Our researchers work in partnership with communities across the world to tackle some of the globe’s most pressing health, environmental and social challenges.

From South Pacific islands to major cities, our academics collaborate with governments and local people to achieve sustainable impactful results.

We are harnessing funds from the £1.5 billion Global Challenges Research Fund to support our work.

At all times, we are guided by the principles of respectful and equal partnership in the co-design of research. Our work also contributes to the delivery of the - a universal call for action designed to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all.

Find out more about our approach to global challenges research

Meet some of our academic experts

Samarthia Thankappan

Dr Thankappan has research interests in sustainability in the agri-food and automotive sectors. Also the impact of climate change policy on business. She is involved in a York-led, BBSRC project focusing on developing more drought-tolerant rice cultivars for growers in rain-fed areas of India.

Paul Gready

Human rights specialist Professor Gready has research interests in transitional justice and the impact of development and culture on human rights. He worked for international human rights organisations, including Amnesty International in East and South Africa and India. Currently leads projects on transformative justice and development alternatives.

Neil Bruce

A major focus of Professor Neil Bruce's research is to understand how plants and microorganisms metabolise pollutants. He is particularly interested in utilising the enzymes he discovers for industrial and environmental applications, including the use of enzymes to convert crop residues into more valuable products.

Kate Pickett

Professor Pickett鈥檚 research focuses on the social determinants of health including the influences of social class and income inequality. She is co-author of The Spirit Level, a best-selling book which explores the effects of inequality, is co-founder of the Equality Trust and is the University鈥檚 Research Champion for Justice and Equality.

Bob Doherty

Fair trade, social enterprise and food system resilience specialist Bob Doherty is Professor of Marketing at the School for Business and Society and principal investigator of the University鈥檚 IKnowFood research programme. He also leads the AgriFood at York project, is a trustee of the Fairtrade Foundation and before moving into academia worked for Fairtrade brand Divine Chocolate.

Research snapshot: Breathing life into South Africa's jazz heritage

Researcher Jonathan Eato is helping South Africa鈥檚 young musicians reconnect with their remarkable pre-apartheid musical heritage.

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Explore more of our research

Supporting oil palm plantation biodiversity

New research suggests connected areas of high-quality forest running through oil palm plantations could help support increased levels of biodiversity.

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