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Durham University

Research & business


Training the next generation of global problem solvers

(13 March 2019)

Researchers will be investigating landslides in Nepal

Tropical diseases, water and food security, and flooding are some of the issues being tackled by our new training centre dedicated to global challenges.

Durham University will receive £3m over three years from the Global Challenges Research Fund to train postgraduate students who will work on projects in developing countries.

Global challenges

Twenty-six research students from 17 different nations have been recruited to the Durham Global Challenges Centre for Doctoral Training.

Working with our experts across 15 departments in the Sciences, Social Sciences, and Arts and Humanities, the students will work to solve global problems through projects that include:

  • Improving rural housing in sub-Saharan Africa to help eliminate malaria;
  • Reducing flood risk to rice production in the Indian sub-continent;
  • Protecting children from air pollution in Indonesia;
  • Exploring links and opportunities between culture and science to reduce landslide risk in Nepal;
  • Decision making in subsistence farming among the Maya people of Central America in a time of climatic uncertainty;
  • Exploring how tourism and eco-agriculture can ease poverty in ethnic minority groups in South West China;
  • The politics and ethics of water security in Cape Town, South Africa;
  • Art and creativity in HIV/AIDS prevention initiatives among young people in Uganda.

Non-governmental organisations

Students will study in Durham and spend four to six months at a partner overseas university in the country their research is helping.

They will also have the chance to work with other groups such as non-governmental organisations.

Once their PhD is complete, it’s planned that students will return to their home countries to continue their work.

The Global Challenges Research Fund is a £1.5 billion fund as part of the UK’s Official Development Assistance commitment. It supports research that addresses challenges faced by developing countries.

Find out more

Durham Global Challenges Centre for Doctoral Training

Discover more about postgraduate research at Durham.

Learn about our other doctoral training partnerships.

The Global Challenges Research Fund.