Global geoscience

BGS Research

BGS Global

The BGS an established presence on the international stage with access to expert staff experienced in working overseas. We continue to develop a strong portfolio of institutional strengthening programmes and applied research projects across a wide variety of sectors, including capacity building, resource identification and management, and engineering geoscience solutions.

These underpin the UK’s contribution to addressing the global challenges including the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), COP 2015 and the 2015 Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.

We aim to develop long-standing partnerships in a range of countries, with co-design of research and capacity building programmes that include work on survey and monitoring, data systems and processes, and hazard risk management. This work supports:

  • realisation of sustainable benefits from their natural resources
  • improvements to the quality of life through improved access to water, food and energy
  • community understanding and management of natural hazard and risk
  • contributions to global environmental change
  • the development of sustainable and resilient cities

Our international programme is delivered through three key areas:

We have established programmes in Africa and across Asia, and we are strategically building opportunities in South and Central America. Much of our work in Africa is focused on capacity building and on natural resources and natural hazards whilst our work in Asia focuses on cities, groundwater and natural hazards. European programmes are embedded within the science challenge areas.

With UK Government support, we proactively work to build development programmes and business opportunities with counterparts in the FCDO, the Department for International Trade (DIT) and, where appropriate, with consultants, universities and private sector organisations to provide additional specialist skills.

The strength and success of BGS Global’s geoscience depends upon effective international relations and collaborative research partners.

Across the BGS, our recent and ongoing competitively won research grants with a wide range of UK and overseas funders and partners currently cover countries and institutions around the globe.

Current large ODA-related grant projects include:


The BGS is also active within a number of global initiatives and institutions including:


We act in an advisory capacity to large projects including the recent EU/Organisation of African Geological Surveys-funded PanAfGeo.

We have a number of Memoranda of Understanding and research agreements, which facilitate research engagement and support ongoing project work.

We provide a wide range of research publications, reports and articles extending back many decades, which are continually updated via ongoing data capture prioritised to Development Assistance Committee (DAC) countries.

BGS data holdings for countries are extensive and we are exploring routes to capture and release this data, with ongoing projects in Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda and Uganda.

Our research

Partnerships for development

Partnerships for Development

The main aim of our Partnerships for Development work was to support our partner countries in developing sustainable extractives sectors.

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Official Development Assistance

Our vision is to deliver new research, underpinning datasets and capacity building via three research platforms working across 13 countries.

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Rift Valley

Integrated resource management in Eastern Africa

Our current activities build on the BGS’s extensive research experience in this region, contributing to welfare and future economic growth by the responsible use of natural resources.

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Resilience of Asian cities

Our research aims to improve city resilience by integrating geology into urban subsurface planning and urban-catchment science in India and south-east Asia

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Pyroclastic flow engulfing a house in Monserrat

Global geological risk

Our research focuses on characterising complex, multi-hazard processes with the aim of improving resilience of communities to hazards.

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Hoa Binh Dam, Da River

International catchment observatories

The BGS is currently setting up a pilot-scale observatory to serve Hanoi, Vietnam, in the context of hazards and resilience to those hazards.

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