UCL top in research council income

18 November 2013

UCL researchers and those who support their grant applications to research councils are to be congratulated, writes Professor David Price, UCL Vice-Provost (Research).

Our awards in 2012–13 surpassed £135 million, making us the top recipient of research council grants by value. We attracted more than £30 million more than our leading competitors, Cambridge and Imperial. Our overall success rate by number of applications was 33% – again in the very top tier.

As reported in the THE, “UCL’s total represents a 90% rise on the previous year’s figures at a time when the total value of research council grant allocations increased by about 50%.”

This is a very pleasing outcome, resulting from hard work by many colleagues to submit high-quality applications. Where we really noticed a tremendous boost was in cross-disciplinary consortia around global challenges, such as infectious diseases, energy demand and dementia.

A key aim of the UCL Research Strategy is cross-disciplinarity grounded in expertise, and for many years, people have been working long-term to build collaborations to draw on the breadth of our expertise to deliver exciting research programmes.

Ultimately, our success is not measured in income attracted, but in the long-term benefit to humanity that high-quality research can generate.

We are very much focused on making the best use of Research Council and other funding to produce high-quality outputs, as these naturally help to increase the impact of our global university.

As outlined in our research strategy, we define impact as the beneficial application of expertise, knowledge, analysis, discovery or insight. So, our activity encompasses not only scholarly outputs such as education and public engagement, but also translational research, commercial and social enterprise activity, as well as influence on public policy and professional practice.

This definitely isn’t an overnight success, but the result of years of work by people across UCL. We don’t expect to see such a strong performance sustained in research grants this year, because there isn’t the same investment in such areas planned.

The period 2013–14 will instead see many crucial decisions on research council doctoral training funding; we are already beginning to see major successes in these areas.

UCL researchers are encouraged to take full advantage of the professional support and guidance (password required) available to them.