UKRI GCRF Regional Engagement Event – Glasgow: slides

With thanks to the speakers for permission to share them, here are the slides for most of the presentations at this event

UKRI GCRF Regional Engagement Event – Glasgow

Today I was at a one-day information event run by  UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) on the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF). According to UKRI, the GCRF is a ‘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’. Also, ‘GCRF forms part of the UK’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) commitment.’ My paraphrase is that GCRF funds research specifically to do good things™.

It’s already been good for me and my colleague Wegene Demeke because it funded our research in Brazil earlier this year. Now the onus is on us to follow up that 3-week project with a bigger piece of research leading to positive impacts on Brazilian society. So I was keen to learn more about how to do this from the funders themselves. In fact I was so keen I was on an aarrgghh-o’clock train this morning to sunny Glasgow. (I am not usually capable of simultaneous speech and locomotion, let alone anything approximating to thought, before about 10am.)

Lessons and take-home messages

  • GCRF has been going for more than 4 years and will finish at the end of year 5, so why did I only hear of it in mid-2018?
    • This is probably because my university was awarded an amount of funds for seed-projects in 2018, and I’ve not looked too assiduously for funding!
  • If I heard correctly, there isn’t a guarantee of GCRF 2.
    • However, UKRI and the research councils wouldn’t be running events like this if GCRF2 was unlikely.
  • According to other another researcher I talked to, Wegene and I aren’t the only ones finding it difficult to obtain funds for translation.
    • Our saga is too painful to repeat here.
  • The value of this sort of event is who you meet.
    • I met another researcher who is doing engineering research in Brazil. I hope this will help build our networks in Brazil.
  • There was much emphasis on GCRF research hubs.
  • There was also much emphasis on the GCRF collective programme.
    • However, the collective programme isn’t the only current GCRF funding stream at the moment. Researchers should also look for ‘network-plus’ grants
  • GCRF challenge leaders can be emailed at challengeleaders@ukri.org.

Below the cut are my notes (edited for legibility) and photos of slides. I believe slides will be circulated, so I should eventually be able to replace the photos with better images.

Continue reading