UCL Grand Challenges


Recovery from COVID-19: A new UCL Grand Challenges initiative

UCL Grand Challenges has launched an initiative rallying UCL’s collective expertise over the next four months to address the urgent issues posed by COVID-19.  


We welcome ideas and expressions of interest from across the UCL community, including joint ones with strategic global partners1.

For more than a decade, UCL Grand Challenges has convened and cultivated cross-disciplinary collaborations that explore interconnected solutions in areas related to matters of pressing societal concern. We are now adding the UCL COVID-19 Grand Challenge to complement our existing programmes: Global Health; Sustainable Cities; Cultural Understanding; Human Wellbeing; Justice & Equality; and Transformative Technology.

UCL Grand Challenges has excelled at bringing together the diverse expertise at UCL and beyond to address significant societal problems. By facilitating interaction between disciplinary experts, we seek to generate a more nuanced and holistic understanding of any given question, and thus develop more effective actions.

Call for expressions of interest

The most urgent question facing humanity is how we recover from COVID-19, and prepare to take the first steps toward a more resilient and equitable world.

We are proud that many in our research community are already making significant direct contributions to COVID-19 research. However, there are many UCL researchers with applicable expertise across the breadth of our disciplines who are currently unable to continue their research as normal. We want to help to mobilise their expertise, skills, ideas and capacity to contribute.

You can play a part by engaging with our collective analysis of, for example:

  • how to manage the pandemic now
  • mitigation of social and economic impact
  • building upon the positive consequences of lockdown
  • strategies to move beyond lockdown
  • first steps toward a more resilient and equitable world.

In the first instance, please register your interest with UCL Grand Challenges by 4 May 2020, indicating:

  • your name, role and department
  • your area(s) of expertise
  • whether you are part of a group (for example, a problem-focused cross-disciplinary centre) with relevant expertise or activities
  • whether you have connections with external organisations that could prove useful, and in particular whether you would be interested in submitting a joint bid with one of UCL’s global strategic partners (please name the partner/s you would consider submitting the bid with)
  • any specific COVID-19 issues to which you could make a contribution, or ideas that you wish to explore further.