Skip to main content
Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry


Global Challenges Research Fund Success

Last month, SMD held an event to celebrate its Global Challenges Research Fund successes in tackling the problems faced by developing countries.  The Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) event, “GCRF-A year on”, was held at the Queen Mary Bioenterprise Innovation Centre, bringing together academics from across SMD and other QMUL faculties interested in GCRF funding.

The event was introduced by SMD’s Dean for Research Prof Mauro Perretti, providing researchers with the opportunity to network and share information with other QMUL researchers interested in global challenges. SMD academics Professor Stefan Priebe, Professor Adrian Martineau and Dr Andrew Prendergast spoke about their successfully-funded GCRF projects and shared their experiences and insights of writing and co-ordinating a GCRF proposal.

Dr Claire Heffernan, Director of the London Interdisciplinary Development Centre (LIDC), spoke about the importance of interdisciplinary teams when tackling intractable problems faced by low and middle income countries. The LIDC brings together different colleges, including QMUL, from across the University of London, helping to facilitate interdisciplinary research around international development through a range of events, such as workshops, seminars and lectures.

Since the launch of the GCRF scheme at the end of 2015, QMUL researchers have been involved in winning over £10M of GCRF funding, including projects led by Prof Stefan Priebe for Community Mental Health (£2M, NIHR); Prof Graham MacGregor for Salt reduction programme in China (£6.6M, NIHR); Prof Adrian Martineau for Evaluation of a novel microbiological diagnostic test for latent tuberculosis infection in Ethiopia (£0.4M, MRC); Prof Paul Kelly for Novel therapeutic approaches to malnutrition enteropathy (£0.6M, MRC); Jonathan Grigg (co-I, lead Liverpool) on Lung health in Africa across the lifespan (£0.6M, MRC) and, most recently, Dr Andrew Prendergast was successful in leading an application on Interdisciplinary interventions for stunting and wasting in Zimbabwe, Zambia and Pakistan (£0.2M, MRC). 

GCRF is a 5-year £1.5 billion fund and key component in the delivery of the UK Government’s Aid Strategy, led by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and administered by a number of delivery partners, including the UK Research Councils. The fund aims to ensure that UK research takes a leading role in addressing the problems faced by developing countries to help them achieve the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, primarily through challenge-led research and capacity-building for research and innovation within both the UK and developing countries.

The GCRF scheme will run until 2021 and more information, including current and forthcoming funding calls, can be found at
GCRF calls are typically released with short deadlines, so be prepared by putting an interdisciplinary team together with UK and LMIC partners. The Business and Partnerships team are able to help with advising on suitable interdisciplinary QMUL partners, and provide advice about developing a bid.

Please get in touch with the Business and Partnerships team for more information.