Making science work for development



The Department for International Development (DFID) funded £335 million of research in 2014-15. Research funded by DFID enables the department to generate evidence to build good development programmes and to deal with difficult problems. 

DFID funds research individually and in partnership with other funders in the UK and globally.

DFID research has 3 strands of work:

  • to develop new technologies and products such as drought resistant crops, better drugs for malaria and neglected diseases
  • to help DFID understand what development approaches work most effectively in order to improve the impact and value for money of spending on development
  • to improve DIFD’s understanding of key development questions to make the best policy choices. For example, predicting the onset of the West African rains, finding out why girls leave school early and understanding causes and effects of corruption and how to address them.

DFID also funds a wide number of research programmes in collaboration with other funders. To view some of the joint-funded programmes that DFID supports visit the the Research Council and Wellcome Trust pages.

Where it funds

DFID works in 28 countries across Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

Countries where DFID works

Afghanistan Bangladesh Ethiopia Ghana
India Kenya Kyrgyzstan Liberia
Malawi Mozambique Myanmar Nepal
Nigeria Pakistan Palestine Republic of the Congo
Rwanda Sierra Leone Somalia South Africa
South Sudan Sudan Tajikistan Tanzania
Uganda Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe


All DFID research calls and tenders are globally competitive. The DFID supplier portal and the international development funding page are the central source of information for all DFID contract opportunities, with a selection of current DFID research calls available here. In order to bid for and participate in research opportunities that DFID advertises you must register and complete a company profile on the supplier portal.

DFID has an open access policy to help ensure that the research they fund is freely available. Outputs from all DFID funded research projects and programmes are publicly available on Research4Development (R4D).

Useful documents and links for applying for a DFID-funded research grant: