UCL Grand Challenges


Grand Challenges Doctoral Students' Small Grants


2019-20 Call Outline

Up to £2,500 for cross-faculty partnerships between 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
    • Postdoctoral Research Assistants (in their first postdoctoral appointment) may also apply, but one applicant must be a doctoral student
  • Awards of up to £2,500 are available
    • You can apply for any amount between £500 and £2,500
    • We welcome applications at any funding level, your activity does not have to be very expensive or highly ambitious to be considered
  • Activities should relate to one of the UCL Grand Challenges
  • Proposals should be relevant to society and be informed by your research
  • We are particularly interested in proposals that address the UN SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals)
  • Suitable activities include, but are not limited to, workshops, conferences and public events
  • Proposals should add value to the applicants' studies
  • You must get a short statement of support from your departmental graduate tutor
  • Awards are for activities that run in academic year 2019/20 (funding is availble until 31 July 2020)
  • Applicants must be based in different faculties
  • First and second applicants are equally important—awards will be held in an account in the first applicant's department.

Apply for a Doctoral Small Grant

Doctoral School Logo
UCL Grand Challenges & the UCL Doctoral School

The Grand Challenges Doctoral Students' Small Grants 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. A further annual call and a special call to support the work of the UCL Research Domain has produced more doctoral student collaborations.

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:

UCL Grand Challenges Star Logo
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 UCL Campaign and its 'Disruptive Thinking' theme, which seeks support for UCL staff and students so that they can think differently and engage in radical, critical thinking across disciplines.

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