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Researcher-led Initiative Awards

Design, develop and deliver innovative research skills, personal or professional development for your peers.

Now in its fourth year, the Researcher-led Initiative awards, run by UCL's HR OD offers funding for early stage research and teaching staff and postgraduate research students.  

Why do we offer the RLI award scheme?

UCL's HR Organisational Development delivers the Research Staff Development Programme and the Doctoral Skills Development Programme. We want you to contribute new learning opportunities and experiences to these programmes.

Researcher-led Initiatives will promote personal, professional and career planning skills by and for postgraduate research students and early stage research and teaching staff (grades 7 and 8) across UCL. 

The awards will support short-term, well-defined initiatives that develop and deliver transferable skills training experiences and/or resources to the applicants’ peers across all departments. Collaborative applications are encouraged and will all be reviewed on a case by case basis by a judging panel.

What are the benefits for you?

RLI awards enable researchers to be creative, proactive, and empowered, through the process of initiating, designing, managing, and delivering new professional development activities for their peers, allowing them to develop the skills and experience needed to progress in their careers.

All applicants will receive feedback after the awards have been allocated.

As a researcher and creative thinker, this opportunity highlighted that I love working one-on-one and in groups with people from different disciplines and has shown me that facilitating workshops either as a researcher, consultant or advisor is an aspect of my next job that I want to develop further.

Who can apply?

  • If you are a research student, you must be in your 2nd year or above and fully-registered and in-progress (including Completing Research Status) at UCL.  
  • If you are early stage researcher or teaching fellow you will be eligible to apply if you are in a grade 7 or 8 role. 

Award Categories:

There are six award categories available:

  1. Careers beyond academia
  2. Academic career development 
  3. Professional development of researchers in the Arts, Humanities and/or Social Sciences
  4. Promoting the professional development of underrepresented or equity-seeking groups in academia
  5. Encouraging community building and engaging researchers to do the same
  6. Promoting good mental health and wellbeing amongst the researcher community

Other opportunities

You may also be interested in applying for a PGR ChangeMaker project. These are collaborative projects between staff and research students aimed at investigating and enhancing the experience of postgraduate research students at UCL. Further details are on our website:  https://www.ucl.ac.uk/changemakers/changemakers-projects


2020-21 year's winners

Lead Applicant’s NameCollaborative Applicant’s NameFaculty/DepartmentProject Title
Cassie (Mengmeng) ZhangDr. Tinghe JinFaculty of Arts & HumanitiesNavigating your academic career as an international PGR student, particularly for females with (or will have) caring responsibilities
Pablo Izquierdo GarrudoNPP PhD student committeeFaculty of Life and Medical SciencesScientific illustration workshop - visual skills for academia and beyond
Dimitrios KanoulasSarah Spurgeon,
Yuanchang Liu
Faculty of Engineering ScienceUCL Robotics: Diverse and United
Nikolas PontikosIsmail MoghulFaculty of Brain SciencesHelping Researcher Promote their Research and Group Through their Own Websites
Elizabeth Li-Faculty of Brain SciencesActivating trust: engaging the audience in a reliable way
Alexandra-Loredana Petrache-Faculty of Life SciencesLearn your Confidence
Martha McLaughlinMelis PisirenFaculty of Brain SciencesCreating resources for and with PhD student carers
Laura BentonSeray Ibrahim,
Minna Nygren
Institute of EducationHow can we best support children’s participation in research? Considerations, strategies and resources for ethics and consent
Alberto Adolfo Fernandez GonzalezProvides NgBartlett School of ArchitectureRound-the-Table: A Planetary VR Classroom Beyond the 2D Frame
Rasa Kamarauskaite and Rosamund GreinerArthur DavisSchool of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES)Gender and Sexuality Research Student Showcase