UCL Grand Challenges


Our priorities

Over the coming years, the Grand Challenge of Global Health will work on a set of priority themes:

GCGH Priority Themes

This Grand Challenge will also lead on the pan-GC Mega Theme of Human Displacement, with specific inputs from each of the other five Grand Challenges. GCGH's contribution to Human Displacement is the priority theme of Migration and Health under which work is already being undertaken. 

In addition, it was decided that supporting and acheiving the Sustainable Development Goals should be a cross-cutting theme of GCGH work. 


The Grand Challenge of Global Health is helping to support a range of activities at UCL during this academic year (2016-17):

Migration and health

Migration is an important issue for public health on many fronts including the health needs of migrants, migration of health professionals, and the impact of migration on healthcare systems.

The UCL Lancet Commission on Migration and Health will explore the effects of migration on the health of individuals and populations and provide evidence based approaches to inform public discourse and policy. The Commission comprises academics and experts in the field of migration and health from all major regions of the world including Europe, the Americas, Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, East Asia and Australasia. 

Antimicrobial resistance

A serious global health challenge, antimicrobial resistance (AMR) has arisen due to a huge increase in bacterial infections, which are resistant to usual antibiotic treatment. This threatens a return to the time when people commonly died from infectious diseases that could not be treated.

AMR needs to be tackled in many ways including more prudent use of antibiotics in humans and animals and the development of new antimicrobials to fight bacteria which have become antibiotic resistant.

GCGH works with the AMR Network at UCL.

Mental health

Mental health is fast rising up the Global Health agenda, after being neglected for many years, as outlined very well in last year's World Bank conference "Out of the Shadows - Making Mental Health a Global Priority".

Globally mental health is a leading cause of ill-health and disability including in low and middle income countries, which face serious challenges to provide care for people with mental ill-health due to low resource settings.

The Grand Challenge of Global Health has supported mental health research projects through the Grand Challenges small grants programme and helped to organise a Global Mental Health meeting on 2 March 2017 to bring together researchers from across UCL. This meeting led to the establishment of a Global Mental Health Working Group, which meets on a monthly basis.

The GMH Working Group is now running a series of Global Mental Health lunchtime seminars, which are open to UCL staff and students and external people.