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Global Challenge Exploration Awards

No current calls

A key enabling activity in developing the Global Challenge Programme, especially in the creation of Networks, is early-stage exploration of challenge-led priorities and identification of where STFC-funded capabilities could be applied to help provide solutions to these. The Global Challenge Exploration Awards scheme provides a mechanism for Research Organisations to undertake early stage enabling activities aimed at identifying and exploring the potential of STFC-funded research to contribute to solutions to Global Challenges.

Funding may be used to:

  • Engage with potential users at the STFC-Global Challenge interface to identify their research priorities and matching STFC capabilities
  • Identify existing and potential applications of STFC-funded research to the Global Challenges

Proposals may cover any topic of relevance to the Global Challenges. The scheme will provide funds of up to £20k to be used for:

  • Interdisciplinary workshops, exchange visits or other appropriate activities to help STFC-funded researchers to engage with potential users (academic or non-academic) of research in the Global Challenge Theme areas, in order to identify user priorities and matching STFC-funded capabilities
  • Identification and review of past, current and potential future applications of STFC-funded capability to Global Challenge Solutions within a department or Research Organisation in order to identify potential new projects and demonstrate impact

The aim is to contribute to the community’s and STFC’s knowledge of the Global Challenge landscape, inform strategy and provide evidence of impact.

Please refer to the Guidance Notes below for further information and how to apply.

Previous awards


  • Global Challenge applications for silicon multistrip sensors from the ATLAS detector in the Large Hadron Collider – Bart Hommels, Department of Physics, University of Cambridge
  • Past, current and future applications of STFC spintronics capability – Geoff McBride, STFC & Michael Simmons, University of Cambridge


  • Advances in Intraoperative Nuclear Imaging meeting – John Lees, Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Leicester
  • Cities Analytics Workshop – Erica Yang, Scientific Computing Department, STFC
  • Medical imaging applied to cancer, ageing/neurodegeneration, and cardiovascular disease - Keith Dingwall, SUPA
  • Interactive Radiotherapy Image Simulator (IRIS) Dissemination Workshops - Mohammad Al Sa’d, Department of Physics, University of Cambridge

Science and Technology Facilities Council Switchboard: 01793 442000