UCL Grand Challenges


Small Grants Call

GC Small Grants 2019 Logo
 2019-20 Call Outline

Up to £7,500 for cross-disciplinary collaborations.

  • We encourage proposals that address the Grand Challenges "Priority Themes" which include the special themes for each Grand Challenge and the pan-GC focus on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs).
  • Awards of up to £7,500 are available. You are also welcome to apply for smaller awards.
  • Deadline for applications is Friday, 21st June 2019 (by 23.59 on Friday, 21 June)
  • We support collaborations across UCL faculties or between a researcher and a member of UCL Professional Services
  • We are looking for teams who can use academic insights to address current social issues.
  • We can fund activities between 1 August 2019 to 31 July 2020.
  • We encourage proposals that address the Grand Challenges "Priority Themes" which include the special themes for each Grand Challenge and the pan-GC focus on the UN SDGs.
  • We also welcome proposals demonstrating innovative 'grass-roots' cross-disciplinary responses to other issues of major contemporary concern (even if not readily bracketed within a Priority Theme).
  • Applications must be led by UCL academic staff members (honorary researchers included) at postdoctoral level (or equivalent) or above. Read the full eligibility criteria.
  • 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.


Step 1

Download and complete the application form.

  • Save the form using the format: "[First Applicant Family Name] and [Second Applicant Family Name]"

Download the Application Form

Step 2

Register your project using the submission form.

  • Upload your completed application form.
  • Save and submit.

Upload Your Completed Form

If you are experiencing problems filling in the form in Step 1, please try the 


Purpose of the scheme

We encourage radical, cross-disciplinary collaborations that develop new ideas and promote new collaborations.

UCL Grand Challenges allows experts from different fields to work together on today's pressing social issues. These problems are often complex, requiring insights from diverse academic disciplines and contributions from beyond academia.

Grass-roots cooperation

The Small Grants scheme supports grass-roots cooperation between the different parts of UCL. We look for proposals from staff in different academic faculties or between staff in a faculty and staff in Professional Services (our own research user community). The aim is to leverage UCL's diversity to gain novel insights, and impacts, both within the research community, and in wider society. 

Please Note:

Engagement with Grand Challenges, including through the programme's small grants scheme, is encouraged by UCL's institutional development strategy, UCL 2034. Grand Challenges exists to strengthen Applicants' core research, enhance the visibility of their work outside their Faculty, Department or main discipline, and facilitate development of novel cross-disciplinary research collaborations. Grand Challenges therefore acts in supports of interested researchers' normal research activity at UCL. For this reason HEFCE staff replacement, bench fees and teaching "buy out" are not admissible costs in applications for GC small grants.

Outward facing collaborations

Proposals should be outward looking. For example, pilot studies, workshops, exhibitions, public events, etc., that build towards publications or other outputs with a high potential for impact.


External partners, in other academic institutions or in non-academic organisations, are encouraged as Additional Collaborators. Where appropriate, and in the context of UCL's institutional strategy, UCL 2034, in which London is a principal theme, we encourage collaboration with London-based organisations, including Local Authorities and community groups and associations. However, external partners from outside London are also very welcome, especially where the communities and population circumstances that they represent provide an opportunity to address a societal challenge that is not found in London