Press release

IDS to take up role in new Global Challenges Research Fund hubs aimed at creating safer, healthier and more prosperous world

Published on 22 January 2019

IDS researchers and knowledge professionals will be working with partners in four of the 12 UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Global Research Hubs announced today by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and UKRI

Over the next five years they will contribute to efforts to tackle global challenges such as antimicrobial resistance, unequal access to health services, resilience to natural disasters and conflict and gender-based violence.

The interdisciplinary hubs are funded through the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) and are an integral strand of the UK Aid strategy, ensuring rigorous research and evidence informs the efforts to meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

IDS Director Melissa Leach said:

“IDS is delighted to be working with such a wide range of international partners, and the interdisciplinary nature of these hubs is truly exciting. Only through collaborations across disciplines, sectors and countries can we generate the types of evidence and policy solutions necessary to tackle challenges which affect the lives of millions of people across the world and accelerate progress towards the SDGs.”

IDS will be part of UKRI GCRF hubs on Accountability for Informal Urban Equity, One Health Poultry, Urban Disaster Risk and Gender, Justice and Security.

The Accountability for Informal Urban Equity Hub (ARISE) led by Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine will support marginalised people to claim their right to health. It will build government accountability and capacity to provide citizens with security and services. ARISE brings together ten partners who will work with disadvantaged people in informal settlements and governments in Sierra Leone, Bangladesh, Kenya and India.  IDS researchers are Jerker Edstrom, Jaideep Gupte, Hayley Macgregor, Alex Shankland, Dolf Te Lintelo, Linda Waldman and Annie Wilkinson.

The One Health Poultry Hub led by the Royal Veterinary College will address the need to meet rising demands for poultry meat and eggs in developing countries, while minimising risk to international public health through threats including bacterial food poisoning, strains of avian influenza with epidemic or pandemic potential and increased antimicrobial resistance.  IDS researchers are Gerald Bloom, Ayako Ebata, Hayley MacGregor and Giel Ton.

The Urban Disaster Risk Hub led by the University of Edinburgh will work with international agencies and partners across South America, East Africa, the Middle East and South-Central Asia to bring disaster risk management to the centre of global urban policy and practice, strengthening the voice and capacity of the urban poor. IDS researchers are Gordon McGranahan, Marina Apgar and Lars Otto Naess.

The Gender, Justice and Security Hub led by London School of Economics and Political Science seeks to advance sustainable peace by developing an evidence-base around gender, justice and inclusive security in conflict-affected societies. Working with international partners, it will expand research capacity and interdisciplinary research and connect with leading ambassadors for gender justice to translate insights into ongoing actions that improve lives.  IDS researcher is Rajith Lakshman.


Note to editors:

  1. The Institute of Development Studies (IDS) is a global research and learning organisation for equitable and sustainable change.  More at
  2. UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) is a new body which works in partnership with universities, research organisations, businesses, charities, and government to create the best possible environment for research and innovation to flourish. We aim to maximise the contribution of each of our component parts, working individually and collectively. We work with our many partners to benefit everyone through knowledge, talent and ideas. More at
  3. The Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) is a £1.5 billion fund announced by the UK Government in late 2015 to support cutting-edge research that addresses the challenges faced by developing countries. GCRF forms part of the UK’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) commitment, which is monitored by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). More at:
  4. The Global Research Hubs will work with governments, international agencies, NGOs and community groups in developing countries to provide creative and sustainable solutions to help make the world safer, healthier and more prosperous. More at:

Key contacts

Hannah Corbett

Head of Communications and Engagement

+44 (0)1273 915640


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