Success in tackling global challenges

Two significant research projects have been awarded £16 million to build resilience in African businesses and communities as part of our commitment to tackling the world's greatest issues.

The funding is from the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF), a £1.5 billion government programme to support research that addresses critical problems in developing countries across the world.

Announcing the funding, part of a £225 million package to support research across the UK, Jo Johnson, Minister for Universities and Science, said: “At a time when the pace of scientific discovery and innovation is quickening, we are placing science and research at the heart of our Industrial Strategy to build on our strengths and maintain our status as a science powerhouse.” 

Exceptional breadth of research

Supporting two new high-profile Africa-based research projects, these latest awards position Leeds academics as among the most successful in the UK at securing funding from GCRF’s multi-research council fund.

Sixteen other Leeds-led initiatives, worth £4.3 million, have also received support from individual UK research councils through the GCRF programme, the highest number of any university.

Professor Lisa Roberts, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research and Innovation, said: “Our exceptional breadth of research and commitment to quality has enabled Leeds to create a research environment few other universities can match.

“Our researchers work together in powerful and impactful teams, and we have impressed international policy makers with how we operate across traditional disciplinary boundaries to tackle the major issues humanity faces.

“Our ability to build effective international, interdisciplinary networks can make a real and telling difference in helping improve lives, and at Leeds we have committed to doing this in the short and long term.

“We have committed to developing talented researchers and, over the last two years, have invested significantly in our 250 Great Minds programme to recruit the brightest early career researchers and support them with skills development and mentorship.

“I am pleased to see that these new awards have brought together world-leading professors with these University Academic Fellows, which creates a highly-sustainable environment for ongoing research success and development of future leaders.”

“I’m also pleased to report that overall research awards are on track to grow significantly from last year; this reflects a tremendous effort from staff to secure this funding and is a further testament to the excellent research we do.”

Building on this success, as outlined in our Research and Innovation Strategic Plan, it is the University’s intention to be ambitious about the size of awards we apply for in future: these new GCRF bids are great examples of the success which can be achieved through strong well planned proposals.

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