UCL Changemakers


2022-23 projects

Projects we are funding in 2022-23. This list will be updated after each deadline.

We are pleased to announce we are funding the following projects in 2022-23.

Projects by theme:

Also view projects by faculty

students working around the collections in a museum

Learning Communities & Belonging: Creating connections within programmes

Critical pedagogies in higher education: a participatory learning and action project with PGRs and ECRs who teach, SELCs

Team: Alex Hyde (Staff Partner), Rosamund Greiner, Frankie Chappell & Mie Jensen

This project aims to use a participatory learning an action cycle to design and run a series of interactive workshops where Postgraduate Research Students and Early Career Researchers learn about the theory and implementation of critical pedagogies from higher education experts. Of primary concern will be developing a community of of peer support.  

The Understanding, Communication and Language  (UCL) podcast, Division of Psychology & Language Sciences

Team: Kate Shobrook (Staff Partner), Jennifer Grassly, Lucy Pepper and Anna Sowerbutts. 

This project will involve producing a podcast series of six 15 to 20 minute episodes related to topics on various modules of the MSc Speech and Language Sciences (SLS) programme, a programme which leads to registration to practise as a speech and language therapist.  The podcasts will be designed to add value to classroom learning by exploring themes and issues in greater depth and from different contexts and perspectives.

P&HD Write Together, Psychology & Human Development

Team: Matt Somerville & Harriet Israel

This project aims to foster a sense of community through weekly writing sessions for both students and academic staff. The project will culminate in a day-long writing retreat held at IOE in the third term, focused on student dissertation writing.

The Supper Club: A Staff-Student Career Engagement Series (Supper Club), Psychology & Human Development

Team: Keri Wong (Staff Partner), TszYau Chiu & Chuxin Yu

The Supper Club connects staff and students over food to share stories about career paths and support once a week during term time. Understanding how best to support students' career aspiration and journey enhances student success, strengthens a sense of belonging and community in the degree programme, and can have longer term impacts on alumni connection.

Empowering Psychology with Education students to become future innovators and entrepreneurs in education, Psychology & Human Development

Team: Keri Wong (Staff Partner), Frank Yang, Anson Chan, Menglong Bao, Tess Xiao, Kieon Song and Zahra Naddaf

The newly founded Education Innovation and Entrepreneurship Society brings together a forward-thinking community of passionate students about educational innovation and technology (EdTech). We will 1) invite industry guest speakers and organise company visits to gain industry exposure, 2) organise events such as educational hackathons to solve educational problems competitively, and 3) invite IOE lecturers to give mini-lectures on EdTech to share knowledge with students to build a community of innovative educators. Our goal is to provide a fun and consistent learning community and bring like-minded students to create a stronger connection and sense of belonging in our degree, department, and the IOE, by aligning our shared vision of steering education towards the future of innovation and technology. 

Student Research Connection in Condensed Matter and Materials Physics (SRC: CMMP), Physics & Astronomy

Team: Monika Szumilo (Staff Partner), Roger Johnson, Xiang Cheng and Kelvin Ho. 

This project aims to bring together students from UCL and other UK universities and connect them with top researchers in the field of Condensed Matter and Materials Physics whose work is strongly aligned with the students' current university course syllabi. We want to give our students a chance to meet the academics and industrial researchers, see their lab facilities including the large-scale synchrotron and neutron national facilities at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL), talk about career opportunities and deepen their interest in the topic. 

Show-and-tell talks from postgraduate students: towards two-way dialogue between staff and students (Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis)

Team: Huanfa Chen (Staff Partner), Andres Jimenez, Felipe Almeida

This project aims to organise two or three seminar events that encourage MSc/MRes students from Urban Spatial Science programme to share their previous work experience that is relevant to CASA. At CASA, the annual ‘show-and-tell’ event has been successful in introducing staff and their work to students. On the other hand, many MSc/MRes students had multi-year work experience relating to urban planning and geography in different countries, but they did not have opportunities to share these experience with student cohort and staff. This project will accept proposals from MSc/MRes students and then organise seminar events where invite selected students to give up-to-10-minute short talks on their background and previous experience. This project will also promote the two-way dialogue between staff and students and potentially lead to collaboration projects.

Enhancing student social belonging by reducing feelings of identity incompatibility (Division of Psychology and Language Sciences)

Team: Vanessa Puetz (Staff Partner), Tahira Chopra, Annie Hata

The way in which students make sense of their belonging at University has been shown to significantly shape their academic achievement (Dittmann & Stephens, 2017). When their sense of self clashes with their social and academic context, it leads to a sense of identity incompatibility which negatively impacts performance, health, and wellbeing. Research has shown that identity incompatibility disproportionately affects the feeling of belongingness in minority students due to additional barriers to integration, such as language and stereotyping. This project aims to enhance social belonging in students via subtle attitude change strategies framing social adversity as common, shared, and temporary. The rationale is to allow students to psychologically separate their initial adversity in the transition to University from their sense of social belonging in the learning community. Recorded testimonies will be created based on information from surveys and focus groups from current students to understand the collective narrative of belonging and adversity within the unique context of the Anna Freud Centre. These will then be presented to future students in their first semester of University via reflective conversations during orientation week and with their personal tutors. Strategies incorporated in this project have been derived from wider cross-cultural belonging interventions that have been shown to aid disadvantaged students in the process of integration, consequently reducing inequalities in academic achievement.

UCL Applied Linguistics Society (Culture, Communication and Media)

Team: Miguel Pérez Milans (Staff Partner), Nathan Thomas (Staff Partner), Rommy Anabalon Schaaf, Eleanor Yue Gong, Mingdan Wu, Somayeh Rahimi, Paulina Moya Santiagos

The UCL Centre for Applied Linguistics has expanded very quickly over the last 10 years and now offers five postgraduate programmes: MA Applied Linguistics, MA Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (Pre-Service), MA Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (In-Service), MA Intercultural Communication and MPhil/PhD Culture, Communication and Media. While this provides students and staff in the CCM Department with an excellent platform for academic engagement and development, the increasing administrative complexification that such an expansion brings with it also poses a challenge for community-building purposes. There has been a long-existing communication gap among the programmes because of the lack of inter-programme exchanges. Moreover, the MA Intercultural Communication was launched in September 2022, adding more staff and students to the centre but without addressing the issue of communication and the potential lack of a sense of belonging, limiting their opportunities to exchange ideas with the diverse student body and staff across similar postgraduate programmes. This project aims to establish the UCL Applied Linguistics Society to end the isolation that many students and staff have reported feeling with regard to connection and wellbeing among the five programmes. We want to create a space for potential exchange and collaboration by providing students and staff with opportunities to build a community, through the society, within the Centre for Applied Linguistics. In this community, students from various academic pathways who may otherwise never meet, despite their shared interests in the broad field of applied linguistics, can discuss issues that are important to them, collaborate with each other, and disseminate their ideas regarding how their work can contribute to the UCL community for wider, sustainable change. The Society aims to develop students’ sense of belonging by organising regular community-building activities such as seminars, workshops, and roundtable discussions. These activities will be designed and implemented in collaboration with staff and students from the five programmes and will be based on an initial needs/wants analysis. Administered as a survey this analysis can help guide the society’s activity planning and help us (organisers) to know how to manage students’ expectations regarding participation.

The Bridging Divides Project (Social Science Institute)

Team: Ieva Kelpsaite (Staff Partner), Fotini Diamantidaki (Staff Partner), Jiaxin Li, Cadence Tay

This project aims to bridge the divide between diverse groups of students. Current students within the SRI (Social Research Institute) have observed distinct segregation between peers within the classroom, which often manifests in visible social groups formed according to similar cultural backgrounds. Therefore, this project aims to promote inclusivity in diversity by creating opportunities for students to develop cross-cultural friendships. This has become the central vision of our project. While students often feel that there are opportunities to embrace the existing cultural diversity here at UCL, they often do not feel confident enough to approach such cross-cultural discussions. This is due to the current segregation ingrained in UCL student culture, where it is often more comfortable to socialise with others with familiar cultural backgrounds and thus experiences. In the SRI department, it will be most beneficial for students to engage in cultural discussions comfortably and understand the social issues being taught first-hand within the department from a broader, cross-cultural perspective. Henceforth, students may deepen their understanding of how these social issues and policies can be applied in diverse cultural contexts. Then, we can achieve more effective and practical approaches to these social issues. 

Increasing the visibility of pronouns within clinical settings (Medical School)

Team: Jayne Kavanagh (Staff Partner), Luke Muschialli, Beth Hayes, Nithesh Satchithanandam, Hae Lee

This project aims to facilitate clinical medical students at UCL being able to express their pronouns in an easier and more accessible way. Currently, the system for communicating pronouns has been reported to be insufficient by medical students, and we want to ensure that people entering into clinical environments feel comfortable and to limit the possibility of individuals being misgendered on the wards, which can have damaging effects for the engagement of medical students on wards. This will be in the form of designing, printing and distributing bespoke pronoun badges to clinical medical students. This project will also increase the visibility of the significant trans and non-binary presence within the medical school, and contribute to increased feelings of belonging and acceptance of trans and non-binary patients, who face intense barriers to healthcare access and health inequalities, in part due to a historical lack of acceptance and understanding from those in clinical settings. In this sense, this project will foster and support the trans and non-binary communities both within the medical school, and within the hospitals with which UCL is associated.

UCL Global Mental Health Early Career Network (Institute for Global Health)

Team: Rochelle Burgess (Staff Partner), Alma Ionescu, Eric Frasco

Our project seeks to revive the former UCL Global Mental Health Working Group in order to foster a space for interdisciplinary and cross-departmental discussions and collaborations in Global Mental Health. However, it will have a new focus on doctoral students and early career researchers, seeking not only to create a UCL community amongst ECRs, but facilitate their integration into wider UCL professional/staff networks. 

Institute for Women' Health Podcast (Institute for Women's Health)

Team: Jens Madsen (Staff Partner), Sarah Mayhew (Staff Partner), Olivia Moir

One of the missions of the Institute for Women’s Health at UCL is the effective communicate of the diverse range of excellence and innovation in research and clinical practice going on in the institute, in order to make a real and sustainable difference to women’s and babies’ health locally, nationally, and worldwide. This project looks to make use of a podcast to discuss the works of various researchers and clinicians in the institute and how this information can be applied in the daily lives of women and babies to improve health outcomes. This podcast will cover a range of topics and will focus on creating content that is understandable to individuals from all levels of education and backgrounds, with no science experience required. 

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Academic development & support: Personal tutoring and peer support

Zero to hero: Empowering researchers through Python computer programming for more efficient and engaging data pipelines, Institute of Cardiovascular Science

Team: Vivek Muthurangu (Staff Partner), Liam Swanson and Isabelle Bond

In the faculty of Population Health Sciences, the crux of research and discovery is data. Data can arrive by the terabyte and in a variety of formats and it is becoming increasingly important to be competent in computer programming to process it effectively to remain competitive. Unfortunately, people are often habitually tied to expensive and laborious data software tools such as STATA, Matlab or Microsoft Excel. Python is one of the world's most popular, open-source, programming languages which is well suited to automatic processing, analysis and communication of research data. However, the learning curve to implement coding in a research pipeline intimidates potential beneficiaries, despite, in fact, being easy to overcome. We aim to deliver an annual Python boot camp that starts from scratch and empowers participants to continue developing coding skills for improved and more engaging data processing and communication. 

Careers Extra buddy scheme, UCL Careers

Team: Penny Longman (Staff Partner), Glyn Jones (Staff Partner), Nadia Ahmed and Aqil Rashid

This project will implement a peer-to-peer buddying scheme to support Careers Extra students' transition, engagement and success at UCL. Careers focus to the scheme will support students' career exploration and decision-making and their engagement with UCL Careers Extra and UCL Careers as whole, contributing to progression into graduate roles in line with their individual career plans and aspirations.  Pairing students and providing a series of events for them to attend will build connections and community amongst students, supporting mental well-being amongst students who can sometimes find UCL an overwhelming or intimidating environment. 

Developing an undergraduate near-peer tutor and mentorship scheme for medical students, Division of Biosciences (Pharmacology and Anatomy)

Team: Joanna Edwards (Staff Partner), Sandra Martelli (Staff Partner), Martin Compton (Staff Partner), Zahra Ahmed, Amelia Snook, Anais Deere, Ogulsuray Hydyrova, Zainab Wasti and Mathura Kathirgamanathan .

This project aims to build on an existing anatomy and pharmacology near-peer tutor scheme, to develop a tutor training and peer support programme with the UCL Arena Centre. This scheme will involve tutors from years 4, 5 and 6 holding regular tutorials for students in year 1 and 2 and as part of the project we will work with selected existing mentors to develop subject-specific guidance for tutors.

Incorporating cultural competency training within Personal Tutor professional development and training (Division of Psychology & Language Sciences)

Team: Vanessa Puetz (Staff Partner), Lasana Harris (Staff Partner), Tahira Chopra, Anh Nguyen, Annie Hata

This project aims to develop a training package and toolkit for staff members training to be or who already are personal tutors to enhance their cultural competency skills when interacting with their tutees. UCL’s student population is 48% international students and 29% (home students) and 62% (international students) from minority ethnic backgrounds, while only 11% of staff are from minority ethnic backgrounds. The personal tutoring relationship is an essential part of career development and support when engaging with higher education for first generation students and students from minority backgrounds. It is thus extremely important to ensure staff feel confident in addressing cultural issues and supporting their students through culture shock. Giving personal tutors cultural competence training will further also enhance student confidence and comfort in disclosing different issues with their personal tutors in the likely case their personal tutors are not of a minoritized background and reduce the likelihood of occurrence of microaggressions or unintentional harm that may cause ruptures in the personal tutoring relationship. 

Developing peer support processes on the initial professional training programme in educational psychology (Division of Psychology and Language Sciences)

Team: Susan Bettle (Staff Partner), Gavin Morgan (Staff Partner), Ravi Das (Staff Partner), Rebecca Mulhall, Michael Straker, Verena West, Hannah Durkin, Jessie Pang

The initial professional training programme in educational psychology is a three year full-time programme with 18 students per year. It includes both academic study at UCL, a research project and periods of time spent on placement. Feedback through an annual survey has illustrated the importance of peer support in enhancing trainees’ wellbeing and sense of belonging to their cohort, and specifically, the importance of informal peer support and social activities. The value of cross-cohort support has also been highlighted. We have well-established procedures for staff-trainee tutorial support, and there are lots of opportunities for group learning, as the core approach used in our curriculum is problem-based learning. In addition, in years 2 and 3 of training, students have timetabled sessions focusing on peer supervision. However, until recently, we had not fully considered the importance of informal peer support. Two years ago, Family Groups were introduced. Staff organised students from across the three years of the programme into cross-cohort groups, but no further guidance was given. Feedback from across the three years indicates that the effectiveness of this has depended on the enthusiasm and organisation of individual trainees. Our current project aims to gather the views of all trainees through an online survey and through focus groups in order to review our current peer support mechanisms (including for example, current timetabled cross-cohort activities, the Family Groups and activities organised by the Social reps) and to seek creative ideas for new or alternative opportunities to strengthen this element of the training offer. We aim to develop a clear set of recommendations that can be built into the programme by the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Strategy Group and supported by the staff team, impacting the experience of current and future trainees.

How to Prevent and Address Vicarious Trauma and Compassion Fatigue in Students Researching Distressing Topics (Security and Crime Science)

Team: Enrico Mariconti (Staff Partner), Leonie Tanczer (Staff Partner), Lilly Neubauer, Demelza Luna Reaver, Helen Nicholls

Research students in the department of Security and Crime Science frequently encounter distressing material as part of their research about difficult topics (domestic violence, child sexual abuse, violent extremism etc.) This may lead students to suffer from symptoms of vicarious trauma (VT) or compassion fatigue, as is frequently found in other professions working with vulnerable populations. However, there is currently no existing provision or guidance for students or supervisors within the department on how to prevent or manage VT in research students. This ChangeMakers project will form the initial part of a wider research project to measure the prevalence of VT in the department and develop training and guidance to prevent and address VT. This initial project involves running a series of Listening Rooms with pairs of students and supervisors who discuss their experiences of engaging with distressing material in their research, or of supervising a student who is engaging with distressing material. Some of the Listening Room pairs will also be student-supervisor pairs, if appropriate and agreed to by participants. This will be followed by a workshop with students and staff to brainstorm strategies to help prevent or address VT within the department. Analysing data from the Listening Rooms and Workshop will lead to the development and dissemination of a guidance on best practices for addressing VT within the department, to start a conversation and identify interim measures which students and staff can use whilst the wider research study (timeline 1-2 years) is ongoing.

Enhancing students' learning using peer-mentoring techniques (Chemical Engineering)

Team: Aikaterini Tsatse (Staff Partner), Elton Rodrias (Staff Partner)

The aim of this project is to improve students’ learning experience, using peer mentoring techniques. Students will first choose topics on which they would like to develop further; and next, they will attend a series of relevant workshops co-developed by staff and students. During these sessions, they will have the opportunity to improve their understanding on the suggested topics whilst experiencing peer work and mentoring. An additional outcome of the suggested project will be for staff to get an insight into topics that students would like to focus. Obtaining this insight can be particularly challenging for staff, especially when the size of the cohort is relatively large (i.e. more than 200 students).

From personal tutors to academic and wellbeing advisors: an alternative approach to personal tutoring (School of Management)

Team: Michelle Tinsley (Staff Partner), Mick Yuen (Staff Partner), student partners TBC

Both staff and students across the School report an inconsistent experience under our current personal tutoring model. Some students and staff have excellent tutor/tutee relationships, whilst others never meet.  We are considering moving to a model of dedicated academic and wellbeing advisors for whom tutoring would be their primary role. Students will work with us to evaluate our current provision and create a framework and guidance for a potential new personal tutoring model. We would like student partners to engage with both the student body and staff colleagues to evaluate what is currently working and the barriers to a consistent personal tutoring experience and to explore views on the proposed new model of dedicated academic and wellbeing advisors. In so doing, students would explore how students currently engage with support, who they go to for support, the most commonly raised issues by students, the desirable qualities in an effective tutor from staff and student perspective and what student expectations are for the “personal tutoring” function whilst studying in the School.  All of this will be fed into the development of a new personal tutoring systems co-designed by students for students. 

Investigating the challenges of teamwork for 1st year undergraduate students (Biochemical Engineering)

Team: Chika Nweke (Staff Partner), Manal Chaib, Matthew Banner

Literature has shown that the ability to work in teams is one of the most highly coveted skills by engineering employers (Levy and Rodkin, 2016). On the Biochemical Engineering programme (BEng/MEng), teamwork is present across the programme curriculum. The ENGF0001 module managed by the Integrated Engineering Programme (IEP) at faculty level, is the first exposure to teamwork that our 1st year biochemical engineering UG students get in term 1. They work in interdisciplinary teams with chemical engineering and biomedical engineering students to solve a global issue. Whilst face-to-face (f2f) teamwork allows for important social nuances in communication, this becomes challenging when working remotely. The pandemic has forced educators to move to the online environment which has not only impacted the way we teach but also how students interact with each other and engage with teaching material, which has in turn highlighted gaps in staff support. This year’s intake of biochemical engineering students have experienced the blended approach of both f2f and online teamworking and so are in the best position to provide useful insight into the challenges associated with both approaches.

Content help, tips, and tricks from learners to learners (Division of Biosciences)

Team: Renee Vancraenenbroeck (Staff Partner), Eileen Wang, Nuo Xu, Muyang Duan, Camille Davidson, Varsha Pandanda, Tina Lavithi

Based on Moodle forum activity, module evaluation forms, scores for individual practice and exam questions, and talks with student reps, we identified difficult topics within a first-year, cross-divisional module. To help our ~600 students on the module, students who have already experienced the module will collaborate with students currently studying it to create support materials that will be continuously available through Moodle. This will allow students who cannot make it to scheduled classes (caring responsibilities, work commitments, public transport issues ...) or those who are generally reluctant to approach others for help, to still benefit from peer support. In the support materials, students will use their own words and share their own ideas. Staff will evaluate the correctness of the scientific content and reflect on student teaching styles. We will first investigate if the topics we identified are indeed in need of extra support of the current lecture materials, extra in-depth exploration beyond the current lecture topic, or study tips and tricks, and, if so, how the support could be provided (videos, podcasts, texts, MicroCPD …). We will create two or more concept explainers and evaluate their efficiency.

Developing a PGR tailored dynamic mentoring scheme (Division of Surgery & Interventional Sciences)

Team: Eirini Velliou (Staff Partner), Andres Vicente (Staff Partner), John Counsell (Staff Partner), Matt Lechner (Staff Partner), Annie Kataki, Joel Turner, Natalia Rojas

Academic mentoring is a crucial educational component, which can assist individual students on their professional direction as well as their personal and professional development. Current, support for UG/PGT students in our Division is focused on the provision of personal tutors focused on the general academic progress, development and pastoral support, however a systematic mentoring approach for PGR students is currently lacking. The aim of this project is to bridge this gap, via the development of a PGR tailored, dynamic mentoring scheme for the Division of Surgery and Interventional Sciences. PGR students are in a very unique point of their educational path, transitioning from trainees to independent professionals. Especially in an interdisciplinary environment like the one in our Division, they are typically exposed to different scientific principles as well as different settings, e.g., from a classical university laboratory setting to clinical/hospital environments and from fundamental research to activities involving patients. The research activities of the Division hugely vary and so do the PGR projects. Therefore, the needs of PGR students in terms of their personal/professional development and evolution are very personalised and depend on interests and personal aspirations that can hugely vary from student to student. Furthermore, the mentoring needs of PGR students may vary depending on their seniority. For example, at the beginning of their studies, PGR students might need to share views with younger peers while later they might need to interact with Early Career Researchers or Academics (beyond their supervisory team). At the same time, considering the wide spectrum of activities and locations of the Division (spread in three different UCL campuses) it is likely that PGR students might not be aware/might not be exposed to the full range of research activities/backgrounds and potential mentor-candidates available. Designing a dynamic PGR focused mentoring scheme will enable us to address PGR needs in a personalised way, contributing to better support towards the personal and professional development of individual students.

Exploring the experiences of BAME LGBTQ+ Medical Students in the undergraduate programme (Medical School)

Team: Rima Chakrabarti (Staff Partner), Daniel Ly

Little is known on how the intersectionality of protected characteristics frame professional identity formation, which is vital for creating a ‘sense of belonging’ and reducing the impact of burnout and attrition within the medical profession.  By exploring the experiences of BAME LGBTQ+ students in the undergraduate MBBS programme at UCL Medical School (UCLMS), the aim is that this project will enable targeted initiatives to be identified that will better support students in aiding inclusivity.

Structural Engineering

Assessment & Feedback: Co-creating authentic assessments

Implementation of a Capstone Assessment for year 1 integrated Medical Sciences programmes, Medical Sciences

Team: Neph Marina-Gonzalez (Staff Partner), Iker Hernaez Sanz and Angelica Blotto.

In the 2023-24 academic year we will implement a year 1 summative capstone assessment for 7 undergraduate programmes within the faculty of Medical Sciences. We are aiming to work with two year 2 student partners to create the capstone exam and do a trial (formative) test this academic year in preparation for next year's full implementation.

Identifying rewarding, effective assessment methods for undergraduate modules (Information Studies)

Team: Karen Stepanyan (Staff Partner), D Ohan, Hoi Poon, Alex Rusu, Yung-Jen Cheng

Assessment can be an impactful tool for guiding and enriching student learning. However, it can also be a source of unnecessary stress for both learners as well as the teaching staff. This project aims to explore student perceptions on what rewarding and effective assessments can be. It also aims to assess the viability of adopting such assessment methods in undergraduate modules taught to diverse group of undergraduate students from a set of diverse disciplines. The considered assessments may include self-grading, ungrading, peer-marking along with more widely used methods such as MCQ/SAQ tests, portfolio artefacts and reports.  

An investigation into ChatGPT generated assessments: Can we tell the difference? (Biochemical Engineering)

Team: Chika Nweke (Staff Partner), Matthew Banner, Manal Chaib

Students are under a lot of pressure to submit assignments in both a timely fashion and ensuring that the quality is of a high standard. These time management pressures coupled with the impact of the pandemic on mental health and productivity have contributed to some students using tools that they believe will help them. Artificial intelligence has the potential to revolutionise how students approach coursework assignments, and whilst this has its benefits, institutions nation-wide are beginning to see the flip side to this technology and the gradual increase in students passing off AI generated work as their own. This has negative impacts not only for student learning but for teaching and academic integrity. One way to help combat this is to understand if we can tell the difference between AI generated assignments and original pieces of work. This will help staff and students involved in assessing work to distinguish between AI generated work compared to original work.

Re-designing assessment frameworks for SRI in the light of recent developments in AI technology (Social Science Institute)

Team: Matteo Tiratelli (Staff Partner), Mia Meade, Ruth Ogundamisi

Recent developments in AI have resulted in free online tools which can easily generate university-level essays (ChatGPT) and summarise huge quantities of academic literature (Elicit Research Assistant, allsearch.ai) all in response to user-defined questions. This raises serious questions about the academic integrity of coursework/take-home assessments, but just as importantly about how universities should teach students to engage with these new digital tools. The project will proceed in six stages: 1. Two “lead students” will be recruited and asked to experiment with these tools to produce an essay for a module from our department that they have not studied. 2. Those essays will then be marked by the staff member leading the project. 3. A larger group of students will be invited to a two focus groups in which the essays and marks will be used as a prompt for a wider discussion of these tools, their uses and implications, and the opportunities they present for new or alternative forms of assessment. 4. The staff member leading the project will then co-create, with the two “lead students”, a guidance document summarising the opportunities and risks associated with these tools. 5. This guidance document will then be used as the basis for a workshop discussion as part of SRI’s “Talking Teaching” series, and we will seek to develop a departmental toolkit which will feed into the ongoing process of assessment reviews and include a menu of alternative forms of assessment and opportunities for co-creation within that process. 6. These will then be reviewed by students in early term 1 of 2023-24. As such the project will model a co-creation approach to the department’s assessment strategy, and so provide staff with guidance on how to implement that approach within their own modules. 

Co-creating authentic, inclusive assessments for students to improve the skills required for effective professional practice (Psychology and Human Development)

Team: Rosanne Esposito (Staff Partner), Zachary Walker (Staff Partner), Andrew Holliman (Staff Partner), Alka Yadav, Lacey Cousins

This project aims to enhance the learning experience of UCL students on the NASENCO PG Cert by diversifying our assessment practices through collaboration with students to co-create authentic assessments. Gulikers, Bastiaens, and Kirschner, (2004, p. 69) define authentic assessment as an assessment requiring students to use the same competencies, or combinations of knowledge, skills, and attitudes that they need to apply in the criterion situation in professional life. Currently, our assessments are traditional academic essays (4500 words) that may not apply in their professional settings. This project aims to diversify our assessment through collaboration with students to co-create authentic assessments. These assessments will be designed to include the needs of students working in a variety of educational settings in areas across London and the south-east with children and families from a wide range of socio-economic and ethnic backgrounds. The staff and student project team will co-create three shorter (1000 words, 1500 words, and 2000 words) authentic assessments.  Each unique assessment will address a professional writing skill needed in their current role.  For example, one assessment may address setting educational objectives for students, one assessment may focus on communicating with stakeholders etc. 

Patient and public involvement in assessing clinical students on their communication skills: a partnership between primary care students, primary care educators, and patients and public representatives (School of Pharmacy)

Team: Afia Ali (Staff Partner), Sara Garfield (Staff Partner), Cate Whittlesea (Staff Partner), Sadie Lawes-Wickwar (Staff Partner), Arya Toleti, Gabriele Kurpyte, Kelly Fong, Nadia Ahmed

Patient-centred communication skills are important for healthcare professionals and need to be gained thorough skills development and practice with appropriate feedback from patients, carers and the public. Although communication frameworks are widely used in healthcare e.g. Calgary Cambridge model, they do not explicitly include feedback from a patient centred perspective. This project will co-design a draft clinical communication skills assessment framework, involving key stakeholders: clinical students, patient and public representatives (which includes carers) and academic staff teaching pharmacy and medicine. The aim of this project is to enhance patient and public involvement (PPI), which in this context also includes carers, in the assessment of clinical students’ patient-centred communication skills at UCL. This is a key aspect of the social accountability of clinical degrees to patients and the public. By using participatory action-research methods we will bring together students, PPI representatives and academic staff to identify practical considerations for patients assessing students’ skills and providing them with feedback (e.g. information and training needs). A draft communication skills assessment strategy will be produced, which can be pilot tested in future a education research study to evaluate its validity, acceptability, and potential outcomes on students’ learning and patients’ experiences.

Amnesty Policy Changemakers (Medical School)

Team: Alison Sturrock (Staff Partner), Nour Shubber, Lokmane Kherbane

The UCL MBBS amnesty was created in 2019 to tackle the issue of unequal access to revision resources and practice exam questions in the medical school, following concerns of circulation of “live assessment materials”. Amnesty works by encouraging students to anonymously submit materials in their possession that may result in an unfair advantage to themselves or their peers. Whilst submitted materials are sifted through and those deemed useful are kept to be shared amongst our colleagues, there is a large body of material which can often seem overwhelming for students and can make pockets of useful information inaccessible. The amnesty is a store of resources that has not been curated or categorized in an accessible war. Furthermore, good quality and bad quality resources and information on amnesty are not distinguishable; especially in relation to the Medical School curriculum and intended learning objectives.

Academic Integrity in the Age of A.I. (Political Science)

Team: Julie Norman (Staff Partner), Giovanni Copia

Artificial intelligence is bringing new challenges to universities. Within seconds, tools like ChatGPT can produce essays on any topic in any style. So far, the response within higher education has been administrative or technical, such as changing assessments to hand-written essays or oral exams, adopting AI-detecting tools, or updating plagiarism rules with stricter standards to include AI. All of these remedies have merit. But so far they fall short in 1) lacking student input in discussions on how to incorporate A.I. into academic integrity standards, and 2) relying on mostly punitive approaches that assume cheating, rather than fostering incentives to do honest work. This project addresses both of these shortcomings by creating fora to include student voices in the conversation about A.I., and gauging student interest in piloting an honour code or honour pledge on assignments. The project will consist of a series of peer-supported focus groups with undergraduates in the Department of Political Science, with the potential to upscale to faculty or even university-wide discussions and policy development regarding A.I. and academic integrity.

Assessment for Learning: Co-creating a Portfolio Assessment Model (Political Science)
Team: Fergus Green (Staff Partner), Giovanni Copia, Huda Javed, Max Skoczylas

This project will co-create a portfolio assessment scheme for the third-year, optional undergraduate module “Environmental & Climate Justice” (POLS0101). It will also develop a more abstract version of the assessment scheme (the portfolio assessment “model”) that could be used by other teachers in the Department of Political Science, and beyond, as a basis for designing similar assessment schemes for other modules. The learning objectives for POLS0101 emphasise students’ critical and active engagement with real-world socio-environmental injustices, including the climate crisis. The module was launched successfully in Autumn 2022, but the lecturer wants to make the assessments more authentic, inclusive, engaging, and coherent with the learning objectives. The first stage of the project will review and redesign the seminar exercises, incorporating the insights of students to ensure all exercises facilitate student learning in an engaging and inclusive way, and create linkages to out-of-class micro-activities (comprising the portfolio) and to students’ lives more generally. The second stage will develop the portfolio assessment scheme and model. At each stage, outputs will first be developed via workshops with the core project team and then tested in a focus group with additional students. 

Approaching exams and building resilience (Political Science)

Team: Valentina Amuso (Staff Partner), Lily Rimmer, Eliz Ozberk

The project aims at improving performance and increasing confidence when sitting exams. The focus will be on “Public Sector Economics”, as this is the only compulsory module assessed via exams. Exams play a key role in students’ professional development. More specifically, both the ability to efficiently manage time and produce high standard work under time pressure represent key skills in any professional setting. Exams do not simply test economic knowledge and analytical skills, but also allow students to develop valuable skills such as resilience. First, the project will examine the main concerns about the preparation for the module. We will organise a focus group with around 15 participants form year 2 and 3. Conversations with students highlighted how students from a non-economics background are more likely to struggle and/or feel a greater level of anxiety. The focus group will be tailored to discuss such issues. This will also allow the department to revise the module to better tailor it to different students’ needs. This is also key to understand and address anxiety that might stem from exam preparation. Second, we will run a short survey with open ended questions targeting year 2 students which have completed the module but not the assessment to explore what the main concerns are. This will form the basis for the final part of the project (i.e. Town Hall). Third, the Town Hall meeting will be structured as follows: Some representatives from year 3 (and I) will answer the concerns that have emerged in the survey. We will also allow students to ask any follow-up questions. Hearing directly from the 3rd students, who have gone through the assessment, might allow the 2nd year to better understand the process, listen to some advice to address anxiety that might stem from this type of assessment. Depending on what students feel more comfortable doing, we might ask 2nd year students to fill in another short survey at the start and at the end of the Town Hall meeting to see if the meeting has been helpful to reduce concerns. The aim is to better understand what triggers anxiety and how to address it. Furthermore, based on the results of the survey – we might be in the position to identify support needs e.g. using Mentimeter. For instance, we might ask students to vote on different support that can be provided ranging from peer-led wellbeing sessions to practice exam questions, revision session etc.

students working around a laptop

Supporting student success: Co-creating inclusive curriculums

Creating a toolkit of resources and building knowledge share between students on how to communicate own research to wider audiences, Institute of Environmental Design and Engineering

Team: Gemma Moore (Staff Partner) and Sem Lee.

This project is to fund the building of a co-created toolkit of resources which will allow students to understand how they can communicate their own research with wider audiences to create impact. This project will be involving students and graduates of Health, Wellbeing and Sustainable Buildings MSc as the subject has a real-world application and the course presents an opportunity whereby students are able to take their learnings and disseminate into real-world contexts. This will be done through initial discussions with previous students and tutors to identify key pain points in the process of sharing own work to create impact. These insights will then form the basis of how we can generate the appropriate resources that can help students going forward. The aim is to provide training in the form of a few online tutorials and develop a toolkit of resources that can be referenced as and when students so wish.

Guest Speaker Code of Conduct (Arts and Sciences (BASc))

Team: Thomas Kador (Staff Partner), Stacy Hacker (Staff Partner), Beth Woolley, Francoise Chouinard

We will be creating a formalised Code of Conduct for all guest speakers talking to the Arts & Humanities degrees to follow.

Open(ing) Doors: Co-Creating Space for Inclusivity at SSEES (School of Slavonic & East European Studies)

Team: Rachel Morley (Staff Partner), Olga Voronina (Staff Partner), Sarah Young (Staff Partner), Serian Carlyle, Peter Flew

In the wake of the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine, the School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES) has been forced to reckon not only with the specificities of discrimination in the region we study but also with our own colonial and exclusionary habits. While the field is beginning to engage with questions of imperialism, racism, and oppression, these conversations have rarely been held at an institutional level. Where they are being discussed, it is often within sub-groups. Furthermore, discussions about discrimination often focus on one specific area. We need a space for bigger dreams that encapsulate the fullness of inclusivity and recognise the variety of experiences reflected in the SSEES students and staff body.  The current situation stifles students and staff. It increases the pressure on marginalised students, who have to negotiate these issues, often without any clear support, thereby impacting their education. These conversations are personal and painful, but the field cannot progress without addressing them, finding spaces for consensus, and co-creating paths that will allow us to flourish. This project therefore aims to support the conversations that have begun at SSSES so that they include as wide a range of voices as possible, connect students and staff, and reflect the full breadth of the questions around inclusivity. To do so, we will create a safe(r) space for students and staff to come together to discuss what an inclusive future could look like for SSEES. We will run a series of workshops, to enable people to share their priorities, concerns, and ambitions, on the following themes: defining inclusivity at SSEES; recognising barriers to change; and identifying projects that the department could realistically take forward. We will produce a toolkit of good practice guidance reflecting on the lessons learned during the project, for use in running similar processes for other sensitive topics (internally and externally). We will also develop a short report on the process and its results, highlighting the recommendations developed by the workshop participants, for use in the department, in other UCL faculties, and in other institutions. 

UCL Library’s Latin American Art Collection (Slade School of Fine Art)

Team: Elizabeth Lawes (Staff Partner), Julia Graca Couto Gomes Ferreira, Manuela Portales, Daen Huse

An analysis of UCL Library’s collections has revealed a disparity in the amount of research material originating from regions of the Global South in comparison to the Global North; our project aims to diversify the collections by expanding the Library’s Latin American Art resources, and promote these resources to the academic community. We are applying for UCL ChangeMakers funding to develop a reading list of books, databases and other resources to be considered for acquisition by the library and promoted to the UCL community, and to work with UCL Library Services to identify new and viable suppliers for the acquisition of material originating from Latin America. We believe that having a substantial collection of Latin American Art resources will greatly benefit UCL Faculty of Arts & Humanities students, as well as staff, and will directly affect the production of new and valuable research. The availability of more and better resources on Latin American art will impact directly on students who are currently conducting research on the region, as well as fostering others to become interested in Latin American art. It will also create a great networking opportunity between UCL and Latin American universities, publishers, and scholars. The project directly responds to UCL’s initiative to diversify reading lists and ‘Liberate the Curriculum’. We hope to not only improve the collection but to promote it through an online exhibition showcasing the selection of resources and the research behind it- possibly alongside a commemorative publication and event. In this way, we hope to use the project to engage the academic community and directly stimulate the discussions around Latin American Art being held at UCL.  

Decolonizing Black Statistics In IGP (Institute of Global Prosperity)

Team: Onya Idoko (Staff Partner), Brianna Powell, Alexandre Demun, Peterpaul Mbele, Eunice Bassey, Emem Usanda

We believe a diverse community should have a safe space to share thoughts, memories, and dreams together. With this, we aim to contribute to a more inclusive and diverse curriculum by developing diversity to these educational spaces. This begins with an online archive free to the public on the context of a black student at UCL in the IGP. A podcast about students from underrepresented communities speaking on their experience will give future students of color a perspective on applying to this program. This will be used as a marketing tool to reach students who are generally misrepresented and stereotyped in this program. This podcast will feature students current, past, and future. For the statistics to improve potential black students need to interact with current students in a safe space to understand the requirements of success in this program. This is why a podcast talks about life here at UCL as a marketing technique to appeal to more students of underrepresented groups. Overall providing the power mentioned in the Prosperity Index and the components of voice and a sense of feeling heard. The Prosperity Index provides an analysis of indicators of prosperity to improve the life quality in their context as a means for identification of strategic local actions,  

Spotlight: uplifting minority identity researchers to support de-colonization of psychology curricula (Division of Psychology and Language Sciences)

Team: Fiona John (Staff Partner), Gili Orbach (Staff Partner), Annie Hata, Jake Petrie, Fathima Aameera

The initiative would aim to increase the visibility of research that looks at populations which are often missing from mainstream and seminal literature, which we often point to as a limitation of such studies that make them non-generalizable. Research that looks at BAME experiences of mental health issues and mental health care, research looking at female experiences of Autism and ADHD and the differences in their presentation from male experiences of such neurodiversity, experiences of individuals with hidden disabilities, from different cultures around the world, and from hard to reach populations such as refugee and migrant individuals; are examples of some of the areas of research I would like to bring more attention to. Research from researchers with lived experience of such backgrounds and cultures is also another area we feel would be important to bring more attention to. The way we would like to do this practically, is to look within the UCL and wider academic community to invite researchers who have conducted research into such areas to present a poster or short talk about their research in a mini-conference at the AFC where we can have several speakers come and have either a traditional poster-based conference, or a series of hour-long journal club style discussions with the theme of spotlighting less represented populations and talking about the importance of inclusivity in research.

Improving Year 1 Chinese students' engagement in BA Education Studies Programme (Education, Practice & Society)

Team: Yuxin Liu (Staff Partner), Jd Carpentieri, Kasey Zhang, Lily Liao

As the PGTA this year, I can see there are still some (or more) Chinese students who do not feel comfortable talking in the seminars - I can empathize somehow, but I still quite want to know the reasons and hope to make them can feel comfortable and confident to speak in their future study. And after talking with them, their response about they feel they are engaged enough made me feel staff-students sometimes are not in the same boat. So the proposed plan aims to understand what Chinese BA Year 1 students feel/think about their seminars' engagement and what suggestions they have. And also want to share what programmes are expected to do and co-create the Asian student-inclusive curriculum. Then further improve Chinese students' experience in our programme. The proposed project includes both gathering data from course evaluations, previous discussions and previous research done with Chinese students on the BA at the IOE and running some focus groups with current students to gather data and insights into what the issues are.  Then moving to a co-creation stage where our team and our participants (have interviewed in the focus groups or extra semi-structured interview) work together to explore the issues and what might be done to address those issues and lead to increased ‘engagement’ of Chinese students/a more appropriate pedagogy/a development of knowledge to inform pedagogy/the development of activities to support Chinese students’ engagement. 

Unlearning and Relearning: Dismantling Colonial Legacies in Academic Institutions (Education, Practice & Society)

Team: Laila Kadiwal (Staff Partner), Aine McAllister (Staff Partner), Isabella Partridge, Chanju Mwanza, Lynsey Robinson, Namrata Sharma, Sadaf Yasir

The project is an initiative which questions the inequities rooted in Eugenics and colonial legacies in higher-education institutions. It seeks to unpack how these impact learning as well as everyday lived experiences of students at university and involves creating resources to foster environments which are more equitable, unbiased, and inclusive. It will be implemented as a collaboration between students, staff, and alumni of IOE who come together with a shared vision to work towards the creation of a more just world. The project will be implemented over term two and term three. We propose a day-long event that is open to students (UG, PG and PhD) and staff in the form of The Decolonial Café. The event will then be followed by a monthly blog series to continue the engagement of staff and students regarding coloniality within the university space. These blogs will then be compiled as a co-created curriculum resource. The Decolonial Café series is facilitated at the IOE (Institute of Education) by the Theatre of The Privileged Collective. The Café series engages with decolonizing the field of education and development. They seek to disrupt the binary between students and staff to establish a productive partnership of both unlearning and re-learning.

Doing something fun while tackling something important: making 'distribution machines' while furthering dialogue about the eugenics legacy at UCL (Social Science Institute)

Team: Charlotte Faircloth (Staff Partner), David Bann (Staff Partner), Aris Komporoz-Athanasiou (Staff Partner), Burak Sonmez (Staff Partner), Helen Knowler (Staff Partner), Tor Wright (Staff Partner), Lampros Mallios

The overall aims of this project are to provide students with an opportunity to take part in a fun hands-on event; creating normal distribution machines – also known as ‘Galton Boards’, invented by Sir Francis Galton. We aim to offer practical solutions to contextualising this legacy within the delivery of a Social Science curriculum. Event 1 (early Summer Term): In collaboration with our Student ChangeMakers, we will organise an event open to our 490 social science undergraduate students (anticipated: 50-100 students). They will be given an opportunity to do something different from standard teaching practice: to work together, hands-on, to create something fun that they can take away with them. They will create normal distribution machines. These are devices in which balls are dropped into a board; each ball hits a series of pins and is deflected in different directions. The landing of the balls seems random but soon forms a pattern—a ‘normal distribution’. This demonstrates key foundational features of statistics which are now used routinely in almost all fields of scientific research (e.g., the statistics of distributions). The opportunity for broader reflection on eugenics and its legacy is afforded due to the machine’s inventor: Sir Francis Galton, who is thought to have invented it in late 1800s. The UCL community continues to wrestle with his legacy: important contributions to science and statistics, yet contributions to eugenics which motivated crimes against humanity in the decades which followed. Can good ideas be separated from ‘bad’ individuals? Scientists routinely use insights which were derived by Galton (eg., in statistics, social science, and weather mapping), yet opportunities for applied scientists to discuss his legacy are limited.

Student engagement and pedagogical incentives: a look into modules highly reliant on independent learning (Statistical Sciences)

Team: Takoua Jendoubi (Staff Partner), Laura Johnston

This project proposes the use of STAT0004 module data from Moodle over two years to model and monitor student engagement, focusing on students' interaction with the lecture notes and quizzes. Through this analysis, we hope to develop indicators of student engagement in the data, that can be utilised to build an analysis pipeline to optimise the detection of at-risk students. A comparison of the student data between years enables us to evaluate the effectiveness of introducing the required submission of weekly quizzes and receiving of regular feedback on improving student engagement. Through a focus group of current STAT0004 students and Post Graduate TAs, we hope to gain insight into pedagogical design that can support student engagement, opening discussion and brainstorm about incentives to encourage active engagement, whilst receiving feedback on how to improve the current incentive. We will plan and pilot the updated pedagogical incentive in the final month of the module. To conclude this project, we will receive feedback from STAT0004 students about the improved incentive through a short survey and communicate our findings with the statistics department and wider UCL education community.

Developing an inclusive curriculum for PGT programmes at UCLMS (Medical School)

Team: Miranda Kronfli (Staff Partner), Jonathan Cartledge (Staff Partner), Michael Walsh (Staff Partner), David Harrison (Staff Partner), Dheeraj Thappar, Sara Al-Khafaji

In this project, staff on the two postgraduate taught (PGT) programmes offered by UCL Medical School will work in partnership with students, to gather perspectives of students from Protected Characteristics backgrounds, regarding teaching and assessment practices that empower them, and any barriers to that empowerment. For the first phase of the project, we will recruit a small number of students who themselves identify as having a ‘protected characteristic’ background, or as experiencing minoritisation in some way. However we will explicitly ask these students to declare what category of protected characteristic or minoritisation they fall into as we wish to collect information more broadly about experiences of students across all categories. Our student project team will then interview these students to find out their perspectives on teaching and learning and assessment, in particular to establish what helps and hinder them as they strive to achieve their goals on their programme of study. We will analyse this data to find out the main themes in terms of empowering practices, barriers to empowerment, and any unanticipated themes to emerge from the data, to ensure we uncover any ‘unknown unknowns’. For the second phase of the project, the student project team will be supported to engage in a dialogue with staff regarding the issues arising from the data, and work with the staff to identify some feasible measures that staff can take in their learning teaching and assessment practice. This will be in the form of a student/ staff colloquium. Data will be gathered from this and the ‘feasible measures’ identified will be incorporated into an Inclusive Curriculum Toolkit which will be available for staff to use in the 2023-24 academic year. The project will be evaluated by including a question regarding inclusive learning teaching and assessment in the Continuous Module Dialogue survey for Term 3 in 2023 and Term 3 in 2024. Staff will also be surveyed for their perspectives regarding changes in their practice. The project design has been undertaken with close collaboration with the programme leads for each PGT programme and with the Student Rep members of the departmental SSCC.  

Beyond significance: better ways to teach and learn statistical inference (Institute of Epidemiology and Health Care)

Team: Peter Martin (Staff Partner), Rebecca Lacey, Jessica Kurland, Divya Kaushik, Jiatong Shi

Students of statistics learn about statistical inference as a key method to use data to assess the evidence about a research question. Key concepts in this regard are “hypothesis tests”, “confidence intervals”, “statistical significance”, and “p-values”. Unfortunately, there is ample evidence that many students leave their statistics courses with a hazy and often incorrect understanding of these concepts. Experience from previous years shows that students taking our statistics courses come with varied previous background in mathematics and statistics, such that explanations and materials that “work well” for one subset of students may not work well for others. “Math anxiety” can also be an issue and a barrier to engagement and learning. Statistical inference is a ‘threshold concept’, whose mastery is a necessary prerequisite for achieving many other learning outcomes across the two modules, other modules in the students’ degree courses, and indeed their future careers. Since 2019, the statistics teaching team in UCL’s Institute of Epidemiology and Health Care (IEHC) have reviewed their teaching of statistical inference and have made several changes to teaching materials and curricula across two modules for MSc students, which run consecutively in Terms 1 and 2. This included adding a new lecture in Term 2. Student feedback on the new lecture in Term 2 has been generally positive, but we believe the materials would benefit from a thorough review in partnership with our students. Our review will focus on consistency of language/explanation, variety of examples, and relevance for applied research. We particularly intend to explore the experiences of students through the lens of their differing backgrounds as identified above. This review will help us identify areas in which the teaching and learning of statistical inference can be improved. Depending on the outcome of this evaluation, we may then either adapt current teaching materials or develop entirely new materials, which could include new exercises, different teaching media (e.g. short pre-recorded videos), or even entirely new lectures. This could be taken forward, again in partnership with our students, through ChangeMakers continuation funding. There is also potential, in a future project, to widen our scope to other modules taught as part of MSc degrees our students attend (and which use statistical evidence), and to the BSc statistics modules taught within our department. 

A longitudinal qualitative assessment of the experiences and wellbeing of clinicians undertaking business degrees at GBSH (Global Business School for Health)

Team: Rashmi Mathew (Staff Partner), Alexandra Bradbury, Alexandra Hughes

The Global Business School for Health (GBSH) launched this year in 2022-2023 and is running its master’s programmes for the first time. Given the health focus of the school, many students are trained clinicians and may have come from highly stressful work environments, especially in recent years during the COVID-19 pandemic. Their wellbeing may have been further affected by embarking on further education, learning a new skillset outside their expertise, and possibly moving countries to do so. To help faculty at GBSH gain an in-depth understanding of the motivations, goals, expectations, fears, and challenges of this particular student group, we will invite clinicians undertaking master’s degrees at GBSH to describe their experiences both in the healthcare workforce and as business students. The goal of these discussions is to help the school set up appropriate support systems, plan relevant career progression initiatives, and assess whether curricula have been designed to take advantage of the knowledge and skills this group brings to GBSH. We will use the Listening Rooms Method, bringing together clinician friends to discuss their experiences in informal and relaxed pairs. Discussions will take place twice: once in term two and after term 3 in the summer. We will apply for a continuation of the project after July 2023. Anonymised transcripts of discussions will be examined by the project team. They will identify key themes, changes in priorities or concerns of students over time, and opportunities/recommendations for faculty at GBSH. 

Utilising authentic assessment to explore UCL’s historical links with eugenics in Medical Anthropology (Anthropology)
Team: Carrie Ryan (Staff Partner)

This ChangeMaker project will align the ANTH0079–Aspects of Applied Medical Anthropology module’s teaching and authentic assessments with the aims of UCL’s Eugenics Legacy Project. The goal of ANTH0079 is to equip students to critically evaluate and apply anthropological ideas to current problems in medicine and public health. As part of the module, students learn about the intellectual terrain of eugenics, the contemporary afterlives of eugenics in health contexts today, and how to apply medical anthropology to uncover the social, not genetic, roots of health vulnerability. In this module, students learn to apply anthropology not only to critically analyse contemporary issues in health, but also to advocate for and catalyse change around health issues. The module has an authentic assessment called the ‘Advocacy Letter,’ where students are asked to use anthropology to write a letter to a relevant individual or organization advocating for change around a health issue they care about. This ChangeMakers project will support students who would like to write their Advocacy Letters on the afterlives of eugenics in health contexts today. The goal of this is to give students the opportunity to participate in the Eugenics Legacy Project at UCL, not only by investigating eugenics at UCL through an anthropological lens, but also by considering anthropologically how UCL might work to redress their involvement in this difficult history. We will recruit student volunteers who agree to talk about and reflect on their experiences of preparing an advocacy letter as their assessment task. Some students will read out their letters, while other students will be filmed talking about the ways that they chose their focus, prepared the letter and what they have learned about the challenges of advocacy from this task. Students involved in this stage of the project will be given a voucher in renumeration for their contribution. We will recruit 2 student interns to then edit the recorded clips to make a short film (8-10mins) about the process of taking part in the assessment task. We will also host an event in Term 3 where we will show the film and students will take part in a panel discussion exploring their experiences of the task with the module lead. 

Continuation Funding

Continuation funding is awarded to projects to enbale them to continue their projects in a second year. Projects are either embedding changes they have made more fully (inclduing evaluation) or substantially building on what they achieved in the first year of funding. 

  • Investigating students’ perspectives on MSc group projects, Statistical Sciences

  • Arts for Mental Health (IOE)

  • CUES Study (IOE)

  • Reforming the Education Society (IOE)

  • SWANA network (IOE)

  • Bringing Academic Work to Life (IOE)

  • Development of an Inclusion Student Advocate (Medical School)

  • Terrace Club (Bartlett)

  • Conversations 4 Citizenship (IOE)

  • IOE Sustainability (IOE)

  • Covid cohort study (Physics & Astronomy)

Projects by Faculty

Arts & Humanities
  • Critical pedagogies in higher education: a participatory learning and action project with PGRs and ECRs who teach, SELCs
  • Guest Speaker Code of Conduct, Arts and Sciences (BASc)
  • UCL Library’s Latin American Art Collection, Slade School of Fine Art
  • Identifying rewarding, effective assessment methods for undergraduate modules, Information Studies
  • Open(ing) Doors: Co-Creating Space for Inclusivity at SSEES, School of Slavonic & East European Studies
Bartlett (Built Environment)
  • PhDConnect! Doctoral School for the Bartlett
  • Creating a toolkit of resources and building knowledge share between students on how to communicate own research to wider audiences, Institute of Environmental Design and Engineering 
  • Show-and-tell talks from postgraduate students: towards two-way dialogue between staff and students, Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis
  • Decolonizing Black Statistics In IGP, Institute of Global Prosperity
  • Terrace Club (contination project)
Brain Sciences
  • The Understanding, Communication and Language  (UCL) podcast, Division of Psychology & Language Sciences
  • Enhancing student social belonging by reducing feelings of identity incompatibility (Division of Psychology and Language Sciences)
  • Incorporating cultural competency training within Personal Tutor professional development and training (Division of Psychology & Language Sciences)
  • Developing peer support processes on the initial professional training programme in educational psychology (Division of Psychology and Language Sciences)
  • Spotlight: Uplifting minority identity researchers to support de-colonisation of psychology curricula (Division of Psychology and Language Sciences)
Engineering Sciences
  • Enhancing students' learning using peer-mentoring techniques, Chemical Engineering
  • Investigating the challenges of teamwork for 1st year undergraduate students, Biochemical Engineering
  • An investigation into ChatGPT generated assessments: Can we tell the difference? Biochemical Engineering
  • How to Prevent and Address Vicarious Trauma and Compassion Fatigue in Students Researching Distressing Topics, Security and Crime Science
  • From personal tutors to academic and wellbeing advisors: an alternative approach to personal tutoring, School of Management

No projects currently

Life Sciences
  • Linked project between Pharmacology and Anatomy in the Division of Biosciences:
    • Developing an undergraduate near-peer tutor and mentorship scheme for medical students
  • Content help, tips, and tricks from learners to learners, Division of Biosciences
  • Patient and public involvement in assessing clinical students on their communication skills: a partnership between primary care students, primary care educators, and patients and public representatives, School of Pharmacy
Maths & Physical Sciences (MAPS)
  • Student Research Connection in Condensed Matter and Materials Physics (SRC: CMMP), Physics & Astronomy
  • Investigating students’ perspectives on MSc group projects, Statistical Sciences (continuation project)
  • Student engagement and pedagogical incentives: a look into modules highly reliant on independent learning, Statistical Sciences
  • Covid cohort study, Physics & Astronomy (continuation project)
Medical Sciences
  • Implementation of a Capstone Assessment for year 1 integrated Medical Sciences programmes, Medical School
  • Increasing the visibility of pronouns within clinical settings, Medical School
  • Developing a PGR tailored dynamic mentoring scheme, Division of Surgery & Interventional Sciences
  • Exploring the experiences of BAME LGBTQ+ Medical Students in the undergraduate programme, Medical School
  • Amnesty Policy Changemakers, Medical School
  • Developing an inclusive curriculum for PGT programmes at UCLMS, Medical School
  • Development of an Inclusion Student Advocate, Medical School (continuation project)
Population Health Sciences
  • Zero to hero: Empowering researchers through Python computer programming for more efficient and engaging data pipelines, Institute of Cardiovascular Science
  • UCL Global Mental Health Early Career Network, Institute for Global Health
  • Institute for Women' Health Podcast, Institute for Women's Health
  • Beyond significance: Better ways to teach and learn statistical inference, Institute of Epidemiology and Health Care
  • A longitudinal qualitative assessment of the experiences and wellbeing of clinicians undertaking business degrees at GBSH, Global Business School for Health
Social & Historical Sciences
  • Utilising authentic assessment to explore UCL’s historical links with eugenics in Medical Anthropology, Anthropology
  • Academic Integrity in the Age of A.I., Political Science
  • Assessment for Learning: Co-creating a Portfolio Assessment Model, Political Science
  • Approaching exams and building resilience, Political Science
Central Services
  • Careers Extra buddy scheme, UCL Careers
Institute of Education (IOE)
  • P&HD Write Together, Psychology & Human Development
  • The Supper Club: A Staff-Student Career Engagement Series, Psychology & Human Development
  • Empowering Psychology with Education students to become future innovators and entrepreneurs in education, Psychology & Human Development
  • UCL Applied Linguistics Society, Culture, Communication and Media
  • The Bridging Divides Project, Social Science Institute
  • Re-designing assessment frameworks for SRI in the light of recent developments in AI technology, Social Science Institute
  • Co-creating authentic, inclusive assessments for students to improve the skills required for effective professional practice, Psychology and Human Development
  • Improving Year 1 Chinese students' engagement in BA Education Studies Programme, Education, Practice & Society
  • Unlearning and Relearning: Dismantling Colonial Legacies in Academic Institutions, Education, Practice & Society
  • Doing something fun while tackling something important: making 'distribution machines' while furthering dialogue about the eugenics legacy at UCL, Social Science Institute
  • Arts for Mental Health (contination project)
  • CUES Study (continuation project)
  • Reforming the Education Society (continuation project)
  • SWANA network (continuation project)
  • Bringing Academic Work to Life (continuation project)
  • Conversations 4 Citizenship (continuation project)
  • IOE Sustainability (continuation project)