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Global Challenges Research Fund
RCUK International Champion
Professor Jane Elliott
CEO, Economic and Social Research
Council
RCUK International Champion
R...
CONTEXT
Global Challenges Research Fund
Cutting edge research which
addresses the problems
faced by developing
countries
2015 Gove...
UK Context
UK Aid Strategy
 Strengthening global peace, security and
governance
 Strengthening resilience and response t...
Global Context
Current RCUK Portfolio
• Active participation in Newton
• Significant and growing portfolio
of ODA research
• Strong clust...
INVESTMENT STRATEGY
Setting the context
GCRF allocation
(4th March 2016)
Global Grand Challenges
Global Challenge
Research
Current 2015/16
Non-ODA ODA
Disciplinary
Interdisciplinary
RCUK Themes
E...
Global Grand Challenges
Global Grand
Challenge
Target 2020/21
Non-ODA ODA
Disciplinary
Interdisciplinary
Council(s)
Challe...
Strategy for future investment
CORE
Areas with a strong UK research community, closely engaged with developing world chall...
Our Proposal to BIS
Forward investment profile
FUTURE PLANS
Global Challenges (draft)
Health Clean Energy Sustainable Agriculture
To tackle diseases, strengthen health
systems and re...
RCUK Global Challenge Research Fund
Strategic Advisory Group
To advise RCUK on:
• engagement with research and
stakeholder...
Growing capability and changing culture
… to meet development needs
 Enabling broader, deeper and
more effective academic...
PATHWAYS TO IMPACT
Securing benefit for the developing world
Pathways to Impact
RCUK
Research
Translation
Innovation
Development
Action &
Impact
Challenges, problems, contexts
Pathways to Impact
Stakeholder roles
UK Academies
UK Stakeholders
(Government, Charities, Business)
International Stakehol...
Pathways to impact
… on the developing world
Impacts from research are always uncertain, often
unexpected and cannot be gu...
Pathway to impact
Official Development Assistance
Research is not aid. However, “research directly and primarily
relevant ...
Strengthening pathways to impact
within developing countries
• Building research capacity and
collaborations with academic...
CAUTIONARY THOUGHTS
Competences needed
to deliver this agenda:
• Able to identify global challenges that are tractable through
research
• Able...
Systemic risks
Risk Mitigation
If Research Council approach to ODA
compliance is challenged, we may need to
terminate rese...
UK Aid Strategy
Additional requirements
All departments spending ODA
will be required to put in place a
clear plan to ensu...
International Commission
for Aid Impact
The independent scrutiny body
for UK development assistance.
• undertakes reviews ...
Questions for discussion
How might we work together to make
the case for unallocated GCRF?
Examples of good (best) pract...
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GCRf: RCUK Global Challenges Research Fund

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The UK Research Councils will deliver through the GCRF £1.5b in research grants for international development research over the next five years. This funding is new and additional to existing sources of research support like DFID, the Newton Fund, etc., which will continue. The GCRF represents the largest single boost to research council funding in their history and will create an entirely new stream of development research funding across arts, humanities, social and natural sciences, with particular opportunities for interdisciplinary research.

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GCRf: RCUK Global Challenges Research Fund

  1. 1. Global Challenges Research Fund
  2. 2. RCUK International Champion Professor Jane Elliott CEO, Economic and Social Research Council RCUK International Champion Research Council lead for • Newton Fund • Global Challenge Research Fund • RCUK Overseas Offices • Science Europe
  3. 3. CONTEXT
  4. 4. Global Challenges Research Fund Cutting edge research which addresses the problems faced by developing countries 2015 Government Spending Review Outcomes  Address global challenges through disciplinary and interdisciplinary research  Strengthening capability for research and innovation, within both UK and developing countries  Agile response to emergencies and opportunities
  5. 5. UK Context UK Aid Strategy  Strengthening global peace, security and governance  Strengthening resilience and response to crises  Promoting global prosperity  Tackling extreme poverty and helping the world’s most vulnerable
  6. 6. Global Context
  7. 7. Current RCUK Portfolio • Active participation in Newton • Significant and growing portfolio of ODA research • Strong clusters of excellence with high engagement in developing world issues • Communities with untapped potential to contribute
  8. 8. INVESTMENT STRATEGY Setting the context
  9. 9. GCRF allocation (4th March 2016)
  10. 10. Global Grand Challenges Global Challenge Research Current 2015/16 Non-ODA ODA Disciplinary Interdisciplinary RCUK Themes Energy Global Uncertainties Living With Environmental Change Lifelong Health and Well Being Global Food Security Digital Economy ~£460M Newton Fund ~£30M (£75M BIS) Non- Newton ODA ~£86M
  11. 11. Global Grand Challenges Global Grand Challenge Target 2020/21 Non-ODA ODA Disciplinary Interdisciplinary Council(s) Challenge Programmes (£?M) Global Challenge Fund (£100M-£415M) ~£492M BIS RCUK Grand Challenge TBD Newton Fund (£150M BIS) Non- Newton ODA ~£135M
  12. 12. Strategy for future investment CORE Areas with a strong UK research community, closely engaged with developing world challenges, often actively engaged with UK and international partners and making a significant global contribution. Examples include infectious diseases, crops for developing world, development studies. STRETCH Areas with a strong research community, but not strongly orientated to developing world contexts, examples include clean energy or industrial biotechnology where the opportunity for developing world is considerable but nascent. Also renewal and growth in capability through targeted new blood and early career investment. Careful consideration of the opportunities and implications of supporting new capability overseas. TRANSFORMATIONAL All challenge topics benefit from a multidisciplinary approach. However, it is particularly suited to multidimensional “wicked” challenges seeking new insights or needing radical approaches. Examples include the consequences for developing world of climate change, demographic shifts, economic development, rapid urbanisation and conflict.
  13. 13. Our Proposal to BIS Forward investment profile
  14. 14. FUTURE PLANS
  15. 15. Global Challenges (draft) Health Clean Energy Sustainable Agriculture To tackle diseases, strengthen health systems and reach the worlds most vulnerable. To provide access to clean energy, including new technologies and the behavioural insights required for successful introduction to developing countries. To improve nutrition and food security, support technological innovation, and increase resilience to climate change Conflict & humanitarian action Foundations for Economic Development Other potential topics New insights and approaches for preventing conflict and violence, build stability and strengthen humanitarian action. To understand what works best for developing countries to build the foundations for economic development - macroeconomics, institutions, innovation and private sector growth, cities and infrastructure, education systems, jobs and skills. Resilient systems Mass Migration and Refugee Crises Challenge categories align with research priorities of UK Department for International Development
  16. 16. RCUK Global Challenge Research Fund Strategic Advisory Group To advise RCUK on: • engagement with research and stakeholder communities and the facilitation of new ideas and opportunities • the development of a strategic research agenda and prioritisation of challenge topics • the effectiveness of RCUK strategies and mechanisms, including mechanisms to build capability where it is needed to address existing deficits. • integration of ODA and non-ODA challenge research, where this is sensible to do so • the allocation of research funding, consistent with the Haldane principle. Strategic Advisory Group • Reflect the breadth of disciplines across Research Councils UK • Diverse across career stages and life course • Drawn from academe, government, business and international stakeholders Individuals who can demonstrate: • Excellence in research • Achievement through interdisciplinary working • Commitment to global development challenges
  17. 17. Growing capability and changing culture … to meet development needs  Enabling broader, deeper and more effective academic engagement with the development agenda  Updating Pathways to Impact to emphasise impacts on developing world  Research base capacity building: – new faces, new blood, early career  Strengthening international partnerships: growing overseas capability
  18. 18. PATHWAYS TO IMPACT Securing benefit for the developing world
  19. 19. Pathways to Impact RCUK Research Translation Innovation Development Action & Impact Challenges, problems, contexts
  20. 20. Pathways to Impact Stakeholder roles UK Academies UK Stakeholders (Government, Charities, Business) International Stakeholders (Universities, Charities, UN, NGO, Overseas Governments) GCRF RCUK Research Translation Innovation Development Action & Impact
  21. 21. Pathways to impact … on the developing world Impacts from research are always uncertain, often unexpected and cannot be guaranteed – this includes impacts on developing world. The likelihood of impact is increased: • If the research is orientated towards real world problems and challenges • If stakeholders that are close to the problem, or have a mandate to implement any solutions, are involved in the progression of the research • If the academics and research team are motivated to achieve impact and benefit.
  22. 22. Pathway to impact Official Development Assistance Research is not aid. However, “research directly and primarily relevant to the problems of developing countries may be counted as ODA. The costs may still be counted as ODA if the research is carried out in a developed country.” The limits and protocols for RCUK ODA assessment have evolved through case law and precedent. A new approach to ODA reporting by Research Councils is required. From To Post-hoc assessment and reporting by RC officials ODA appraisal embedded within proposal process and peer review. Tacit development priorities Explicit research challenges through community engagement Good practices within specific disciplines and programmes Mainstreamed across RCUK portfolio Scheme and theme specific guidance on development issues Generic guidance around development and pathways to impact Increased academic commitment to development goals
  23. 23. Strengthening pathways to impact within developing countries • Building research capacity and collaborations with academics in developing countries • Building partnerships and collaborative links with NGOs/charities/civil society in developing countries • Developing further collaborative opportunities to strengthen international links (including Newton, DfID, Commonwealth etc) “doing things with people and not simply for or to them”
  24. 24. CAUTIONARY THOUGHTS
  25. 25. Competences needed to deliver this agenda: • Able to identify global challenges that are tractable through research • Able to demonstrate a new approach to ODA compliance • Grow capability in UK research base and overseas, to achieve global development goals • Deliver interdisciplinary research • Achieve pathways to impact that extend to the developing world • Research Councils to operate as an integrated delivery organisation as envisaged by Sir Paul Nurse
  26. 26. Systemic risks Risk Mitigation If Research Council approach to ODA compliance is challenged, we may need to terminate research grants Develop a new approach to ODA compliance, including greater engagement from researchers Build competence in ODA assessment within Research UK and universities If the balance between ODA and non-ODA funding starts to distort the pattern of research funding, we could lose important opportunities UK needs Councils to be alert to this issue, which is likely to manifest itself for particular sub- disciplines. If GCRF funding is not sustained through future Spending Reviews, Research Councils could be left with ~£1Bn in liabilities Ensure BIS and Treasury understand downstream implications of the GCRF funding profile.
  27. 27. UK Aid Strategy Additional requirements All departments spending ODA will be required to put in place a clear plan to ensure that their programme design, quality assurance, approval, contracting and procurement, monitoring, reporting and evaluation processes represent international best practice.
  28. 28. International Commission for Aid Impact The independent scrutiny body for UK development assistance. • undertakes reviews of UK aid and its contribution to development results. • independent of government - reports to the International Development Committee. • works closely with the spending departments throughout the review process • Publishes reports to support public engagement with the aid programme.
  29. 29. Questions for discussion How might we work together to make the case for unallocated GCRF? Examples of good (best) practices – Interdisciplinary approaches – Capability building UK & overseas – Critical mass, networks, people – Building global partnerships What are the global challenges? How might we strengthen pathways to impact?

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