UCL Grand Challenges


The New UCL Grand Challenges

The UCL Grand Challenges programme is evolving. Beginning in academic year 2023/24 the new programme will bring new themes and enhanced support for collaborative work.

One of the aims of the UCL Strategic Plan for 2022-2027 is an exciting evolution of the Grand Challenges, focusing on new themes and delivering more support for collaborative work. The Grand Challenges will still take a cross-disciplinary and cross-boundary approach, supporting disciplinary experts to work with different disciplines and partners outside UCL on areas of pressing societal importance.

As well as introducing new themes and increasing the available support, the new programme will feature an expanded remit. In addition to continuing to support cross-disciplinary research and knowledge exchange (including competitive seed funding), the Grand Challenges will inform how UCL operate as an institution and a community and will introduce an online learning programme. The operation and education remits will draw on UCL's combined research expertise to determine how best to respond to the new Grand Challenges themes:

  • Climate crisis - launching in AY 2023/24
  • Mental Health and Well-Being - launching in AY 2023/24
  • Data-Empowered Societies
  • Inequalities
  • Intercultural communication

We welcome feedback on the implementation activities to date and our future plans from members of the UCL community. You are also invited to register your interest in getting involved in the first two GC Themes (Climate Change and Mental Health & Wellbeing), so that we can be in touch as the Themes are developed and launched. 

To provide feedback or register interest for the Grand Challenges of Climate Change or Mental Health & Wellbeing, contact rige@ucl.ac.uk

More information about the progress of the new Grand Challenges, including timescales and governance structures, can be found on our Sharepoint site (UCL login required) 

Applications invited for academic leadership roles

We are now inviting applications of interest from members of the UCL community to apply for academic leadership roles in the first two themes of the evolved Grand Challenges programme:

  • Pro-Vice-Provost (Climate Crisis)
  • Pro-Vice-Provost (Mental Health and Wellbeing)

The deadline for applications is noon on 17 August 2023

Secondment opportunity - Grand Challenges theme coordinators

We are recruiting for three Coordinators in the Grand Challenges team, who will work to deliver a wide programme of activities under one or more of the Grand Challenges themes. These positions are open to current UCL staff only on an internal secondment basis, fixed-term until 31 July 2024.

To learn more and to apply, visit the UCL recruitment website.  The deadline for applications is 4 September 2023