Santander Universities

Santander Universities

UCL began its partnership with Santander Universities in 2007 and was one of the very first UK universities to become a member of the Santander Universities network.

The partnership provides UCL students and staff with numerous benefits and opportunities which range from study abroad experiences to awards for non-academic achievement.

Santander Universities began its activity in Spain in 1997 with one main objective: to support higher education. Since then, Santander has donated over £500m to help provide students with opportunities to help them to become tomorrow’s leaders. Santander Universities is a global network of around 1,000 universities from 17 countries - Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, China, Colombia, Germany, Mexico, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Russia, Singapore, Spain, United Kingdom, Uruguay and USA.

Each year, around 40 UCL students benefit from Santander scholarships and awards. Funding is also available to support UCL staff to establish partnerships with universities in the Santander Universities network.

And, of course, all UCL students and staff are able to access the special banking deals offered to those studying or working at a member of the Santander Universities network.

For more information about Santander Universities at UCL please visit our further information webpage or the Santander Universities website

Current opportunities

UCL Research Catalyst Awards – Special Round

UCL Office for International Affairs is delighted to announce the newest round of UCL Research Catalyst Awards, proudly sponsored by Santander Universities.

The awards have run successfully since 2011 and have supported over 40 academic visits to Latin American universities to support development of research collaboration. 


  • To foster research collaboration between UCL and universities in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Mexico.
  • The awards, funded by Santander Universities, are available to cover the travel, accommodation and subsistence costs associated with focused visits to potential research collaborators.
  • The visits should be aimed at achieving a specific outcome that will support future research collaboration (for example, a joint seminar, workshop, funding application etc).


  • Up to £2,500 per visit participant is available.
  • A maximum of two participants in a single visit will be supported.


  • UCL academic staff holding the position Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, Reader or Professor (or the Clinical equivalent) are eligible to apply.
  • UCL Researchers holding the position ‘Research Associate’ and above are eligible to apply.
  • Staff holding honorary positions and PhD students are not eligible.

Criteria against which applications will be assessed

  • The strength of the existing relationship with the university to be visited. Visits aimed at advancing a nascent research relationship will be preferred.
  • Longer term impact including potential for future research collaboration.
  • The likelihood of achieving the intended outcome/s.
  •  A well developed rationale and clear plan for collaboration.
  • The extent of UCL’s existing links with the university/ies to be visited – special consideration will be given to applications proposing collaboration with one or more of the following institutions:

    • Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
    • Universidad de Chile
    • Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
    • El Colegio de México
    • Universidad de Los Andes, Colombia
    • Universidad Nacional de Colombia
    • Universidad de São Paulo
    • Universidade Estadual de Campinas – UNICAMP
    • Pontificia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro.
  • Whether the university/ies to be visited are included in the Santander Universities network in the specified countries.
  • Only those applications which propose to undertake activity in the 2015-16 academic year will be considered. 

Assessment of proposals

Proposals will be assessed by a Selection Panel, Chaired by the Pro-Vice-Provost (Americas) and comprised of the following:

  • Pro-Vice-Provost for the Americas (Chair)
  • A nominee of the Vice-Provost (International)
  • A nominee of the Vice-Provost (Research)
  • A nominee of the Pro-Provost for the Doctoral School.

Award administration and requirements

  • Participants will be advised of the value of the UCL Research Catalyst award that has been granted.
  • Participants should undertake their visit by the end of the 2015-16 academic year.
  • Payment of the award will be made in arrears and based on actual costs incurred (up to a maximum of the value of the award granted).
  • Payment will be into a UCL departmental account. Participants will need to indicate on their applications the departmental account code and point of contact that is to be used for this purpose.
  • The payment of awards directly into participants’ bank accounts will not be possible.
  • All claims for reimbursement of departmental accounts must be received within one month of the visit’s completion. Receipts should be provided wherever practical.
  • A written report on the visit must be submitted to the Office for International Affairs within one month of the visit’s completion. A report template will be provided by OfIA for this purpose. 
  • Full details of the award and the visit, including the names of participants, any photographs of the visit etc., will be shared with Santander Universities. The details may also be publicised on the UCL website. Permission from all participants in a visit, to allow this use of information, is a condition of acceptance of the award.

To apply for the award

If you wish to apply for a UCL Research Catalyst Award, please download and complete an application form and return it to

The deadline for applications is 9am (BST), Monday 27 July 2015. Applicants will be notified on the outcome of their application by mid/late August.

If you require further information or have any queries, please contact Ciarán Moynihan, Partnership Officer, Office for International Affairs at