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International Development Research @ Cambridge


UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) invites expressions of interest for a joint team of UK researchers and UNDP policymakers to collect evidence, develop original arguments and compose a major UKRI-UNDP report on how science, research and innovation might most effectively accelerate progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for developing countries.

The stimulus for the report is provided by the Sustainable Development Goals, which set out an agenda for inclusive and sustainable global development. The aim of the call is to support a joint UK-UNDP team (this can also include international Co-Is) to develop a landmark report on how investment in science, research and innovation might best deliver the innovations in policy, practice and products required to achieve the SDGs in developing countries, while taking into account the many intersections, interaction, and tensions between individual goals. 

The focus of the report will be on how science, research and innovation (including technology) could accelerate progress towards the SDGs in the context of multiple challenges and opportunities. These range from environmental degradation to the disruptive potential of artificial intelligence, to digital technologies and big data, while taking into account the social, political, cultural and technological constraints that new approaches to global development are likely to encounter. 


The lead research organisation must be eligible under the research council’s eligibility criteria. The lead organisation will be responsible for the overall management of the project for the research team, including control, disbursement and assurance of funds. Please list your proposed research team within your expression of interest, including any project partners. It is envisioned that applicants will create dynamic teams which contain senior researchers, post-doctoral fellows and support staff as necessary. The Principal Investigator (PI) must be employed at the lead organisation, have sufficient standing within the community and be able to demonstrable ability to lead and manage an integrated work programme.

Level of funding

UKRI will provide up to £500,000 for this initiative to fund the one successful team to produce the report. UKRI will provide the funding for the research team and UNDP will provide funding for the UNDP employees. All UK costs will be supported at 80% FEC  Applicants may also apply for travel and subsistence and publication costs under this call.


For full details please see the call specification and guidance.

Welcome to Cambridge Global Challenges

Cambridge Global Challenges is the Strategic Research Initiative of the University of Cambridge that aims to enhance the contribution of its research towards addressing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, with a particular focus on the poorest half of the world’s population.


Join the Strategic Research Initiative

Register to Cambridge Global Challenges here.


Learn about the support we provide 

Information on how Cambridge Global Challenges can support your research is shared here.


Contact us

Programme Manager (Sara Serradas Duarte):​