This is the first in a short series of blogs reviewing where the Global Academy has got to after approximately 3 years. We will look at a number of indicators of our development.

This first indicator is an important measure which reflects not just the breadth of research undertaken by researchers in the Global Academy but also, importantly, the usefulness of the Academy website for other researchers seeking collaborators, for example.  

At the end of February 2023 the Global Academy included 575 researchers and has reached the point where only four of the 17 Global Goals have less than 50 researchers working on them – and in most cases they have a lot more. This is summarised in the Chart below which also shows how the number of researchers per Goal has changed over the past couple of years.  

The Goals that have not yet reached 50 researchers are: Goal 1 (49 researchers); Goal 7 (44); Goal 8 (44) and Goal 14 (45).

The number of researchers working on each Global Goal or SDG

But it’s more complicated than that…

Most researchers (60%) are working across more than one Goal, and there is significant variation between goals, but it can be clearly seen that there has been substantial growth in overall researchers working on ALL Goals in the past 12 months.  Goals 3, 4 & 13 now have more than 120 Global Academy researchers working on them.

Beneath this top level however, the pattern of second and third Goals identified by researchers is very interesting.  

Of the 575 Global Academy researchers in February 2023, 345 identified at least 2 Global Goals that their research was impacting and just under half (259) identified 3.  

The most interesting feature is that the ‘later’ Goals (Goals 13-17 in particular) which require collaborative ventures to be delivered, are much more likely (in some cases by a factor of 6 times!) to be identified as a secondary, rather than primary, Goal by researchers. One excellent example of this is Goal 13, Climate Action, which is identified as the primary Goal by 32 Global Academy researchers, but 153 researchers identify Goal 13 as one being impacted by their research.

Focus on Poverty

The reverse of this is also true though – there are SDGs where very few researchers have them as a secondary focus for their work. The extreme example of this is Goal 1 where no researchers at all consider this to be a secondary or third level impact area for their work. We need more researchers focusing on poverty – it is a critical area that impacts every nation in the world.