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HEFCE closed at the end of March 2018. The information on this website is historical and is no longer maintained.

Many of HEFCE's functions will be continued by the Office for Students, the new regulator of higher education in England, and Research England, the new council within UK Research and Innovation.

The HEFCE domain - www.hefce.ac.uk - will continue to function until September 2018. At this point we will close the site entirely and all its information will only be available from the National Web Archive.

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Global Challenges Research Fund

Institutional three-year QR strategies

To receive GCRF allocations for the three years from academic year 2018-19, institutions must produce a three-year strategy for their QR GCRF allocations that is assessed as ODA compliant and to participate in annual monitoring exercises.

Deadline: submissions must be received by noon on Monday 26 March 2018.

See more information and download templates and guidelines

What is the Global Challenges Research Fund?

We provide funding from the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) to support research that addresses the challenges faced by developing countries. In 2017-18 we will distribute £48 million from the GCRF to English universities in receipt of quality-related (QR) funding.

The GCRF is a £1.5 billion fund that forms part of the UK’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) commitment. The GCRF is administered by a number of delivery partners, including the four UK funding bodies, the Research Councils and the four national academies.

What is the funding for?

The UK’s ODA commitment is monitored by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation (OECD) and QR GCRF allocations must be spent according to ODA principles. These state that only research directly and primarily of benefit to the problems of developing countries may be counted as ODA. Activity funded through QR GCRF must promote the economic development and welfare of developing countries as its main objective, any benefit to the UK or other developed countries must be the secondary consideration.

Quality-related GCRF activity must also comply with ODA guidelines by working with, and supporting development within, countries and territories on the Development Assistance Committee’s (DAC) list of ODA recipients. Universities should endeavour to create equitable partnerships between researchers, practitioners and policy-makers in both developed and developing countries through QR GCRF-funded activities.

Further information on the conditions of ODA and GCRF funding:

Institutional three-year QR GCRF strategies

To receive GCRF allocations for the three years from academic year 2018-19, institutions must produce a three-year strategy for their QR GCRF allocations that is assessed as ODA compliant and to participate in annual monitoring exercises.

Submitting a strategy will not be mandatory, but HEIs will only be able to receive QR GCRF allocations for the three years from 2018-19 by submitting a strategy that is assessed as ODA compliant.

This additional level of assurance on QR spend is required to meet the conditions attached to Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) funding, of which the GCRF is part.

HEIs wishing to receive a QR GCRF allocation from 2018-19 should complete and return Annexes A1 and A2 available to download below. Institutional strategies must be emailed to globalchallenges@hefce.ac.uk by noon on Monday 26 March 2018.

Downloads

  • The letter sent to all HEIs eligible to submit a strategy gives further details.
  • Annex A provides templates for submitting strategies.
  • Annex B offers guidance on completing institutional strategies.
  • Annex C gives indicative allocations for 2018-19 for support institutions in completing their strategies.

Letter to eligible HEIs

Download the GCRF - Institutional 3-year strategies 2018-19 onwards as PDF (168 KB)

Annex A1: Template for institutional three-year GCRF strategies (Word format)

Download the ANNEX A1 - Strategies Template as MS Word (63 KB)

Annex A2: Template for institutional three-year GCRF strategies (Excel format)

Download the ANNEX A2 - Strategies Template as MS Excel Spreadsheet (12 KB)

Annex B: Guidelines for completing institutional three-year GCRF strategies

Download the ANNEX B Guidelines as PDF (175 KB)

Annex C: QR GCRF indicative allocations 2018-19

Download the ANNEX C - Indicative Allocations 18-19 as MS Excel Spreadsheet (15 KB)

Monitoring

To support the government’s requirement to report to the OECD on ODA activity, institutions in receipt of QR GCRF will be monitored annually. HEIs should be able to account that the QR GCRF allocation has been spent on eligible activity. We will undertake a monitoring exercise in 2018 to ensure spend has been compliant with the ODA requirements.

For 2017-18 allocations, all HEIs in receipt of QR GCRF will be monitored. HEIs will be asked to quantify and break down activities by spending where possible. They will also be asked to provide information on the types of activity funded, the DAC list countries involved and the impacts and outputs produced. This monitoring exercise will take place in summer 2018 and further information will be provided to institutions in due course.

For allocations for 2018-19 and beyond, HEIs will be monitored annually and will be required to report against their strategies. It is expected that HEIs will be required to provide a breakdown of the spending of their whole GCRF allocation, including information on the types of activity funded, the DAC list countries involved and the impacts and outputs produced. These monitoring exercises will commence annually from summer 2019.

Completing the annual monitoring process is a condition of grant of QR GCRF. If an institution fails to participate successfully in the monitoring process, or any of its activities are assessed as not ODA compliant, we reserve the right to adjust future funding allocations to recoup the QR GCRF grant, to refuse future QR GCRF allocations, or both.

Funding method

QR GCRF is allocated to universities in proportion to their mainstream QR allocations, including London weighting. GCRF is allocated across all units of assessment (UOAs).

For 2017-18 we will allocate £48 million to institutions for QR GCRF. This equates to approximately 4.4 per cent of the total mainstream QR allocation for 2017-18.

Contact details

For GCRF queries please contact Helena Mills, email globalchallenges@hefce.ac.uk or tel 0117 931 7192.

Page last updated 18 January 2018