Research Impact


What is impact?

Individually and in collaboration, UCL experts develop insights relevant to the great challenges facing the world. Society reaps many benefits from their excellent research, some of which occur immediately, while others develop over years or generations. 

UCL research generates applicable knowledge and expands the potential of human thought and action. We regard the benefit to humanity arising from the entirety of our work to be research impact.

We encourage our researchers to think creatively about how their work intersects with the world outside academia, and provide mechanisms to bring their wealth of knowledge, creativity and insight to the people and organisations who need it most.

Our medical innovations improve the lives of countless people


Research at UCL led to the development of mentalization-based therapy, which has had a major impact on UK and international clinical practice treating self-harming, suicidal patients with a diagnosis of borderline personality disorder. It has also been used to address other common mental disorders.

Our research influences public policy and legal thinking in the UK and beyond

Way to Downing Street

UCL research demonstrated the importance of clear guidance, through a Cabinet Manual, to demystify the process of government formation. In the UK's hung Parliament of 2010, the draft manual proved critical in ensuring a smooth transition to the UK's first coalition government in 60 years. 

We create new ways of thinking about histories and cultures, and our shared humanity

Voices of Malaya, courtesy of the British Film Institute

The Colonial Film project produced a major website housing an online catalogue of films showing life in British colonies held by three major archives from 1895 to the separate moments of independence. The project is now an important national and international resource.

We provide vital data and tools to understand and prepare for climate change and natural disasters

Artist's concept of the joint NASA/CNES Jason-1 ocean altimetry satellite. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA has changed how it models the effect of radiation forces on several types of space vehicle after UCL research improved methods for determining their orbits. The satellites now provide more precise data for various applications, including monitoring the effects of climate change and in GPS satellite navigation systems.

We enter into partnerships with industry and the public sector to boost innovation and economic prosperity

Patient and doctor in consultation

UCL research has developed international standards for electronic health records (EHRs), enabling patient records to move with them to different health providers and clinicians in different settings to collaborate more effectively. The work has been successfully commercialised as a stroke prevention service through spinout company Helicon Health.

We are responsible citizens of London and eager contributors to a shared civic identity

Find and Treat

Research into tuberculosis (TB) in hard-to-reach groups (particularly homeless people, problem drug users and prisoners) has led to the introduction of mobile X-ray screening in London, and the development of a pan-London street outreach team. A static digital teleradiology TB screening network has been established in key prisons and the research has influenced national policy and public health guidelines.

We seek to address some of the most intractable social challenges in a globalised world

Image courtesy Fanny Schertzer used under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons

A series of projects at UCL IOE have improved the lives and prospects of girls in six African countries and influenced thinking on girls' education beyond Africa.

We help build a dynamic and inclusive public environment

Trafalgar Square

Space Syntax Ltd, a spin-out company established by UCL researchers, has informed the development of more than 600 projects around the world, significantly improving urban environments, with both economic benefits and impacts on the quality of citizens' lives.