UKCDR publishes new report for research capacity strengthening

A new report explores ways to strengthen research capacity in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Research capacity strengthening is about developing people, building supporting infrastructure and a strong enabling environment for research.

Globally distributed research capacity is fundamental to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. A new report by the UK Collaborative on Development Research (UKCDR) lays out recommendations for funders on how to support impactful research capacity strengthening in low- and middle-income countries.

Research funded by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy through its Newton Fund and Global Challenges Research fund (GCRF) were highlighted in the UKCDR report as programmes in LMICs that have impact.

Growing Research Capacity (GROW) was launched in 2015 and has supported 37 projects. GCRF African SWIFT (The Science for Weather Information Forecasting Techniques) alongside CABANA are just two of the projects highlighted under this programme in the UKCDR report as they tackle a wide range of challenges and utilise a range of research capacity strengthening approaches.

The Newton Fund Leaders in Innovation Fellowships was another scheme highlighted in the report as successful for research capacity strengthening. The programme has been celebrated for its impact for in-country partners and the UK as lasting impacts can be found locally, regionally and internationally through entrepreneurs.

Alongside success stories, the report collates learning from funders, researchers, and practitioners in the UK and LMICs. 57 Stakeholders (49% from the UK, 4% from other European countries, 47% from LMICs) reflected on challenges and issues with supporting research capacity strengthening and identified examples of good practice to guide future investment.

Find out more about the report and see the recommendations for ensuring research capacity strengthening for future funding here: https:/

Useful links

  • Report: Research Capacity Strengthening: lessons from UK-funded initiatives in low- and middle-income countries
  • 2021 Briefing paper: UK funding landscape for research capacity strengthening in low- and middle-income countries
  • Impact case studies: Collection of seven case studies that highlight UK funded RCS programmes in LMICs that have had significant impact and demonstrate the value of coherence between UK funders.