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Grand Challenges progress report

Research Summer School from the Grand Challenges 2014

Grand Challenges Summer School Logo

The UCL Grand Challenges held its first cross-disciplinary research summer school in June 2014. The summer school was open to all research students at UCL: from any course and at any stage of their studies. The final selection included students from nine of UCL's ten faculties.

The summer school was designed to introduce the research students to the Grand Challenges philosophy, and also to help them develop the skills required to prepare research proposals that combine expertise from different academic disciplines.

Learning about Cross-Disciplinary Approaches

The summer school featured a series of presentations from UCL staff, and workshop sessions that gave the students the chance to work in multidisciplinary teams to develop their own research ideas. Presentation topics ranged from the art of writing successful research proposals to the role of academic research in public policy. 

Students also had the chance to hear about projects that had successfully combined approaches from multiple disciplines. Researchers from the featured projects were on hand to answer questions about their work.

Applying the Grand Challenges Approach

The students worked in four groups, each representing a different Grand Challenge. The groups had a diverse mix of disciplinary backgrounds which they drew upon to generate novel cross-disciplinary research projects. Each group presented an idea for research that addressed an important societal problem:


How do we adapt existing technologies to make bus transport in London more responsive and reduce carbon emissions by 2050?

Download GCSC Presentation


What dynamics affect equity in access to public emergency services for stroke among the elderly?

Download GCGH Presentation


Why do people use cars? And how can this behaviour be changed in order to reduce CO2 emissions?

Download GCHW Presentation


European Identity: How do we stand between Isolationism and Transnational Solidarity?

Download GCII Presentation

Page last modified on 24 nov 14 13:13