Welcome from VP Research

2 December 2020

UCL's Vice Provost (Research), Professor David Price, has written a message warmly welcoming our new research students.

David Price

I’d like to extend our warmest welcome to those of you who are joining us this year. Everyone feels a mixture of excitement and anxiety at taking their first steps as a student, but for the class of 2020, it is a challenge unlike any we have known before. These are unprecedented times, and bring added uncertainties to the reality of adapting to student life. Nonetheless, I am confident that you will find it a rewarding and supportive atmosphere, focused on your wellbeing and here for you at every stage.

Since Covid-19 emerged, I have been inspired and humbled by the way UCL’s community has responded. We have talked a lot in the past about our commitment to research that makes a positive impact on the world around us, and our desire to use our expertise and resources for good, but it has been truly incredible to see how swiftly that commitment has translated into practical action. Across the university, people have stepped up to ask How can I help? What do you need?

This has led to projects like the UCL-Mercedes Ventura project, to manufacture thousands of CPAP respirators and open-source the design for use worldwide. Colleagues from the department of Chemistry and the School of Pharmacy turned over their labs to produce hand sanitizer for UCLH.  Researchers in UCL Mechanical Engineering used 3D printers to make visors and PPE to protect frontline healthcare staff. And the list goes on: every team has their own story to tell about their contribution.

Student life may be a little different at first, as we adapt to new ways of learning and teaching that prioritise the health and wellbeing of students and staff. I am confident that our teams will ensure you feel connected to the wider UCL community and that your learning and pastoral care are undiminished, even as we adapt to a ‘new normal’.

Every year, when I welcome new students to UCL, I tell them that they are joining a university they can be proud of, a community that is focused on using research to help humanity. This year, that is clearer than ever. I hope that you will find UCL’s sense of community and purpose is stronger than ever. We’re glad you’ve chosen to be part of it. 

Professor David Price, UCL Vice-Provost (Research)