UCL Grand Challenges


Grand Challenges Doctoral Students' Small Grants

2018-19 Call Outline

£2000 for cross-disciplinary partnerships between two UCL doctoral students

  • All UCL registered doctoral students (full or part time) are eligible to apply, i.e. MPhil/PhD, Eng D, MD (Res), or professional doctorate students
  • Proposals should be relevant to society and be informed by your research
  • Suitable activities include, but are not limited to, workshops, conferences and public events
  • Activities should relate to one of the UCL Grand Challenges 
  • Proposals should add value to the applicants' studies
  • You must get a short statement of support from your departmental graduate tutor
  • We can fund activities from 1 August 2018 to 31 July 2019
  • Applicants must be based in different faculties
  • First and second applicants are equally important, the only difference is that awards will be held in an account in the first applicant's department.

Make an Application

Deadline for Doctoral Small Grants Applications

9am Monday, 25th June 2018

Purpose of GC Doctoral Small Grants


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

We hope that collaborating research students will gain insights from their joint activity of value to their individual doctoral studies - in addition to addressing an interesting and important question of societal relevance, providing a step on the pathway to research impact. The Grand Challenge programme is a key component in UCL's 20-year institutional development strategy, UCL 2034. It also responds to the fundraising Campaign for UCL 'Disruptive Thinking' theme, and the theme's major question 'How do the people of this world find solutions that enable them safely to reach the 22nd Century?' 

GC Doctoral Students' small grant awardees will be invited to submit their outcome reports for consideration in a planned 'Pathways to Impact' prize competition.