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UCL Grand Challenge of Human Wellbeing (GCHW): About Our Work

The UCL Research Strategy defines Grand Challenges: those areas in which we are facilitating cross-disciplinary interaction – within and beyond UCL – and applying our collective strengths, insights and creativity to overcome problems of global significance.

GCHW acts as a synthesis for UCL’s talented researchers to work together across disciplines, harnessing their research, expertise and enthusiasm to provide new, multifaceted, multidisciplinary considerations of human wellbeing.Their collective wisdom will enable UCL to make a meaningful contribution to this global issue.

GCHW encompasses:

  • the nature of humanity
  • what constitutes human wellbeing
  • how to achieve lifelong wellbeing for individuals and for society, including physical, mental, social and environmental wellbeing
  • how to achieve wellbeing in the context of different social and economic goals and priorities
  • topics relating to happiness, cultural wellbeing, health and social justice.

It will address pressing questions such as:

  • what do humans require for their wellbeing?
  • how can we achieve sustainable wellbeing for all?
  • what is the relationship between wellbeing and other aspects of life or existence?
  • what are the tensions around wellbeing and can these be resolved?

Find out more below, or explore Getting Involved.

UCL Grand Challenges and the UCL Research Strategy

UCL Grand Challenges – which also include Global Health, Sustainable Cities and Human Wellbeing – is the mechanism through which concentrations of specialist expertise across UCL and beyond can be brought together to address aspects of the world's key problems. They also provide an environment in which researchers are encouraged to think about how their work can intersect with and impact upon global issues. 

UCL Grand Challenges is a central feature of the UCL Research Strategy, which aims to:

  • cultivate leadership founded in excellence
  • foster cross-disciplinarity grounded in expertise
  • realise the impact of a global university.

GCHW Themes

  • Human Behaviour
  • Measuring Wellbeing
  • Science, Medicine & Society
  • Technology and Wellbeing

GCHW Rationale & Working Definition

Read a rationale for UCL's Grand Challenge of Human Wellbeing (pdf) or a summary document (pdf), as well as a working  definition of human wellbeing (doc) by James Wilson, Lecturer in Philosophy and Health at UCL.

GCHW Executive Group

  • Chair: Prof Nick Tyler (UCL Civil, Environmental & Geomatic Engineering)
  • Secretary: Michael Reade (UCL Grand Challenges)
  • Dr Henriette Bruun (SLASH Research Facilitation, Office of the UCL Vice-Provost Research)
  • Dr Beverey Butler (UCL Archaelogy)
  • Dr Eric de Silva (UCL Institute of Biomedical Engineering)
  • Dr Sinead Kennedy (BEAMS, Office of the UCL Vice-Provost Research)
  • Dr Jacob Leveridge (SLASH Research Facilitation, Office of the UCL Vice-Provost Research) 

Page last modified on 12 aug 16 11:00