GCRF steering group

A University Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) Steering Group has been established, chaired by the PVC-for-Research, and with cross-faculty membership, including senior staff involved in RCUK Committees.

The Steering Group has been formed to ensure that the University maximises the opportunities presented by the new government investment in the GCRF.

The first meeting of the Group was on 1st July 2016.


RoleStaff name
The Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research (Chair)

Professor Deborah Smith

Faculty Associate Deans (Research)
(ex officio)

Professor Colin Brown (Sciences) 
Dr Kate Giles (until September 2016) (Arts and Humanities)
Professor Matthew Festenstein (Social Sciences)

Three research theme champions - where the research
theme is of particular relevance to GCRF
(ex officio)

Professor Kate Pickett (Justice & Equality)
Professor Sue Hartley (Environmental Sustainability & Resilience)
Professor Karen Bloor (Health & Wellbeing)

Academic members of staff with relevant expertise
from each Faculty (No two of these members should be
from the same dept, standard 3 year term)

Professor Simon McQueen-Mason (Biology) (to 30 June 2019)
Professor Jean Grugel (Politics) (to 30 June 2019)
Professor Marc Suhrcke (Centre for Health Economics) (to 30 June 2019)
Dr Henrice Altink (History) (to 31 August 2019)

Director of Global Engagement

Hilary Layton 

Representative Research Grants and Contracts

Kirsty Dillingham
Representative Research Development Team Helen Wells
Representative Business Development Team Emma Brown
Representative Development & Alumni Relations Office Sarah Sylvester
Representative Communications & Marketing Sheila Perry
Secretary & Minutes

Josie Bramhall


Terms of reference

Terms of reference

  1. To coordinate institutional activity and advise University Research Committee (and where appropriate other University entities) on all matters relating to the UK Global Challenges Research Fund* (GCRF) to support the development of ongoing University research strategy and to support the Vice-Chancellor, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, the UEB and Pro-Vice-Chancellor in driving research strategy forward.
  2. To identify priority research areas for the University to champion and promote, to increase the likelihood of success via future and current GCRF funding streams.
  3. To ensure the University International Committee is regularly updated on GCRF activity and that the GCRF is properly recognised in the new University International Strategy.
  4. To agree internal allocation processes for any GCRF institutional priming awards and oversee robust and transparent allocation.
  5. To agree internal selection processes required for GCRF funding opportunities and oversee robust and transparent selection. Where required coopting the required discipline specific background knowledge to selection panels.
  6. To support the communication and visibility of the University of York’s research strengths eligible for funding from the GCRF.
  7. To advise the UEB and Planning Committee on the selective distribution of resources within the University in order to ensure appropriate alignment of resource allocation for GCRF research activity.
  8. To ensure that the University’s strategic geographic focus internationally and partnership development supports GCRF activity, and that the University maximises the opportunity presented by existing relevant partnerships to benefit GCRF activity.
  9. To direct the University in its engagement with key external stakeholders (including international stakeholders) relating to GCRF relevant research, including business, industry, the government and funding agencies.
  10. To receive regular updates on research activities relevant to the GCRF where new opportunities may be pursued. Ongoing review of the Institution’s GCRF research portfolio.
  11. To gather and assimilate information from external sources about the latest developments for the GCRF.
  12. To monitor and influence the development of Global Challenges research policy and strategy of key national and international agencies in the interests of the University (in particular RCUK).

* As outlined in ‘The Allocation of Science and Research Funding 2016/17 to 2019/20’ - March 2016, Department for Business Innovation & Skills

Approved 26_07_2016

Future meetings

Forthcoming meeting dates and times


Meeting minutes

Minutes from previous meetings