UCL Grand Challenges Small Grants Scheme: Impacts Report

UCL’s Grand Challenges programme provides institutional encouragement and the means to bring researchers together, from diverse fields of expertise, to address complex problems of societal importance that need, for their better understanding and effective resolution, joined-up thinking from different disciplinary perspectives. 

The Grand Challenges support the main objective of UCL’s Research Strategy – to establish an institutional environment in which research excellence and leadership is cherished and sustained, different domains of individual expertise are creatively linked through cross-disciplinary collaboration, and where the impact of these activities is encouraged and recognised within and beyond UCL.

How we define impact

 ‘Impact’ may be achieved through diverse means, including:

  • scholarly publications
  • developments in teaching
  • knowledge transfer and research translation
  • novel methodologies and techniques
  • new research partnerships
  • outcome of pilot studies as bases for further grant-supported work
  • public engagement
  • community engagement
  • policy engagement
  • international development
  • developments in professional training and practice
  • entrepreneurial initiatives

The UCL Grand Challenges Small Grants scheme funds cross-disciplinary collaborations between staff in different UCL departments, which address these goals.

Continuance and improvement of the Grand Challenges Small Grants Programme depends on evidence of its effectiveness. Recipients of small grant awards are therefore asked to report back on the impact of their work in terms of achievements and outcomes of scholarly and societal value. The material returned will be used in OVPR reports to UCL Council and the Senior Management Team, the annual Grand Challenges report, and via the GC website. It will also feed into UCL’s Research Impact Curation project, which will record, track and archive impact-generating activity and create a substantial centralised portfolio of case studies of UCL’s excellent research impact. That portfolio will provide material for research communication, support preparations for submissions to future REF assessment exercises, and help promote the broadest possible concept of “research impact”.

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