UCL Research


Initiatives and networks

Find out about some of the cross-disciplinary initiatives, organisations and networks, that enable research advances led by UCL and partners. 

Discoveries require great minds with appropriate resourcing, while finding solutions to humanity’s major problems requires collaboration across disciplines and sectors.  

We develop partnerships within and beyond the university to inform the work we do and increase our positive impact on the world around us.

We work to extend our understanding of local, national and global issues, and increase the grassroots relevance of our work.

Key themes

Flagship programmes

UCL Grand Challenges

Our trailblazing UCL Grand Challenges programme is evolving as detailed in our Strategic Plan 2022-27. We are developing five new areas identified as urgent global challenges - Climate Crisis | Mental Health and Well-being | Data-empowered Societies | Inequalities | Intercultural Communication. 

UCL Research Domains

The UCL Research Domains are large, cross-disciplinary research communities that span UCL and our partner organisations to support collaboration and discovery. They are – Environment | eResearch | Space | Neuroscience | Cancer | Microbiology | Collaborative Social Science | Food, Metabolism & Society.

UCL Sustainable Development Goals Initiative

UCL staff and students are playing a leading role in responding to the challenges set out in the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The UCL SDGs Initiative seeks to maximise the beneficial impact of our research, student, teaching and external engagement activities on the 17 Goals.

Major campaigns and initiatives

Explore some of our key campaigns and initiatives:

  • AI for People and Planet – UCL conducts some of the best Artificial Intelligence (AI) research in the world. Our vision 'AI for people and planet' seeks to position AI as a force for good.
  • UCL Climate Hub – bringing together our communities and partners to address the climate emergency, advance knowledge globally and inspire change.
  • UCL Health – developing partnerships with a range of institutions, including universities, hospitals, schools, businesses and government. 
  • UCL Health of the Public – focusing on physical and mental health across many fields, including engineering, climate science, the built environment, law and social sciences, and population health sciences. 

Informing public policy

UCL Public Policy

UCL Public Policy connects researchers with policy professionals, to inform policy with evidence. We run a range of programmes from placements to events, briefings and fellowships to bridge the gaps between research and policy.

Big Ben Parliament (Freepik - by vwalakte)


Working in partnership

See below for links to some of our partner organisations:

Enabling research through technology

  • UCL Big Data Institute – explores innovative ways to better serve the needs of researchers, through the investigation of new technologies and analytics as applied to scholarly content and data.
  • Alan Turing Institute – the UK’s national institute for Data Science and Artificial Intelligence is pushing the limits of science in order to change the world.
  • London Centre for Nanotechnology – solving global problems in information processing, healthcare, energy and environment through the application of nanoscience and nanotechnology.

Focusing on health

  • Francis Crick Institute – dedicated to understanding why disease develops and to translating discoveries into new ways to prevent, diagnose and treat illnesses.
  • Sainsbury Wellcome Centre – investigates how brain circuits process information to generate perception, form memories and guide behaviour.
  • UCL Partners – a unique academic health science partnership that brings together over 40 partners from the NHS, social care and academia to transform the health and wellbeing of the population.

In the UK and worldwide

British flag umbrella London (Freepik - by jcstudio)

UCL in London

As London's Global University, UCL  is the capital's research powerhouse with the position of number 1 in London for research power (REF 2021). Find out more about UCL's impact in London. 

world map

UCL worldwide

As London’s Global University, UCL works with partners across the world to co-create fair solutions to pressing challenges. Find out about UCL's activity in each of our regions around the globe.