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GCRF Agile Response to Emergencies

One of the objectives of the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) is to enable an agile response to emergencies. Due to the inherently unpredictable nature these situations, the GCRF will not hold a specific emergency response budget but will consider reprioritisation of resources to enable a rapid research response to an emergency situation where:

  • There is a clear knowledge gap
  • There is potential to inform and improve future approaches
  • There is a time limited/critical opportunity to access/capture data

In the event of an emergency situation being highlighted to BEIS, either by Government Chief Scientific Advisors or by the research community (through normal engagement routes with GCRF Delivery Partners), the above criteria will be considered by BEIS in consultation with representatives from DfID and the GCRF Delivery Partners and, where appropriate, the GCRF Strategic Advisory Group and other government departments. A research response will not be deemed appropriate where it could hinder the primary focus on development/humanitarian effort or there are significant safety and security risks.

Where a call for proposals is deemed to be the appropriate response, the funding will be delivered through most appropriate GCRF delivery partner. The funding processes for supporting such activities may be bespoke and/or accelerated, but will as far as possible operate within delivery partner norms (i.e. independent, expert peer review).

Process in summary:

  1. Emergency situation arises that requires an agile research funding response – raised by Government Chief Scientific Advisors (CSA) or by the research base (through normal engagement routes with GCRF Delivery Partners). Where Delivery Partners have been made aware of a situation by the research community, this should be raised with the GCRF Strategic Advisory Group secretariat who will ensure that it is considered in a timely and appropriate fashion.
  2. BEIS Senior Responsible Owner, Department for International Development CSA and UKRI GCRF Champion to consider appropriateness and requirement of research response to emergency situation. Others consulted where appropriate, eg. Strategic Advisory Group members, Department of Health, Research Community and relevant international organisations.
  3. Reprioritisation of resources approved to enable emergency response.
  4. Funding opportunity announced and delivered through most appropriate GCRF delivery partner. Funding opportunities will be delivered in such a way as to allow a rapid response, minimise bureaucratic delays and ensure necessary UK and international coordination.
  5. The impact of GCRF funding on the emergency situation should be evaluated in order to assess how GCRF is meeting this objective. Monitoring and evaluation should be designed to enable clear assessment of impact without hindering the response.