UCL Grand Challenges


Collaborative Science & Technology Workshops

Funding of up to £7,000 is now available to arrange science and technology workshops at UCL with French academic colleagues

Seventh Annual Call for Proposals

Collaborative Science & Technology Workshops at UCL
A UCL Grand Challenges – French Embassy partnership activity
Academic Year 2018-19

Deadline: 5pm on Friday 18 January 2019

(N.B. Applications received before the end of Monday 21 January will be accepted)
Collaborative Science & Technology Workshops at UCL


Researchers based at UCL are now invited to respond to the 7th Call for funds to organise collaborative workshops involving participants from UCL and from research institutions in France. The French Embassy will also announce the Call on its website. For academic year 2018-19, the French Embassy’s Department of Higher Education, Research and Innovation has kindly committed to provide up to £21,000 to support of three to four workshops (depending on the quality and value for money of the applications received)

Read Reports from the Previous Workshops


Criteria for Selection of Workshops

A proposed workshop should: 

  1. Take place before Friday 30 August 2019
    The awarded funding being spent by the end of UCL’s financial year – i.e. by Wed 31 July 2019
  2. Cost no more than £7,000
    NB: Proposals for workshops costing up to £5,000 are welcome – which might permit support for more than three high quality meetings
  3. Be capable of being run at UCL’s facilities within the Workshop Budget. It is intended that the budget for a workshop will, in addition to covering the costs of dinner for all participants on Day 1, and lunch and refreshment costs for all participants on Day 2 of the workshop, also support the travel, accommodation (one night) and subsistence costs of participants travelling from France
  4. Be led by senior researchers from UCL and France (i.e. established academics / senior research fellows)
  5. Be suitable for a total of approximately 12 to 16 participants, inclusive of approximately 6 to 8 participants from France
  6. Have the aim of building on existing, or establishing new, links between UCL and French academic and research organisations
  7. Seek to establish new approaches for possible research collaborations, including those needing input from researchers from diverse disciplinary and methodological backgrounds
  8. Address, for example:
  • an S&T challenge at the frontiers of either basic or applied science, e.g. (but not exclusively) relating to Energy, Climate Change, Population Ageing, Artificial Intelligence
  • one of UCL’s Grand Challenges: Global Health, Sustainable Cities, Cultural Understanding, Human Wellbeing, Justice & Equality or Transformative Technology

Format of Workshop

A suggested workshop format is as follows:

Day 1

14.00 Arrival at UCL
(to enable same-day journey start)
14.00-18.00 Workshop activity
20.00-22.00 Dinner

Day 2

09.00-13.00 Continuation of workshop
13.00-14.00 Lunch
14.00 Depart
(to enable same-day journey end)

Method of Application

  1. UCL lead applicants should submit their proposals using this online application form.
  2. Applicants should also submit a separate file containing an estimate of costs for travel (economy class), accommodation, subsistence, dinner, workshop coffees and teas, signed off by the head of department and/or departmental finance manager.
  3. Information on individual participants (from UCL and from France) should be provided separately on one side of A4 per person, indicating name, position, departmental affiliation, core research interest, three key relevant publications; but note that:
  4. Explicit commitment from all [i.e. up to 16] potential participants is not required at the time of application. However, brief information should be provided on at least three participants from UCL and three from France. If an application is selected for funding, data on the remaining participants will be required before the date of the proposed workshop.
  5. Doctoral (PhD) students and postdoctoral research assistants are very welcome to participate but lead applicants must be established academics or group leaders (e.g. senior research fellows). 
  6. There is one deadline for applications: 17.00, Friday 18 January 2019, with decisions given to applicants by Friday 15 February 2019.

By applying, applicants indicate their agreement if successful to provide:

  • A short report (confirming that the workshop took place, also describing planned follow-up activity) within one month after the workshop.
    You can find reports from previous workshops online.
  • By Friday 27 September 2019, an expenditure statement [NB the French Embassy needs this in order to justify budgetary support for future workshop competitions]
  • 12 months after the workshop, if prompted by UCL OVPR, a short update providing information on any attributable further developments
  • Successful applicants will be responsible for all the practical arrangements for the workshop and should not expect further logistical support from the OVPR or from the French Embassy.
  • UCL Grand Challenges undertakes to publicise the immediate, medium and longer-term outcomes attributable to funded workshops.

Membership of Workshop Panel

  • The Science and Technology Counsellor at the French Embassy
  • Another French Embassy representative appointed by its Science and Technology Counsellor
  • The UCL Director of Research Coordination & Planning, BEAMS (Built Environment, Engineering, Mathematics & Physical Sciences) or their appointee
  • The UCL Director of Grand Challenges & Cross-Disciplinary Development; and
  • The UCL Pro-Vice-Provost (Europe) or their appointee.

Deadline for submission of applications to OVPR: 17.00, Friday 18 January 2019
Decisions on applications will be communicated to applicants by Friday 15 February 2019

Step 1

  • Download and complete the application form.
  • Save the form using the format: "S&T Workshop - [Family Name]"

Download the Application Form


Step 2

  • Register your project
  • Upload your application form.
  • Upload an estimate of costs signed off by your Head of Deapartment of Head of Finance  
  • Save and submit.

Upload Your Completed Form


Collaboration Agreement: UCL and the French Embassy

In 2012 UCL and the French Embassy signed a 5-year Collaboration Agreement to work in partnership to facilitate and support an annual series of joint workshops at UCL, between research groups at UCL and at universities in France, with a Science and/or Technology focus. The Agreement was renewed in 2017 for a further three years, to provide funds for workshops during UCL academic years 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20.

The workshop series is one of two joint initiatives between UCL Grand Challenges and the French Embassy Higher Education, Research and Innovation department, the other being an annual series of Conference-Débat lectures, established 2010, on big cross-disciplinary topics, with speakers from UCL and research institutions in France

Application guidance and notes