Making science work for development

Our work

UKCDS members work across a wide range of activities related to international development, from funding projects to communicating results. 

Given the multi-disciplinary nature of science for development, the remit of UKCDS is broad and varied, covering all sciences and involving stakeholders in government, research organisations, higher education institutions and NGOs.

The UKCDS Secretariat brings the members together and creates a space for them to identify future research needs and share good practice. 

To find out more about the work of UKCDS members, and the details of how the Secretariat supports these activites, please click on a work theme below.


  • Our Research Capacity work brings together UK Funders and practitioners to share, learn, connect and improve practice in research capacity strengthening.

  • Our Research and Collaboration work brings our members and networks together to share knowledge and best practice in thematic areas (e.g. health, disasters) and on how to make cross-disciplinary collaboration work. 

  • Our Research Uptake and Impact work shares best practice to encourage the use of research for development.

  • Our Research Landscape analysis work involves mapping, foresight and analysis to support the best investments by the UK and LMICs.

Our latest work

Building partnerships of equals: the role of funders in equitable and effective international development research collaborations

With the increase of North-South research programmes around the world, ensuring equitable partnerships is vital to generate excellent...

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Cross collaborative research supporting climate change adaptation

The Adaptation at Scale in Semi-Arid Regions (ASSAR) project aims to produce future-focused and relevant local knowledge to support climate change...

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Briefing paper: REF2021 and Development Research

The Research Excellence Framework is undertaken by the four UK higher education funding bodies to assess the quality and impact of research in UK...

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Striking the Balance: Between Competition, Collaboration & Impact in International Development Research Funding Calls & Programmes

Research excellence and impact is achieved by balancing competition, collaboration and impact (CCI) in funding calls for international development...

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Five trends driving change in research for development

UKCDS has identified five key trends that will drive the research for development landscape over the coming decade, based on interviews and...

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Energy for Development Event

The UKCDS-USES Energy for Development workshop gathered over 80 delegates from academia, policy, business and funding organisations across sectors...

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Rapid mapping of UK and international funders' priorities in research capacity strengthening

UKCDS was asked by DFID to undertake a rapid mapping exercise of UK and international donors' priorities in ...

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Priorities, priorities

Priorities, priorities

The Secretariat’s work bringing together UK health funders with interests in international...

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UKCDS exploring international funders' approaches to capacity strengthening

UKCDS is carrying out a survey for the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and...

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What does the REF tell us about development impact?

The Research Excellence Framework 2014 is now a fading memory in the minds of many researchers and research managers, with the results having been...

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