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UCL impact

UCL works throughout the world with partners in education, business, healthcare, development, philanthropy and government to find solutions to some of humankind’s most pressing issues

A global university, tackling global problems – UCL does groundbreaking research across the academic spectrum. We aspire to deliver a culture of wisdom and provide a supportive environment where academic insight can thrive, deepening knowledge and developing solutions to problems worldwide. We encourage academics to work across traditional subject boundaries and have established numerous centres to facilitate cross-disciplinary interaction.

Making an impact locally

Bronze statue of Lady Justice
Listening without prejudice? 

Research by UCL Jury Project formed one of the main report findings of the historic Lammy Review on the treatment of Black Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) individuals in the Criminal Justice System. An analysis of nearly 400,000 cases revealed that juries are consistent in their decision-making and deliver the same result regardless of the defendant's ethnicity. BAME defendants were, on the other hand, more likely to receive a custodial sentence that white defendants for a comparable offence. The Lammy Review included 35 recommendations for the Criminal Justice System.

UCL Jury Project

Cheddar Man
Facing the past

The face of the 'Cheddar Man'  Britain's oldest nearly complete skeleton, at 10,000 years old  has been revealed by researchers from the UCL Genetics, Evolution and Environment and the Natural History Museum. Cutting-edge DNA and facial reconstruction indicate that Cheddar Man had blue eyes, dark curly hair and “dark to black” skin pigmentation. Suggesting that the lighter pigmentation now considered to be a defining feature of norther Europe is a far more recent phenomenon than hitherto assumed.  

Face of first Brit revealed


Making an impact globally 

Zeno - intelligent robot assisted teaching programme
Machine Learning

Researchers from the UCL Institute of Education (IOE) have contributed expertise in autism and psychology to a European-wide consortium developing Zeno, a novel, intelligent robot-assisted education-teaching programme, and are leading its evaluation with autistic children and special schools in the UK and Serbia. Robot-assisted interventions could present less complex social demands than 'traditional' human-led interventions and initial results have been highly successful.

How Zeno the robot is helping children with autism

Imperial Logistics: The Making of the Terracotta Army
Army of craftspeople

Researchers from the UCL Institute of Archaeology are undertaking non-invasive portable X-ray fluorescence spectrometry on China’s terracotta warriors as part of the collaborative ‘Imperial Logistics: the Making of the Terracotta Army’ project. Despite decades of research, many questions remain about the organisation of production behind the manufacture of the c.7000 figure. The presence of stamps and other markings suggest the existence of different local workshops in a highly organised system of labour and craft specialisation that laid the foundation for Imperial China.

Imperial Logistics: the Making of the Terracotta Army


Turning ideas into action

Ochre derived from mine water treatment
A pigment of our imagination

A PhD graduate of the UCL Slade school of Fine Art, Onya McCausland, has created a series of new British Earth pigments for use in commercial paint products. Onya had used ochre derived from mine water treatment schemes in five former coalfields across the UK to develop the new colours, with support from UCL Innovation & Enterprise’s Knowledge Exchange and Innovation Fund (KEIF) and £116,000 pledge from the Coal Authority. Onya has also secured recognition from the manufacturers Winsor & Newton, who have given the new pigments the industry seal of approval.   

Turning Landscape into Colour

Electric car charging point symbol

A new dawn for the electric car

UCL, Synthomer and Nexeon have together been awarded £7 million I Innovate UK funding to develop better materials for Li-ion batteries. The work is an essential step to achieving electric vehicles (EVs) with a range of 400 miles and above. The project, named SUNRISE (after Sythomer, UCL & Nexeon’s Rapid Improvement in the Storage of Energy), will develop better battery materials based on silicon as a replacement for carbon in the cell anode, and optimise cell designs for automotive application.

 £7m to improve battery technology for electric vehicles