Research and Innovation Services


About us

Research and Innovation Services (RIS) was formed in 2021 to enable excellence in research and innovation support. Led by Executive Director, Claire Glen, we provide UCL’s academic community with the tools, support and expertise they need to deliver cutting-edge research that solves real-world problems.

UCL has a history of academic excellence and is consistently ranked among the world's top universities. We are renowned for conducting internationally leading research that addresses some of the greatest challenges facing the world. Our work helps UCL to sustain and advance its position as a world-leading, research-intensive university.

UCL researchers secure an income of approximately £470million every year through national and international grant applications and industry funding. Our dedicated teams of research and innovation support professionals play a crucial role in helping UCL academics submit more than 4000 grant applications each year and manage a portfolio of approximately 6000 active awards and contracts across the university.

Our services

We enable excellent research and innovation by providing our academic community with efficient, effective and flexible advisory and administrative support services. Find out more about our services below. 

Award Services

Our Award Services teams provide end-to-end support services for UCL's academic community, from pre- to post-award, ensuring regulatory, financial and statutory compliance for the university.

Find out more about Award Services

Contract Services

Our Contract Services team work closely with UCL academic and professional support staff to draft, review, negotiate and approve the terms of various research-related contracts.

Find out more about Contract Services   

Research and Innovation Portal

Based on the research and innovation lifecycle, our Research and Innovation Portal brings together all available information and guidance from across the university to support our academic community with the management and delivery of research and innovation projects.

Access the Research and Innovation Portal 

Support for innovation projects

The expansion of RIS to support innovation projects is an important step in realising our ambition of providing efficient, effective, and flexible advisory and administrative services for all types of research and innovation across UCL. Providing central support for a wider set of activities will enable us to:

  • Leverage systems and processes that reduce the administrative burden
  • Provide consistency and transparency
  • Improve UCL’s ability to respond to new funding opportunities, as the research and innovation funding landscape diversifies and evolves.

We will also work collaboratively across UCL to produce guidance and tools that help teams quickly reach the most appropriate service for their project.

When will my faculty be supported?

Faculties will be included for Innovation support across the 2022/23 academic year. A faculty-based roll-out has been adopted to monitor demand and ensure sufficient time for training and development. Faculties will be included in waves, in the following order, with the aim of supporting all faculties by August 2023:

  1. Medical Sciences, Engineering Sciences, and Population Health Sciences
  2. Brain Sciences and  Life Sciences
  3. Mathematical & Physical Sciences and The Barlett (Built Environment)
  4. Institute of Education and Social & Historical Sciences
  5. Laws and Arts & Humanities

Order of the innovation service roll-out to faculties

Development of our Innovation service

As Assistant Director of Innovation Service Development, Liam McCafferty has supported our Division to scope and develop innovation support. Liam led the innovation pilot, trialled in medical sciences and engineering sciences faculties, throughout 2021.

Before joining RIS, Liam helped to develop partnerships within UCL’s Innovation & Enterprise team and was a post-doctoral research associate in UCL’s Chemistry Department.  

Find out more about our Innovation Service

Transforming research and innovation services at UCL

Our aim is to provide our academic community with the services they need to deliver outstanding cutting-edge research. To achieve this, we are transforming our existing services and developing a range of new services to enhance research and innovation support at UCL.

Research and Innovation Support Transformer

The Research and Innovation Support Transformer (RIST) was created to transform institutional support for UCL's research and innovation activity. The programme aims to ensure our services provide an improved experience for researchers and increase compliance with internal and external regulations.

Discover more about RIST

New services in development

Effective from 1 July 2022, Research and Innovation Services consists of four portfolios:

  • Award Services
  • Contract Services
  • Planning, Insight and Improvement
  • Compliance and Assurance.

This new structure will enable further improvement and expansion of priority services, such as:

  • Enabling support for innovation activity in addition to ‘sponsored’ research
  • An improved compliance and assurance capability
  • A team to make best use of our rich research and innovation data and insights
  • A strengthened planning and service improvement offer.

This new structure will set us up for success, to ensure our services are aligned to the needs of the UCL community. 

The Planning, Insight and Improvement and Compliance and Assurance teams are in the process of being created. Over the coming months, we will be sharing more information about these new services as they are developed.