Making science work for development


Our Research Capacity work encompasses a range of activities that seek to enhance the ability of countries to support and make proper use of research and other outputs in international development.



The activities take place across three interconnected levels:

  • Individual: e.g. PhD training to increase a county's human capital
  • Organisational: building the infrastructure and skills of a university to conduct and manage research 
  • Institutional: addressing the incentive structures, and political and regulatory context in which research takes place and is used 

Our members fund a number of programmes that include capacity strengthening, ranging from research programmes where it is a minor component, through to multi-million pound initiatives where it is the main objective.

What we do:

UKCDS brings together our members and key UK players in this area to:

  • Share information on aid alignment.
  • Highlight opportunities for collaboration.
  • Share lessons to promote best practice.
  • Discuss challenges such as monitoring and evaluation of capacity strengthening interventions.
  • Conduct mapping into research capacity strengthening priorities.

UKCDS Outputs:

  • Research Capacity Strengthening Group (RCSG) - we convene this group twice a year to discuss current trends in this area. The group includes both funders such as DFID, Wellcome and ESRC, and organisations that deliver programmes, such as INASP, the ACU and the Royal Society.
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Latest updates

19 February 2013
On 19 February 2013 UKCDS and the Royal Academy of Engineering co-hosted a roundtable for academics in engineering research for development. Chaired by UKCDS Board Member Professor John Perkins, this...
  • Capacity
  • Landscape analysis
  • Energy and engineering
4 February 2013
Following the publication of the Foresight report on Reducing Risk of Future Disasters in November 2012, the DRG was invited to contribute to the follow-up activities by detailing and prioritising...
  • Capacity
  • Natural disasters
  • Research for disaster risk reduction
27 November 2012
The use of science to reduce the effects of future natural hazards such as floods, droughts and earthquakes must be stepped up and adopted more widely, according to a new Foresight report published...
  • Capacity
  • Natural disasters
8 October 2012
Following its publication, UKCDS was requested to provide a secretariat to implement the findings from the SHED report. This activity consists of three main elements: Identifying emerging...
  • Capacity
  • Natural disasters
28 March 2011
This review makes a series of high level policy, and some down to earth practical, recommendations intended to bring this change about.
  • Capacity
  • Natural disasters