UCL Grand Challenges


Current activity

The UCL Grand Challenge of Human Wellbeing is prioritising work under a set of Priority Themes, as well as leading on one pan-Grand Challenge Flagship Activity, Adolescent Lives.

The following subjects of research will be foremost in the work of the Grand Challenge of Human Wellbeing.

Our future plans

Find out more about the work that this Grand Challenge has funded and supported, since it began in 2010.

What we are doing in 2017-18

The Grand Challenge of Human Wellbeing has supported four small grant activities which will develop the following Priority Themes:

Access & Participation
Social Empowerment of Women in Immersive Virtual Environments
Brain Sciences and Engineering Sciences

Achieving Wellbeing & Happiness
Enhancing Well-being and Resilience in Junior Doctors
Medical Sciences and Brain Sciences


Adolescent Wellbeing
Between Spaces: Museums and Mental Wellbeing in Young People
Institute of Education and Professional Services

Adolescent Wellbeing
Researching the Intersection between the Neurobiology and Sociology of Sleep and Sleeplessness in Adolescents
Life Sciences and Arts & Humanities

What we did in 2016-17

The Grand Challenge of Human Wellbeing is focused on its priority themes, including through small grant calls and strategic funding.

Adolescent Wellbeing

Dr. Miranda Wolpert (GCHW Working Group member) initiated a funding call to develop this Priority Theme. Two applications were supported:

Demographic Change

Professor Nick Tyler and Dr Kate Walters (GCHW Working Group members) initiated a funding call to develop this Priority Theme.  This call was entitled: Looking after the Elderly: Asia's Immediate Big Challenge and supported a research partnerships with an Asian organisation. Two applications were supported:

Measuring Wellbeing

A small grant from the Grand Challenge of Human Wellbeing has allowed UCL researchers to develop a new non-verbal means to measure wellbeing, which will be of particular benefit to stroke victims.

This measure will be exhibited in a new exhibition, Colour and Emotion, hosted by the Slade School of Fine Art between the 12th January and the 21st February 2018.