School of Social and Political Science

New UK Gov funding for SPS researchers to take on global sustainable development challenges

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Edinburgh researchers are tackling some of the biggest global development challenges – from the demands on urban infrastructure caused by climate change and poverty, to improving healthcare and rights among displaced populations – with new funding from the UK Government.


Experts at the University of Edinburgh’s School of Social and Political Science (SPS) have received a slice of a new £147million investment package from UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) for various projects.

The awards – from UKRI’s Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) Collective Programme – bring together a wide range of researchers from across the UK and developing countries. The aim is to generate innovative solutions to intractable development issues and contribute to enabling healthier and safer lives, sustainable development and prosperity.

The funded projects run across UKRI’s six strategic GCRF Challenge portfolios: global health; education; sustainable cities; food systems; conflict; and resilience. They are aligned to the UK Government’s aid strategy and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

The SPS awards include:

GCRF Challenge portfolio: Cities and Sustainable Infrastructure

Project theme: (Re)thinking the off-grid city: Human infrastructure interactions in the context of urban crisis and urban change

GCRF Challenge portfolio: Security, Protracted Conflict, Refugees and Forced Displacement

Project theme: Development-based approaches to Protracted Displacement

Professor Tobias Kelly, Co-Director of Research at the School of Social and Political Science, said:
“Researchers at the School of Social and Political Science in Edinburgh have long addressed some of the world’s most enduring challenges, providing critical and important insights, as well as supporting practical responses.

"These latest projects funded under the GCRF Collective Programme focus on urban development and forced displacement, and will help improve access to healthcare, energy and government services in multiple places across the globe.”

Full details about UKRI’s GCRF Collective Programme are available in this brochure.