UCL Mathematical & Physical Sciences


MAPS Success in UCL Grand Challenges small grants

2 September 2019

Twelve new research projects have recently received funding from UCL Grand Challenges to support innovative cross-disciplinary initiatives, including four projects involving MAPS academics

UCL Grand Challenges 2019 logo

Since 2009, UCL Grand Challenges has aimed to bring researchers together from across UCL, setting the agenda for future research, while building bridges with external partners. Grand Challenges is an initiative of the UCL Vice-Provost (Research) which seeks to bring UCL’s academic expertise to bear on pressing societal challenges by integrating knowledge and evidence from across disciplines. 

This is done by awarding small grants to UCL researchers, funding major projects, organising and supporting events and academic roundtables, building partnerships, and working closely with colleagues across the university and beyond. The projects are grouped under six different headings: Cultural Understanding, Global Health, Human Wellbeing, Justice and Equality, Sustainable Cities, and Transformative Technology. 

Grant Winners

Amidst stiff competition, with over 90 applications received, twelve projects were successful. Those involving MAPS faculty staff are:

Grand Challenge of Cultural Understanding:

De-weaponizing Identities and Education in Armed Conflict and Disaster (£7,000)
Dr Laila Kadiwal (Education Practice Society, Institute of Education)
Professor Peter Sammonds (Institute for Disaster and Risk Reduction, Mathematical and Physical Sciences)

Grand Challenge of Global Health:

Delineating the Epidemiology of first episode Psychosis in Chile: a nationwide register study of 30,000 incident cases between 2005 and 2018 (£7,372)
Dr James Kirkbride (Division of Psychiatry, Brain Sciences)
Dr Tao Ding (Department of Statistical Sciences, Mathematical and Physical Sciences)

Grand Challenge of Sustainable Cities:

A Circular Economy and Society for Sustainable Islands (CIRCULAR ISLANDS) (£7,484)
Dr Catalina Spataru (Bartlett School of Environment, Energy and Resources, Bartlett)
Dr Aiduan Borron (Dept of Civil, Environment & Geomatic Engineering, Mathematical and Physical Sciences)

Grand Challenge of Transformative Technology:

How can the Rhizome Platform use Blockchain Technology to Improve Research Collaboration in two large Programmes Studying Urban Sustainability and Health? (£7,312)
Dr Joanna Hale (Centre for Behaviour Change, Brain Sciences)
Dr Chamkaur Ghag (Physics and Astronomy, Mathematical and Physical Sciences)

The faculty wishes to congratulate our successful applicants, and looks forward to seeing the results of their work. For more information, including the full list of successful applicants, visit the UCL Grand Challenges page.