School of Earth and Environment

SEE secures significant funding for Global Challenges Research

21.07.2017 - 11:47

Researchers from the School of Earth and Environment have played a major role in securing £16m of funding from the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF). 

Two major Global Challenges Research Council funded projects have been awarded to Leeds with both bids benefiting from strong leadership provided from staff within SEE. 

The first project called GCRF African Science for Weather Information and Forecasting Techniques (GCRF African SWIFT) was led by Professor Alan Blyth of the National Centre for Atmospheric Science and Professor Douglas Parker from the Institute for Climate and Atmospheric Science.  This project will aim to improve African forecasting capabilities on hourly and seasonal timescales, and to put in place a lasting research infrastructure that translates benefits to the wider developing world.

GCRF African SWIFT brings together a large team of UK based and African researchers in four African partner countries - Senegal, Ghana, Nigeria and Kenya.

Dr. John Marsham, Professor Andrew Dougill, Dr. Juliane Schwendike, Dr. Cathryn Birch and Dr. Andrea Taylor are also involved in this project, alongside a number of other key collaborators from the UK and Africa.

The second project was led by Professor Tim Benton (FBS) and is called GCRF AFRICAP which focusses on creating evidence-based policy to develop sustainable, productive, agricultural systems.  This research aims to support smallholding farmers in Africa, to meet food security and economic development needs.

It includes researchers from SRI, ICAS and ESSI (Dr. Claire Quinn, Dr. Stephen Whitfield, Dr. Susannah Sallu, Professor Andrew Challinor, Professor Steven Banwart, Professor Andrew Dougill, Dr. Cathryn Birch, Dr. Martin Dallimer) and also collaborators from the Met Office, Chatham House, University of Aberdeen and FANRPAN (African Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network).

These successes highlight that SEE and Leeds University are committed to tackling some of the greatest challenges facing societies across the globe.  It also demonstrates the ability of researchers in Leeds to assemble leading interdisciplinary teams.

Jo Johnson, Minister for Universities and Science announced the funding which forms part of a £225m package to support research across the UK.

Read more about the projects funded at the University of Leeds here

Press release from Research Councils UK here

For full list of GCRF funded projects see