UCL News


UCL Research Challenges 2009 - Competition Open

1 December 2008


UCL ucl.ac.uk/research-challenges/" target="_self">UCL Research Challenges

UCL's Research Challenges 2009 competition is now under way. UCL alumni, staff and students are warmly invited to submit their ideas on areas of research that UCL should be funding. The most promising of these will receive seed funding of up to £25,000.

For this year, the Research Challenges Board has decided to give special priority to areas of actual or potential excellence at UCL which, to date, have not received the funding or attention they deserve. 

Consultation on themes is now open and everyone is invited to join the discussion, where you can either nominate a research theme yourself, or comment on someone else's nomination.

You are invited to submit ideas and contribute to discussions regardless of whether you wish to submit a detailed research proposal later on - for now, what the Board needs is a list of research themes.

There are several stages to the competition:

  • Stage 1 seeks suggestions for major research themes, and the Board is looking in particular for themes that address major contemporary research needs, can draw on UCL's multidisciplinary strengths, and have the potential to become major areas of research at UCL. Stage 1 closes in March, when a shortlist of themes will be announced.
  • Stage 2 begins when the shortlist of themes is published, when the Board invites short proposals from UCL researchers for 'seed-fund' money of up to £25,000, on any of the shortlisted themes.
  • Stage 3 A second round of shortlisting takes place, and a selection of applicants will be asked to provide whatever further supporting material they feel may be appropriate.
  • The winning bids are then selected by the Board, on the basis of how well they fit with the overall aims of the Research Challenges project. Details of winning bids will be announced early in the 2009-10 academic year.

Full details of this year's competition are available on the Research Challenges website (see link at the top of this page). There you will also find accounts of the seven excellent winning bids for 2008 - which range from an enquiry into why people don't write wills, to software platforms for water resource-management - as well as accounts of progress on the 2007 prize-winners.

The Research Challenges Board consists of ten members, including Professor David Bogle, Head of the UCL Graduate School; Professor Stephen Caddick, Vice-Dean (Research) for the UCL Faculty of Mathematical and Physical Sciences; Dr Anna Clark, Director of Business Partnerships at UCL; Dr Mary Phillips (Director of Research Planning at UCL); Professor David Price, UCL Vice-Provost (Research); Professor Jonathan Wolff, Vice-Dean (Research) for the UCL Faculty of Arts & Humanities.

For queries or further details about the competition, please contact Professor Jo Wolff at j.wolff@ucl.ac.uk.