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What is GCRF Network Plus?


The Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) was a £1.5 billion fund to support cutting-edge research and ensure the UK takes a leading role in global development. By working with world-leading researchers and institutions, the fund contributes to addressing the complex global issues faced by developing countries.

GCRF focuses on challenge-led, multidisciplinary research, providing an agile response to emergencies in need of urgent analysis and strengthening the UK and developing countries’ capability for research.

GCRF forms part of the UK Government’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) commitment and is overseen by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). As a result of the reduction in the budget for Official Development Assistance (ODA), and a subsequent reduction in funding allocations, the GCRF fund was reduced by circa £125 million in 2021.

For more information about GCRF and an overview of other projects supported by the fund, click here.

Network Plus

Changing the Story was one of a group of international academic networks funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and led by universities based in the UK. They have been set up to conduct collaborative arts and humanities-based research into some of the world’s most pressing development challenges.

The five networks in our round, the first in this programme, were originally funded using more than £9m from the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF), using the AHRC’s ‘Network Plus’ model. This model was designed to bring together a wide range of UK arts and humanities research expertise with researchers and non-academic partners in low and middle income countries. To find out more about Network Plus, please visit the AHRC website.