Global Challenges Research Fund Networking Grants

The awards provide up to £25,000 over one year to support collaborations between developing countries and the UK and to hold networking events aimed at addressing global challenges. 

Key dates

The scheme is currently closed to applications, but we hope to re-open the scheme to applications for consideration in 2022. 




The scheme allows researchers from across disciplines and from developing countries and the UK to hold networking events, to forge new links and generate innovative transdisciplinary research ideas to address global challenges. We expect that these new networks will then be better equipped to apply for larger grants offered by the GCRF programme and other funding initiatives.

Impact of Covid-19 - The Academy will be as flexible as possible to support all our researchers around the challenges to their work from Covid-19. We acknowledge that Covid-19 may have an impact on the applicant’s ability to carry out traditional in person networking events, in the short term. We encourage applicants to be creative in considering how networking events might be delivered remotely should this be appropriate. For up to date information on the Academy’s response to Covid-19, please see our information hub and FAQs for applicants and award holders.

We are delighted to be working with the British Academy, the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Royal Society to offer Global Challenges Research Fund Networking Grants.

The Global Challenges Research Fund is a five year £1.5 billion fund supporting cutting-edge interdisciplinary research. It aims to address global issues through challenge-led research and strengthen research capacity both in the UK and in developing countries. Our GCRF networking grants:

  • Provide opportunities for researchers from a wide spectrum of disciplines and backgrounds to develop new collaborations.
  • Improve interaction between UK researchers and those in developing countries.
  • Build communities of researchers that can submit high quality applications for other GCRF funding calls.

The Academy has previously also run a range of global health policy workshops supported through the Global Challenges Research Fund programme - find out more about our ongoing policy work to address global health challenges.

Recent Awardees

We are delighted to announce the following awardees from Round 2:

Dr Pham Thi Thuy Puong (Institute of Chemical Technology - Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology) and UK applicant. Novel methods for pesticide removal at household level

Dr Alessandro Jacinto (São Paulo State University (UNESP), Botucatu Medical School) and Dr Adam Gordon (University of Nottingham). Developing an International Collaborative Network to Study LOng Term care institUtions in Brazil; The LOTUS Project.

Professor Enedir Ghisi (Federal University of Santa Catarina) and Professor Vernon Phoenix (University of Strathclyde). Transforming Street Water into a Water Resource through Biotechnology and Infrastructure Innovation

Dr Christabel Yollanda Kambala (University of Malawi - The Polytechnic) and Dr Tara Beattie (University of Strathclyde). Establishing an interdisciplinary network to address barriers to sanitation and hygiene among fishing communities of Africa’s Great Lake

Professor Prasoom Dwivedi (University Of Petroluem And Energy Studies) and Dr Sanjay Bhowmick (Northumbria University). UK-India Sustainable Development and Research collaboration: Watermills Modernisation-cum-Enhancement Planning, Training, Capacity Strengthening and Entrepreneurship Development in Uttarakhand Hill Communities, India.

Professor Helen Weiss (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine) and Overseas Applicant. Strengthening East and Southern African capacity for menstrual hygiene management (MHM) research

Professor Christopher Gordon (University of Ghana) and Dr Richard Crane (University of Exeter). Nano and micro scale plastics in coastal Ghana: the implication for global food safety and ecosystem functioning

Professor Judith Torimiro (Chantal Biya International  Reference Centre of Research on Prevention and Management of HIV/AIDS (CIRCB)) and UK applicant. Establishing a Multidisciplinary Research Group to Develop Algorithms for Early Diagnosis of HBV Infection in Children born to HBV-positive Mothers

Dr Julian Cespedes-Guevara (Icesi University) and Professor Nicola Dibben (University of Sheffield). Fostering social cohesion through culture: a network to build capability in the social impacts of making music.

Dr Renato Silvano (Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS)) and Professor Jeanette Rotchell (University of Hull). Linking fishers’ knowledge, fish ecology and ecotoxicology to promote safe food from sustainable sources in tropical aquatic ecosystems

Dr Kassahun Habtamu (Addis Ababa University) and Ms Joanna Busza (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine). Establishing the Migration & Health Research Action Group, Ethiopia (MiHRAGE)

Professor Mayowa Owolabi (College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Nigeria) and UK applicant. Africa-UK Collaboration for the genetic Epidemiology of Stroke (ACES).

Dr Stephen Gichuhi (University of Nairobi) and Dr Victor Hu (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine). Corneal transplant surgery in developing countries using biosynthetic corneal implants

Professor Pinaki Sar (Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur) and Dr Manoj Menon (University of Sheffield). Arsenic from Root to Gut

Dr Stefan Jansen (University of Rwanda) and Dr Irina Kuznetsova (University of Birmingham). The mental health and well-being of forced displaced people in African cities

Professor Jie Ji (University of Science and Technology of China) and Professor Shuli Liu (Coventry University). Developing Self-powering Residential Houses for South, South East and East Asia

Professor Wei PEI (The Institute of Electrical Engineering (IEE) of Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS)) and UK applicant. Smart energy exchange for decarbonising energy systems research Network (SeedNet)

Professor Roberto Xavier (Institute of Geosciences - University of Campinas) and Dr James Lambert-Smith (Cardiff University). Implementing sustainability in artisanal and small-scale mining: the case of the Peixoto de Azevedo gold district, Northern Brazil

Professor Malcolm Bennett (University of Nottingham) and Overseas applicant. Enhancing Pearl Millet Productivity And Marketability In Sub-Saharan Africa

We are delighted to announce the following awardees from Round 3:

Dr Susheela Katukuri (National Institute of Plant Health Management) and Dr Savitri Maharaj (University of Stirling). Protecting Food Security in SE Asian Countries by Developing Early-Warning and Ready-Response Systems for Invasive Weed Incursions

Dr Piet Kenabatho (University of Botswana) and Professor Simon Mathias (Durham University). Managed aquifer recharge with check dams to increase water availability in Botswana

Dr Boyson Moyo (Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR)) and Professor Deborah Dixon (University of Glasgow). Placing Communities at the Heart of Humanitarian and Environmental Drone Use: Issues, Challenges and Opportunities

Dr Dao Van Long (Institute of Gastroenterology and Hepatology) and Dr Patrick Varga-Weisz (University of Essex). Addressing the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Challenge in Vietnam by Bridging the Basic-Clinical Science Divide in Gastroenterology: A Vietnam-UK Collaborative Network

Professor Wei Hu (Fudan University) and Dr Geoffrey Gobert (Queen's University Belfast). Development of a China-UK Helminth Research Programme (CUHRP)

Mrs Cindy Priadi (Universitas Indonesia) and Professor Benny Tjahjono (Coventry University). Circular Economy Research and Development Network for Sustainable Food Supply Chain

Dr Sushil John (Christian Medical College Vellore) and Dr Andrew Russell (Durham University). Network for the development of participatory methods to investigate current and alternative livelihoods with bidi workers in South India

Professor Josiah Omolo (Egerton University, Kenya) and Dr Moses Langat (Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew). Croton seed oil partnership: a diverse industrial natural product for sustainable development in East Africa

Professor Lisa Micklesfield (University of the Witwatersrand) and Professor Martin Tobin (University of Leicester). AWI-Gen-XHALE: Establishing a network to explore respiratory disease in the context of multi-morbidity in four African countries

Professor Lixian Jin (University of Nottingham Ningbo China) and Professor Hua Zhu (Birkbeck, University of London). Capacity building for developing standardized and computerized speech and language assessment tools in China

Professor Igor Severskiy (Kazakhstan Institute of Geography (KIG)) and Professor Maria Shahgedanova (University of Reading). Central Asia Research and Adaptation WAter Network (CARAWAN): Characterising and Predicting Water Availability, Quality and Hazards in the Glacier-fed Catchments

Dr Theresa Gwira (University of Ghana) and Professor Sue Vaughan (Oxford Brookes University). TsetseNET: Developing scientific capacity through an interdisciplinary international network for tsetse fly research

Dr Fabian León (Universidad Antonio Nariño) and Dr Clare Martin (Oxford Brookes University). Cloud-based Tool for Diabetes Management and Research in Colombia: Initial Investigation (COORDINATES)

Dr Maureen Nanziri Mayanja (College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources and Biosecurity, Makerere University) and Professor John Morton (Natural Resources Institute, University of Greenwich). Pastoralism, Policy And Governance In East Africa

Dr Erik Karlsson (Institut Pasteur du Cambodge) and Dr David Wareham (Queen Mary University London). CANARIES: Consortium of Animal market Networks to Assess  Risks of emerging Infectious diseases through Enhanced Surveillance

Professor Huynh Ky Phuong (Prof. Mai Thanh Phong, Rector of Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology) and Dr Anh Phan (Newcastle University). Synthesis And Characterization Of Cellulose Aerogel From Rice Straw And Sugarcane Bagasse

Professor Oluseyi Ajayi (Covenant University) and Dr Geev Mokryani (University of Bradford). COMPENSE-Control and Operation of Microgrids with High Penetration of Renewable Sources and Energy Storage Systems

Dr Julianne Susanne Sansa-Otim (Makerere University) and Dr Becky Faith (Institute of Development Studies). IMAgINe: ICT-enabled Multi-sector-based Approach to weather INformation

Professor Lucia Maria Costa (Universidde Federal do Rio de Janeiro) and Dr Antonia Noussia (London Soth Bank University). A network for urban agriculture, landscape justice and migrants inclusion: practices and strategies of integration (URBAMI)

Dr Carlos Mena (Universidad San Francisco de Quito) and Professor Tamara Galloway (University of Exeter). Establishing a multidisciplinary network to tackle marine plastic pollution in the Galapagos Archipelago and Eastern Tropical Pacific Ocean

Dr Raul Mercer (FLACSO) and Dr Mark Limmer (Lancaster University). Addressing poor mental health and well-being for LGBT young people in education settings in Argentina and regional Latin American neighbours


We are delighted to announce the following awardees from Round 4:

Professor Kathryn Chu (Stellenbosch University) and Professor Justine Davies (University of Birmingham). AfroSurg: A Network to Improve Equitable Access to Safe and Timely Surgical Care in Southern Africa

Dr Kwame Frimpong (University of Cape Coast) and Dr Martin Blackwell (Rothamsted Research).  Opportunities for improved pasture and controlled grazing systems to address nomadic pastoralist and arable farmer conflicts in West Africa

Dr Mahendrawathi Er (Institut Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember) and Dr Alexander Trautrims (University of Nottingham). Gender-specific risks and responses to labour exploitation in textile supply chains: The challenge of transferability

Mr Said Mohammed Hassen (Debre Berhan University) and Professor Gerhard Leubner (Royal Holloway University of London). Understanding the Food Chain of Teff (Eragrostis tef) and the Application of Seed Technology in Teff Farming in Ethiopia

Dr Dionicia Gamboa Vilela (Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia) and Professor Chris Drakeley (LSHTM). International collaborative network for the Integration, Standardization and Assessment of the use of drones in malaria vector control strategies

Dr Quang Thanh Bui (VNU University of Science) and Dr Yunqing Xuan (Swansea University). A Knowledge Network of Modelling and ICT for Building Resilience towards flooding in mountainous areas of Vietnam

Dr Josephine Ndagire (Makerere University) and Professor Jill Marshall (Royal Holloway University of London). Infusing Law and Policy with the Voices of Displaced Survivors of Sexual Violence in Conflict

Professor Olga Sarmiento (Universidad de Los Andes) and Professor Frank Kelly (King's College London). Road use and air pollution during the traffic-free Ciclovía in Bogotá in Colombia: towards a natural experiment

Dr Cesar Mota (Federal University of Minas Gerais) and Dr Ana Soares (Cranfield University). Sustainable sanitation in Brazil: combining anaerobic treatment with resource recovery from sewage

Dr Yaw Bediako (University of Ghana) and Dr Jean Langhorne (Francis Crick Institute). West-African Immunology Network (W.A.I.N.) - Building immunological research capacity to promote sustainable improvements in health.

Professor Shri Kant Tripathi (Mizoram University               ) and Dr Francis Brearley (Manchester Metropolitan University). Novel methods for nutrient management in shifting cultivation in North-east India: balancing the old and the new

Professor Zenaida Reyes (Philippine Normal University) and Professor Deanne Clouder (Coventry University). An ASEAN interdisciplinary network to promote access and inclusion of disabled students in higher education

Dr Cyprian Misinde (Makerere University) and Dr Michelle Butler (Queen's University Belfast). Worsening child outcomes? Parental imprisonment and its impact on child health, wellbeing and poverty in East Africa.

Dr Arindam Datta (The Energy and Resources Institute) and Professor Jo Smith (University of Aberdeen). Biochar to Address Air Pollution, Climate Change, Food Security and Farmers' Income

Dr Saut Sagala (Resilience Development Initiative) and Professor Gavin Sullivan (Coventry University). South East Asia Resilience Hub (SEARCH): Socio-Economic Resilience of Coastal Communities

Dr Roberto Parra-Saldivar (Tecnologico de Monterrey) and Dr Alfredo Bonaccorso (University of St Andrews). Algae bloom: waste resource for aquaculture and bioenergy industry in Mexico

Dr Linh Bui (Vietnam National University of Agriculture) and Professor Richard Wall (University of Bristol). Strengthening research capacity on ticks and tick-borne disease in S.E. Asia

Professor Mohammad Ziaur Rahman Khan (Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET)) and Dr Mohammad Al-Amin (University of Warwick). Enabling cleaner, full-electric transport revolution in Bangladesh

Dr Silgia Aparecida da Costa (Universidade de São Paulo) and Professor Sharon Baurley (Royal College of Art). A Brazil-UK Network for Natural Polymers derived from Local Food Industry By-products

Dr Ghassan Abu Sitta (American University of Beirut) and Professor Mark Zeitoun (University of East Anglia). Building the network to tackle the spread of anti-microbial resistance through water in protracted conflicts.


We are delighted to announce the following awardees from Round 5:

Dr Danielle Watson (The University of the South Pacific) and Professor Amanda Robinson (Cardiff University). Developing Contextually-appropriate Responses to Domestic Violence in Developing Pacific Island Countries: A Pathway to Improved Frontline Responses

Professor Alfred Yawson (University of Ghana) and Dr Maria Maynard (Leeds Beckett University). Improved nutrition and sustainable livelihoods for female informal workers in Ghana and Nigeria: an interdisciplinary network

Dr Gade Waqa (Fiji National University) and Professor Penny Curtis (University of Sheffield). Promoting disaster resilience in children: developing a network to research culturally appropriate, sustainable public health interventions in Fiji and Samoa

Dr Jitender Giri (National Institute of Plant Genome Research, New Delhi) and Dr Ranjan Swarup (University of Nottingham). Improving crop yield in dry and nutrient-poor soils via more resilient rice varieties

Professor Paramita Atmodiwirjo (Universitas Indonesia) and Dr Rokhshid Ghaziani (De Montfort University). Healing by Nature: Implementation of Biophilic Design Model for the Post-Disaster School Reconstruction in Indonesia to Promote Children’s Wellbeing

Dr Dechassa Tegegne (Jimma University) and Professor Nicola Williams (University of Liverpool). Antimicrobial resistance in sympatric humans, livestock and wildlife inhabiting an urban area of Jimma town, Ethiopia.

Professor Mafaniso Hara (University of the Western Cape) and Professor Fiona Nunan (University of Birmingham). Sustainable resource governance solutions in sub-Saharan Africa

Dr Rafael Cabral-Tena (Ensenada Center for Scientific Research and Higher Education (CICESE)) and Professor Chris Perry (University of Exeter). Understanding changing capacity of central American reefs to sustain their geo-ecological functions: a multidisciplinary network for science and management

Professor Jorge Emmanuel (Silliman University) and Dr Risa Morimoto (SOAS University of London). Trans-disciplinary network for designing ‘Zero Waste local neighborhood store’ models in the Philippines

Dr Ogheneruona Diemuodeke (University of Port Harcourt) and Dr Muhammad Imran (Aston University). Mapping and development of geographic information system of biomass potential in Sub-Saharan Africa

Professor Dorothy Yeboah-Manu (University of Ghana) and Professor Ian Gilbert (University of Dundee). The Development of a Drug Discovery Research Hub in Ghana

Dr Jamie Rylance (Malawi-Liverpool-Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Programme (MLW)) and Professor Sally Singh (University of Leicester). Alleviating the Burden of Chronic Respiratory Diseases in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: Developing a Pulmonary Rehabilitation Research Network

Dr Mbembe Binda (University of Rwanda) and Dr Matthieu Burnay (Queen Mary University of London). Chinese Investments in Rwanda: Challenges and Opportunities for the Construction of a Sustainable Economy and Society

Dr Jackson Muthengia (University of Embu) and Professor John Kinuthia (University of South Wales). Promotion of energy efficient homes using sustainable design of building, materials and energy management

Dr Fred Sarfo (Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology) and Professor Lorna Paul (Glasgow Caledonian University). Telerehabilitation: a sustainable, low cost solution to improving the health and wellbeing of people with neurological conditions in Ghana

Professor Balaji Veeraraghavan (Christian Medical College, Vellore) and Dr Naveen Kumar Devanga Ragupathi (University of Sheffield). Biofilms and Antimicrobial Resistance Consortium of ODA receiving countries

Mr Ali Ahmad Kaveh (Herat University) and Dr Lucia Berdondini (University of East London). The Role of Higher Education on Mental Health in Afghanistan: developing an interdisciplinary network to support the well-being of students

Professor Bhuminand Devkota (Agriculture and Forestry University) and Dr Faical Akaichi (Scotland's Rural College). Improving access to nutritious and sustainable foods through increasing the production and consumption of underutilised crops in Nepal.

Dr Maria Clara Padoveze (Universidade de São Paulo) and Professor Kay Currie (Glasgow Caledonian University). Tackling the global challenge of antimicrobial resistance by engaging nurses in antibiotic stewardship: building capacity through a Brazil-UK collaboration

Dr Sandra Ley (Centro de Investigacion y Docencia Economicas) and Dr Ana Carolina Garriga (University of Essex). Establishing an interdisciplinary network to address the economic consequences of criminal violence in Mexico

Dr Caroline Kabaria (African Population and Health Research Center) and Professor Joao Porto de Albuquerque (University of Warwick). Urban Equality Observatory: A Trans-disciplinary Network leveraging Earth Observation and Community-Driven Geospatial Information for Ensuring Access to Basic Urban Services


We are delighted to announce the following awardees from Round 6:

Professor Elena Moore (University of Cape Town) and Professor Debora Price (University of Manchester). Care of Older People in Southern Africa: A network to improve understanding of challenges to elderly care in Southern Africa

Professor Gagandeep Singh (Dayanand Medical College & Hospital) and Professor Josemir Sander (University College London). Tapping the Tapeworm to Understand Epilepsy: A Global Initiative

Dr Luis Mesa Martinez (Pontificia Universidad Javeriana) and Dr Fiorella Montero-Diaz (Keele University). Sounding a Queer Rebellion: LGBTI Musical Resistances in Latin America

Dr Thaddeus Blanchette (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro) and Dr Isabel Crowhurst (University of Essex). Challenging urban sex workers’ multiple exclusions in Brazil: a network to share knowledge, confront stigma, and promote community-led responses

Professor Patricia Leon (National Autonomous University of Mexico) and Dr Gabriela Toledo-Ortiz (Lancaster University). Tomatoes for Tomorrow Network: maintaining a living laboratory in Mexico for the future of the cultivar under climate change

Dr Rogayah A Razak (Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia) and Dr Maria Garraffa (Heriot-Watt University). Early identification and intervention of children with speech and language disorders in South East Asia Region: Developing capabilities, partnerships and research

Dr Palwende Romuald Boua (Clinical Research Unit of Nanoro) and Dr Rihlat Said Mohamed (University of Cambridge). iMapNut: Machine Learning to Map and Address Causal Factors of Child Malnutrition in Low- and- Middle- Income Countries

Professor Mark Tomlinson (Stellenbosch University) and Professor Claire Hughes (University of Cambridge). Strengthening innovative child development research in African settings: new methods and improved capacity

Professor Davis Sansolo (São Paulo State University) and Dr Les Levidow (The Open University). Food sovereignty through agroecology in South America: Interdisciplinary methods for participatory action research

Dr Helen Scanlon (University of Cape Town) and Dr Khanyisela Moyo (Transitional Justice Institute, Ulster University). Fault lines in Transitional Justice: Looking Backwards to Move Forwards

Professor Van Toi Vo (Vietnam National University) and Professor Claire Goodman (University of Hertfordshire). Investigation and Implementation of Solutions for Challenges in Mental Issues of the Elderly in Vietnam by Networking with Advanced Countries

Dr Hector Vera-Alcaraz (Ministerio del Ambiente y Desarrollo Sostenible (MADES)) and Professor Paul Kemp (University of Southampton). SHAASAN - The Network for advancing Sustainable Hydropower for Africa, Asia and South America

Dr Ndekya Maria Oriyo (National Institute for Medical Research) and Dr Angela Obasi (The Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine). Adolescent Mental Health in Tanzania: A network to promote and accelerate nationwide research capacity strengthening, innovation and excellence

Dr Mahamadou Koita (Institut International d'Ingénierie de l'Eau et de l'Environnement) and Dr Ulrich Ofterdinger (Queen's University Belfast). Groundwater-g – Supporting Groundwater Resources Management in Sub-Saharan Africa using low-cost microgravity technology 

Dr Rufus Akinyemi (University of Ibadan) and Professor Dame Caroline Watkins (University of Central Lancashire). Strengthening Stroke Research and Training Capacity in Africa: The UK – Africa Stroke Partnership

Dr Fiacre A.R. Agossa (University of Kinshasa) and Professor Steve Lindsay (University of Durham). House-based interventions for malaria control in The Democratic Republic of the Congo 

Dr Robert Ssekitoleko (Makerere University College of Health Sciences) and Professor Fiona Denison (University of Edinburgh). Strengthening Interdisciplinary Research in Technology Translational Pathways for Improved Maternal and Child Health in Uganda

Professor Emmanuel Unuabonah (Redeemer's University) and Dr Timothy Easun (Cardiff University). Building Capacity for Sustainable Solutions in the Provision of Clean Water in West Africa

Professor Maowia Mukhtar (Bioscience Research Institute, Ibn Sina University) and Dr Leena Al-Hassan (University of Sussex). Establishment of One Health Platform to Reduce the Emergence and Spread of Antibiotic Resistance in the Nile Valley (PRESAR)

Professor Opha Pauline DUBE (Africa Interprofessional Education Network) and Dr Kadmiel Maseyk (The Open University). Improving climate change adaptation and resilience in the Kalahari Basin with Earth Observation data


These grants are supported by the Global Challenges Research Fund, which is administered through 17 delivery partners including the Research Councils, the UK National Academies, the UK Space Agency and more. The GCRF networking grants are delivered by the UK National Academies working together through our Joint Academies Resilient Futures programme.

The GCRF programme is funded by the UK’s Official Development Assistance programme, which is monitored by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development and aims to promote the long-term sustainable growth of countries on the Development Assistance Committee list. GCRF funding is awarded in line with Official Development Assistance guidelines.

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Talks from new Fellows 2022

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Mentoring masterclass - September 2022

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Celebrating our new Fellows at Portland Place

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Talks from new Fellows 2022

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Mentoring masterclass - September 2022

Book Now

Celebrating our new Fellows at Portland Place

Book Now
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