UCL News


UCL comes out top for UKRI Covid-19 research funding grants

17 June 2020

UCL has received the most Covid-19 funding of any higher education institution according to new figures published by the UK’s national research funding agency UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).

Main quad portico

Of the ten largest grants available, UCL has been awarded the most for total amount of funding, at over £27m, followed by Imperial College London with £21.4m in total.

UCL has also claimed the number one spot for the grant with the highest value, at over £10.3m, which was awarded to Professor Nigel Titchener-Hooker, Dean of UCL Engineering, to create The Future Targeted Healthcare Manufacturing Hub.  

Due to advances in targeted biological medicines, it is anticipated that by 2025, there will be a need to supply an increasing number of drug products to targeted populations, with some targeted therapies addressing diseases for which there is currently no cure. Presently, there is a lack of existing technology and infrastructure to do this.

With UKRI funding, the UCL team hopes to create the technologies, skillsets and trained personnel needed to enable UK manufactures to deliver the promise of advanced medical precision and patient screening, and provide the engineering infrastructure needed for sustainable healthcare.

A grant of £6.9m has also been awarded to Dr Martina Micheletti, also in the Faculty of Engineering, to establish The Future Vaccine Manufacturing Research Hub (Vax-Hub), which aims to enable leading UK scientists to commercialise their vaccine discoveries in the UK instead of overseas. 

Overall, UCL has been awarded five grants of over £1m each in value to projects exploring early identification of infection within communities, tracking the virus via large scale community studies and examining the role of healthcare workers in managing the outbreak.  

UCL Vice-Provost for Research, Professor David Price, said “Research being undertaken by UCL has never been more vital, and this recent funding success is testament to the skill, dedication and resilience of our fantastic research community. Despite being some of the toughest times we have faced as a university - and as a sector - since the start of the pandemic, UCL has continued to provide important contributions to addressing Covid-19 globally, and I am confident that our research can continue to do so through these projects”.

Funding total


Additionally, to date, UCL has won the second highest number of different grants, at 16, two fewer than the University of Oxford, which has received funding for 18 projects in total so far.

Number of awards

The list currently has around 530 projects and will be updated weekly by UKRI. While the programme is under review as the situation evolves, proposals are invited for short-term projects addressing and mitigating the health, social, economic, cultural and environmental impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak. Please find more information online here



  • Figures are based on the available data listed by UKRI, so may not be exhaustive, and exclude the grants held by various MRC units and centres, some of which are at universities.