Initial appointments made to GCRF Strategic Advisory Group

10 June 2016

Initial appointments have been made to a new Strategic Advisory Group to support the development of the government's Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF).

The group will advise the research councils on the strategic development and delivery of GCRF. The first chair will be Professor Sir Mike Aaronson. An open call is now being made for nominations for further members.

The main tasks for the strategic advisory group will be to help develop a common strategic approach between the research councils, helping the councils to work together to inform the strategic research priorities that optimise the use of the fund and ensure that it addresses the problems faced by developing countries. It will also advise on the effectiveness of processes and mechanisms for delivering the fund.

The initial membership is:

  • Professor Sir Mike Aaronson, University of Surrey - chair
  • Professor Charles Godfray, University of Oxford
  • Professor Sir Andy Haines, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
  • Professor Richard Jones, University of Sheffield
  • Professor Dame Sally Macintyre, University of Glasgow
  • Professor Helen Sang, University of Edinburgh
  • Professor James Stirling, Imperial College London
  • Professor Jeff Waage, London International Development Centre
  • Professor Sir Alan Wilson, University College London
  • Professor Alan Winters, University of Sussex

The initial members of the group have been invited to ensure a breadth of expertise and experience across disciplines research and interactions with developing nations. It will meet for the first time in early June 2016.

The group has been established by the research councils in partnership with colleagues from Department for International Development (DFID) and Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS) on behalf all the delivery partners involved in GCRF. At the same time an open call has been launched for additional members to join the group and to provide a rotation of members over time.

Professor Jane Elliott, research councils champion for GCRF, said:

GCRF is an important new national endeavour to use the UK's world-leading research to achieve international development goals. Every part of the research community has the opportunity to contribute. The Strategic Advisory Group will have a vital role in shaping GCRF as it develops and ensuring that funding from GCRF makes a real difference to the lives of people in developing nations.

I am grateful to the initial group in being generous with their time and expertise as we work to establish GCRF. We also want to expand the membership to increase the range of expertise and ensure representation from developing nations and so are welcoming nominations through an open process.

Further information

Tamera Jones
External communications manager
01793 411561
07917 557215

Matt Goode
07766 423372


1. The Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) is a £1·5 billion fund announced by the UK government to support cutting-edge research which addresses the problems faced by developing countries. The fund, to be administered through delivery partners including the research councils and national academies, will address global challenges through disciplinary and interdisciplinary research, strengthen capability for research and innovation, within both UK and developing countries and provide an agile response to emergencies and opportunities.

2. GCRF is a government initiative of BIS which operates across a number of delivery partners, including the research councils, national academies and Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE).

3. The full terms of reference for the GCRF strategic advisory group - external link.

4. The first appointments to the Strategic Advisory Group have been made for initial one year terms in the first instance.

5. The open call for nominations is seeking to attract interest from suitable individuals who can:

  • Provide additional research expertise not available within current group
  • understand the translation and impact of research, particularly into developing countries
  • reflect a broader demographic mix - eg early career, gender, ethnic background
  • includes non-academic and international stakeholders
  • have personal experience working in a developing country context.