The Royal Academy of Engineering is a delivery partner for the UK government's Global Grand Challenges Research Fund. The Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) is a funding stream that supports cutting-edge research on global issues affecting developing countries and is part of the UK's Government’s Official Development Assistance (ODA).

From 2016 to 2021, the GCRF will invest £1.5 billion in funding with the aim to mobilise the UK’s world-leading research base to address key challenges facing developing countries, such as:

  • Threats to the sustainability of natural resources
  • Flooding and famine resulting from climate change
  • Environmental degradation
  • Population growth and rapid urbanisation
  • Fragile states, growing inequality, and violence
  • Emerging threats to animal and plant health
  • Global health challenges including the development of vaccines and viral threats

Global Challenge Research Fund (GCRF) UK strategy (336.44 KB)

ODA Guidelines (326.78 KB)


The Academy delivers the following programmes as part of the UK's Global Grand Challenges Research Fund:

Africa Prize

Celebrating innovation and entrepreneurship in sub-Saharan Africa: find out more in Grants and Prizes

GCRF Africa Catalyst

Government-funded programme supporting UK research and Professional Engineering Institutions in sub-Saharan Africa


Interdisciplinary symposia to tackle global development challenges