Fund is an initiative from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and operates across a number of delivery partners including: the UK Research Councils, the Higher Education Funding Councils for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, the Academy of Medical Sciences, Royal Society, British Academy, the Royal Academy of Engineering, and UK Space Agency.

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Further information

RCUK Communications Team
Tel: 01793 444387 or email:

GCRF Strategic Advisory Group:

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