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

Round 7 is now open for applications 

Deadline 10 September 2020 16.00 (GMT)

Outcomes from Round 6 of the scheme will be released shortly


Scheme OPEN

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.

The Academy of Medical Sciences is delighted to be working with the British Academy, the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Royal Society to offer Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) Networking Grants, available through the GCRF, which is part of the UK’s Official Development Assistance (ODA).  The GCRF is an initiative that aims to support cutting-edge interdisciplinary research that addresses the global issues faced by developing countries. The GCRF is administered through 17 delivery partners including the Research Councils, the UK National Academies, the UK Space Agency and other funding bodies.

The GCRF Networking Grants will be delivered as part of the Joint Academies Resilient Futures programme. The Academy of Medical Sciences will work collaboratively across the GCRF delivery partners to ensure that these grants provide opportunities for researchers, drawn from a wide spectrum of disciplines and backgrounds, to develop new collaborations, improve interaction between UK researchers and those in developing countries and build communities of researchers that can submit high quality applications for other GCRF funding calls.

The Academy runs a range of projects supported by funding from the GCRF: click here to find out more about our GCRF policy work including upcoming GCRF policy workshops. 

Recent Awardees


We are delighted to announce the following awardees from Round 1:

Professor Akm Saiful Islam (Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology) and Professor Myles Allen (University of Oxford). South Asian Extreme Climate Research Networking to Inform Adaptation and Mitigation Policies

Dr Aladje Balde (Universidade Jean Piaget Guiné-Bissau) and Dr Andrew Barnes (Scotland's Rural College). Managing risk through integrated farm management, diversification strategies and education

Professor Amelia Crampin (Malawi Epidemiology and Intervention Research Unit) and Professor Rebecca Reynolds (University of Edinburgh). Addressing the Diabetes Challenge in Africa by Embedding Research in Clinical Practice: A Malawi-Zambia-Scotland Diabetes Collaborative Network

Dr Amit Singh (Malaviya National Institute of Technology, JAIPUR) and Dr Karthikeyan Kandan (De Montfort University). ARM (Accessible Recycled Material) Prosthetics: developing capability, partnerships and research in India

Dr Martin Welch (University of Cambridge). Harnessing whole genome sequencing to strengthen sub-typing and antibiotic resistance monitoring of Escherichia coli in Developing Countries

Dr Barbara Schreiner (Pegasys Institute) and Dr Dustin Garrick (University of Oxford). Inclusive African Cities: Sharing Resources, Risks and Resilience for Regional Development

Dr Britta Rennkamp (Energy Research Centre, University of Cape Town) and Dr Sarah Mander (The University of Manchester). Networking solutions for climate and poverty compatible development pathways (SCPD)

Dr Caesar Hakim (Guidance and Training Center for the Child and Family) and Dr Hamish McLeod (University of Glasgow). Strengthening Mental Health & Wellbeing Research Capacity in Low Resource Settings: Developing a Pathway to Sustainable Impact in Palestine

Dr Cesar Astuhuaman (Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos) and Dr Nicholas Branch (University of Reading). Food Production and Climate Resilience in Peru: Past, Present and Future

Professor Chintha Jayasinghe (University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka) and Dr Juliana Calabria-Holley (University of Bath). Enhanced Earth based Building materials network for housing targeted the low-income population (Earth4Nest).

Dr Christian Kieling (Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul) and Dr Helen Fisher (King's College London). Developing a global interdisciplinary network for the early identification of depression

Professor Clive Gray (University of Cape Town) and Professor Dilichukwu Anumba (The University of Sheffield). The pre-term birth dialogues: to develop an interdisciplinary research group to improve prediction and management of preterm birth in LMICs

Professor David Ndetei (University of Nairobi/Africa Mental Health Foundation) and Professor Cathy Lloyd (The Open University). Long-term conditions and mental health in Sub-Saharan Africa: mainstreaming community-based practices

Professor David Sanders (University of the Western Cape) and Professor Jennifer Popay (Lancaster University). Punching above their weight: Building capacity for research on some countries have better life expectancies than predicted by national income

Professor Deenan Pillay (Africa Health Research Institute (seconded from University College London)) and Dr Collins Iwuji (University of Sussex). The HIV Drug Resistance Elimination And Management Network (The H-DREAM Network)

Dr Delali Dovie (University of Ghana) and Dr Kwasi Awuah Baffour (University of Salford). Ecohealth field building at the nexus of climate change, urban sustainability and resilience of cities in Africa

Dr Elena Sabirova (Kyrgyz-Russian Slavic University) and Dr Darya Gaysina (University of Sussex). Mental health and wellbeing in adolescents: an international research network of countries of Central Asia

Professor Corri Black (University of Aberdeen) and overseas applicant. Data at the heart of improving health and care: The Brazil-UK Secure Data Sharing Network

Professor Huali Wang (Peking University) and Dr Kit Yee Chan (University of Edinburgh). Preventing dementia and improving dementia care: setting and addressing research priorities in China.

Dr Isabel Inês Monteiro de Pina Araújo (Cape Verde University) and Dr Sandra Beleza (University of Leicester). Establishing a multidisciplinary network for antimicrobial drug resistance surveillance in Cabo Verde

Professor Junmeng Cai (Shanghai Jiao Tong University) and Dr Yuqing Zhang (Aston University). Pyrolysis of Municipal Organic Waste for Renewable Road Construction Materials

Professor Kelly Chibale (University of Cape Town) and Professor Christopher Dowson (University of Warwick). Developing the Next Generation of β-lactamase Inhibitors and Monobactum Antibiotics

Dr Kirsty Donald (University of Cape Town) and Dr Sarah Halligan (University of Bath). Developing an international framework for researching longitudinal impacts of child trauma

Dr Kate Ward (University of Southampton). Establishment of the Sub-Saharan African MuSculOskeletal Network (SAMSON)

Professor Marta Mollerach (Universidad de Buenos Aires) and  Dr David Aanensen (Imperial College London). StaphNET South America: Establishing a network for genomic surveillance of Staphylococcus aureus in South America

Professor Mukesh Khare (Indian Institute of Technology Delhi) and Dr Francis Pope (University of Birmingham). A Systems Approach to Air Pollution in Delhi (ASAAP)

Dr Nicola Desmond (Malawi-Liverpool-Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Programme, Blantyre Malawi) and Dr Philip Burgess (University of Liverpool). Developing Culturally-Appropriate and Sustainable Interventions to Prevent Visual Loss from Diabetes in Low and Middle Income Countries

Dr Nicholas Mariita (Dedan Kimathi University of Technology) and Professor David Pyle (University of Oxford). Harnessing volcanic and geothermal resources for sustainable development in the East African Rift

Dr Padmapriyadarsini Chandrasekaran (National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis, Indian Council of Medical Research) and Dr Sarah Pett (University College London). Meeting the challenges of Tuberculosis (TB) Research priorities in India : An UK-India Networking Partnership

Professor Ruth Zadoks (University of Glasgow) and overseas applicant. Of Fish and Men – Public Health Risks Posed by Group B Streptococcus in Aquaculture in Southeast Asia

Dr Pratap Kumar (Strathmore Business School and ) and Dr Jason Madan (University of Warwick). Developing and sharing methods to support the evaluation of complex health service delivery interventions in low income settings.

Professor Quanhua Hou (Chang'An University) and Dr Jing Ran (Cardiff University). Catchment-based resilient urbanisation in arid and semi-arid China and Iran

Professor Ramakrishnan Seshadri (Cancer Institute (WIA), Chennai, India) and Professor Philip Quirke (University of Leeds). Large bowel microbiome disease network. Creation of a proof of principle exemplar in colorectal cancer across three continents

Dr Robert Kayanda (Lake Victoria Fisheries Organization) and Professor Andrew Brierley (University of St Andrews). Developing a skilled fisheries-acoustics network for Lake Victoria: capacity-building for resource management and fisheries research in Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya

Dr Ronald Twongyirwe (Mbarara University of Science and Technology) and Dr Eleanor Fisher (University of Reading). Network for Interdisciplinary Partnership on Mineral Sector Development, Social Equity and Inclusion in Africa

Dr Sachith Mettananda (University of Kelaniya) and Professor Douglas Higgs (University of Oxford). Establishment of a collaborative network of clinicians and scientists working on novel genetic-based therapies for beta-thalassaemia

Dr Sarbeswar Sahoo (Indian Institute of Technology Delhi) and Professor Paul Chaney (Cardiff University). Exploring effective practice in civil society organisations’ promotion of human rights, good governance and social justice in India and Bangladesh

Professor Xiaolin Huang (Tongji Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology) and Professor Shane Xie (University of Leeds). Low cost robotic orthosis for stroke treatment in rural China

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.



This Programme is part of the Resilient Futures Initiative, funded by the Global Challenges Research Fund and delivered by the UK National Academies working together.

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