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UCL Grand Challenges

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Cultural Understanding

The UCL Grand Challenge of Cultural Understanding looks at the differing, complex and evolving relationships between people, communities and culture.

As the world becomes ever more interconnected, the way we understand each other’s religions, politics and heritage will determine how well we adapt to future challenges. Events and research projects supported by this Grand Challenge have touched on the role of religious communities, urban migration, how social media is changing cultural understanding and the ways that technology is forcing traditional practices to evolve. Find out about some of the projects we have supported so far and what impact they have had.

The Grand Challenge of Cultural Understanding has supported UCL researchers to make new and intense collaborations across a whole range of disciplines at the university while supporting this research and scholarship to achieve real-world influence. 

Cultural Understanding is one of six UCL Grand Challenges – find out more about how the whole programme works.

Our work so far

Schoolchildren in Nepal

Since 2011, the Grand Challenge of Cultural Understanding has brought together UCL researchers to explore the relationships between people, communities and culture. This Grand Challenge has looked at the future of culture, including the likely effects of rapidly changing technology. It has used workshops, events and films to ask questions about religion, history and cultural integration. Find out more about what we have done

Get involved/funding opportunities

Jennifer Hall Malawi

As a researcher at UCL, you can get involved with the Grand Challenge of Cultural Understanding. We can support you to make connections across the University and see your research go further, for example through Small Grants, major projects, and roundtables and workshops. Find out more about how you can get involved


Who we are

Find out more about the people behind the Grand Challenge of Cultural Understanding, including our academic leaders.

Contact us

Get in touch with the Grand Challenge of Cultural Understanding with your suggestions, questions and ideas.