Glacial lake outburst floods (GLOFs) are among the most concerning consequences of retreating glaciers in mountain ranges worldwide. GLOFs have attracted significant attention amongst scientists and practitioners in the past 2 decades, with particular interest in the physical drivers and mechanisms of GLOF hazard and in socioeconomic and other human-related developments that affect vulnerabilities to GLOF events. This increased research focus on GLOFs is reflected in the gradually increasing number of papers published annually. This study offers an overview of recent GLOF research by analysing 594 peer-reviewed GLOF studies published between 2017 and 2021 (Web of Science and Scopus databases), reviewing the content and geographical focus as well as other characteristics of GLOF studies. This review is complemented with perspectives from the first GLOF conference (7–9 July 2021, online) where a global GLOF research community of major mountain regions gathered to discuss the current state of the art of integrated GLOF research. Therefore, representatives from 17 countries identified and elaborated trends and challenges and proposed possible ways forward to navigate future GLOF research, in four thematic areas: (i) understanding GLOFs – timing and processes; (ii) modelling GLOFs and GLOF process chains; (iii) GLOF risk management, prevention and warning; and (iv) human dimensions of GLOFs and GLOF attribution to climate change.