UCL Grand Challenges


Grand Challenge of Mental Health & Wellbeing Network and Community Building 2023/24 Awards

14 March 2024

UCL Grand Challenges has recently announced awards from the Grand Challenge of Mental Health & Wellbeing Network and Community Building funding call.

Grand Challenges Catalyst Grants 2023-24

This initiative supports networking, co-production, community and bid building activities. Successful applicants received funding of up to £2,500 to support activities that enable cross-disciplinary connections, work with individuals and communities with lived experience, and preparation for large-scale research bids.

Projects are focused on the need to bring about an improvement in the mental health and/or wellbeing of individuals or groups of individuals. The judging panel approved funding for 14 applications, with total funding of over £33,000 awarded.

Professor Essi Viding and Professor Argyris Stringaris, Pro-Vice-Provosts (Mental Health and Wellbeing) commented:

We were delighted that the latest GC MHW Network and Community Building funding call produced a noteworthy number of high-quality proposals from across UCL, showcasing a range of cross-disciplinary methods and collaborations.  Focused on networking, co-production, community and bid building activities, the proposals frequently partnered with individuals and communities with lived experience to tackle and improve mental health issues across different groups and communities. We look forward to seeing how these projects develop, and the impacts that follow."

Summary details of the projects awarded are below:

Social media and mental health: using a participatory approach to explore how autistic people can flourish online. 

Dr Marc Tibber, Brain Sciences
Dr Georgia Pavlopoulou, Research Department of Clinical, Educational and Health Psychology, Brain Sciences

Urban Mental Health, inequalities and the exposome; early career workshop and cross-disciplinary capacity building    

Professor Sahara Gibbon, Social and Historical Sciences    
Professor James Kirkbride, Division of Psychiatry, Brain Sciences

Enhancing Smell Culture Awareness through Community Building and Public Engagement

Professor Ava Fatah gen Schieck, The Bartlett
Professor Marianna Obrist, Department of Computer Science, Engineering

Enhancing children and young people's arts and cultural engagement (ENACT)    
Dr Jessica Bone, Population Health Sciences    
Dr Hei Wan (Karen)Mak, Behavioural Science and Health, Population Health Sciences

The PROMOTE network: Improving access to effective Mental health care for older adult Trauma survivors with and without cognitive impairment    

Dr Vasiliki Orgeta, Brain Sciences     
Dr Jean Stafford, MRC Unit for Lifelong Health & Ageing, Population Science & Experimental Medicine, Population Health Sciences

Green Head Space - Rooting Mental Health Institutions in Place    

Dr Liza Griffin, The Bartlett    
Mr Cedric Hall, North London Mental Health Trust

Coping with Menopause: exploring women’s lived experiences of work and the ‘multigenerational squeeze'    

Dr Meena Khatwa, IOE, UCL's Faculty of Education and Society
Dr Kelly Dickson, Social Research Institute, IOE, UCL's Faculty of Education and Society

Eclectic Resilience & Trauma Interventions: Centralising Children’s Counter-Voices, Unheard and Unseen Perspectives    

Dr Wendy Sims-Schouten, Arts & Humanities    
Professor Rana Dajani, Robert Bosch Academy, Germany and the Hashemite University, Jordan

Cultures of Euphoria Networking Meeting    
Dr Johanna Cook, Social and Historical Sciences    
Professor Tanya Luhrmann, Stanford University

To be heard! A music festival to bring together the young-onset Parkinson's community    
Dr Jennifer Foley, Brain Sciences     
Mrs Alison Carlier, Freelance sound artist, currently contracted by UCL Public Art

"Only connect”:  Mapping UCL’s Wellbeing Work    

Sally Belcher, Human Resources     
Professor Samantha Rayner, Information Studies, Arts & Humanities

Heads Together: Community-Building for Non-Visible Illness and Disability    

Dr Sinéad Murphy, Vice-Provost (Research, Innovation & Global Engagement)
Dr Nicole Brown, Department of Culture, Communication and Media, IOE

Mental health impact of cancer therapy-induced nausea and vomiting on paediatric patients and their families    
Dr Karolina Dziemidowicz, Life Sciences     
Mr Bhumik Patel, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children

Centering mental health and wellbeing in Safer Space Conversations    

Professor Sara Mole, Population Health Sciences    
Noel Caliste, Business Operations Services, PS Hub

Advocacy across boundaries: Co-creating a collaborative framework for organisational action to move from silos to system improvement for mental health and wellbeing in construction    

Dr Jean Xu, Bartlett   
Dr Simon Addyman, Bartlett

Dr Alexandra Pitman, Division of Psychiatry