UCL Grand Challenges


Grassroots cross-disciplinary research supported through the Grand Challenges

5 November 2018

New research projects have been funded through the Grand Challenges Small Grants scheme

Fourteen new research projects have been funded by the Grand Challenges, UCL’s programme to support innovative cross-disciplinary endeavours. £56,000 has been distributed through the annual Small Grants scheme, to researchers in a wide range of academic disciplines who are set to carry out a range of research projects on subjects as varied as infections in under 5s, Brexit, inclusion in planning and meditation in schools.

The idea of the scheme is to foster grassroots research by pairs of researchers, representing two different faculties at UCL. We believe that this cross-disciplinary approach makes the innovative thinkers at UCL even greater than the sum of their parts.

From 38 applications, the successful projects, awarded £4,000 each were:

Grand Challenge of Global Health

Logan Manikam (UCL Epidemiology & Public Health) and Michalis Vites (UCL Geography): Childhood Infections and Pollution (CHIP) Study: Using citizen science to better manage and prevent infections in under 5s in Indian urban slums.

Tom Pegram (UCL Political Science) and Sarah Hawkes (Institute for Global Health): Preventing a post-antibiotic future: the global challenge of antimicrobial resistance, global solutions, global governance?

Cecilia Vindrola (UCL Applied Health Research) and Ramani Moonesinghe (UCL Division of Surgery & Interventional Science): Travelling for surgery: Perioperative care and the global movement of patients and carers.

Grand Challenge of Human Wellbeing

Nicole Brown (UCL Institute of Education) and Karen Smith (Occupational Health & Wellbeing, HR Division, UCL Professional Services): Ableism in academia: developing institutional approaches to inclusivity.

Gabriella Conti (UCL Institute of Education) and Pasco Fearon (UCL Clinical, Educational & Health Psychology): Boosting positive development in adolescence: a pilot study on meditation in school.

Grand Challenge of Cultural Understanding

Lee de-Wit (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences) and Alan Renwick (Constitution Unit, UCL Political Science): Can Different Psychologically-framed Narratives Influence Attitudes towards Immigration for Leave and Remain Voters from the 2016 EU referendum?

Denes Stefler (UCL Epidemiology & Public Health) and Daniel Brett (UCL School of Slavonic & East European Studies): Cuisine, Culture and Consequences: food and diet in Eastern Europe from cultural and public health perspectives.

Grand Challenge of Justice & Equality

Kartikeya Tripathi (UCL Security & Crime Science) and Julian Walker (UCL Development Planning Unit): Police Response to Runaway Adolescents on Mumbai’s Rail Network: A study on transition from preserving public order to protecting child rights.

Charlotte Woodhead (UCL Applied Health Research) and Sarah Beardon (Centre for Access to Justice, UCL Laws): Young People’s Mental Health and Access to socio-legal Support. 

Grand Challenge of Sustainable Cities

Hector Altamirano (School of Environment, Energy and Resources) and Logan Manikam (Epidemiology and Public Health): Inoculating Cities: Developing Tools for Urban Pandemic Preparedness.

Iqbal Hamiduddin (Bartlett School of Planning) and Rebekah Plueckhahn (Department of Anthropology): Mobility and social equity in informal settlements: Ulaanbaatar’s ger districts.

Hannah Knox (Anthropology) and Yvonne Rydin (Bartlett School of Planning): Hacking the Future of Energy.

Jennifer Robinson (Geography) and Colin Marx (Development Planning Unit): Urban + Value: Theory and politics of urban value capture in Africa.

Grand Challenge of Transformative Technology

Ailbhe Finnerty Professor (Centre for Behaviour Change) and James Thomas (EPPI Centre/Social Science Research Unit): Automatic identification of research for systematic reviews using Microsoft Academic Graph.

Mine Orlu (UCL School of Pharmacy) and Ben Hanson (UCL Mechanical Engineering): Nanofiber melts for swallow-specific quality of life in older age.