Global Challenges Research Fund

The Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) is a new 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.

Open calls

The latest list of live GCRF funding calls is updated regularly on the Research Councils UK (RCUK) GCRF website

The GCRF Collective Programme

In early 2019, UKRI will be opening 16 calls covering six challenge portfolios, with a number of calls cutting across multiple portfolios. Find out more:

How do I apply?

The GCRF is delivered through a number of partners and programmes. These include:

  • The Research Councils and the National Academies
  • A new International Partnership Programme to enable the use of UK satellite or space technology for services such as telecommunications in remote locations and for rapid responses to disasters
  • An interdisciplinary pot of funding 

The application process remains similar to non-GCRF calls, but additional information will be required regarding ODA compliance.

The standard University of York pre-award application process applies. Please note that for some calls there may be additional internal selections processes and information requirements to support the assessment of ODA compliance and in response to funder restrictions on application numbers.

Where to get assistance

In the first instance, please contact your departmental research support for advice.

Cross-cutting departmental/central support is being provided for GCRF calls (in particular for large interdisciplinary calls).

If you would like additional support or have any questions please contact

Certain GCRF calls may be subject to demand management measures and additional processes will be put in place. 

If you are applying for a call within the GCRF Collective Programme, support is available from the York Interdisciplinary Global Development Centre, the York Environmental Sustainability Institute, or the Research Development Team, depending on the portfolio. There will be a small amount of money available to support GCRF Collective Programme applications. Please contact to discuss. If you are unsure who to contact, please direct enquiries to Specific advice regarding Network+ projects can be provided by the Research Development Team.

You can also find further information at central and locally run Global Challenges Research Fund events.

Guidance for applicants

Guidance for award holders

University of York and GCRF

University GCRF Steering Group has been established, chaired by the PVC-for-Research, and with cross-faculty membership, including senior staff involved in RCUK GCRF strategy. The Steering Group has an overview of ODA-relevant activity at the Institution and is working with other parts of the Institution to ensure that the University is well placed to deliver against the GCRF agenda, and align with the University’s Research Strategy.

Additional Information