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UCL Grand Challenges

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Human Wellbeing

The UCL Grand Challenge of Human Wellbeing looks beyond traditional definitions of health and examines the wide range of disciplines that contribute to our sense of wellbeing. 

With researchers from areas as diverse as medical sciences, psychology and engineering, the Grand Challenge helps to address complex issues such as ageing, behaviour change and social interaction. As no single discipline ‘owns’ the concept of wellbeing, at UCL we bring together leading academics to collaborate on a question that affect us all: how do we improve people’s physical and emotional wellbeing?

This Grand Challenge has facilitated the UCL Festival of Ageing, a series of events looking at issues affecting older people. It was also a key driver in the creation of the UCL Centre for Behaviour Change, following UCL Behaviour Change Month, a period of intense collaborations and creative thinking held in 2012. Other research encouraged by Human Wellbeing includes work examining the links between cultures and health systems, a look at governments’ increasing emphasis on happiness and investigations into the true effects of exercise on wellbeing.

Funding opportunity

Keep in touch with the Grand Challenge of Human Wellbeing:

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


Our work so far

Human Wellbeing 2

Since 2011, the Grand Challenge of Human Wellbeing has brought together UCL researchers in the exploration of the science of what makes life worth living. We have coordinated events, helped to establish a new academic department at UCL and brought fascinating new research into being. Find out more about what we have done

Get involved

Ageing conference

As a researcher at UCL, you can get involved with the Grand Challenge of Human Wellbeing. 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 Human Wellbeing, including our academic leaders.

Contact us

Get in touch with the Grand Challenge of Human Wellbeing with your suggestions, questions and ideas.