Explore our research

Research areas

Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) and other Official Development Assistance (ODA)-funded projects are designed to improve the lives of people living in chronic economic disadvantage across the world.

Our approach aligns to the UK Strategy for GCRF through our commitment to world-class research which is challenge-led and solutions focussed. Our strategic research themes align with the main areas identified in the UK Strategy for GCRF as follows:

Equitable access to sustainable development

close up of face maskTo ensure that everyone across the globe has access to secure and resilient food, health and education systems:

  • Food safety and security
  • Health systems: processes and infrastructure
  • Communicable and non-communicable diseases
  • Environment and health

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Leading the fight against tuberculosis

Improving air quality in Nairobi

Sustainable economies and societies

Peatland fieldwork

To foster sustainable livelihoods to create prosperous economies and societies:

  • Environment and natural resources for development
  • Resilience and sustainability
  • Cultural industries and cultural rights
  • Cultural heritage protection

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Putting peatland protection on the front page

Dr Raul Carstocea's work on minority groups in Central and Eastern Europe

Human rights, good governance and social justice

Prison, Guyana

To ensure effective response to forced displacement and reduce conflict, poverty and inequality:

  • Conflict and security

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Colonialism, prison and mental health

Protecting children from the devastation of war and violence

Protecting sex workers

Justice for sexual abuse victims in Kenya

Dr Nibedita Ray-Bennett's work on risk management

Child protection in South Africa during COVID-19


The following strategic research themes address challenges across all areas of the GCRF strategy:

  • Earth observation and space applications for development
  • Media and communication for development

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