Pre-announcement - UKRI GCRF Collective Programme - Multiple & Systemic Risks

17 December 2018

There is widespread recognition of the need to reduce complex risks in an increasingly interconnected and interdependent world.

The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and World Trade Organisation have highlighted the importance of environmental shocks, and stresses, as triggers for wider risk cascades spreading across sectors and resulting in economic disruption, political instability and health crisis, particularly in low and middle income countries. The developing world is especially vulnerable to these systemic risks, and despite risk management efforts, the cumulative impacts significantly undermine development progress.

Despite widespread recognition of the scale of the challenges caused by systemic risks associated with environmental hazards in the developing world, social-, technical- and governance-based approaches to characterise and cost-effectively build resilience to these risks have been notably lacking. This is especially so for teleconnected risks that jump across geographies or time.

NERC will be announcing a UK Research & Innovation (UKRI) Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) Collective Programme call for research and innovation projects focused on tackling multiple and systemic risks associated with environmental hazards in developing countries. The multidisciplinary call will be administered by NERC on behalf of UKRI and is expected to launch in early 2019, with awards starting by April 2020.

Projects will improve our understanding of how environmental shocks and stresses propagate through systems to create impacts across sectors, and how developing world countries can effectively build resilience to these systemic risks. The aim is to reduce risk and loss for exposed populations, protecting development gains and feeding into risk management planning and action undertaken by actors at all levels, from local communities to global.

It will be essential to work with relevant local stakeholders to identify multidisciplinary research and innovation challenges which are orientated towards real world problems, build deep understanding of local cultural contexts and environmental histories, co-design research projects, and develop solutions that can be feasibly delivered in-country and targeted where they are needed most.

A second multidisciplinary resilience-themed call will be administered by the Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC) in early 2019, entitled 'Equitable Resilience: Ensuring resilience enhances the Sustainable Development Goals', which has recently been pre-announced on the ESRC website - external link -.

These calls are part of the UKRI GCRF Collective Programme.

Please visit the UKRI GCRF Collective Programme - external link - for more information and individual call pre-announcements and announcements.


Sarah Blackburn
01793 411921
07923 382797