UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction


IRDR Overview

The Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction (IRDR), and part of 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. In 2020, the IRDR became UCL’s newest academic department.

IRDR Global Reach

We aim to develop the IRDR themed around disaster resilience, cascading crises, natural hazards, humanitarian crisis response, health in emergencies, conflict and migration, climate change adaptation, and gender responsive resilience, 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.

The IRDR is strongly interdisciplinary. We currently have 12 academic staff, 2 of whom are 2 jointly appointed with other departments, (Statistical Science and the Institute for Global Health) and 5 members of professional services staff. The IRDR has a PhD population of over 20 (about 1/2 of the students are international students) and runs 3 Masters programmes with about 80 students. In 2021 we are launching our new undergraduate programme, BSc Global Humanitarian Studies.

We are gaining international, national and London leadership in RDR and humanitarian response which is illustrated by leading in United Nations forums; the keynote address delivered by the UK Government's Chief Scientist at our Annual Conference; over £8 million in current research funding; active engagement with London First; and training of gold command for London Resilience.

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