UCL Grand Challenges


Small Grants Scheme 2021/22 launched

10 June 2021

The annual Grand Challenges Small Grants programme is now open for applications.

an image showing Grand Challenges Small Grants 2021-22

Applicants can apply for a maximum of £5,000 to support activities that relate to one of the six UCL Grand Challenges, with spending to be completed by 31 July 2022. 

The deadline for applications is Sunday 17 October 2021; all applications must include two applicants from UCL, with any number of additional collaborators (from UCL or external) permitted.

Part of the Grand Challenges since 2009, the scheme funds research-informed projects that have relevance to societal issues and supports grass-roots cross-disciplinary collaborations that develop new ideas and promote radical solutions to societal issues, encouraging experts from different fields to work together on today's pressing social topics. These problems are often complex, requiring insights from diverse academic disciplines and contributions from beyond academia.

Our current topics of interest include the COVID-19 pandemic and the pan-GC priority themes: ‘Place: Equality & Prosperity’, ‘Intergenerational Dynamics’, 'Climate Emergency', and ‘UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Pathways to Achievement’. However, any topic of relevance to one of the six Grand Challenges is welcome and we encourage creative and original ideas.

UCL Grand Challenges Deputy Director, Dr James Paskins said: “We are delighted to be launching this call for innovative cross-disciplinary ideas. UCL is home to a huge range of knowledge and expertise and we believe that many of the most important problems can only be solved by combining expertise from these different areas. Grand Challenges Small Grants provide funding for people to work with colleagues in different disciplines to develop new approaches to important societal problems.

We are always impressed with the range of responses we receive. Small Grants applications often include fresh thinking and new links with partners within and beyond UCL. We can’t wait to see your latest ideas.”

To see examples of impacts generated by projects previously funded by Grand Challenges, visit our case studies page.

Grand Challenges Small Grants