Brain Sciences


Wrapping up 2022 with new beginnings for strategic partnerships in London

20 December 2022

Written by Professor Alan Thompson, Pro-Provost (London) and Dean, Faculty of Brain Sciences.

Professor Alan Thompson


In this issue of the London Office update I am delighted to reflect on some of our successes throughout 2022 and look forward to some of the exciting partnership developments we have not only beginning, but developing into 2023.

During 2022 the London Office team and I have been focussing on UCL's relationships with our local authority partners, who are not only fantastic anchor institutions but great neighbours and integral partners to UCL. Our partnership with Camden Council and our MoU has continued to strengthen and we are delighted to be working with the borough on a number of interesting initiatives spanning estates, studentships and community projects, 

Since the breaking ground and more recently of One Pool Street and the UCL East campus, our partnership with Newham Council has excelled and we were delighted to meet with the Mayor of Newham and colleagues in early December to discuss our collaborations. Just this last weekend we hosted a warm cinema event at UCL East, hosting members of the community for a festive film and bite to eat. Along with Professor Paola Lettieri, Pro-Provost (UCL East), we are excited to continue the partnership and create real impact in East London.

Also in December we met with the Leader, Chief Executive and colleagues at Islington Council and we are particularly excited in developing the way in which we work together. There are a plethora of ongoing and new opportunities and we are confident that together we can inspire change for Islington residents.

Earlier in the year, we launched a campaign focussing on key impact messages for UCL in London. These messages, collated over the past year, provided insight into (i) how our stakeholders understand the university and what it offers to individuals, organisations and the community, (ii) what impact UCL has in and around London as well as (III) core information regarding awareness and understanding of UCL in London to Londoners. We were thrilled with the response to our campaign and together with our colleagues across UCL, we will continue to raise awareness and share impact of how we work with the City.

In 2022 we also took over management of  UCL's strategic partnership with the UCL Academy. We are delighted to be working with the school and helping to connect and engage its staff and students with the work of the London Office. In March, the school will be 10 years old and we are looking forward to celebrating this event with all staff, students and governors of the school.

As we look forward to 2023, I want to thank you for your continued engagement with UCL and the London Office. From Amy, Sarah, Simon and I, we wish you a restful break and look forward to even greater engagement in the New Year.

UCL Christmas


One Pool St Celebration

On Friday 2nd December colleagues and construction partners involved in the creation of UCL East’s first building, One Pool St were able to come together in a celebration and acknowledgement of thanks for the help and support in bringing this huge development to life. Provost, Dr Michael Spence, described One Pool St opening at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park as ‘an extraordinary contribution to London, the UK and the world’. The first cohort of students are now happily settled in the new accommodation and teaching has begun across the new site. If you have not yet been down to check it out, hopefully this article will tempt you over to Stratford to see the first of the new buildings of UCL East. 

Trellis is open for applications

It is said that a picture can paint a 1000 words, and Trellis certainly supports this through providing an opportunity for UCL researchers to co-create a piece of art based on a piece of research work from the University with local artists and communities neighbouring UCL East. This is the 3rd time the programme has accepted applications, having already worked with over 100 artists. If you are looking for an opportunity to take part in this knowledge exchange to bring your  work to life with local creatives, communities and residents – read the full article and ensure you submit your application before the 31st January. 

Ministerial visit to officially launch the Global Disability Innovation Hub at UCL East

UCL’s Global Disability Innovation Hub is the World Health Organisation’s first Global Collaborating Centre on Assistive Technology and it will be centred at One Pool St in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. To mark the occasion UK Minister for Disabled People, Tom Pursglove, attended the site for a tour of the hi-tech equipment and research centre to see first hand the difference the work is making to disabled people. See the full article for more examples of the fantastic work coming out of the Global Disability Innovation Hub.

Young East London film makers premiere work at One Pool St Auditorium

Since July UCL staff and academics have been supporting local East Londoners as part of the National Saturday Club Network to develop skills and experience in film making. Students from 13-16 have been mastering the art of storytelling, editing visuals and getting hands on with filming equipment. Last week they were invited into Pool St’s auditorium to premiere their work on our big screen. Read more about the programme

On Saturday 17th December we hosted a warm haven cinema event at UCL East. Newham community groups supporting older people were invited to join us at One Pool Street to have festive food, a film and fun. A huge thank you to all the student ambassadors and teams across the London Office and UCL East offices for their help in making the event such a success for our community in East London.
Photo credit: Simon Magness

UCL East event


University Mental Health Charter Award

UCL is among five universities to qualify for the University Mental Health Charter Award which recognises its commitment to continuous improvement in mental health and wellbeing. The scheme, devised by Universities UK and the charity Student Minds aims to encourage universities to develop a whole-university approach to mental health. 
Hold the date: ESPRC Place-Based Impact Acceleration Account (IAA)

Vice-Provost Research, Innovation and Global Engagement and Pro-Provost (London) Offices are hosting a Town Hall meeting on Wednesday, 11th January (2pm-4pm) for those interested in learning more about PBIAAs, or those who are considering applications. The intent of this meeting is to gather information on those considering an application (in particular on themes, geographic focus, and potential partners), support early stage decision making across UCL, and to establish appropriate support moving forward. UCL staff are encouraged to register for the Town Hall event here.