UCL Grand Challenges


Doctoral Students' Small Grants: Space and Microbiology

£2000 for cross-disciplinary partnerships between pairs of UCL doctoral students. Supporting work in the new UCL Research Domain areas: Space and Microbiology.

Space and Microbiology
Doctoral Students' Small Grants Scheme 2018-19: Supplementary Call

Apply by 9 am, Monday 26 November 2018

Call Outline

This ‘Supplementary Call’ promotes cross-disciplinary interaction between researchers at doctoral and post-doctoral levels. It is designed for those whose interests relate to two recently-created Domains: Space and Microbiology. The only prescriptive aspect of the call is that ideas proposed should also relate directly or indirectly to one of UCL’s six Grand Challenges. Successful bids will be those that clearly explain how working between disciplines will help to resolve important questions in fundamental research and/or in the translation of novel research discoveries for societal benefit

The research students and postdoc researchers whose collaborations are supported by this initiative should aim to gain insights of value to their own particular area of research, providing a step on the pathway to research impact or societal benefit. The GC Doctoral Students’ small grants scheme, and the current Supplementary Call focused on two Research Domains, respond to the fundraising Campaign for UCL ‘Disruptive Thinking’ theme, asking ‘How do the people of this world find solutions that enable them safely to reach the 22nd Century?’

Call Details

  • Awards to a value of £2,000 each are available for activities relating to the Space and Microbiology Research Domains. A maximum of three awards are available for each Domain.
  • Cross-disciplinary inter-Faculty proposals are invited from pairs of applicants, who are:
    • two UCL doctoral students, or
    • one UCL doctoral student with one UCL post-doctoral researcher 
  • Proposed activities should add value to applicants’ core research training or postdoctoral research interests
  • Examples of activity suitable for support: basic or applied research generating pilot-data of potential value in a planned/potential research grant application; early-stage testing of an innovation or enterprise idea; or other research-informed, societally relevant activity including through the medium of public engagement
  • Proposals should relate to:
  • Funded activities must be undertaken between 1 January 2019 and 31 July 2019

UCL GC and Doctoral School
The Grand Challenges Doctoral Students' small grant scheme is a partnership between the UCL Doctoral School and UCL Grand Challenges. The first call for proposals, announced in the Spring Term of 2016-17, resulted in 16 awards for joint GC Doctoral Students' small grant activity in 2017-18. Early outcomes featured in the 18 April 2018 Grand Challenges Showcase event. 

The Doctoral scheme is based on the GC programme's annual small grants scheme inviting grass-roots thinking on societal problems that demand cross-disciplinary attention. It provides an opportunity for pairings of UCL research students from different Faculties, registered for doctoral degree studies, to bring complementary domains of disciplinary expertise to bear on issues of relevance to UCL's six Grand Challenges:

Global Health   |   Sustainable Cities   |   Cultural Understanding   |   Human Wellbeing   |   Transformative Technology   |   Justice & Equality

The 1st Call for proposals, announced in the Spring Term of 2016-17, resulted in 16 awards for joint  activity in 2017-18. Early outcomes featured in the 18 April 2018 Grand Challenges Showcase event. The 2nd Call, for joint activities in 2018-19, resulted in ten awards.

Applicant Eligibility Criteria

  1. Applicants in different Faculties who have checked their Portico record to determine their Faculty affiliation
  2. UCL-registered doctoral students (full or part-time) are eligible to apply as 1st or 2nd Applicants. ‘Doctoral students’ may be MPhil/PhD, Eng D or MD (Res).
  3. Post-doctoral researchers are eligible to stand as 2nd Applicants 
  4. Doctoral students applying as 1st and 2nd Applicants must undertake their proposed collaborative activity within the period of their doctoral degree registration at UCL
  5. Post-doctoral researchers as 2nd Applicants must be employed on a research grant or fellowship through the entire period of the proposed collaborative activity
  6. Doctoral students are advised to discuss their proposal with their supervisors before submission

Doctoral student applicants are required to:

  • Obtain a statement of support from their Departmental Graduate Tutor
  • Discuss their plans with an appropriate Departmental Administrator confirming the latter’s willingness to receive and administer funds, if an award is made
  • Only submit one application in response to this Call as ‘First Applicant’

Make an Application

Call Deadline

9 am, Monday 26 November 2018