Tackling global development challenges through physical sciences research

Please note:

  • The "closing date" given above, is the final date for submission of proposals. Applicants must also complete an Intent to Submit (ItS) via the online form on this page, by 16:00 on 03 July 2019.
  • The start point for any project funded via this call must be novel physical sciences research.

This call is funded through EPSRC's Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) allocation, with support from the Physical Sciences Theme. The aim of this activity is to support an internationally leading programme of physical sciences research to tackle the challenges faced by developing countries.

Research projects will be welcomed from across the Physical Sciences Theme's remit, which demonstrate a contribution to the global effort to address the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Each of the SDGs has a list of targets that may prove instructive in helping applicants to identify where they might contribute to one or more of the goals.

There is scope in this call for project activities to span from the physical sciences into EPSRC's wider remit or beyond, in order to best serve the Official Development Assistance (ODA) aims of this call.

Appropriate collaborators in one or more lower middle income, low income or least developed countries on the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) list of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) (PDF) are a mandatory requirement for proposals submitted through this call. These collaborators may be academic researchers and/or direct beneficiaries of the research outcomes. Collaborators from upper-middle income countries on the DAC list of the OECD may be included on the proposal as Project Partners, but EPSRC will not contribute to their associated costs.

Up to £4 million is available from EPSRC's GCRF allocation for this call. We aim to support 5-10 research projects through this activity. Projects will have a fixed start date of 01 April 2020 and may be up to 24 months in duration.

Applicants must submit an Intention to Submit (ItS) via the form on this call page, by 16:00 on 03 July 2019 to be considered through this Call. Full proposals from applicants who have not previously submitted an Intention to submit will not be considered. ItS will not be formally assessed, they are required for planning purposes. However, should EPSRC identify applications that do not fit the remit of the call, the applicants will be contacted by EPSRC prior to the deadline for full applications. Unless contacted by EPSRC, applicants should submit a full application by the full proposal deadline.

Please note that the Principal Investigator (PI) must meet the standard EPSRC eligibility requirements and UK applicants may only be named as Investigator (either Principal or Co-Investigator) on one proposal to this call.

When preparing their proposal, factors that applicants should consider include:

  • The unmet need identified by partners in the lower middle income, low income or least developed country (or countries)
  • End-user participation in research, design, achieving acceptance and adoption
  • Ethics and responsible innovation
  • Research capacity building in the partner country (or countries) and the UK
  • Equitable partnership

Research should be undertaken with the partner country (or countries) identified to ensure that it benefits the most vulnerable people in those countries and that the outcome is sustainable; the benefit does not end with the conclusion of the proposed research. Proposals must be compliant with ODA guidelines; evidence of ODA compliance will be required as part of your application.

Contact Details

In the following table, contact information relevant to the page. The first column is for visual reference only. Data is in the right column.

Name: Mark Tarplee
Organisation: EPSRC
Telephone: 01793 442837