UCL Health


CONNECT to Collaborate: Discipline Hopping

CONNECT to Collaborate: Discipline Hopping is a pilot training placement scheme, aimed at fostering better interdisciplinary working amongst health researchers across UCL.

The scheme will involve participants working in new disciplines and help them understand the demands in those areas as part of interdisciplinary collaboration. The scheme will provide short placements (i.e. one to three months), for participants to gain insight and experience in different disciplines, expanding their networks, learn about new/different leadership styles and discover new ways of working. Through this scheme, we also hope to better position participants and hosting laboratories and departments, to bid for future funding in a research landscape that is increasingly calling for more interdisciplinary working to tackle health challenges.

What are the aims of CONNECT to Collaborate: Discipline Hopping?
  • Educate and expose participnats to different disciplines.
  • To encourage netwroking that will enable participants to apply for interdisciplinary grants and fellowshps that benefit themselves and their departments. 
  • To enable innovative thinking by exposing participants to different settings and research cultures. 
  • To expose participnats to different ways of working and leadership styles. 
  • To encourage more collaborative work between departments. 
Who is it for/eligible?

PhD students and postdoctoral researchers working in health research at UCL. 

What does the scheme involve? Step-by-Step:

1) Participants will be offered the opportunity to select one placement from a list of placements.

2) Placements may be selected from a long list of hosting departments in different disciplines which have declared their participation in the scheme. (Long list to be shared soon).

3) Pairing is done where a participant is a mutual match for the host department offering the placement i.e. can demonstrate interdisciplinary working, interdisciplinary skills, knowledge and/or specialised technical skills.

4) Participants may indicate their top three choices in ranked order (1-3), though will only be offered one placement to take up.

5) Alongside the placements, all participants will be invited to scheduled group workshops with stakeholders from around UCL who have a proven track record of succeeding in the interdisciplinary sphere and/or have a relevant skill set that would be useful for CONNECT to Collaborate participants to understand.

What is the duration of the placement?

The duration of a ‘Discipline Hopping’ placement is expected to be a one day per week commitment over a minimum of one month to a maximum of three months (the exact time commitment may be defined between the successful applicant and host department/laboratory/group) and is planned to happen after Easter 2024 (exact dates TBC on this webpage soon).

Is it free?

The scheme is free, and is funded by the UCL Academic Careers Office through the NIHR UCLH Biomedical Research Centre. The only committment required of participants and hosting departments is their time. 

Project Placements

Please see

for details of each the projects 
How do I apply?

Interested PhD and Postdoctoral Researchers may complete and submit the online application form which is now open: https://form.jotform.com/240864673652363

What will happen after I sign up?

After the deadline has passed for signing up, we will be in touch to confirm whether you have an interdisciplinary training placement. You may be asked to complete a second stage application that will allow us/ACO and the hosting department to better understand your working background and how we might best support you. All successful applicants will be expected to attend an in-person networking event planned for June 2024 (exact date TBC on this webpage imminently). 

How will the scheme be evaluated?

Participants will complete surveys before joining the scheme, and again after it's completion, so we may measure how much/if the scheme has had an impact on how you successfully manage your interdisciplinary working. As this is a pilot scheme, we will also ask questions about how you feel the scheme was conducted, in order for us to evaluate how we might continue the scheme in future iterations. 

Contact: CONNECT to Collaborate Manager, Nasema Uddin on Nasema.uddin@ucl.ac.uk