The Story of GCID

GCID was founded 2006 by Professor Peter Holmes. The goal was to create a way to connect people from different disciplines and working in different departments across the university who were all interested in the challenges faced by developing countries. Successfully bridging across disciplinary barriers through seminars and informal discussions, GCID established itself as a successful incubator for interdisciplinary and innovative research and capacity strengthening initiatives. From the capacity-strengthening AfriqueOne programme "Expanding Frontiers in Health" that Glasgow participated in with several African partners to the BacZoo programme exploring bacterial zoonoses in northern Tanzania, to work on disaster response in Pakistan, GCID members established and continued to develop long-standing partnerships with local collaborators around the globe throughout the early years of the network.

In 2009, Professor John Briggs became the Director of GCID and we focussed on strengthening our ongoing partnerships, including with other organizations in Scotland concerned with global poverty reduction. We began to work more closely with the Scottish Government International Development Department and with the Department for International Development (now the Foreign, Comonwealth and Development Office), and continued to emphasize our unique ‘Glasgow’ predisposition to work collaboratively and inter-disciplinarily which forms the basis of our success. We built on our previous funding successes: the AfriqueOne programme began phase two (AfriqueOne ASPIRE) and BacZoo laid the foundation for two new large awards (Social, Economic and Environmental Drivers of Zoonoses and the Molecular Epidemiology of brucellosis in northern Tanzania projects). By 2015, the Scottish Government reported that Glasgow was the leading holder of international development research income with £32m of £70m awarded across Scotland.

The Global Challenges Research Fund offered more opportunities to expand our activities and continue to work with our long-term partners in addition to creating new connections and exploring new ways of working. The Sustainable Futures in Africa network began investigating new ways of working with communities on environmental sustainability, a project on Novel Low-Cost Diagostics and their Impact in Africa developed new tools for the front-line of disease management, and the GCRF Centre for Sustainable, Healthy and Learning Cities and Neighbourhoods launched, working with long-standing and new collaborative partners to address the challenges caused by large-scale rural to urban migration. 

In 2017, Professor Dan Haydon took over the Directorship of GCID and our core philosophy of equitable and interdisciplinary partnerships as the key to success continues to form the basis of our activity. Our vision is to bring people and ideas together in new ways from across disciplines and sectors, enabling and inspiring transformational research within an international context, and to create a free-thinking, collaborative environment to attract, stimulate and enable interdisciplinary and world-changing research that engages and connects our University with global communities.

Our role as a connector for different disciplines and sectors is now more important than ever, as interdisciplinary and inter-sectoral approaches are increasingly recognized as necessary for addressing complex global challenges. If you'd like to learn more about our activity, we promote events relevant for the sector (see our Events page), we have a mailing list where we circulate updates and opportunities (e-mail gcidadmin@glasgow.ac.uk to be added) and we collate relevant resources from (see our Resources page). If you work for a non-profit, a government agency, or an educational institution overseas and are seeking collaborators here at Glasgow, please e-mail Mary.Ryan@glasgow.ac.uk to see if we have researchers working on your topic of interest.