UCL Grand Challenges


Joint Awards: University of Hong Kong & UCL

The Strategic Partnership Joint Awards were established in January 2017 as part of a collaborative research link between UCL and the University of Hong Kong.

UCL–HKU Strategic Partnership: Joint Awards Scheme

UCL logo and HKU crest
A collaborative research link between UCL and the University of Hong Kong (HKU) was established in January 2017 in the context of HKU’s Strategic Partnership Fund with the University of Sydney, the University of Chicago, UCL and KCL. 

The UCL-HKU joint scheme is motivated by HKU’s interests in societally-complex issues impacting people in Hong Kong and in mainland China, notably urbanisation and sustainable cities, healthy ageing, global health, translational medicine, food and water safety and security, transformative technology, transcultural studies including China studies, and justice and equality. UCL's Grand Challenges programme - addressing Global Health, Sustainable Cities, Cultural Understanding, Human Wellbeing, Transformative Technology and Justice & Equality, provides a framing for the inter-institutional collaboration.

Each institution allocates up to HK$300,000 (£30,000) annually in support collaborative activities, enabling up to three joint awards each year. Grant funds are for brief pilot studies, joint workshops, symposia, and travel of researchers and research students between collaborating research groups. This seed funding activity provides a basis for longer-term collaboration between UCL and HKU-based researchers through project and programme grants provided by national and international research funders.

Designed to strengthen collaborative research links between the two universities, the joint awards scheme builds on the HKU-UCL Law Programme, which welcomed its first cohort of Dual Degree students in Law in September 2016, initiating a strategic collaborative relationship between the two premier law schools. The joint award scheme provides a mechanism for researchers from any of UCL's 11 faculties to work with researchers at HKU, at the heart of an economically and culturally dynamic Asian region, on issues of urgent social, health and economic importance in the region.

When a Call for Proposals is open, UCL researchers are invited to apply for support from the Strategic Partnerships Fund, jointly with a partner based at HKU. Intending UCL applicants are asked to follow the guidance provided in HKU’s Strategic Partnerships Fund document, submitting a three-page application to Professor W. John Kao, Hong Kong University's Vice-President and Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Global) and Dr Ian Scott, Director of UCL Grand Challenges. The statement of the budget needed should clearly delineate the anticipated costs of each collaborator – in £ Sterling for UCL side, and $HK for HKU partner.

Previous Awards

Joint Awards to Date

Next Call for Proposals

The next call will be announced in the Spring Term of academic year 2018-19