Major funding programmes

Looking to understand how UK research for international development funding works? Find out more about the major UK funding sources below.

The funding sources below are all* part of the UK government’s commitment to spend 0.7 % of the UK’s Gross National Income on Official Development Assistance (ODA), which is monitored by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

They include both single funders (such as DFID or the Wellcome Trust) and groups of funders (such as the Newton Fund or Global Challenges Research Fund).

To be accepted as ODA, this funding must meet certain criteria. See the Newton Fund and Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) ODA guidance for more information and to help you understand any considerations to take into account and to decide if your work is applicable.

Looking for open funding calls? See current UK funding opportunities in global development research here.

*Excluding the Wellcome Trust, the UK’s leading global charitable foundation supporting scientists and researchers.


Funding Programmes

Funding programme


The Department for International Development (DFID Research) is providing £1.5 billion (2016–2021) to support high quality research, evidence, evaluations, innovation,...

Funding programme


The Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) is a £1.5 billion fund (2016–2021) announced by the UK Government in late 2015 to support cutting-edge research and innovation...

Funding programme

Newton Fund

The Newton Fund will invest £735 million from 2014–2021 to support the use of science and innovation partnerships to promote economic development and social welfare of...

Funding programme

The Darwin Initiative

The Darwin Initiative is a UK government grants scheme that helps to protect biodiversity and the natural environment through locally based projects worldwide, funded by...

Funding programme

Wellcome Trust

The Wellcome Trust is the UK’s leading global charitable foundation supporting scientists and researchers. Wellcome will provide up to £5 billion on research between 2015...


These resources provide further support and ideas to help you apply for funding and build partnerships for global development research projects. Head to our resources page for more tips and guidance, or explore our researcher hub and FAQs.