Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) Urgency Grants Pilot

The Office of Research, Innovation and Development (ORID) is pleased to inform the University community that the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), is now accepting applications for the AHRC Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) Urgency Grants pilot Scheme.

This pilot scheme, funded by the AHRC as a part of the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF), is intended to be an open, responsive mechanism through which arts and humanities researchers (working with other disciplines where appropriate) can respond in an agile way to unanticipated urgent research needs and opportunities that meet a development need or challenge and/or have the potential to support low or middle income countries (LMICs) to address the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Purpose of the scheme:

The primary focus of this scheme is to provide an accelerated route for funding projects where there is a demonstrably time-limited window of opportunity to conduct research or deliver project impact/outputs. It is not intended to provide a funding route for projects that may address urgent GCRF related problems, but that could reasonably be expected to be funded through existing AHRC/UKRI funding schemes and calls.

Eligibility criteria:

  • Applicants do not need to have received prior AHRC (or UKRI) funding either through GCRF or other funding routes. However, applications which build upon or extend past or current AHRC/UKRI research in ways which could not have been anticipated at the time of application/ award and fall within the urgency categories outlined above can also be considered through this urgency route.
  • The principal investigator must normally meet standard AHRC eligibility criteria and awards will normally be made to a UK research organisation eligible to receive AHRC funding. International coinvestigators and project partners may be included. Moreover, it is recognised that in some urgency contexts it may be appropriate for a significant elements of the research to be led or conducted by LMIC or other partners ‘on the ground’ or with relevant contextual / cultural knowledge. Therefore, there are no limits on the proportions of funding within awards which may be allocated to overseas or other partners, with the exception of grant components from China and India which are limited to 30% fEC of the proposal.
  • Exceptionally, proposals led by researchers at LMIC organisations may be considered. Given the time required to complete due diligence processes, such proposals would normally only be considered where the LMIC organisation has already completed UKRI due diligence processes and has received UKRI funding as lead research organisation or with which UKRI has a formal partnership agreement. Such applications should involve a significant collaborative element with researchers / research organisations in the UK, normally including an academic co-investigator at a UK research organisation eligible for Research Council funding.

Coverage of Award: 

Proposals for full economic costs up to £150,000 for a period of up to 12 months may be submitted.


1600 hours on 31 October 2020

Mode of Application:

Applications may be submitted at any time during the period of the pilot scheme. Applicants interested in applying should first submit an expression of interest to the AHRC at the earliest opportunity following the emergence of the urgency need or context. If the expression of interest is considered to fall within the scope of the scheme, applicants will then be invited to submit a full application through Je-S for consideration through an accelerated peer review process.

Kindly refer to the link below for further details of the Call. 


You may also contact ORID Pre and Post Award Services team at orid-paw@ug.edu.gh for your research support services.