UCL Grand Challenges


Grand Challenges Special Initiatives 2022/23 Awards

13 December 2022

Grand Challenges recently awarded funding under four special initiative themes in academic year 2022/23:

• Climate Crisis
• Food Security
• Place & Displacement
• UN SDGs: Pathways to Achievement

The special initiative calls enable support for collaborative, innovative, and impactful cross-disciplinary activities. In total, over 70 applications were received from all 11 faculties at UCL as well as the Office for the Vice-Provost (Health) and the UCL Students’ Union. Four judging panels, one for each theme, approved funding for 17 applications, with total funding of nearly £150,000 awarded.

Summary details of the projects awarded are below:

Climate Crisis

Understanding the vulnerability of UK urban landscapes to emerging mosquito-borne diseases under climate change


Dr Hector Altamirano, Bartlett School of Environment, Energy and Resources
Dr David Redding, Zoological Society of London

No New Fossil Fuel Projects: A Fossil Fuel Research Hub to support legal practitioners challenging the legality of new fossil fuel supply projects


Dr Fergus Green, Political Science
Dr Steve Pye, UCL Energy Institute

Hope and inspiration for futures in petroleum-based Arctic communities


Prof Ilan Kelman, Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction
Ms Heloise Tunstall-Behrens, Self-employed

Futureproofing Care Settings for People with Epilepsy Under Climate Change


Dr Anna Mavrogianni, The Bartlett School of Environment, Energy and Resources
Prof Sanjay Sisodiya, UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology

Place & Displacement

Displaced by an Airbnb? Platform-based short-term rentals, the rural housing crisis and the ‘right to stay put’ in England and France


Prof Nick Gallent, Bartlett School of Planning
Mr Murray Cox, Inside Airbnb

UK reception policies and practices vis-à-vis displaced Ukrainian refugees: hospitality and hostility in local sites of encounter


Prof Mette Louise Berg, Social Research Institute
Dr Jo Billings, Psychiatry

Life on the edge: a place-based Rapid Appraisal of migrants' and community health needs in Necoclí, Colombia


Dr Norha Vera San Juan, Insitute for Global Health
Prof Cecilia Vindrola, Department of Targeted Intervention

Food Security

Fostering Community Food Resilience through Mutual Aid Networks and Cooperatives


Dr Rhiannon Firth, Education, Practice and Society
Dr Emma O'Dwyer, University of Greenwich

Crowdmapping for Food Security in Ethiopia


Prof Muki Haklay, Geography
Mr David Luswata, Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team - Eastern & Southern Africa

UK food bank accessibility modelling for the Trussell Trust


Dr Neave O'Clery, Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis
Ms Rachael Jones, Trussell Trust

UN SDGs: Pathways to Achievement

Managing What you Measure: Addressing SDG data gaps and weaknesses in the UK


Dr Kate Roll, Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose
Dr Graham Long, Newcastle University

‘Rebuilding Reefs’: Measuring habitat complexity to improve methods for coral reef restoration


Prof Kate Jones, Genetics, Evolution and Environment (GEE)
Mr Jason Lynch, UCL Social and Historical Sciences

Developing Education Technology (Ed-Tech) in Rural Ghana


Dr Michael Woodrow, Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering
Dr Josephine Marie Godwyll, Young At Heart Ghana

UCL Sustainable Development Goal Consultancy Challenge


Mr Oliver Peachey, Volunteering Services
Dr Jana Dankovicova, UCL Careers

Linking text to SDGs with Artificial Intelligence: Building a multi-use recommender system


Dr Maria Perez-Ortiz, Computer Science
Mr Davor Orlic, Knowledge 4 All Foundation and International Research Center on Artificial Intelligence under the auspices of UNESCO

Engineers Without Borders Outreach


Miss Rachel Wan, Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering
Miss Anjumon Ali, UCL Volunteering Services

No One Left Behind: Monitoring Migrant-Inclusive Universal Health Coverage


Ms Rachel Burns, Institute of Health Informatics
Ms Anna Miller, Doctors of the World/Médecins du Monde