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International Development Research @ Cambridge



The Cambridge Global Challenges Annual Conference 2018 will bring together the University of Cambridge's global challenges community contributing to the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and highlight ongoing and emerging: 

  • research themes across the University 
  • collaboration opportunities with researchers and implementation partners in Official Development Assistance (ODA)- target countries 
  • funding opportunities that support research contributing to the SDGs in developing world contexts   

The conference focuses on three central aspects of research addressing global challenges and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030:   

  • interdisciplinary research for,   
  • co-creation with and   
  • implementation in   

Official Development Assistance (ODA)'s countries. 



09.00 – Registration


09.30 – Opening Remarks

  • David Good, Director of Research of the Cambridge Global Challenges (CGC) Strategic Research Initiative (SRI)
  • Gunilla Carlsson, UNAIDS Deputy Executive Director, Management and Governance, and Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations


10.00 – Session 1: Interdisciplinary research for challenges faced by ODA-target countries

Collaboration between Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and from Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences (AHSS) disciplines in research that contributes to the SDGs in ODA-target countries.

Chair: Carol Brayne

  • 10.00: Managing tropical agricultural ecosystems for resistance and recovery of ecosystem processes – Edgar Turner
  • 10.10: Africa’s Voices Foundation: Representing citizens at scale – Luke Church and Sharath Srinivasan
  • 10.20: Global Energy Nexus in Urban Settlements (GENUS) – Minna Sunikka-Blank, Ruth Massey, Charlotte Lemanski, Ruchi Choudhary and Jaideep Prabhu
  • 10.30: Transforming India's Green Revolution by Research (TIGR2ESS) – Howard Griffiths
  • 10:40: Activities in Cambridge for Circular Economy Approaches to Plastic Waste  – Erwin Reisner
  • 10:45: The IHAT-GUT trial in The Gambia: beyond clinical discovery – Dora Pereira
  • 10:50: The Centre for the Study of Global Human Movement –Tugba Basara, Madeleine Arnot and Loraine Gelsthorpe
  • 10:55: Questions and discussion


11.15 – Coffee Break 

11.45 – Session 2: Flash talks

Chair: Alan Blackwell, Director of Research of the Cambridge Global Challenges (CGC) Strategic Research Initiative (SRI)

  • A systems approach to Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) in Myanmar – Tom Bashford
  • Scheherazade Speaks Science: communication for higher female visibility in STEMM – Ghina Halabi
  • Understanding the linkages between mother's empowerment through a grassroots microfinance programme and daughters' education in rural India – Rebecca Gordon
  • Modeling the impact of cyclones in the South Pacific – Krittika DSilva
  • FibroScHot: A multidisciplinary programme investigating causes and control of schistosomiasis in Uganda – Shona Wilson
  • Re-thinking biosensors for low-resources settings – Cassi Henderson
  • Exploring natural capital within and outside academic research – Yuan Pan
  • Assessing the impact of a sugar-sweetened beverage tax: lessons learnt from the small island developing state of Barbados – Miriam Alvarado
  • GCConnect: connecting developmental problems with solutions  – – Christopher Proctor, Johnny Habchi and Pietro Sormanni  
  • Southern urbanism(s) and the Goal 11: building inclusive cities and communities – Giulia Torino and Shreyashi Dasgupta
  • DEPLOY - ‘Diagnostics to Empower Pathogen-detection in a LOw-income CountrY’ – Luke Meredith and Velislava Petrova 
  • Bridging the gap: crossing the academic boundary to build global partnerships – Catherine Hasted
  • Opportunities to make a difference in the Off-grid solar market in Tanzania – Arfa Karani
  • One Health and accelerating Vaccines for Ebola and Lassa (OVEL) – Simon Frost, Rebecca Kinsley and Jonathan Heeney
  • The determinants of diet and physical activity in Africa and the Caribbean: a scoping review – Eleanor Turner-Moss


12.45 – Lunch and Poster Session

14.00 – Session 3: Co-creation for challenges faced by ODA-target countries

Research jointly conducted by Cambridge researchers and researchers and implementers in ODA-target countries contributing to the SDGs in these countries.

Chair: Lara Allen, Director of Impact and Implementation of the Cambridge Global Challenges (CGC) Strategic Research Initiative (SRI)

  • 14.10: Cambridge Alliance to Protect Bangladesh from Long-term Environmental Hazards (CAPABLE) – Emanuele Di Angelantonio, Rajiv Chowdhury and John Danesh
  • 14:20: The Co-creation of Methods to Assess the Impact of Community Food Production on the Risk of Non-communicable Diseases, Social and Economic Wellbeing and the Environment – Nigel Unwin on behalf of the Community Food and Health (CFaH) Project
  • 14:30: Open-source hardware for Official Development Assistance countries – Alex Patto and Jeremy Baumberg
  • 14:35: LCVD: Low-cost Cell-extract Viral Diagnostics – Charlie Gilbert and James Ajioka
  • 14:40: Experiences in scientific collaboration and education in developing countries: malaria diagnostics and basic science – Pietro Cicuta
  • 14:45: Targeting virus transmission in a vital crop for African food security – John Carr
  • 14:50: Equity and the sustainable development agenda: evidence from the African Education Research Database – Rafael Mitchell, Samuel Asare and Pauline Rose
  • 14:55: Clean fuel switch: piloting biogas for multiple SDG benefits – Jake Reynolds, John Pharoah, Natasha Grist, Alexandra Winkels
  • 15:00: Questions and discussion


15.15 – Coffee Break and Poster Session


15.45 – Session 4: Implementation of research for the SDGs in ODA-target countries

Chair: Caroline Trotter 

  • 15:55: Utilisation of field deployable genomics as part of epidemic response – Luke Meredith and Ian Goodfellow
  • 16:05: Operational excellence for disaster management – Tariq Masood
  • 16:15: BUGALERT: Pest and Disease Monitoring in Greenhouses in Kenya – Eiko Yoneki
  • 16:20: (Re-)decentralisation of communications systems for fun and societal profit – Jon Crowcroft
  • 16:25: Building sustainable projects towards sustainable health solutions for Uganda – Rosalind Parkes-Ratanshi and Carol Brayne
  • 16:30: Towards an Integrated Global Transport and Health Assessment Tool (TIGTHAT) – Rahul Goel and James Woodcock
  • 16:35: Questions and discussion


16.45 – Closing Remarks

  • Alan Blackwell, Director of Research of the Cambridge Global Challenges (CGC) Strategic Research Initiative (SRI)
  • Stephen ToopeUniversity of Cambridge Vice-Chancellor


This event is for Cambridge researchers and their collaborators.

The conference will be held on the 28th November at the Old Divinity School, St John's College.

Please register and find further information here.

Please contact Sara Serradas Duarte (; 01223747375; 01223 351713) if you have any questions.

Welcome to Cambridge Global Challenges

Cambridge Global Challenges is the Interdisciplinary Research Centre (IRC) 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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Register to Cambridge Global Challenges and to the IRC's mailing list here.


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Learn how Cambridge Global Challenges can support your research here.


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