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Research funding for international engagement

A wide number of external organisations provide research funding for international engagement. To find funding opportunities that cover all disciplines from a wide range of sponsors in the UK and overseas, we recommend using the database tool
The following organisations support international activity:
  • UKRI website has an international section which provides an introduction to the international work of the 7 Research Councils including international strategy, funding, activities and overseas teams (in China, India, US and Europe). UKRI supports international work through calls from the 7 Research Councils and via the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF).

The Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) is a five-year £1.5 billion funding stream, announced as part of the Government’s 2015 spending review. It forms part of the UK's Official Development Assistance (ODA) commitment, to support cutting-edge research which addresses the problems faced by developing countries.

The fund, administered through delivery partners including the Research Councils and national academies, will address global challenges through disciplinary and interdisciplinary research, will strengthen capability for research and innovation within both UK and developing countries, and will provide an agile response to emergencies and opportunities.

GCRF research should clearly demonstrate that the primary purpose is to promote the economic development and welfare of Low and Middle Income Countries (LMICs), and must be ODA compliant.

 Further information on GCRF 

  • The Newton Fund’s aim is to develop science and innovation partnerships that promote the economic development and welfare of collaborating countries. The Newton Fund is administered through Research Councils and national academies. The UK's Newton Fund money has been allocated under Section 1 of the International Development Act 2002 and is classed as Official Development Assistance (ODA), so research funded by Newton must be ODA compliant.
  • The Department for International Development (DFID) leads the UK’s work to end extreme poverty, building a safer, healthier, more prosperous world for all of us which is firmly in the UK’s national interest. DFID provides funding opportunities in development research, often in partnership with other agencies.

The Global Engagement team also manages a number of funding schemes to promote international activities (including Seed Funding and Staff Mobility schemes).

Funding for global development research is increasing. The UK Collaborative on Development Research (UKCDR) hub can be used to explore and understand the main funding opportunities in this arena within the UK. The UKCDR is a group of UK government departments and research funders working in international development research.






For advice and support on funding opportunities contact your departmental research administrator in the first instance.

Building international collaborations and partnerships