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UCL Institute for Risk & Disaster Reduction

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IRDR Overview

The Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction (IRDR), hosted in the Faculty of Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MAPS), was launched in 2010 as a Provost Strategic Development initiative with a mission to lead research, knowledge exchange and teaching in risk and disaster reduction (RDR) across UCL.

IRDR Global Reach

We aim to develop the IRDR themed around disaster resilience, migration, humanitarian response, global health emergencies and gender responsiveness in order to integrate education, research, innovation and enterprise for the long-term benefit of humanity. The IRDR specifically addresses the vision of UCL in 2034: Addressing Global Challenges; London’s Global University; Delivering Global Impact. We aim to impact global humanitarian challenges, to promote education for global citizenship for UCL students, connect the curriculum to humanitarian research and impact national and international policymaking. Expansion of the IRDR is one of the 6 priorities areas in the MAPS Strategic Operating Plan (2017-2022).

The IRDR is strongly interdisciplinary. We currently have 8 academic staff, 5 of whom are jointly appointed with other departments, (Earth Sciences, Statistical Science, Space & Climate Physics, Civil Engineering and the Institute for Global Health) and 4 members of part time professional services staff. The IRDR has a PhD population of over 20 (about 1/3 of the students are international students) and runs 4 Masters programmes.

We are gaining international, national and London leadership in RDR which is illustrated by leading in United Nations forums; the keynote address delivered by the UK Government’s Chief Scientist at our Annual Conference; early success in the Global Challenge Research Fund (GCRF) with 8 awards in 2016/17, 5 of which were led by the IRDR; active engagement with London First; and training of gold command for London Resilience.

Administratively, the IRDR is independent cost centre within MAPS and has its own staff. Currently we do not have full departmental status and our students are admitted through the Department of Earth Sciences, although student administration is done through the IRDR. We aim to achieve full departmental status next year.

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