Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC): Inviting applications for ‘AHRC Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) Urgency Grants pilot’ to support low or middle income countries meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Funding brief: Recognising the fast-moving nature of many of the challenges facing low or middle income countries (LMICs), the AHRC has launched this scheme to provide an accelerated funding outlet for urgent research priorities. Funded as a part of the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF), it is 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. Eligible projects must be fully compliant with the requirements of Official Development Assistance (ODA), addressing a development need or challenge with the potential to support low or middle income countries meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In addition, applications must demonstrate the case for urgency, explaining why the research needs to be done within specified time constraints that cannot be supported through other funding routes.

AHRC GCRF urgency grants allow arts and humanities researchers to respond rapidly to unexpected and transient events affecting international development, including (but not limited to) disasters, humanitarian emergencies, rapid radical political or economic change, changes to conflicts, major displacements of populations etc., or unanticipated time-limited opportunities for research to contribute to international development policy or practice.

AHRC urgency grants operate on an open date (no closing dates) responsive mode basis, i.e. applications may be submitted at any time during the life of the pilot scheme and on any subject within AHRC’s remit provided that they meet the scheme eligibility, including ODA compliance, criteria. However, in some circumstances, AHRC may issue highlight notices within the scheme to encourage applications in response to specific emergencies. Initially the scheme is being run for a pilot period up to October 2020 at which point they will review whether to continue or amend the terms of the scheme. Applications for AHRC urgency grants could fall under either of the two main categories below:
Research (including the collection, analysis or critical interpretation of data) into the short term impacts of / informing responses or resilience to or recovery from a range of specific events affecting Low or Middle Income countries (LMICs) which could not have been planned for in advance, such as:
o Cultural, humanitarian, political or economic emergences or crises and their impacts on issues such as cultural production /expression, equalities, marginalisation, vulnerabilities, social exclusion, etc.)
o Unexpected (de-)escalation or rapid changes to conflicts, human rights abuses, threats to human security, or peacebuilding processes
o Unanticipated large scale forced population displacement/ migrations
o Environmental disasters (both natural and/or resulting from human activity), e.g. earthquake, tsunami, volcanic eruption, hurricane, major pollution incident, dam collapse, etc.
o Famines, health emergences (e.g. disease outbreaks /pandemics); and/o
o Sudden large scale destruction of/damage to cultural heritage/assets

An unexpected opportunity to conduct substantive research over a period of months informing, observing or collecting data at, or to participate in (e.g. placements) a one-off time-limited major policy or practice event (e.g. a peacebuilding / reconciliation process, public inquiry, policy review process) which offer a substantial and unique opportunity for innovative research, research synthesis and/or knowledge exchange relating to international development and/or directly relating to development in one or more LMIC.

The following situations will not be accepted as grounds for an urgency proposal:
Proposals without clear research context, aims, objectives, added-value and outcomes or where the prime focus of activities is not directly related to research;
Additional / unexpected pathways to impact activities up to £30,000 fEC from past / current AHRC projects which could be considered through the accelerated route under the AHRC’s Follow-on Scheme for Impact and Engagement (applications for £30k-100k can be considered where existing FoF timetables would not provide decisions in sufficient time to meet the research need / opportunity);
Unforeseen opportunities to participate in time-limited / one-off/ short logistical events, such as a particular cultural, arts, experimental or observational programme /event / exhibition/ performance, or to exploit the unexpected availability of staff or facilities;
Events where planning could have allowed support for study via published funding opportunities, such as anniversaries, commemorations, seasonal, relatively frequent, annual or periodic events, regular festivals, future planned exhibitions or where the urgency results from a slow response by the applicants in preparing proposals or plans;
Attendance at, or organisation of, academic conferences/ workshops;
Replacement funding for activities for which funding has unexpectedly been withdrawn, although it is recognised that the withdrawal of funding could in some cases create an unexpected urgent research need or opportunity;
Proposals for infrastructure or facilities (e.g. building repairs or reconstruction) (although research could inform such activities funded through other sources) or primarily concerned with heritage conservation/ preservation activities, although urgent research / data collection activities linked to heritage which has unexpectedly become ‘at risk’ may be considered;
Proposals which do not lead to open access publications, data or other research outcomes (for example, where the prime outputs or data are solely intended for internal use by a partner organization);
Responding to unexpected research findings or continuation of existing projects, unless this would also meet the urgency criteria outlined in this call.

In addition, a research application may not be deemed appropriate for urgency funding where it could hinder emergency response/humanitarian efforts or there are judged to be unacceptably high safety and/or security risks to researchers and/or potential research participants and/or where research would potentially exacerbate gender or other inequalities. AHRC reserves the right to limit the number of urgency proposals considered or supported relating to the same event or location and/or to encourage collaboration between researchers submitting similar EOIs. AHRC will not accept more than one urgency proposal from an individual investigator in a one-year period.

Donor Name: Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)
Funding name: AHRC Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) Urgency Grants pilot

Deadline: This Pilot Scheme will close to new expressions of interest at 1600 hours on 31st, October, 2020.

Funding details link: Click to view

Funding limit: Applications for full economic costs up to £150,000 for a period of up to 12 months may be submitted at any time during the period of the pilot scheme.

Special Notes: Please contact with the donor directly for further clarification and understanding.

Project start date: Not Found

Project duration: Up to 12 months

Eligible organization: As below

Inter-disciplinary boundary-crossing proposals are welcomed, including those proposals that cross Research Council remits. Where proposals extend beyond the AHRC’s subject remit, they should ensure that they bring arts and humanities research expertise and distinctive arts and humanities research concepts, ideas and/or approaches centrally into the development of relevant crossdisciplinary fields. In order to be considered under this pilot call applications must draw significantly on relevant arts and humanities research literature, context and concepts or approaches and include significant research expertise within the remit of the AHRC.
Unless otherwise stated, the eligibility criteria as published of the AHRC Research Funding Guide will apply.
Submission of an urgency grant proposal is only permitted if relying on other published funding opportunities would clearly result in a missed opportunity to undertake high quality arts and humanities research of importance and significance to international development and the welfare of communities in low or middle income countries.
Proposals must fully meet the requirements for ODA compliance and an ODA compliance statement and gender equalities statement must be provided with full proposals.
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.
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.
In some cases urgency funding may be channelled through current AHRC awards such as Network Plus where the Network Plus may fund an LMIC-led proposal. In such cases the Network Plus would need to submit an application in collaboration with the proposed LMIC lead organisation.
Applicants led by UK research organisations where substantial amounts of funded activity is being undertaken by LMIC partners, will need to provide assurance, in consultation with their research organisation, that relevant and proportionate due diligence checks have either already been completed (e.g. existing partner organisation) or can be completed on an accelerated basis. A risk based approach should be undertaken taking into account the levels of funding involved, previous track record of the partners and potential to deploy risk management measures. Similarly assurances must be provided that safeguarding, ethical, risk and safety assessments can be conducted/ accelerated within the timeframes required to deliver the research, without compromising on safeguarding, ethical, safety, due diligence and risk management standards.

Criteria: Urgency proposals are assessed using the following criteria:
Fit to call, including case for urgency funding, ODA compliance and potential for distinctive arts and humanities research contributions;
Research contribution and importance – potential for the research to make a significant and original contribution to knowledge, understanding, data and/or research capabilities and to add significant value to existing research;
Research expertise and partnerships –extent to which the proposal provides a convincing case that the individuals/ organisations / partners involved are appropriate for undertaking the proposed activities and that it will promote equitable partnerships and ways of working;
Feasibility of proposed activities / methods, including appropriate plans for addressing risks, safeguarding, due diligence and gender (and where appropriate wider) equalities, effective management arrangements and a realistic project plan;

Eligible Country: Low- and Middle-Income Countries (LMIC)

Submission mail: Not found

Other important link:
● Apply: Click to view
● Guideline: Click to view
About: Click to view

How to apply: All Expressions of Interest (EOI) must be submitted through Smart Survey using this link:

Applicants that are invited to submit a full proposal will need to open a new application in Je-S. (

Prospective applicants should first submit an expression of interest to the AHRC to ascertain its suitability for consideration under the urgency mechanism before submitting a full proposal for consideration under the urgency scheme.
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