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International Development Research @ Cambridge


The Global Innovation Fund (GIF) is a collaboration between Department of International Development (DFID), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Omidyar Network, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and Department for Foreign Affairs and Trade in Australia (DFAT). This unique hybrid investment fund was launched at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) meetings in 2014 and supports the piloting, rigorous testing, and scaling of innovations targeted at improving the lives of the poorest people in developing countries.

GIF invests in social innovations that aim to improve the lives and opportunities of millions of people in the developing world. GIF provides funding at 3 stages: pilot, test and scale, for ideas from any sector and any country provided that the innovation targets those living on under $5 a day.

GIF supports innovators at all stages of development. Through grants, loans (including convertible debt), and equity investments ranging from $50,000 to $15 million, it backs innovations with the potential for social impact at a large scale, whether they are new business models, policy practices, technologies, behavioural insights, or new ways of delivering products and services that benefit the poor in developing countries.

The Global Innovation Fund (GIF) provides funding at 3 stages: pilot, test and scale – and is open to ideas from any sector and any country provided that the innovation targets those living on under $5, or preferably, under $2 a day. At GIF, we believe that good innovations could come from anywhere and anyone and so we are interested to hear from social enterprises, researchers, governments and corporate organisations with an idea to deliver development results more effectively, quicker or cheaper than standard practice.

GIF accepts applications on a continuous basis, with no deadlines or ’rounds’ of funding. In addition to this open application window, it actively seeks out investments. Its review process is highly selective and rigorous, and less than 10% of applicants are invited to submit full proposals


Please read more and apply here.

Welcome to Cambridge Global Challenges

Cambridge Global Challenges is the Strategic Research Initiative (SRI) 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.


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Join working groups that invite your collaboration, create a new working group and learn about available funding opportunities here.


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Register to Cambridge Global Challenges and to the SRI's mailing list here.


Learn about the support we provide 

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


Contact us

Research Strategy Manager (Dr Sara Serradas Duarte):​.