Our researchers work in partnership with communities across the developing world to tackle some of the globe’s most pressing health, environmental and social challenges.

From remote South Pacific islands to major cities, our academics collaborate with governments and local people to find sustainable solutions for development challenges.

We are harnessing funds from the £1.5 billion Global Challenges Research Fund to support our work.

At all times, we are guided by the principles of respectful and equal partnership in the co-design of research. Our work also contributes to the delivery of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals - an ambitious programme of actions designed to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all.

Find out more about our approach to global challenges research.

Meet some of our academic experts

Simon McQueen-Mason

Professor McQueen-Mason’s research focuses on the development of biofuels derived by breaking down the cells walls of hard-to-digest biomass. His work has global applications including work on woody residues from the sugarcane industry in Brazil and using enzymes to break down waste straw created by rice growers in Asia.

Samarthia Thankappan

Dr Thankappan has research interests in sustainability in the agri-food and automotive sectors. Also the impact of climate change policy on business. She is involved in a York-led, BBSRC project focusing on developing more drought-tolerant rice cultivars for growers in rain-fed areas of India.

Paul Gready

Human rights specialist Professor Gready has research interests in transitional justice and the impact of development and culture on human rights. He worked for international human rights organisations, including Amnesty International in East and South Africa and India. Currently leads projects on transformative justice and development alternatives.

Kamran Siddiqi

Professor Siddiqi’s research explores tobacco control measures in South Asia, particularly among TB patients. He leads the four-year TB and tobacco project, a research collaboration with eight international partners which is investigating ways to incorporate smoking cessation measures into TB control programmes in Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan.

Jeremy Mottram

Professor Mottram has research interests in the biology of the protozoan parasite Leishmania that causes the neglected tropical disease leishmaniasis. The aim of the research is to identify novel molecular mechanisms that can be exploited for the development of anti-parasite therapies.

Henrice Altink

An expert in Caribbean history, Dr Altink’s research focuses on gender, race and class inequalities and public health. Her current research includes a GCRF fund-supported project that uses culture and history to create more effective disaster risk management strategies for communities along the Colombian Caribbean coast.

Research snapshot: tackling a tropical disease

Juliana Brambilla Carnielli Trindade is researching more effective treatments for Leishmaniasis patients in Brazil. Credit Suzy Harrison

Postdoctoral Research Associate Juliana Brambilla Carnielli Trindade is part of a world-leading team at York exploring why the only available oral drug to treat the most serious form the disease is not fully effective in Brazil.

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Explore more of our research

York awarded major funding

Researchers from across the University have been awarded major grants from the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) to tackle the world's most pressing issues.

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Children playing in a village in Malawi. Credit Kevin Walsh