Knowledge for better food systems

Funding information: Global Challenges Research Fund

Former FCRN volunteer Milorad Plavsic now works at the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF), part of UK Research and Innovation. He has provided some information for FCRN readers on the funding opportunities available through the GCRF.

The Global Challenges Research Fund is a £1.5 billion fund created by the UK Government to support cutting-edge research that addresses the challenges faced by developing countries. The challenges are divided into 6 areas: Food Systems, Global Health, Conflict, Resilience, Education, and Sustainable Cities.

One of the main goals of GCRF is to make an impact in OECD DAC list countries. These are Least Developed Countries, Other Low Income Countries, Lower Middle Income Countries and Upper Middle Income Countries. While some activities supported by the GCRF include equitable partnership between institutions from the UK and DAC list countries, other activities are directed towards institutions located exclusively in Africa.

A full list of activities that can be supported by the GCRF can be found here. Common characteristics for all activities are: promoting challenge-led disciplinary and interdisciplinary research; strengthening capacity for research, innovation and knowledge exchange in the UK and developing countries through partnership with excellent UK research and researchers; providing an agile response to emergencies where there is an urgent research need.

See the current GCRF funding calls on food-relevant topics:

Regarding the second call, Milorad provides the following information:

The primary aim of “Double Burden of Malnutrition” call is to invite applications for new, innovative research that builds upon and scales up existing investments or strategies in Food Systems that have shown to have potential benefit/promise, to maximise the potential for impact in addressing the double burden of malnutrition.

While scaling-up can refer to physical scaling-up, and in this case it would mean including new regions, or expanding to include more people relative to the existing investments, scaling-up can also refer to inclusion of new elements, which address the double burden of malnutrition within the existing physical boundaries. We might refer to this as a structural scaling-up.

Potential applicants should particularly focus on the interdisciplinary nature of the project proposal, impactful intervention and innovative approach.

More information about the application procedure, scope of the call and eligibility requirements can be found here. If there are questions which are not addressed on the website, please do send an email to

See also the Foodsource building block What is malnutrition?

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