UKRI-GCRF Early Child Education

The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), on behalf of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), are inviting applications focussed on Early Childhood Education in low and middle income country contexts. Funding has been allocated from the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF), which is a £1.5 billion fund to support cutting-edge research which addresses the problems faced by developing countries.

Research proposals are invited to focus on a broad range of inter-related ECE topics that span from the exploration of quality early learning settings and pedagogical approaches to options for supporting caregivers (in both formal and informal settings) and the professional development of ECE staff. Proposals should speak directly to the noted complexities of investing in early childhood years by being problem-focused and interdisciplinary, bringing together relevant stakeholders to tackle problems collaboratively.

Proposals should aim to deliver evidence that policymakers and practitioners need to address ECE challenges in this context. They should therefore be theoretically driven and contextually aware; bring together relevant disciplines to address the education challenges, in order to heighten potential impact and demonstrate effective pathways for research and evidence uptake. Applicants should think broadly about the potential impact of their research, including in sectors beyond education, and include measures for this where appropriate.

Funding of £2 million (100% fEC) is available for projects of up to 24 months in duration.


Intent to submit forms should be submitted online by 25 March 2019.

Full proposals should be submitted using the Je-S system by the deadline of 1 May 2019 (16:00).

Projects should commence by 1 January 2020.

ESRC Call Announcement