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Global Challenges Initiative

The Cambridge Strategic Research Initiative for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Studying at Cambridge


Pre-Call Announcements

ESRC/GCRF calls (call opening October/November 2017)

The ESRC has pre-announced the commissioning of four new calls under the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF). The calls will focus on the areas of mental health, education and skills, decent work and transitions towards sustainable and inclusive societies.

Second round of Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund engagement begins (second wave of challenges will be announced towards the end of 2017)

Detailed analysis of potential new ISCF challenges in targeted round of deep dive workshops. Following the announcement of the first challenges that will be supported by the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, the Knowledge Transfer Network is now asking for expert advice on what other areas could benefit from support.

Royal Society - Resilient Futures Challenge Grants (call opening end 2017/early 2018)

The Royal Society is working with its sister Academies in the UK to launch an interdisciplinary challenge led research programme funded through the Global Challenges Research Fund. The programme will bring together research groups from the UK and countries on the OECD DAC list to address specific global challenges around the theme of resilience and sustainability.

RCUK UK-China Antimicrobial Resistance Centre Partnerships Initiative (call opening early 2018)

Research Councils UK (RCUK), the strategic partnership of the UK's seven Research Councils and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) are pleased to announce they will shortly be launching the UK-China Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Centre Partnerships Initiative under the umbrella of the Newton Fund. The call for proposals will be launched early in 2018, with a deadline for applications in the autumn, and projects commencing in early 2019.

NERC's Doctoral Training Partnership investment (DTP2) (launch: January 2018)

NERC will commission its second round of Doctoral Training Partnership investment (DTP2) through a fully open competitive call, to be launched in January 2018.

ESRC Climate Change Priority (announcement of first two calls: March 2018)

ESRC are committed to funding social science research relating to climate and environmental change, and have invested over £50 million in recent years. ESRC is now investing £23 million in a series of strategic investments over five years that will build on this research-base.

Restricted Call Pre-announcement: ESRC Trust and Global Governance Large Grants (call opening April 2018)

ESRC will shortly be inviting applications of between £1 million and £2.5 million (at 100% fEC) to take forward research agenda in the area of Trust and Global Governance. ESRC expects to fund 2 to 3 large grants under this theme.

UKRI Future Leaders Fellowships scheme (EoI deadline: 7th June 2018; deadline: 3rd July 2018)

The UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship scheme (FLF) aims to develop, retain, attract and sustain research and innovation talent in the UK. Providing up to seven years of funding, for at least 550 early-career researchers and innovators, the scheme will tackle difficult and novel challenges.

UK National Academies/GCRF Challenge-led Grants

As part of the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF), the UK National Academies have launched the Challenge-led Grants to provide three years of support for Research Consortia focussing on addressing global challenges. These consortia will consist of one UK-based laboratory and up to three research groups from developing countries. Funding will cover research expenses, travel and subsistence costs, PhD training, and limited funds for equipment

UKRI pre-call announcement: Prospering from the Energy Revolution Challenge (demonstrator, concept and design deadline: 25th July 2018

UK Research & Innovation has announced a fund for research and industry to develop future smart energy systems and prove their use at scale.

R2HC's annual Call for Proposals will open in June 2018 (webinar 5th June)

Annual open call for proposals to improve public health outcomes in humanitarian crises. The 2018 call opens on 5th June. Priority themes to be announced in summer 2018.

New call for applications for British Academy's TUKIC 2018 Awards due to launch soon

The tackling the UK's International Challenges Programme (TUKIC) brings together original interdisciplinary research ideas from the humanities and social sciences to bear on our understanding of the international challenges and opportunities which the UK has faced, is facing and will face.

Pre-announcement: BBSRC/NERC-CONICET Joint Awards for AMR in the Environment (Opening Oct 2018)

Development of tools and solutions to tackle the development and transmission of antimicrobial resistance in the environment that may pose a significant threat to human health.

The Global Challenges Initiative is a Strategic Research Initiative of the University of Cambridge that aims to enhance the contribution of its research towards addressing global challenges and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.


Find out about open funding opportunities, pre-call announcements, responsive calls, studentships and awards relevant to the global challenges agenda.

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