Global Research Council

2 June 2022

The Global Research Council is a virtual organization, comprised of the heads of science and engineering funding agencies from around the world, dedicated to promoting the sharing of data and best practices for high-quality collaboration among funding agencies worldwide.

The worldwide growth of public support for research has presented an opportunity for countries large and small to work in concert across national borders.  Cooperation and collaboration can enhance the quality of science, avoid unnecessary duplication, provide economies of scale, and address issues that can only be solved by working together.  Research funding agencies have a responsibility to meet these objectives on behalf of the research communities. 

The purposes of the Global Research Council thus are sixfold: 

  1. To improve communication and cooperation among funding agencies;
  2. To promote the sharing of data and best practices for high-quality research cooperation;
  3. To provide a forum for regular meetings of the Heads of Research Councils;
  4. To respond to opportunities and to address issues of common concern in the support of research and education;
  5. To be a resource for those institutions wishing to build a world-class research landscape;
  6. To explore mechanisms that support the global science enterprise and the worldwide research community.

Governing Board

GRC participants confer on the Governing Board's primary responsibility for:

  • Developing the appropriate processes and identifying procedures required for all GRC activities
  • Identifying priority work areas for GRC activities
  • Determining the host countries for GRC Annual and Regional Meetings
  • Defining the roles and responsibilities of the two Co-Chairs of the Executive Support Group as well as the Executive Secretary
  • Amending the terms of the GRC’s foundational document

The Governing Board consists of up to twelve heads of national research councils that are active participants in the GRC. Ex officio members can be added by the members of the Governing Board. The Governing Board members are elected for three years, and successive terms are possible. Nomination and selection of the twelve regular Governing Board members is the responsibility of each of the five world regions according to the following numbers:

  • Three from the Americas
  • Three from the Asia-Pacific
  • Three from Europe
  • One from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA)
  • Two from Sub-Saharan Africa
Ana Franchi
(Vice Chair)
President, National Scientific and Technical Research Council

Alejandro Adem
(Vice Chair)

President, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC)

Eduardo Ortega-Barría
(ex officio)

National Secretary,
Secretaría Nacional de Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación (SENACYT)

Sethuraman Panchanathan

Director, National Science Foundation (NSF)
United States



Susumu Satomi President, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS)
Prue Williams General Manager Science Investments, Ministry of Business,
Innovation and Employment (MBIE)
New Zealand
Wiparat De-ong

Executive Secretary, National Research Council of Thailand (NRCT)


Marc Schiltz President of Science Europe
Chief Executive Officer of the Luxembourg National Research Fund (FNR)
Katja Becker
President, German Research Foundation (DFG)
Mark Ferguson Director General of Science Foundation Ireland (SFI)
Munir Eldesouki President, King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST)
Saudi Arabia
Sub-Saharan Africa  
Yaya Sangare Executive Secretary of the Strategic Support Programme
for Scientific Research (PASRES)
Ivory Coast
Fulufhelo Nelwamondo

Chief Executive Officer of the National Research Foundation (NRF)
South Africa