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UKRI-UNDP joint report: How science, research and innovation can best contribute to meeting the Sustainable Development Goals for developing countries

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) invites expressions of interest for a joint team of UK researchers and UNDP policymakers to collect evidence, develop original arguments and compose a major UKRI-UNDP report on how science, research and innovation might most effectively accelerate progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for developing countries.

The joint project will be funded by the UK's Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF).

The stimulus for the report is provided by the Sustainable Development Goals, which set out an agenda for inclusive and sustainable global development. The aim of the call is to support a joint UK-UNDP team (this can also include international Co-Is) to develop a landmark report on how investment in science, research and innovation might best deliver the innovations in policy, practice and products required to achieve the SDGs in developing countries, while taking into account the many intersections, interactions, and tensions between individual goals. 

The focus of the report will be on how science, research and innovation (including technology) could accelerate progress towards the SDGs in the context of multiple challenges and opportunities. These range from environmental degradation to the disruptive potential of artificial intelligence, to digital technologies and big data, while taking into account the social, political, cultural and technological constraints that new approaches to global development are likely to encounter. 

Application process


There will be a webinar at 15:00-16:00 on 20 August 2018. This will be a presentation followed by a question and answer session.

To register please email gcrf@rcuk.ac.uk by 17 August 2018. 

Expression of interest (EOI)

Researchers planning to submit to this scheme are asked to submit a short expression of interest form by 16.00 on 31 August 2018. Researchers do not need to connect with the UNDP at this stage. 

If you are invited to submit to the next stage of the call, you will be connected with the appropriate teams and receive detailed guidance on how to submit a full proposal. It is envisioned approximately three teams will be invited to go through to the full application stage.

Please note that a proposal will be funded under this call subject to funding being secured. 

Key dates

  • Expression of interest open - 19 July 2018
  • Webinar - 20 August 2018
  • Expression of interest stage closes - 31 August 2018
  • Shortlisting - 7 September 2018
  • Outcome given. Approximately three applicants invited to submit a full proposal and connected with relevant UNDP colleagues - w/c 10 September 2018
  • Call for full proposal closes - 5 November 2018
  • Interview panel for full proposals - 27 November 2018
  • Decision to applicants - 6 December 2018
  • Award start - December 2018 / January 2019

Call documents