UCL Grand Challenges


UCL Grand Challenges link with Hong Kong University - new funding available

19 July 2017

UCL and Hong Kong University (HKU) established a new partnership during academic year 2016-17 encouraging joint research relating to the UCL Grand Challenges. The new scheme specifically encourages cross-disciplinary collaboration in support of research focused on some of the world’s greatest challenges. Following the scheme’s first call for proposal, for joint activities in 2016-17, the second call, for activities in 2017-18 will close at 23.59 BST on Saturday 30th September 2017.

The joint scheme encourages cooperative projects on pressing global issues, as identified by the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The scheme’s highlighted priorities include urbanisation and sustainable cities, healthy ageing, global health, translational medicine, food and water safety and security, transformative technology, transcultural studies including China studies, and justice and equality. UCL’s Grand Challenges programme – addressing Global Health, Sustainable Cities, Cultural Understanding, Human Wellbeing, Transformative Technology and Justice & Equality, provides an inter-institutional strategic framing for the joint scheme.

Each university aims to allocate up to £30,000 annually in support of collaborative activities. Awarded funds may be used to meet the cost of diverse activities, including pilot studies, joint workshops, symposia, and travel of researchers and research students between the collaborating research groups. Awarded activities should provide a basis for longer-term research collaboration through grant support from UK, HK and international research funding agencies.

The UCL-HKU joint scheme is an important development because it provides an opportunity for UCL to build on an extensive existing relationship with HKU. In September 2016, the partner universities welcomed the first cohort of Dual Degree students in Law (HKU-UCL Law Programme) marking a strategic collaborative relationship between the two premier law schools. The joint scheme provides a mechanism for researchers from any of UCL’s 11 faculties to secure funds for work with researchers at HKU, at the heart of an economically and culturally dynamic Asian region, on issues of urgent social, health and economic importance in the region.

UCL researchers can apply for funding from the Strategic Partnerships Fund, jointly with a partner from Hong Kong University. To apply, UCL and HKU collaborating partners are requested to follow the instructions in the Strategic Partnerships Fund document from HKU, submitting a three-page application to Professor W. John Kao, Hong Kong University’s Vice-President and Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Global).

Find out more about applying for this funding

UCL partners should cc joint proposals to Dr Ian Scott, Director, Grand Challenges & Cross-Disciplinary Development at ian.scott@ucl.ac.uk.

The statement of the required budget needed clearly delineate the anticipated costs of the each collaborator - £ Sterling for UCL side, and $HK for HKU partner.