Global Innovation Initiative grant

Scientist in lab

Important notice

This year's Global Innovation Initiative grant competition has now closed. Thank you for your interest.

What is the Global Innovation Initiative?

The Global Innovation Initiative (GII) is a shared commitment of the United Kingdom and the United States to strengthen research collaboration between universities in the UK, US, and selected countries. Consistent with the vision set by the UK Prime Minister David Cameron and US President Barak Obama in joint statements signed in 2011 and 2012, the Global Innovation Initiative was created to support multilateral research collaboration to address global challenges.  GII was announced by US Secretary of State John Kerry and UK Foreign Secretary William Hague in June 2013 and was formally launched in the UK in October 2013 by the Rt. Hon David Willetts MP, Minister for Universities and Science. The genesis of the initiative can also be traced to the publication in 2009 of a report developed by a team of higher education leaders from both countries: Higher Education and Collaboration in Global Context: Building a Global Civil Society (PDF).

GII will award grants to university consortia focusing on interdisciplinary science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM)-related issues of global significance that foster cutting-edge multinational research and strengthen international partnerships. The grants are intended to bring mutual benefit to higher education institutions in the UK, US and selected countries with emerging economies through the enhancement of institutional ties and the development of multilateral relationships. 


Proposals that address the following STEM-related themes will be accepted for the first year’s competition:

  • Energy, environment and climate change
  • Agriculture, food security and water
  • Global health and wellbeing
  • Urbanisation


New or existing research partnerships comprised of at least one higher education institution in the UK, the US, and at least one select country are invited to apply for a Global Innovation Initiative grant.

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the US Department of State have identified the following four emerging economies as designated countries for the first year of the Global Innovation Initiative:

  • Brazil
  • China
  • India
  • Indonesia

Institutions from these countries must be attached to either a UK or US-led proposal to be deemed eligible.

How to apply

Two parallel grant competitions will be offered in the UK and the US.  Partnerships must identify either a UK or US-lead institution, which will be responsible for the application submission, grant reporting and fiduciary requirements. Partnerships led by a UK institution must apply through the UK competition administered by the British Council, and those led by a US institution must apply through the US competition administered by the Institute of International Education. 

A higher education institution may be involved in multiple, distinct proposals but cannot submit the same proposal through both the UK and US application streams.

The guidelines, application and budget template are below. Please read through the guidelines carefully. 

Important dates

Grant Competition opens: 28 October 2013

Grant Competition closes: 16 December 2013

View the Call for Proposal guidelines (PDF) below.

Download the Budget Template (Excel) below.

For more information on the initiative, or for information about applying for the US competition, please see the Global Innovation Initiative website.