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

Browse DFID’s Development Tracker for an overview of the international development projects led by DFID, other government departments and partners, and search for information on publicly funded research and innovation on UKRI’s Gateway to Research Portal.

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

Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF)

The Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) supports UK and international researchers and innovators to take on key issues affecting developing countries through: challenge-led...

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.