About GRIP

The Global Research Programme on Inequality (GRIP) is a radically interdisciplinary research programme that views inequality as both a fundamental challenge to human well-being and as an impediment to achieving the ambitions of the 2030 Agenda.

GRIP was established in 2019 as a collaboration between the University of Bergen (UiB) and the International Science Council (ISC) to foster co-designed processes of knowledge creation to understand the multiple dimensions of rising inequalities.

Since 1992, UiB has collaborated with the ISC (previously the International Social Science Council) to tackle poverty in the form of an earlier programme called Comparative Research Programme on Poverty. The programme focussed on working collaboratively with knowledge networks, institutions and scholars to promote research and policy exchange related to poverty.

Building on this legacy, GRIP aims to provide a framework facilitating collaboration across disciplines and knowledge systems around problems of inequality. This entails integrating partners and teams from across the world around a common research framework that reflects plural epistemic traditions, highlighting perspectives and concerns from the Global South.

Unless otherwise stated, all images are from Johnny Miller, Unequal Scenes


The Global Research Programme on Inequality (GRIP) is a research programme mandated jointly by the International Science Council and the University of Bergen through an agreement signed on the 15th of October 2019.

GRIP’s development is directed by our Board of Sponsors, which defines the mandate and general framework of GRIP. The Board of Sponsors includes the Rector of the University of Bergen and the President of the International Science Council.

The GRIP Development Team is responsible for developing plans for GRIP’s long-term activities, and guides and monitors GRIPs scientific and outreach activities. The Development Team reviews GRIP’s annual reports. The team also works to expand GRIP’s international network of researchers and organisations, and contributes to fundraising activities for the programme.

The GRIP Secretariat is located at the University of Bergen, Norway. The secretariat is responsible for the development and implementation of GRIP’s activities, defined under the guidance of the GRIP Development Team.

The University of Bergen Programme Committee represents various key departments and research environments at UiB. The tasks of the UiB Programme Committee will be to both communicate GRIP initiatives to the wider UiB research environment and, where relevant, to support and participate in GRIP activities.

Former CROP

The Comparative Research Programme on Poverty (CROP) was established in 1992 under the direction of Professor Else Øyen. Its secretariat has been hosted by the University of Bergen since 1993. As a highly active and multi-pronged research programme developed under various leaderships, CROP has served not only to shape truly global debates on poverty, but also to involve and strengthen key research in the global South. This pioneering and ground-breaking work, initiated by Else Øyen and undertaken by CROP, should be recognised for its many and important contributions. Furthermore, its critical approach to poverty has greatly influenced the point of departure for its successor—the Global Research Programme on Inequality (GRIP).

2018 was an important year for both the University of Bergen and the former International Social Science Council (ISSC), CROP’s two host organisations. On the one hand, ISSC merged with the International Council for Science (ICSU) to form the International Science Council (ISC)—an organisation that spans the scientific spectrum from the humanities to the natural sciences. Meanwhile, UiB was involved in its own process of re-thinking its research and outreach strategies. As part of this, the work and direction of CROP were addressed in order to re-align these with UiB’s global strategies.

After initial contacts between the newly created ISC and UiB, an exciting process to re-think CROP was initiated—a dynamic process lasting from the end of 2018 until a new contract to establish GRIP was signed on 15 October 2019.

To learn more about CROP and find the extensive publications and resources produced by the programme, please visit www.crop.org.