Global Challenges Forum

“As academics working in ODA countries on Global Challenges projects, we stand in solidarity with Black Lives Matter, and with disadvantaged communities across the globe. We recognise that universities, and the research and teaching that takes place there, have been part of a wider systemic framework that has seen minority voices silenced, and that has seen racism go unaddressed. In all our projects, with all our partners globally, we are actively working to promote academic practice that is centred upon equity and that acknowledges injustices with current structural privilege. We commit to continue to prioritise projects ​that support equitable attitudes and recognise that we still have more to learn together through our collaborations.”

Please also refer to the University of St Andrews equality policy.

Some of our current projects

The 2020-21 main call for SFC Official Development Assistance (ODA) Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF).

Rapid Response and COVID-19 projects will be accepted for AY 2020-21 soon – please check back. Note that spend will need to be completed by 31 July 2021.

Tips from GCRF PIs

The Forum held two GCRF events in May 2019 – both were very well attended. Along with poster presentations, we had supoprt teams discussing topics affecting global challenges work and and external advisors and partners talking about ecnomic parnterships, community conservation, community heritage and more….

Chronicle 2019 Extract Tackling global challenges
Chronicle 2020 Extract Research Challenges in Africa

The St Andrews Global Challenges Forum, led by Prof. Nina Laurie (Geography & Sustainable Development), was formed in August 2018 as part of the University’s 3-year GCRF strategy (AY2020-21) to the SFC Official Development Assistance (ODA) Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF). This strategy allows support to longer-term research and activities which promote the economic development and well-being of countries on the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) Development Assistance Committee (DAC) list.

The Forum comprises the VP Research, the Director and a team of ten academic champions from the sciences, social sciences and arts and humanities. It also benefits from an external Advisory Group of seven government, charity and National Academy stakeholders.

The Forum oversee, guide and support capacity building, sustaining capacity and development-related research activity through competitively funded projects intended to make a real difference to the lives of people in ODA countries. The Forum aims to develop strong and enduring partnerships between the University and developing-country researchers to enhance the research and innovation capacity of both and to deliver substantial impact on improved social welfare, economic development, and environmental sustainability.

Looking for collaborators?

UKRI are supporting a GCRF Online Community Platform ( a platform to facilitate researchers, technologists, practitioners and professionals interested in the sustainable development goals to network around the themes and funding calls of the GCRF.

Some of our current projects