Working together towards a better world

Launched in 2015 by the UK government, the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) supports projects that increase research capability in developing countries, at the same time addressing the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

As part of our Social Responsibility agenda, the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health (FBMH) is preparing a GCRF bid that will focus on post-conflict studies. To begin the bid process a preliminary key stakeholder workshop took place in October. The two-day workshop was hosted by Professor Mahesh Nirmalan, Vice Dean for Social Responsibility in FBMH, who has developed links across the world with researchers and practitioners that focus on improving medical care and care systems.

Day one of the workshop saw presentations by colleagues from Manchester and Salford universities on a range of topics including the connection between the environment and health, women and reproductive health in sub-Saharan Africa, and prosthetic sciences.

In the afternoon, it was the turn of researchers who originate and/or work in Uganda and Sri Lanka – the two post-conflict countries at the heart of the Manchester bid. Professor Angela Chimwaza, from the University of Malawi talked of the need for women as ambassadors for change in Africa, whilst Dr Panagamuwa told the amazing story of how he set up and delivered an outreach prosthetic limb service in Sri Lanka.

On day two, the 55 delegates formed smaller groups for in-depth discussions and activities based around service improvement, sustainability and legacy, and formulating research questions for the project. These discussions brought together people from many different research backgrounds, embodying the multidisciplinary nature of the GCRF.

The Manchester bid will be worked on over the next few months ready to be submitted to the GCRF funding body in the New Year.