UCL School of Life and Medical Sciences


Three UCL researchers honoured with Philip Leverhulme Prizes of £100,000

31 October 2018

Three UCL academics have been honoured with a prestigious 2018 Philip Leverhulme Prize, in recognition of the international impact and future potential of their research.


Dr Daisy Fancourt (UCL Institute of Epidemiology & Health Care), Dr Steve Fleming (Wellcome Centre for Human Neuroimaging at UCL) and Professor Nichola Raihani (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences) have each received a Philip Leverhulme Prize from the Leverhulme Trust. The prizes are worth £100,000 and can be spread over a two- or three-year period.

Each year, up to 30 UK university researchers from six different academic disciplines are selected to receive a Philip Leverhulme Prize. The disciplines change annually and in 2018, prizes were awarded to researchers in Classics, Earth Sciences, Physics, Politics and International Relations, Psychology, and Visual and Performing Arts.

Dr Fancourt received her prize in the Visual and Performing Arts category. Her research explores the impact of arts and cultural engagement on health, and she said the prize will allow her to fund a new team member “to help build on the exciting partnerships with cultural organisations, the health sector and policy makers that we currently have."

Dr Steve Fleming and Professor Nichola Raihani both received prizes in the Psychology category. Dr Fleming’s research focuses on brain processes and metacognition - the ability to reflect on our thoughts - and the effects of mental health disorders on these functions. Dr Fleming will use his prize to fund an additional research team member to pursue work on novel brain imaging methods such as wearable MEG devices (magnetoencephalography).

Professor Raihani’s research focuses on the evolution of social behaviour and cooperation in nature. She studies both humans and animals in research that  spans evolutionary biology, psychology and economics. She will use her prize to further her current research into the factors underpinning variation in interpersonal trust and paranoia and “what happens when social trust breaks down.”

UCL, Oxford and Bristol Universities each had the highest number of recipients of 2018 Philip Leverhulme Prizes (three recipients each).



  • (Left to right) Dr Daisy Fancourt, Dr Steve Fleming and Professor Nichola Raihani

Media contact

Chris Lane

Tel: +44 (0)20 7679 9222

Email: chris.lane [at] ucl.ac.uk