Research and Innovation Services


How we’re working to improve research support

13 November 2019

Alongside our business as usual activities, we’ve been working on a range of other projects to improve research support at UCL including improving our communications, developing and delivering training, reviewing policy, and expanding the team.

RS Update

Research Services work in partnership with academic and professional services colleagues across UCL, within collaborating organisations, and with Funders to support UCL’s externally funded sponsored research portfolio.

We support UCL by reviewing and authorising over 4,500 research proposals annually and managing over 7,000 research projects. Every year-end Research Services complete the financial accounting for all research activity working in conjunction with Finance and Business Affairs: UCL’s research income for 2018-19 was approximately £480 million.

What else have we been doing?

In addition to our business as usual activities, over the last few months we’ve been working on a range of other projects to improve to support we offer.

Improving communications

We have been refreshing the Research Services website to ensure our content is user-centred and that academic colleagues can find what they need, when they need it. In the last 12 months our website views have increased by 38%. We’ll continue to update our pages to respond to the changing funder landscape. Please visit our site regularly to ensure you see the latest news and events being advertised.   

Delivering and developing training

We have been developing a programme of bite-size research management sessions which we plan to host regularly. Over 200 people attended our first two sessions and the next session on Supporting Research Proposal Submission: Best Practice guidance is available to book a space on. If you have any suggestions for a future session please get in touch.  

Working in partnership with Organisational Development, TOPS and an external platform provider, we’re developing an online course on the Fundamentals of Research Management which will be launched in the New Year. The interactive training module will be aimed at all staff supporting research in academic departments, faculties, schools and central services.

Reviewing policy

Following release of the Managing Externally Funded Sponsored Research (Post Award) Policy we are now developing a Pre-Award equivalent. This will clearly set out the roles and responsibilities for both Academic Departments and Research Services in the management of sponsored research projects at UCL. We are currently collaborating with stakeholders across the university to understand the current processes and identifying policy requirements.

Expanding the team

We are advertising for two Research Services Business Partners to join our team to support the growth in complex funding. There are also two new secondment opportunities for roles within the SLMS Research Coordination Office.