Making science work for development

What's happening in Sci4Dev? A weekly roundup of news and views

31 March 2016

We've been on a break for the past week, so we have an extra load of exciting news and reports from the past two weeks for you! Including... the the funding allocations for the Global Challenge Research Fund (GCRF) in RCUK's Strategic Priorities and Spending Plan, a series of highly relevant policy events by hte National Academies following the spending review and the importance of equality of happiness highlighted on UN World Happiness Day (yep, there's a day for it!). Enjoy.

Announcements and news

  • The RCUK Strategic Priorities and Spending Plan published two weeks ago has a strong focus on global challenges and international development and includes the funding allocations for the Global Challenge Research Fund (GCRF)
  • NERC’s new multi-centre research programmes includes ORCHESTRA which will measure, understand and predict the circulation of the Southern Ocean and its role in the global climate.
  • BBSRC has announced funding for 24 UK research groups to develop long-term international scientific collaborations through its International Partnering Awards and International Workshops.
  • EPSRC are asking for input from institutional stakeholders into their ‘Balancing Capability’ strategy to reflect how the research base has changed over the last five years.
  • MRC, Wellcome Trust and the Newton Fund have announced the 26 projects that will be funded through the Zika Rapid Response Initiative



  • The International Development Committee has released its interim report on the allocation of UK aid, stating that "The most important principle of allocating UK aid should always be that it is allocated where it can most effectively be used to reduce poverty."


  • The National Academies are running a series of events exploring the landscape for UK research and innovation after the 2015 Spending Review.

18th AprilBuilding a better research system? Supporting excellence in post-Nurse structures
4th May, What is the future of innovation support in the UK?
13th JuneUK research and innovation: visions for 2030

Other Interesting News and Links

  • DFID and others responded to claims about UK spending on aid projects
  • Millions Saved by the Centre for Global Development has launched a new book highlighting success stories in global health where large-scale efforts have improved health in developing countries.
  • A recent INASP/SciDev.Net data challenge brought together scientists and farmers in Uganda to reveal Africa’s best bean
  • Rwanda is investing for the long-term in both applied and basic science and research, including launching the Quantum Leap Africa Research Centre earlier this year and planning to host the Next Einstein Forum in 2018.
  • An update of the World Happiness Report 2016 was launched as part of UN World Happiness Day with new research suggesting that people are significantly happier living in societies where there is less inequality of happiness.

Missed last week's round-up. You can find it here.

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  • Jennie Dodson