UCL Global


Announcing the Global Engagement Funds 2020/21 recipients

26 February 2021

53 outstanding projects, including many led by early career researchers, were awarded seed funds to further UCL's international collaborations

colourful world map

This year’s Global Engagement Funds (GEF) awarded just under £180,000 to a total of 53 projects led by academics from across UCL, with each project receiving up to £5,000.

The funds will support UCL’s diverse range of collaborations with international partners in countries including Bolivia, Senegal, Pakistan, Slovakia and Lebanon.

Collaborating during the COVID-19 pandemic

Given the ongoing uncertainty around COVID-19 restrictions, this year’s applicants were encouraged to explore methods of remote collaboration with their global partners. 

Dr Ana Claudia Suriani da Silva (Arts & Humanities), who received funding for her project on translating contemporary Afro-Brazilian literature, saw this as an opportunity to extend the possibilities of her research.

She said: “If COVID-19 has done anything positive, it has opened our initiatives to a much wider audience. The grant will enable me to enhance the links between my research, my teaching, and the School of European Languages, Culture and Society (SELCS) outreach activities by delivering a new SELCS Brazilian Translation Club workshop series. The workshops will count on the participation of the authors, our students, translators, and enthusiasts of Brazilian literature living in different parts of the world, who will benefit from the workshops and contribute to my research on the definition(s) of Afro-Brazilian literature.”

Supporting early career researchers

Since its launch in 2015, GEF has supported many first-time funding applicants and early career researchers to address the world's most pressing problems. 

For example, Dr Paroj Banerjee (Bartlett), one of this year’s awardees and a first-time funding recipient, received funding for her project on how policies from the COVID-19 pandemic is exacerbating insecurities of houseless populations in Indian cities.

She said: “I am absolutely delighted to receive support from the Global Engagement Funds for my project. This is my first academic grant, and as an early career academic, it will enable me to advance my work in an important direction. This project is in collaboration with Dr Ratoola Kundu from Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai and Brijesh Arya, a leading housing rights activist. I am really excited that this project will give me an opportunity to closely collaborate with actors who were deeply involved in providing relief to people who suffered disproportionately during the pandemic.”

Paving the way for further collaboration

Another of this year's funding awardees, Dr Pedro Rodriguez Cruz (Medical Sciences) who is collaborating with colleagues at Université Cheikh Anta Diop (UCAD) in Dakar, Senegal, hopes his funding will lay the ground for further collaboration and external funding. 

He said: "The UCL Global Engagement Funds will be crucial to helping us describe the clinical spectrum and disease phenotypes of neuromuscular disorders (NMDs) in Senegal and generate preliminary genomic data to support future joint research applications and collaborative projects in the frame of the International Centre for Genomic Medicine in Neuromuscular Diseases (ICGNMD) at UCL. The medium and long-term goals are to increase the proportion of NMD patients in Senegal with a precise genetic diagnosis to enable provision of disease-specific therapies, discover new disease genes, and ultimately build capacity and generate local expertise for the diagnosis and treatment of NMDs in Senegal."

2020/21 GEF awardees

Thank you to all of the 2020/21 applicants and congratulations to this year's GEF recipients:

Arts & Humanities - Professor Federico Federici, Dr Ana Claudia Suriani da Silva, Dr Sarah Pickering

The Bartlett - Dr Kostas Grigoriadis, Ms Mollie Claypool, Professor John Tomaney, Dr Paolo Agnolucci, Dr Paroj Banerjee, Dr Raktim Ray, Dr Nikolay Mintchev, Professor Cassidy Johnson, Dr Qiuchen Lu, Professor Murray Fraser

Brain SciencesMiss Tamara Ondruskova, Dr James Allen, Dr Sarah White, Dr Soyon Hong, Professor Sushrut Jadhav, Professor Giampietro Schiavo, Dr Madiha Shaikh, Professor Doris-Eva Bamiou

Engineering - Dr Emily Kostas, Dr Fabio Freddi, Dr Dimitrios Kanoulas, Dr Mingxing Hu, Professor Rebecca Shipley, Dr Jean Christopohe Mauduit, Dr Spencer Chainey

Institute of Education - Dr Laila Kadiwal, Dr Keri Ka-Yee Wong, Dr Rachel Rosen, Professor Claire Cameron, Dr Roberto Filippi 

Maths & Physical Sciences - Dr Anna Regoutz, Dr Sudeshna Basugupta, Dr Mojtaba Abdi Jalebi, Dr Bayes Ahmed, Professor Rod Halburd

Medical Sciences - Professor Andrew Smith, Dr Pedro Rodriguez Cruz, Dr Mattia Francesco Maria Gerli

Population Health Sciences - Dr Wentian Lu, Dr Cecilia Vindrola, Dr Leah Li, Dr Alexis Palfreyman, Dr Emma Wilson, Mrs Madiha Sajid

Social & Historical Sciences - Dr Thomas Western, Dr Lucia Patrizio Gunning, Dr Valentina Amuso, Dr Colin Provost, Dr Inken von Borzyskowski, Dr Jerome Lewis

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