UCL Research


UCL awarded £1m research culture funding by Wellcome

24 January 2024

UCL has secured £1m funding from Wellcome’s Institutional Fund for Research Culture (IFRC) for a new programme, ‘Enabling collaboration and team science.’


The programme has been developed in response to evidence from UCL’s research community of significant challenges to collaborating in team-based research. These challenges are common across both the UK research ecosystem and worldwide.

The IFRC funds will be used to deliver three new individual, but interlinked, interventions. Each intervention will share a governance structure, but will focus on a different research community group and include a commitment to co-production with a diverse range of voices:

  1. Collaborative Research Leadership Programme, for new high-potential-impact PIs – to address a need to enhance collaborative leadership and management skills for research group leaders.
  2. Talent management of Research Professionals, for people working in research-adjacent (e.g. Impact, IT and Technical Staff) roles – to address shortfalls in recognising and optimising the contribution of professional services staff to team science.
  3. Creating collaborative connections outside UCL, for UCL professors looking to take on external leadership roles – to enhance cross-sector collaboration within the Research & Innovation system.

Each intervention is aligned with one or more of the themes from the Research Culture Roadmap and will be delivered by UCL’s Research Culture team in collaboration with other teams across the institution. They will be designed and assessed using in-house expertise from UCL’s Centre for Behaviour Change.

To reflect our core values of openness and inclusion, diverse stakeholders will be consulted in the design phase; selection criteria will be open; and all interventions will be showcased on a dedicated website.

The first intervention, the Collaborative Research Leadership Programme, will be launched in September 2024; the full programme is expected to conclude by June 2026. The interventions will be designed with scaling to a larger population in mind and if successful, will be integrated into UCL’s business-as-usual operations.

Professor Geraint Rees, Vice-Provost (Research, Innovation and Global Engagement) and Sponsor for the Research Culture programme, said: “Collaboration and team science are essential to a healthy research culture. We hope this transformative programme of work will help remove some of the barriers we know exist at UCL, and provide valuable learnings, resources and insights to the wider sector.”

Emma Todd, Director of Research Culture, said: “We’re looking forward to working with colleagues across a range of faculties and functions to deliver this programme of work, which will most immediately benefit researchers, research professionals and principal investigators but in the longer-term will support the development of a more collaborative research culture for everyone at UCL.”

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