What Students Say

What GCS Students have to say about the scheme:

“Speaking with clinical colleagues (around the country) who intend to start a PhD in the near future, it is clear to see the prestige of the scheme is known well beyond the borders of UCL. I sincerely hope the GCS will continue for many more years as it is invaluable for students and buys in to the vision of the UCL Grand Challenges and UCL as a Global institution of the highest academic standards and repute. ”

“The interdisciplinary nature of the GCS scheme has broadened my perspective and experience of my PhD and has helped me make contact with those in other institutes.”

“The GCS scheme has given my project a clear overall aim and allowed me to approach it with a different perspective – I can take a step back and see the whole project as lots of small projects all heading towards the same goal. “

“I believe the support of the GCS, alongside the guidance of my two supervisors is one of the most important factors in the ongoing success of my PhD. The scheme is well structured, comprehensive and flexible which has enabled me to focus fully on my research project without having to worry about personal or project finances. It has also provided me with the opportunity to attended international scientific meetings that have enhanced my development as a PhD student and helped advise the path of my research.”

“The Grand Challenge does make an important contribution to my research primarily by having the facilities and expertise of two different departments and this enabling me to bring all these things together in my work. As I am getting to a stage where I am more settled in my work I now believe that only now am I really in a position to try to make better use of interacting with my fellow Grande Challenge students for our mutual benefit.”

“In regards to the GCS scheme in general, one of the most beneficial things I’ve found has been having two supervisors from different academic departments and backgrounds. This has been a really positive experience as it’s allowed me to meet and work with a wide variety of people from different disciplines. ”

“Without funding I would have not been able to do my PhD. It provided me with a supportive and fun network of other PhD students more than strictly my research it has helped to establish some contact with other young researchers in UCL on themes that might be related to mine. ”

“Grand Challenge scheme helped me to think about the implications of my research and taught me how to better pitch my project. It is also good to be in a multidisciplinary environment.”

“The GCS scheme has helped my research by providing my funding. Without this I could not have enrolled on the PhD. The money allocated to conference travel and course costs has been invaluable as it has meant that I could attend all the courses I needed to. I plan to use the money to attend conferences this year, which will be essential for publicising my work and making contacts. ”

“GCS gave me the opportunity to do research by its funding and also to come in touch with other students and in that way to exchange ideas and have helpful suggestions for my research queries. ”

“Well of course the funding is invaluable. I've made a lot of progress towards becoming a scientist during my PhD, and none of this would be possible without the GCS funding!”

“The Grand Challenge Studentship scheme has been hugely beneficial. Not only has the GCS scheme enabled my research, but it has also allowed me to be part of a wider research community. Having links with diverse researchers in multiple areas has not only built strong friendships but also provided access to a large research pool from which to draw on. As a research community we are able to collaborate and discuss hurdles in research and how best to overcome them. I have found this hugely beneficial. Being part of this research community has also broadened by perspective and made me think about how my research fits into the larger Grand Challenge of Global Health.”

“Without the support from the GCS scheme it would have been impossible to expose and share our research with other labs around the world. This international exposure has been crucial for building long terms collaborations with some of the best laboratories in the field.”

“Grand challenge has helped create opportunities to network with other disciplines. Good lab money to attend conferences and get good equipment for the lab.”

What Students say about GCS Training and Events:

“The Public Engagement workshop was very helpful and enhanced my skills in constructing lay summaries. I hope to write some articles on my area of research for improved public engagement in the future.”

“The events run as part of the scheme have developed my skills as a researcher, I particularly enjoyed the Thinking Den Event. This was a fantastic opportunity which provided insight into what funding pitches are like and the type of questions asked. I came away from the event highly motivated and asking myself how I might answer the questions the panel put forward to the individual researchers.”

“I really liked the workshop on Public Engagement we had. I think it’s really helpful in encouraging us to step out of the enclosed research circle and get in touch with the outside world.”