Global Research Funding
Official Development Assistance (ODA) funded research activity focuses on outcomes which promote the long-term sustainable growth of countries on the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Development Assistance Committee (DAC) list.
ODA is administered using the promotion of the economic development and welfare of low and middle income countries (LMICs) as its main objective. To be counted as ODA, all activities (research or otherwise) must qualify under rules set down by the OECD.
To be ODA-eligible, the OECD states that research projects should be 'directly and primarily related to the problems of developing countries'. ODA must be embedded in your project from the beginning, and not added as an afterthought.
Key questions to consider when determining whether your proposal is ODA compliant:
- Is the project or activity addressing the economic development and welfare of one or more LMICs?
- Is this its primary motivation?
- Is the LMIC in question on the OECD-DAC list?
- Is the primary beneficiary either developing countries or developing and developed countries?
- Is the country likely to be remain on the DAC list for the entire timescale of the funding?
Which countries are eligible for funding?
Only countries which are listed as Development Assistance Committee (DAC) countries on the OECD DAC list are eligible to receive ODA funding. The DAC list is compiled by OECD, based on per capita GNI. DAC locations graduate from the list if they remain high income countries for three years.
Overseas Research Roadmap
This roadmap sets out the processes involved in planning and conducting international research. The roadmap highlights the potential problems researchers might come across and where to find the relevant policies, requirements and appropriate advice within UCL. This is not meant to be an all-exhaustive compendium; rather it serves to highlight the most imporant processes and issues.
We plan to develop an interactive version of this map in the future. In the meantime please send any comments on content to Magda Morawska.
A portal for research management information for applying for and managing research funding.
Gender Equality and International Development Research and Innovation
UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) is updating its policies and processes for the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) and Newton Fund calls to ensure that funded research and innovation projects are fully compliant with the International Development (Gender Equality) Act 2014.
Please contact the Global Research funding team if you require guidance or examples of gender equality statements for your research application.
UCL Guidance Documents
- ODA compliance checklist
- UCL ODA application guidance
- Decision tree for ODA compliance
- Researchers' Toolkit
Contact Helen Hopkins if you would like to see example Pathway to impact or ODA compliance statements
ODA/GCRF project categorisation on Worktribe
It is important that applicants now capture ODA funding sources selecting the relevant tag in worktribe.
Information on overseas partners must be now recorded in the Risk Assessment section.
Additional Information in order to decide if your project is ODA compliant
- DAC list of ODA recipients
- OECD definition of ODA
- OECD 'Is it ODA?' factsheet
- UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) ODA guidance
- GCRF ODA guidance
- Newton Fund ODA guidance
- UN Global Goals
- UK Aid Strategy
- How to write a fundable proposal for the GCRF
- The Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF)
The Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) is a five-year £1.5 billion funding stream which will run from 2016-2021. It was announced as part of the Government's 2015 spending review and is a key component in the delivery of the UK Aid Strategy. It forms part of the UK's Official Development Assistance (ODA) commitment to support cutting-edge research which addresses the problems faced by developing countries.
The GCRF is an initiative led by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) which operates across a number of delivery partners, including the UK Research Councils, UK Higher Education Funding bodies, the Academy of Medical Sciences, Royal Society, British Academy, the Royal Academy of Engineering and UK Space Agency.
The GCRF will address global challenges through disciplinary and interdisciplinary research. It will strengthen capability for research and innovation within both UK and developing countries, and will also provide an agile response to emergencies and opportunities.
GCRF research should clearly demonstrate that the primary purpose is to promote the economic development and welfare of Low and Middle Income Countries (LMICs) and funding will be awarded in a manner that fits with official ODA guidelines.
- Newton Fund
The Newton Fund aims to promote the economic development and social welfare of either a) the partner countries or b) through working with the partner country to address the well being of communities. It will do so through strengthening partner country science and innovation capacity and unlocking further funding to support this work. It is part of the UK's official development assistance (ODA).
The Newton Fund is administered through Research Councils and national academies.
- NIHR Global Health Research
The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) fund health and care research and translate discoveries into practical products, treatments, devices and procedures. They involve patients and the public in all their work.
The NIHR have a limited number of ODA-eligible calls each year.
- Department for International Development (DFID)
The Department for International Development (DFID) leads the UK's work to end extreme poverty, building a safer, healthier, more prosperous world for all of us which is firmly in the UK's national interest.
DFID run funding opportunities in development research, often in partnership with other agencies.
- Ross Fund
Ross Fund is a £1 billion programme which will run between 2016-2021. The programme will will develop, test and produce new products to help combat serious diseases in developing countries.
Over the period of the programme, approximately £400 million will be used for research, managed by the Department of Health (DH) with the support of the Department for International Development (DFID).
The key focus areas of the fund are:
- Anti-microbial resistance
- Infectious diseases with epidemic potential
- Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs).
- UUKi Gateway to international opportunities
The Universities UK 'Gateway to international opportunities' is a regularly updated depository of funding opportunities for international research collaboration and knowledge exchange, aimed at UK based researchers/institutions.
Recipients of ODA funding are required to carry out appropriate due diligence checks on third parties who undertake activities funded by a grant (overseas partners).
UCL's work in Global Health has incredible breadth and depth - spanning all the schools, faculties and departments of the University. Details of the prominent centres of global health research within UCL can be found on the Global Health at UCL website, along with other useful related resources and information.
- UK Collaborative on Development Research (UKCDR)
The UKCDR hub can be used to explore and understand the main funding opportunities in this arena within the UK. The UKCDR is a group of fourteen UK government departments and research funders working in international development.
'Researcher Hub' (support for researchers involved in development science)
- Universities UK International
UUKi is the international arm of Universities UK, representing UK universities and acting in their collective interests globally. They actively promote universities abroad, provide trusted information for and about them, and create new opportunities for the sector.
- Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI)
All UK aid spending for international development is scrutinised by the Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI) which contributes to the accountability of UK ODA spend by examining whether it is delivering value for money.
If you would like further information on preparing a specific ODA application (including Global Challenges Research Fund) or on ODA in research in general, please contact the SLMS Global Research Facilitator, Helen Hopkins: Email: email@example.com. Tel: +44 (0)20 3108 6650
If you are based in another UCL school please contact your relevant school research facilitator for advice prior to submission of an application.
- SLASH / IOE
Henriette Bruun (Director of Research Facilitation) - firstname.lastname@example.org
Jacob Leveridge (Deputy Director of Research Facilitation) - email@example.com
Steve Morrison (School Research Facilitator) - firstname.lastname@example.org
Jennifer Hazelton (School Research Facilitator) - email@example.com
Helen Hopkins: (Global Research Facilitator) - firstname.lastname@example.org
Kristina Kertova (ODA Partnerships Officer) - email@example.com
Anwen Howells (Research Coordination Officer - Global Research) - firstname.lastname@example.org
Sam Mardell (Strategic Partnerships Manager - AHRI) - email@example.com