Global Challenges Research Fund

The cross-government Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) has the potential to help address major global development challenges, but risks being spread too thinly to achieve transformative results.

  1. Status: Completed
  2. Published: 12 September 2017
  3. Type: Rapid review
  4. Subject: Research, UK aid funds
  5. Assessment: Unrated
  6. Lead commissioner: Tina Fahm


ICAI published this rapid review on the Global Challenges Research Fund in September 2017. As a rapid review it is not scored, but ICAI made four recommendations and published a follow-up in July 2019.

The GCRF, a research and science focused aid fund, has a budget of £1.5bn over five years, which contributes towards the government’s 0.7% aid target.

The fund falls under the authority of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), and aims to ensure that UK research and science play a leading role in addressing problems faced by developing countries.



Published 22 May 2017

Evidence gathering


Review publication

Published 12 September 2017

Government response

Published 30 October 2017

Parliamentary scrutiny

IDC hearing 6 December 2017

ICAI follow-up

Published 18 July 2019