Research at DFID
Information on research funding offered by the Department for International Development and its programme partners.
We are committed to commissioning world-class research that directly improves people’s lives. We also want to make the research we fund available to those who can use it around the world.
Here you read about the research projects we fund, the institutions and organisations we work with and how to learn more about the ethics and methods we use in our work.
Visit Research4Development (R4D) to learn more about DFID funded research
This is a free access on-line portal containing the latest information about research funded by DFID, including details of current and past research is over 35,000 project and document records.
Research we fund
We fund research that can lead to new technologies and better ways of helping the poorest people in the world. This includes:
- new drugs for malaria and sleeping sickness
- better diagnostic tests for tuberculosis
- vaccines for diseases of Africa cattle
- flood-resistant ‘scuba’ rice and drought-resistant crops
We fund studies that look at whether funding is being used as effectively as it could be. For example, the Development of Antiretroviral Therapy in Africa (DART) trial, co-funded with the Medical Research Council, showed that expensive laboratory testing in Africa can be scaled back without affecting the health of HIV patients. This saving should allow one third more people to receive antiretroviral treatment for the same cost. A trial of vitamin A supplementation showed it to be ineffective for pregnant women. Funding can now be better directed at other vulnerable groups.
Another area of research we fund looks at helping to improve governance and reduce corruption. For example, studies show that taxation, when properly applied, strengthens the relationship between a government and its taxpayers as well as promoting growth and raising revenue.
See all of the announcements on DFID-funded research.
Read real-life examples of how DFID-funded research is helping to tackle disease, hunger, poverty and climate change throughout the developing world.
Find out the programmes we support to get research into use
Who we work with on research projects
To gain the best possible results from our research we work with expert partners from the public and private sectors, including many of the world’s leading universities, UK research councils and foundations, other UK government departments and major multilateral agencies. We also work in product development partnerships with the private sector.
Open and enhanced access policy
Scientists, policy makers and humanitarian organisations in poor countries run into significant barriers when accessing research findings. They need better access to research outputs to let them build upon and use this knowledge. Therefore DFID has in place an open and enhanced access policy for the research that we fund.
Guidance on research and evidence
These are a selection of guidance notes for DFID staff and our research partners:
- How to note: assessing the strength of evidence – aims to help all DFID staff better appreciate the strength of the evidence that they are using to inform their policy and programming choices
- DFID ethics principles for research and evaluation – principles to support high standards of integrity in the research and evaluation we fund
- How to note: capacity building in research – provides guidance on improving the capability of organisations and individuals to do and use research
- Research uptake guidance – information on DFID’s approach to research uptake and advice for designing a research uptake strategy. An accompanying checklist can be found here