UCL Health


ACCELERATE Innovation Team Challenge

Training, hands-on experience, and funding to solve healthcare challenges through interdisciplinary teamwork.


Would you like to benefit from interdisciplinary working and develop your skills to be a successful team leader and team member?

The ACCELERATE Innovation Team Challenge will give you a chance to develop and refine the teamwork, leadership and communication skills that are essential for research leadership roles and for successful healthcare research.

This eight-week hands on training programme will see you apply knowledge and skills to develop a proposal to solve a real-life translational research challenge of your choosing in an interdisciplinary team. For example, this can be a commercial idea for a healthcare need (e.g. a new product or service) or a way of improving an existing service in a non-commercial setting (e.g., making a hospital process work more efficiently, healthcare data sharing etc.) - anything that proposes to improve healthcare.

Participants will be placed into interdisciplinary teams around shared interests. As a team, you will develop a proposal for an innovative idea that can be solved by the unique combination of skills and experiences of your team members. 

At the end of the programme there will be a chance to bid for up £10,000 or non-financial support to take your team’s proposal forward. The previous two cohorts saw 5 projects awarded a cumulative total of almost £50,000. 

Through the ACCELERATE Innovation Team Challenge you will 

  • Grow your network 
  • Build the foundation for future interdisciplinary collaborations 
  • Receive high quality training from expert facilitators 
  • Gain access to leading thinkers in the field 
  • Gain the potential for funding/ mentoring support on completion of the programme to take your team’s proposal forward. 

During the programme the cohort will follow four stages comprising (1) ideation, (2) influence, (3) iteration, and (4) implementation within their teams in order to learn:

  • Effective team working strategies
  • Negotiation and engagement skills within a team and with external stakeholders 
  • Solution creation and risk mitigation 
  • Pitching skills and strategic planning for the future. 

Target audience: This eight-week team challenge is aimed at all healthcare researchers across UCL and the three UCL Biomedical Research Centres, from any discipline and background, from first year post-doctoral fellows upwards. This includes those starting to develop their own research group. Applicants will apply as individuals and be placed into teams based on shared interest.

The independent teamwork and team coaching sessions will be agreed between team members and coaches on a flexible basis. In addition to the time commitments for the whole cohort sessions, participants will be expected to dedicate a minimum of 2 hours per week for the independent team meetings and four to five 1-hour team coaching sessions interspersed throughout the eight weeks. 

Please note: each participant must ensure that they are available for the full duration of the eight-week training programme. As a guide, each participant should expect to spend up to 30 hours on this programme, including ten hours of whole cohort sessions, 4-5 hours of team coaching sessions, and a minimum of 14 hours of independent teamwork sessions.

Format: the eight-week interdisiciplinary training programme will continue to be delivered online using a blend of formats, including video content, independant pre-work, experiential group work, presentations and Q&A sessions. 

When: 2024 Round TBA.

Testimonials from previous participants:

“The Team Challenge is a great opportunity to establish new collaborations across multiple disciplines that would have not developed without this programme. I have also developed new contacts across UCL and with external stakeholders that has helped my own work as well as the team’s.”

“I've been lucky to work in teams outside of the programme where there hasn't really been any conflict (personality, work or otherwise). The team [for the Team Challenge] at points had some moments of conflict so experiencing that, how to deal with it and move forward has been really valuable.”

Read more about the projects we funded from round one of the Team Challenge here.

For any questions about the Team Challenge, please contact the ACCELERATE Manager, Nasema Uddin via nasema.uddin@ucl.ac.uk

ACCELERATE Innovation Team Challenge is a joint collaboration between the Academic Careers OfficeTranslational Research OfficeUCLH Biomedical Research CentreMoorfields Biomedical Research Centre and GOSH Biomedical Research Centre. ACCELERATE is funded by Wellcome Trust Translational Partnership Award and UKRI Impact Acceleration Award (MRC, BBSRC & EPSRC)