Frequently Asked Questions

Browse some commonly asked questions to find out more about the funds and the support we offer.

Newton Fund

Newton Fund partner countries were selected for their current or potential capacity to develop and deliver outstanding science and innovation in partnership with UK counterparts based on our analysis of both scientific excellence and capacity.

No, match agreements are made by our delivery partners (funding bodies).

Eligibility for each funding opportunity is outlined in the call documentation which can be accessed through our funding opportunities page.

  • Colombia: Newton-Caldas Fund
  • Egypt: Newton-Mosharafa Fund
  • India: Newton-Bhabha Fund
  • Malaysia: Newton-Ungku Omar Fund
  • Jordan: Newton-Khalidi Fund
  • Kenya: Newton-Utafiti Fund
  • Peru: Newton-Paulet Fund
  • Philippines: Newton-Agham Programme
  • Turkey: Newton-Katip Çelebi Fund
  • Vietnam: Newton-Viet Nam Fund

Newton Fund: single funder
This work was supported by your funding organisation e.g. British Council [grant number] as part of the Newton Fund (or relevant Newton country partnership) e.g. Newton-Bhabha Fund for India  

Newton Fund: multiple funders
This work was supported by your funding organisation [grant number]; next funding organisation [grant number] as part of the Newton Fund (or relevant Newton country partnership) e.g. Newton-Bhabha Fund for India 

*The Newton Fund sometimes goes by a different name in the countries we work with as partners. For example, in India, we are the Newton-Bhabha Fund and in China we are the UK-China Research and Innovation Partnership Fund. Please try to use the relevant country specific name: You can check these above and if you’re uncertain please get in touch: [email protected]

Our partner matching service through Universities UK International helps connect Newton Fund partner country researchers to potential UK collaborators.

One of the valuable features of the Newton Fund is the fact that UK funding is matched by our partner countries. This has a range of benefits, including ensuring equitable partnerships and sustainability of funding for the longer-term in partner countries. All Newton Fund expenditure is directed towards the development needs of our DAC listed partner countries.

Yes, you can sign up for Newton Fund and GCRF funding bulletins with Universities UK International

The Newton Fund builds unique research and innovation partnerships to take on sustainable development priorities agreed between the United Kingdom and: Brazil, China, Colombia, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Kenya, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Philippines, South Africa, Thailand, Turkey, and Vietnam.

Under the Newton Fund, UK researchers work in partnership with researchers these partner countries on tailored research themes including health and neglected diseases, low carbon energy, environmental resilience and research commercialisation.

The fund is managed by the UK’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), and delivered by UK and international partners. UK investment is matched by investment and resources from partner countries.

Global Challenges Research Fund

No. There is no match requirement from the country or countries involved.

Eligibility for each funding opportunity is outlined in the call documentation which can be accessed through our funding opportunities page.

Yes, you can sign up for Newton Fund and GCRF bulletins with Universities UK International

Challenge Leaders ensure GCRF can have the greatest possible impact on global development. They provide intellectual and strategic leadership for GCRF challenge portfolios, ensuring coherence and impact.
The Challenge Leaders work closely with GCRF investments to ensure a close match between new insights emerging from GCRF researchers and the strategic needs and ambitions of development partners as framed by the Sustainable Development Goals.
They have provided guidance on a series of interdisciplinary calls across the delivery partners designed to enhance the overall impact across the six strategic GCRF Challenge portfolios.
The Challenge Leaders, who are specialists in their area, are enhancing the impact of the GCRF portfolio by building strategic partnerships with key people and organisations working in international development.

Find out more about the GCRF Challenge Leaders

Framed by the Sustainable Development Goals the 12 challenge areas provide a framework through which the GCRF targets work to achieve lasting change.

Equitable access to sustainable development

Our vision is to create new knowledge and drive innovation that helps to ensure everyone across the globe has access to: 

  • secure and resilient food systems supported by sustainable marine resources and agriculture
  • sustainable health and well being 
  • inclusive and equitable quality education 
  • clean air, water and sanitation 
  • affordable, reliable, sustainable energy

Sustainable economies and societies

The pace, nature and patterns of economic growth are threatening the future of our climate and ecosystems and are placing a major burden on the Earth’s resources. GCRF encourages research and innovation that in the longer-term, builds: 

  • sustainable livelihoods supported by strong foundations for inclusive economic growth and innovation 
  • resilience and action on short term environmental shocks and long-term environmental change 
  • sustainable cities and communities
  • sustainable production and consumption of materials and other resources

Human rights, good governance and social justice

It is increasingly recognised that development, human rights, good governance and social justice are indivisible. The GCRF supports research and innovation that enables us to: 

  • understand and respond effectively to forced displacement and multiple refugee crises
  • reduce conflict and promote peace, justice and humanitarian action 
  • reduce poverty and inequality, including gender inequalities.

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

It does this through:

  • challenge-led multidisciplinary research
  • strengthening capability for research, innovation and knowledge exchange in developing countries and the UK through partnership with excellent UK researchers
  • providing an agile response to emergencies where there is an urgent need.

GCRF addresses key challenges in DAC-listed countries such as: threats to the sustainability of natural resources; flooding and famine resulting from climate change; environmental degradation; population growth and rapid urbanisation; fragile states, growing inequality, and violence; threats to animal and plant health; and global health challenges including the development of vaccines and viral threats.

The fund is managed by the UK’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), and delivered by UK and international partners.

No, match agreements are made by our delivery partners (funding bodies).

Funding Guidance

Eligibility for each funding opportunity is outlined in the call documentation which can be accessed through our funding opportunities page.

Both funds are governed by the Official Development Assistance Board, which is chaired by the UK minister for science. It is supported by an operational officials’ group.
In July 2016 the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee recommended the creation of a coherence and coordination mechanism for government ODA-research funds. Following this recommendation, the Strategic Coherence for ODA-funded Research (SCOR) Board was established in 2017 to provide high-level coherence for UK ODA research. BEIS is represented on the SCOR board by the Director of International Science and Innovation at BEIS.
The Global Challenges Research Fund is supported by the Strategic Advisory Group which advises the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy on the strategic development and delivery of the fund. It is chaired by Dame Judith Macgregor and UK Research and Innovation acts as its secretariat.

UK investment is supporting research and innovation in at least 73 countries through the Newton Fund and Global Challenges Research Fund.
All countries are on the DAC list of ODA recipients, which means they are eligible to receive official development assistance (ODA). These consist of all Low and Middle Income Countries (LMICs) based on gross national income (GNI) per capita as published by the World Bank.

The 0.7% commitment means that the UK Aid budget tracks the overall performance of the UK economy. To deliver the 0.7%, the UK Government bases spending plans on independent forecasts of the economy made by the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR).

No. The key to ODA compliance is what the primary purpose of the research is and where the benefits of the research are expected to be experienced, not where it takes place.
The primary purpose of any Newton Fund or GCRF research project must be to promote the economic development and welfare of a country or countries on the DAC list.
Any benefit to the UK or any other non-DAC list country can only be a secondary consideration.

BEIS ODA-funded research and innovation is designed to help reduce poverty by generating and putting into use knowledge and technology to address development challenges and advance development for the world’s poorest people and countries.

BEIS research and innovation ODA enables the UK’s world-leading research and innovation base to help address challenges faced by developing countries, such as combating antimicrobial resistance, ensuring food and nutrition security, and building resilience to natural disasters.
BEIS, alongside the FCDO and Defra also invest in UK International Climate Finance (ICF), which plays a crucial role in addressing Climate change.

Yes, the Newton Fund* and GCRF investments are classed and reported as official development assistance.

All UK Aid (Official Development Assistance) complies with the international standards set by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The primary consideration of any ODA activity is that it must promote the economic development and welfare of developing countries as its main objective.

*Under the Newton Fund, the UK’s ODA investment is matched by investment and resources from partner countries but only the UK’s portion of the investment is classed and reported as ODA.

UK Aid or Official Development Assistance (ODA) is funding provided by official agencies around the world, including the UK government, to promote the economic development and welfare of developing countries. 

Research and innovation can lead to economic growth and play a decisive role in delivering the Sustainable Development Goals. In recent decades, significant progress has been made in improving people’s health, making the world a better place for women, designing laws that foster open and just societies, and protecting our planet. 

The Newton Fund and Global Challenges Research Fund and are an integral part of the UK’s strategy to address key development challenges such as human health, food security and climate change. 

Our funds aim to deliver the UK aid strategy by:

  • strengthening global peace, security and governance
  • strengthening resilience and response to crises
  • promoting global prosperity
  • tackling extreme poverty and helping the world’s most vulnerable