The Starting Point - Working Towards Sustainable Development

“We must be able to provide advice, pool expertise and help governments implement the Sustainable Development Goals and help convene the partners they require to take actions to scale”

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres speaking to the UN Economic and Social Council (UN ECOSOC), July 2017


Linking High Quality Research to a Development Context

Frontiers of Development came about to address several challenges that young researchers face:


  • Outstanding researchers, based in the UK and internationally, who are in the most productive phase of their research career will often not have had the opportunities to build the networks and relationships necessary to support high-impact research around development challenges.
  • In particular, neither will they have had sufficient opportunity to network and engage with their peers outside their disciplinary silos on problems and themes which cross those traditional boundaries;
  • Nor will they have been able to build the connections with development professionals and researchers from the Global South that will support them in understanding the contexts and routes to impact. 


The GCRF Fund

The Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) is part of the UK government's Official Development Assistance funding. The goal of the fund is to address the problems faced by developing countries through challenge led, disciplinary and interdisciplinary research.

Frontiers of Development is part of the Joint Resilient Futures Initiative which is a collaboration between all four UK Academies under the GCRF. The aim of the JRF initiative is to construct a pipeline in the UK and the developing world for interdisciplinary researchers focused on tackling development challenges in a sustainable manner.


Programme Aims

The aims of the programme of Frontiers of Development symposia are:

  • to facilitate the transfer of new techniques and approaches across different fields;
  • to encourage collaborative work which fulfils key international development objectives;
  • to promote international development and cross-disciplinary thinking among the next generation of research leaders;
  • and to support the deepening of partnerships between the UK National Academies and agencies and NGOs based in the Global South.