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GCRF Challenge Clusters

  • Call Launch: 25 June 2019
  • Call open on Je-S: 30 July 2019
  • Call closes: 24 September 2019 (1600 BST)

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), are pleased to invite applications for GCRF Challenge Clusters.

Funding has been allocated from the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF), a £1.5 billion fund to support cutting-edge research which addresses the problems faced by developing countries. GCRF will address global challenges through disciplinary and interdisciplinary research and will strengthen capability for research and innovation within both the UK and developing countries, providing an agile response to emergencies where there is an urgent research need. GCRF forms part of the UK's Official Development Assistance (ODA) commitment and will be awarded in a manner that fits with ODA guidelines.

There are over 800 GCRF projects funded to date. Each project alone cannot address seemingly intractable global challenges, but by bringing together clusters of GCRF and other official development assistance (ODA) oriented research projects from across the necessary range of academic disciplines alongside other relevant stakeholders such as NGOs, CSO, government or industry, they could achieve much greater impact.

Challenge Clusters should bring together current and/or former GCRF projects, along with associated partners from non-government organisations, industry, charity, civil society and other policy makers who have agreed to collaborate together to accelerate impact against a specific global challenge. Clusters are encouraged to bring together other development projects funded by either UK or International organisations to leverage knowledge and deliver new synthesis of research findings.

This is a two-stage call which will provide seed funding for around 20 initial projects over an initial 12 months of up to £150k each. The first stage projects will be evaluated and in the second stage £1m - £2m funding will be made available for 6 to 8 projects over the subsequent three years.

Documents and Guidance

Further information 

When submitting your application through Je-S, please follow these steps:

  1. Log into your Je-S account

  2. Select Council: EPSRC

  3. Select Document Type: Standard proposal

  4. Select Scheme: UKRI

  5. Select Call: GCRF Challenge Clusters

  6. Select ‘create document’

Challenge Cluster eligibility

Eligibility for the GCRF Challenge Clusters call

The diagram above demonstrates the eligibility for the GCRF Challenge Clusters call. Lead projects must be funded by GCRF through UKRI, secondary projects must be GCRF-funded but it doesn’t have to be from UKRI. Principal investigators and co-investigators can come from anywhere in the world. The lead project must also have been funded for at least one year or halfway through, whichever is smaller, by September 24 2019. The lead project and the second GCRF project must be substantially different. Any other projects involved in the cluster must be development-orientated, and can be from anywhere in the world and funded by any funding body.