Global Challenges Research Fund: Building Resilience - Announcement of Opportunity

Closing date: 16:00 on 6 September 2016


As part of the Global Challenge Research Fund (GCRF), the UK research councils, led by NERC, the Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and the Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC), are taking a leadership role in generating inter-disciplinary research and communities which can address the issue of 'Building Resilience'.

Building resilience rests on the ability to take a holistic approach which encompasses environmental knowledge, socio-economics, infrastructure, governance, and the history and culture of a community or region that is affected. It will require new inter-disciplinary research and recognition of the importance of engaging with local actors to understand what knowledge is required and how it can be implemented to design solutions that help all parts of society.

The call is open to proposals addressing resilience to natural and man-made environmental hazards in a range of developing world contexts. The focus is on how to build resilience in relation to both sudden and slow-onset environmental hazards (eg land-degradation, deforestation, drought, hurricanes, climate change) taking into account the intersections and relationships with other contexts such as conflict and fragility, poverty and famine, urbanisation, economics and health / disease risks.

The call will fund foundation-building activities to stimulate the creation of inter-disciplinary international research communities; to enable broader, deeper and more effective collaborations with beneficiaries and user organisations at the forefront of the development agenda; test new innovative ideas and inter-disciplinary approaches for addressing the issue of developing resilience. All proposals are expected to take an inter-disciplinary approach, bringing together environmental science with social science and arts and humanities.


A total of £3·3 million of funding is available for this call. Awards are expected to vary in scale according to the nature of the activities proposed and not to exceed £200,000 (at 100% full economic costs). The funders anticipate funding 15-20 projects ranging from 3-9 months. A small number of projects of 12 months duration can be funded. Successful projects will be expected to start no later than 1 November 2016.


A workshop was held on 19 July 2016 to provide more information on the call and facilitate the development of collaborations between academics from different disciplines and between academics, beneficiaries and users. The slides from the workshop are available below.

Workshop presentation slides (PDF, 4.6MB)

Proposals must be submitted via the UK research councils' Joint Electronic Submission (Je-S) system by 16:00 on 6 September 2016


  • Applications to attend workshop closes: 27 June 2016
  • Successful applicants to workshop notified: 1 July 2016
  • Workshop: 19 July 2016
  • Je-S form opens: 20 July 2016
  • Closing date: 16:00 on Tuesday 6 September
  • Projects should expect to start no later than 1 November 2016

For further details please see the Announcement of Opportunity.

Announcement of opportunity (PDF, 297KB)

Building resilience FAQ's (PDF, 191KB)


NERC is leading this call on behalf of ARHC and ESRC so all queries should be directed to the contact below. Where enquiries relate to specific council remits, it would be useful if applicants could state this in the subject line of emails.

Sarah Blackburn
01793 411921

Other research council leads for this call are:

Gillian Gray
01793 416068

Sophie Martin
01793 413024