Global Challenges Research Network

On 28 January 2019, Keele University will launch its Global Challenges Research Network as part of a GCRF regional engagement event in partnership with UK Research and Innovation.

The purpose of the network is:

  • to identify common approaches and areas of collective interest from researchers across the University with an interest in global challenge and development-focused research;
  • to identify capacity building needs to feed into a programme to support growth of Keele’s global challenge research portfolio;
  • to feed into development of future QR GCRF strategies;
  • to identify individual and collective research interests to provide a focus that enables the RaISE team to target identification and dissemination of global challenge-related funding opportunities.

The Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) is a £1.5 billion fund announced by the UK Government in late 2015 to support cutting-edge research that addresses the challenges faced by developing countries.

The GCRF budget is derived from the Government’s Overseas Development Aid (ODA) commitment; as a result, any research funded by the scheme must:

GCRF funding is usually distributed through existing research funding mechanisms, often in the form of short-notice calls with particular themes (for example, the AHRC Education in Conflict and Protracted Crises network call which came out in May).

In order to apply successfully for these grants, researchers need to have international networks already developed, so that they can respond at relatively short notice. To facilitate this, we are launching a Global Challenges Research Network, inviting staff from across the University, whether they are currently working on Global projects or just aspire to, to meet, network, and learn from each other and key external leaders in the Global Challenges field.

The event will act as a GCRF regional engagement event, in partnership with UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).

It will provide an opportunity to engage with GCRF Challenge Leaders and peers from universities across the region, discussing key topics such as interdisciplinary approaches, building equitable partnerships and maximising impact.

The event will feature presentations by experts from UKRI, UK Collaborative on Development Research (UKCDR), and Keele University academics with experience of successfully delivering Global Challenge-related projects.

The event will also mark the launch of Keele University’s Global Challenges Research Network – a platform for Keele colleagues to learn from each other and key external leaders in order to further support and advance the University’s cutting-edge research.

A programme for the event is below.  Places for this event are strictly limited and must be booked in advance – please click here to reserve your place.

Attending the launch will provide the following benefits:

  • learn about this major funding stream, and increase your capacity to apply successfully;
  • hear from external keynote speakers with expertise on Global Challenge-related research;
  • hear from Keele GCRF grant holders as they discuss their experience of winning and working on global projects;
  • network with colleagues – GCRF grants are highly collaborative and interdisciplinary, and require multiple perspectives to focus on problems in less developed countries;
  • learn about internal support, including pump-priming funds available next academic year;
  • influence the shape of training, networking and support in the coming year – there will be an opportunity to shape the network and associated support for the future, around your needs.

If you are interested in applying for a Global Challenges Research Fund grant, there are a number of places to look for support.  The first port of call should be your Research Development Manager. If you have broader questions about GCRF, you can contact Mike Hession (Research Development Manager, HumSS) who is the GCRF internal funding champion.

You can find a selection of Keele’s current GCRF projects on the Keele Global Challenges website.  There are also some excellent external web resources, such as UKRI’s Global Challenges pages, Professor Mark Reed’s guide to GCRF and Impact, and this very useful report: Promoting Fair and Equitable Research Partnerships to Respond to Global Challenges.

9.00am - Registration and refreshments

9.30am - Welcome and introduction – Prof. David Amigoni, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research & Enterprise), Keele University

9.40am - The Global Impact of UK Research - Marta Tufet, Executive Director of UK Collaborative on Development Research

10.20am - Call Mechanism: Network Pluses and Q&A – UKRI Research Council representative

10.50am - Challenge Discussion: Security Protracted Conflict, Refugee Crises and Forced Displacement – Dr Neelam Raina, UKRI

11.50am - GCRF Funding Opportunities: application hints and tips, ODA compliance and Q&A – UKRI Team

12.30pm - Networking lunch

1.30pm - Call Mechanism: Research Grants and Q&A – UKRI Research Council representative

2.00pm - Challenge Discussion: Food Systems – Prof. Nicola Lowe, UKRI

3.00pm - Refreshments

3.20pm - Showcase of Keele University GCRF funded research projects:

  • Sustainable Global Food Production – Prof. Toby Bruce
  • Arts for Advocacy: Forced Displacement in Morocco – Dr Mariangela Palladino
  • SOLACE: Stories of public health in the Philippines – Dr Lisa Dikomitis

4.20pm - Closing Remarks – Prof. David Amigoni, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research & Enterprise)

4.30pm - Close

Places for this event are strictly limited and must be booked in advance – please click here to reserve your place.