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Do I need to apply to UCL through the admissions office when applying for a Grand Challenge Studentship?

You may wish to begin your application at this time, but it is not necessary. If you are successful you will be sent an offer letter conditional on you completing the UCL admissions procedure and fulfilling the normal criteria.

When does the programme begin?

Grand Challenge Studentships 2014 will start on 1 October 2014, but you would be advised to arrive at UCL a little earlier to get yourself settled and oriented.

Are there any special eligibility criteria?

The eligibility criteria for GCS is excellence!  However, some projects may have additional requirements due to the discipline, please refer to further details on individual projects. Please also see the Prospectus for UCL’s general admissions requirements.

I am applying from overseas - are there specific criteria for students applying from overseas?

Information for overseas applicants is available here

I am applying from overseas – what is the difference between the EU/UK fee and the International fee?

Information about fees for 2014/15 is available here.  NB Overseas candidates will be required to provide proof of their ability to pay the difference between the EU/UK fee and the Overseas Fee.

Is it possible/advisable to contact the individual project supervisors for further details on projects and labs?

Most potential GCS supervisors will welcome contact from potential students, if contact details are not provided, you should be able to find them in the UCL Staff Directory

The project I’m interested in is not listed what should I do?

A call for new projects was made in November 2013 and those projects are currently being assessed.  The project list will be updated as new projects are approved, so please keep checking the webpage.

Can I – or my supervisor – suggest new project titles?

There was a call for new projects in November 2013, these projects are now being assessed and no new projects can be submitted at this time.

My supervisor has a project listed, can I apply for that project?

You can apply listing that as one of your preferred projects, but there is no guarantee that you will be allocated to that project.

Is the project list complete?

As of 11 March 2014 projects are being assessed and further projects may still be added.  Applying early may, therefore, limit your options.  Keep checking the page for updates!

Can you give me any guidance on answering the question "what excites you most in science today?"

The question is deliberately left open for you to answer in the way you think is appropriate.

Is there any word limit on the application form requesting that I state my reasons for interest in particular projects?

There is no word limit per se, but reviewers will tend to prefer concision.

Do I have to choose 3 projects?

No, you do not, but you are more likely to be successful if you give yourself more options.

Will I need to attend an interview for the Grand Challenge Studentship?

If you are short listed, you will be contacted about an interview (nb where possible, Lab visits will be scheduled for the afternoon of your interview).

If I am short listed, when will the interviews be held?

The interview period will be 12-23 May.

I've put in an application, but I haven't heard anything back, will I get confirmation that my application has been received?

Due to the volume of applications it is not possible to guarantee a confirmation of each one.  If you have not heard by mid-May, you have not been selected for interview.


Please contact the Grand Challenges Administrator, Anna Hindley, if you have any further general queries.  You may also wish to contact the supervisors for your project - contact details are available through the UCL Directory

Last updated 22 September 2014 by Anna Hindley