Applications Invited for Global Challenge Research Fund Challenge Clusters

The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), on behalf of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), is inviting applications for Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) Challenge Clusters.

Over 800 GCRF projects have been funded to date. No single project individually can address seemingly intractable global challenges, but by bringing together clusters of GCRF and other official development assistance (ODA) oriented research projects from across the necessary range of academic disciplines – alongside other relevant stakeholders such as NGOs, CSO, government or industry – they could achieve much greater impact.

The GCRF Challenge Clusters therefore seek to utilise the strength of disciplinary and interdisciplinary research, and the existing 800 GCRF projects funded so far, to address global challenges whilst delivering sustainable development impact. Challenge Clusters should bring together current and/or former GCRF projects, along with associated partners from non-government organisations, industry, charity, civil society and other policy makers who have agreed to collaborate together to accelerate impact against a specific global challenge. Clusters are encouraged to bring together other development projects funded by either UK or International organisations to leverage knowledge and deliver new synthesis of research findings.

Proposed activities must be in addition to existing funded activities undertaken by GCRF projects. The types of activities in Challenge Clusters could involve synthesis of research funding to support the use of evidence in decision-making, co-creating new insights, or the application of best practice. Research synthesis could also be used to assist in developing future research agendas and proposals. There is an expectation that research activity would be co-developed by the Challenge Cluster to achieve specific impact against the identified challenge. Proposals should be bold and inspirational, crossing disciplinary and sectoral boundaries and addressing the Sustainable Development Goals.

This is a two-stage call which provides seed funding worth £150,000 each for around 20 initial projects over an opening 12 months. These first stage projects will be evaluated, and the second stage will fund six to eight projects at £1 million – £2 million for three years. Funding within this call will be awarded in a manner that fits with Official ODA guidelines.

Proposals can be led by any current or former GCRF grant holder (based in the UK or abroad) based in a Research Organisation (RO), who is named as either a Principal Investigator or CoInvestigator, across UKRI funded GCRF projects.

At least two existing GCRF projects must form part of the cluster proposed. The listed projects must have been funded for at least one year, or be at least half-way through their total funded period (whichever is the smallest) by 24 September 2019. The (minimum) two GCRF projects that form part of the cluster must be distinct projects with substantially different research teams listed on the original submission.

Applicants are invited to submit full bids by the 24 September 2019 deadline.

Successful applications will start in April 2020.

More information about this research funding opportunity and the application process is available on the RESEARCHconnect funding information platform. RESEARCHconnect provides up-to-the minute content, insight and analysis on research funding news and policy. To find out more about how RESEARCHconnect can keep you in the know, and subscription fees, contact us today.