Research and knowledge exchange

International Development Challenge Fund & Sussex Sustainability Research Programme

A joint call of the International Development Challenge Fund and the Sussex Sustainability Research Programme Fund is now open for applications for research activities that specifically address challenges faced by developing countries.

Deadline: 12 noon, Monday 20 January 2020 

Background: This joint call of the IDCF and SSRP Fund is supported via two separate but complementary funding streams both of which focus on supporting research activities that specifically address challenges faced by developing countries:

 Purpose of the joint call:

  • The aim of the IDCF is to support interdisciplinary and collaborative research activities that specifically address challenges faced by developing countries.
  • The aim of the SSRP Fund is similar, namely to support substantive interdisciplinary research proposals which leads to further, external funding applications and which ultimately provide leverage in supporting national and international policies and actions to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 
  • Funded projects must be Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) compliant, which means that only research directly and primarily of benefit to the problems of developing countries can be funded.  These countries must be named on the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Development Assistance Committee (DAC) list of aid recipients.  However, a limited amount of support is available for UK-based projects that have a high potential for generating knowledge transferable to DAC countries.

 In order to meet the criteria for funding, proposed research activity should:

  • Be underpinned by research excellence,
  • Be focussed on problems faced by ODA/DAC countries and developing pathways to their solution,
  • Have a high likelihood of positive impact on the economic development and welfare needs of developing countries,
  • Promote strong, enduring and equitable partnerships between Sussex and DAC country academic communities.  Where possible, partners in developing countries should play a significant role in the research activity.

Types of activity:

  • Pump-priming challenge led activities
  • Capacity & capability building
  • Generating impact from research
  • Rapid response to emergencies 

Research Areas:

Applications must address one of the following Global Challenges Research Areas:

  • Equitable access to sustainable development
  • Sustainable economies and societies
  • Human rights, good governance and social justice

Consideration will also be given to the following SSRP themes:

  • SDG interactions in critical transition zones – peri-urban and forest margins.
  • The impact of economic globalization on SDG interactions and implementation.
  • Rights-based approaches to stimulate action on the SDGs
  • Novel tools and methods to support implementation of the SDGs
  • Planetary health, especially linking the health SDG with environmental-related SDGs
  • Sustainable supply chain management as an approach for achieving the SDGs
  • The interactions between agriculture and climate change in the SDGs.

Duration: Projects would normally be expected to begin within 2 months of notification and run for a maximum of 12 months. Projects are expected to start between March and May 2020.

Funding:  We envisage funding projects and activity across a range of size and scope.  As such, applicants can request funding for projects from between £1k-£25k.  See the fund specification below for eligible and ineligible costs.


  • Applications are welcome from academics and research staff from all disciplines.  We would like to see increased engagement with colleagues from Arts and Humanities, Engineering, Health Sciences, Maths and Physical Sciences, and Life Sciences.
  • Members of faculty on fixed-term contracts may apply if their existing employment contract extends beyond the proposed project.
  • IDS researchers can apply in collaboration with Sussex faculty, one of whom must be from an SSRP Core School (e.g. Global, Life Sciences, LPS or USBS). 

How to apply:
Further information on the fund and how to apply is available in the IDCF/SSRP specification and IDCF/SSRP application form.

Please note that applications require a statement of support from the PI's Director of Research and Knowledge Exchange. 




If you would like to discuss your application please contact Debbie Foy  (ext 3812) 

If you need help costing your proposal please contact Taryn Collins (ext 7447)