UCL Global


Recipients of the 2018/19 Global Engagement Funds announced

17 September 2018

From Brazil to Bangladesh, the recipients of this year’s funds will further UCL's global collaborations


The recipients of the 2018/19 Global Engagement Funds have been revealed this week, with successful projects drawn from research areas including risk and disaster reduction, statistical science and translation studies.

This year, the funds will support 122 projects led by academics from across UCL, all of whom are working in collaboration with partners across the world, in countries including Brazil, New Zealand, Thailand, Bangladesh, China and Italy.

More than 240 applications were received for the 2018/19 round of funding, spread across all UCL faculties, marking a 10% year-on-year increase in the total number of proposed projects.

Following the selection process, Ciaran Moynihan, UCL’s Head of Global Partnerships, commented, “This year, the disciplinary and geographical range of applications was even more diverse than previous rounds of the Global Engagement Funds.

“It was fantastic to see the exciting initiatives outlined in proposals that will support UCL and collaborators around the world who are working in partnership to achieve global impact.”

Accelerating discovery

Since the funds’ inception in 2015, UCL’s Global Engagement Office has allocated more than £500,000 in funding, supporting over 400 UCL academics in partnering with 464 organisations in 79 countries worldwide.

Judged by a selection panel chaired by UCL’s Regional Pro-Vice-Provosts and Vice Deans International, each of the funded projects reflect the core ethos of UCL’s Global Engagement Strategy: that bringing together different perspectives and diverse experiences accelerates the process of discovery.

Dr Jeremy Skipper, Senior Lecturer in Experimental Psychology, was one of last year’s funding recipients. He said: “I cannot speak the praises of this funding source enough. Having official funds to travel back and forth to University of California San Diego made a collaboration flourish that would otherwise have stayed in the talks phase.”

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Diverse range of projects

Dr Rachele De Felice, Senior Teaching Fellow at the Department of English Language and Literature, is among this year’s funding recipients. She has secured funding for the second year running for her project, ‘Problem management and leadership: a case study of the Clinton emails.’

She explained: “The availability of the Clinton emails gives us an unprecedented window into how senior leaders react to crises and display their leadership at times of conflict. The research addresses issues at the intersection of linguistics, political science and organisational studies.”

“The GEO funds are invaluable in allowing my collaborator, Dr Gregory Garretson, to visit from Sweden and to support a graduate research assistant who will contribute to our efforts in analysing the data.”  

Urban focus

Dr Jenny Mindell, Professor of Public Health, has also secured funding for her project, ‘Transport’s impact on health and inequalities in Latin American cities.’

Speaking following news of her funding, Jenny said: “This funding will pay for a colleague from Temuco, Chile and me to travel to Havana to work with architects and epidemiologists from two Cuban institutions to work on a number of items in our first work plan, focussing on capacity-building.”

Dr. Pushpa Arabindoo, Senior Lecturer in Geography and Urban Design, will also use the Global Engagement Funds in support of an urban-focused project: ‘Picturing Chennai: Photography as urban narrative.”

Explaining the project, she said: In an attempt to bridge the Anglo and Francophone knowledge-worlds of urban studies, this project seeks to build a more collaborative relationship between myself and scholars at the École des Hautes Études En Sciences Sociales (EHESS).”

“Through the intermediary of French photographer Christophe Delory, we intend to explore through images what 'urban now' might mean in a city like Chennai.”

Disease-prevention initiatives

The broad range of research being supported by the Global Engagement Funds this year also includes initiatives to prevent diseases. Among these is the work of UCL’s Dr David Redding, UKRI Rutherford Fellow.

Explaining his work with colleagues at the Department of Genetics, Evolution and Environment, he said: “We are collaborating with the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to understand patterns of Lassa fever cases over the last six years.

“We are combining the modelling skills of researchers based at UCL with the epidemiology expertise at the NCDC, to uncover the geographical and seasonal patterns behind this disease in Nigeria in the hopes of building towards a disease forecasting framework in the future.”

Read more case studies of how last year's recipients used the funds.