MMU Research and Knowledge Exchange Blog

Funding opportunities, news and guidance from RKE at Manchester Met

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Global Challenges Research Fund Networking Grants

The Academy of Medical Sciences, on behalf of the UK National Academies, is delighted to announce the opening of the sixth round of the GCRF Networking Grant Scheme. Please note: this scheme is being coordinated by the Academy of Medical Sciences on behalf of all academics and is therefore open to all disciplines, not just medicine.

The scheme offers £25,000 to researchers based in DAC-listed countries to form collaborations with researchers in the UK, looking to generate new research ideas to address global challenges.

The scheme is funded by the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) which forms part of the UK government’s Official Development Assistance.

Deadline: Tuesday 31st March 2020

For further information please visit the Academy of Medical Sciences website or contact your Research Development Team.

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GCRF – New Calls from British Academy

ba logo smallThe British Academy have announced two more competitive research calls supported through the Global Challenges Research Fund with a deadline of 22 May 2019. As with all GCRF funded projects, activities must be ODA-eligible, focusing on addressing challenges faced by countries in receipt of Official Development Assistance.

  • Urban Infrastructures of Well-Being – focusing on addressing the challenges of generating and maintaining well-being in the context of rapid urbanisation and infrastructure development. This call requires at least one researcher from the social sciences and humanities and one researcher from the engineering sciences.


  • Heritage, Dignity and Violence – focusing on projects that will deepen the understanding of the relevance and importance of the historical context of development, culture(s) and heritage(s), in promoting sustainable peace and preventing violence.

In both cases, PIs must be based in the UK, but collaborations are encouraged with partners in countries in receipt of Official Development Assistance, and applications are expected to demonstrate equitable international collaboration.

Projects must be 21 months in duration, starting 9 September 2019, and the maximum size of project is £300,000.

You can find out more about the calls via the links above, and if you are interested in applying please contact your Research Development Manager for support and guidance.


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GCRF: Update on Collective Programme calls and Regional Engagement Events

As flagged on the Blog, UKRI are starting to announce details of calls from for their Collective Programme. New details have been added for calls here – with the majority being led via AHRC and ESRC.  Calls that are open, or scheduled to open in January, include:

If you are thinking about submitting to any of the calls, or have been invited to participate in projects led by other organisations, please contact your Research Development Manager as soon as possible for guidance and support.

UKRI Regional Engagement Events

To complement the calls and provide an opportunity to hear more about GCRF, UKRI are arranging a series of engagement events – further details here.

From UKRI’s website:

“UKRI are developing a programme of UK based GCRF engagement events which will take place January-March 2019.  These events provide a timely opportunity to engage with the GCRF Challenge Leaders, for UKRI to provide an update on live and upcoming ODA calls/activities, and to discuss key topics e.g. interdisciplinary approaches, building equitable partnerships, and maximising impact.

These events are open to anyone with an interest in the GCRF and development research opportunities.”

We would encourage those of you who have an interest in any of the calls, or GCRF more broadly, to consider attending these events.

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GCRF: High level details of 2019 calls announced

UKRI have announced themes for a suite of calls to be launched in 2019 under the UKRI GCRF Collective Programme.

The Programme will reach across the six strategic GCRF Challenge portfolios (global health, education, sustainable cities, food systems, conflict and displacement and resilience), and calls will be launched throughout 2019.

Calls will be led via specific Research Councils on behalf of UKRI as a whole, and steered by challenge leaders.

Themes for calls will be:

Cities and Sustainable Infrastructure

  • GCRF (Re)thinking the off-grid city
  • GCRF Sustainable energy and international development: beyond technology


  • GCRF Education as a driver of sustainable development Network Plus
  • GCRF Education in conflict and crisis research
  • GCRF Education Interventions for Early Childhood Development

Food Systems

  • GCRF Cultures and histories of agriculture, food, and nutrition
  • GCRF A combined Food Systems approach to developing interventions to address the Double Burden of Malnutrition

Global Health

  • GCRF Health and Communities

Resilience to Environmental Shocks and Change

  • GCRF Equitable Resilience: ensuring resilience enhances the Sustainable Development Goals
  • GCRF Multiple and systemic Risks

Security Protracted Conflict, Refugee Crises and Forced Displacement

  • GCRF Development-based approaches to Protracted Displacement
  • GCRF Preventing Conflict, Building Sustainable and Inclusive Peace
  • GCRF Protection in Contexts of Conflict and Displacement

Calls that cut across the portfolios

  • GCRF Coherence Grants
  • GCRF Gender and Intersectionality Network Plus
  • GCRF Global Engagement Networks

Details have been launched regarding the Global Engagement Networks call (Deadline 14 February 2019), and we are expecting further announcements this week about other calls, so keep your eyes on the Blog.

(Ed – AHRC are already advertising their leadership of  various calls, and an indication of the types of project that willl be supported – e.g. networks, partnership building and research programmes).

As ever, if you’re interested in calls, please contact your Research Development Manager or International Research Development Manager as early as possible for advice and support.




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Manchester Met Process for GCRF Global Engagement Networks Call

UKRI have announced an opportunity for UK institutions to support partners in ODA countries as they develop Global Engagement Networks to tackle Global Challenges. As this is a new type of networking call with specific eligibility and design rules, Manchester Met are putting in a process to support applications to this scheme including an initial, internal selection process.

To help support the development of these bids, Manchester Met are asking interested staff to complete a short form, based on the call form, to be completed by Monday 17th September so we can check eligibility & support the development of these projects.

Those projects selected internally will then go through the funder’s two phase application process:

  • Phase 1: Eligibility, relevance & fit to call checks.  11/10/18 1600
  • Phase 2: Full application to be peer reviewed.  Date TBC.

Further details and the form are available from

Call Details

The focus of the Global Engagement Networks are partners in ODA countries who will receive the majority of the funding though there is a possibility of a UK partner acting as a Co-Director (this role can also be fulfilled by a partner in an ODA country).

The call asks that the Director (based in a research institution in an ODA country) will:

  • Develop and deliver a clear strategy to grow a new multi-disciplinary network to find innovative solutions to development challenges.
  • Focus the network on one of the 6 portfolios: Cities & Sustainable Infrastructure; Education; Food Systems; Global Health; Resilience to Environmental Shocks & Change; Security Protracted Conflict, Refugee Crises & Forced Displacement.
  • Include research/non-researcher links and should include academic, business and stakeholder communities in DAC countries as well as staff at all career levels (postgraduate to professorial).
  • Increase engagement of fellow experts in ODA countries with GCRF and other development opportunities
  • Identify & provide letters of supports from the first 5 network members

UKRI will provide funds for structured activities to enable knowledge sharing and networking but NOT salary costs/attendance fees for these events.  However, funds will cover the Director, Co-Director (max 1), a Network Manager (usually based in the lead country) and some admin/overhead costs.  The maximum value is £150,000 and we anticipate between 1 and 3 networks will be funded per priority.