Global Challenges Research Fund: cities and infrastructure

Category: Calls

24 May 2017

The British Academy has launched a call under the banner of the Global Challenges Research Fund, part of the UK's spending towards developing low-middle income countries.

The call is managed by BA on behalf of all the National Academies, and based around the theme of Cities and Infrastructure. It's a competitive call for proposals.

Proposals must be led by a researcher based at a UK institution, but must also have its primary impact in a country defined as developing (eligible for Overseas Development Assistance).

Awards of around £300,000 will be available through this call, and projects should start in September 2017. The deadline for applications is Wednesday 14 June 2017.

An interdisciplinary approach should be used by proposals to this call, and, according to the Academy, projects must address one or more of the following themes.

a) Planning: In the context of the large, dispersed and unplanned cities of the global south, planning for resilience becomes a matter of collaborative initiative involving a host of actors and sentient infrastructures. This requires mobilising plural and interdisciplinary knowledge, both for understanding and for acting in intelligent ways.

b) People: Human vulnerability and resilience go hand in hand. The poor are deprived in plural ways, but also forced to become resilient subjects, making use of the city and their know-how in imaginative ways.

c) Infrastructure: Cities are held together by infrastructures, which also instantiate and regulate social life in quite strong ways. In the global south the infrastructures are broken, incomplete, badly regulated, underfunded and often reliant on vernacular improvisations. Technical solutions alone will go only so far, and are expensive.

d) Habitat: The urban habitat is central to resilience, in the form of lived experience, the consequences of emissions and heating, the formation of symbolic and public culture, the consequences of urban architecture and design. This is an obvious terrain for interdisciplinary work on jointly making sense of how habitats can be managed as a silent form of 'atmospheric' regulation.

RIDO believe this is a rare an exciting opportunity to bring many disciplines to bear on a range of exciting challenges. We strongly encourage you to build a research team and start putting together a proposal.

We're here to help if you want to chat about your ideas!



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