ODA funding

GCRF calls

GCRF calls from the Research Councils are published on Research Professional. Visit  Research Professional for an up to date list of current and upcoming opportunities

Other ODA funding opportunities

GCRF forms a portfolio with other funding sources such as UK Department for International Development (DfID), Ross Fund, Global Health Research and Grand Challenges. More information can be found in UK Research for Sustainable Development (PowerPoint) and DFID health research funding (PowerPoint). Newton Fund has previously been referred to as the ‘little brother’ of GCRF and could be used as pump priming for GCRF.

Please note that there are different geographical constraints on different funding sources. Particularly, Newton Fund largely focuses on specific middle-income countries and European funding usually requires a minimum of three partners in EU or associated countries in an application.

UKCDR lists funding opportunities across many of the UK ODA funders, and provides a lot of resources.

UUK also has a Gateway to International Opportunities

Research Professional also has a list of development funding for Africa and the Caribbean. Note that the primary scope is international development funding, not research, but there may be opportunities for academic institutions to apply.

Please check the Research Support funding pages for more information on funding.

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For full listings of Newton Fund opportunities, see the Newton Fund website.

Newton Fund funds people and capacity building, research collaboration and translation into capacity building.

Although it varies by call, countries Newton Fund are partnering with are: Brazil, Chile, China, Colombia, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Philippines, South Africa and wider Africa, Thailand, Turkey and Vietnam.

Synergies between GCRF and Newton Fund themes


Diagram of synergies between Newton fund and Global Challenges Research Fund

Created by Dr Carolyn Barker at the University of Kent. This provides a useful breakdown of current funding for Newton Fund and GCRF. Source: https://sciencefundingblog.wordpress.com/2017/07/27/navigating-the-latest-gcrf-and-newton-funding-calls-july-2017/

Department for International Development (see also UKCDR information on DfID funding) funds research in LMICs. The DFID Research Review (October 2016) sets out DfID's planned investment of approximately £390 million per year over the next four years.

Their current priority areas are:

  • Fragile and conflict states
  • Health
  • Climate, energy and water
  • Agriculture
  • Economic development


Ross Fund (see also the UKCDR page on the Ross Fund): This is managed by DfID and the Department of Health and is a £1 billion fund for research and development in products for infectious diseases. Particularly: antimicrobial resistance, diseases with epidemic potential, and neglected tropical diseases (NTDs).


Some EC-funded calls are relevant specifically to LMICs, and others may be applicable.

Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme: this programme (2014-2020) funds research across all disciplines. A large portion of the H2020 budget is directed to multi-institution, multi-country collaborative projects under the Societal Challenges pillars.

A key tenet of the GCRF programme is that the work is carried out in a country or countries on the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) list. Most, but not all, of the countries on the DAC list are eligible to receive funds directly from the European Commission. The countries that are eligible to receive funding are:

For more information on eligibility and EC funding, see the GCRF/EC factsheet.

For more information on EC funding, see the European Research Funding pages.


Wellcome Trust offer funding for different levels of research (individual, groups, major initiatives etc) in: biomedical science; population health; product development and applied research; humanities and social science; and public engagement and creative industries. Much of the funding is available for ODA-related research.

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation funds research in global health (HIV, malaria, NTDs, pneumonia, TB) and development (agricultural, emergency, family planning, global libraries, maternal, newborn and child health, nutrition, polio, vaccine and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH).

Elrha - Research for health in humanitarian crises: Elrha funds research to improve health outcomes by strengthening the evidence base for public health interventions in humanitarian crises.

EqUIP - EU-India Social Science and Humanities Platform: This platform funds collaborative research between EU countries and India. The research priority themes are: sustainable prosperity, well-being and innovation; inequalities, growth and place/space; social transformation, cultural expressions, cross-cultural connections and dialogue; power structures, conflict resolution and social justice; and digital archives and databases as a source of mutual knowledge.

Grand Challenges Canada: Eligibility for UK institutions varies, so check details of individual calls.

NORFACE ERA-NET: Focusing on Europe, with some ODA relevant funding, NORFACE is a collaborative partnership between national research funding agencies (including RCUK).


NB: This is not intended to be a comprehensive list.