UCL Grand Challenges not only fosters novel partnerships between researchers at UCL from different disciplines; the programme also encourages collaboration with external organisations, both academic and non-academic.
In the spirit of co-production of new insights into how to solve problems of global and societal complexity, Grand Challenges welcomes ideas for joint activity between UCL researchers and research users outside academia – including Embassies, NGOs, Local Authorities and other public sector organisations, community groups and think tanks.
Some of the partnerships we have established in recent years include:
The French Embassy
UCL Grand Challenges has hosted the UCL-French Embassy Conférence-Débat series since 2010. The series has brought together eminent French academics with UCL's finest minds to discuss topics such as ‘Engineering & Health’, ‘The State of Nature’ and ‘Towards Decarbonised Economies’.
The Lancet Commissions
UCL Grand Challenges has kickstarted a number of large scale, worldwide collaborations between academics that have reported their findings in The Lancet.
The UCL Lancet Commissions produced so far are:
- Managing the effects of climate change: The UCL Lancet Commission (2009)
- Health and climate change: policy responses to protect public health (2015)
This directly led to The Lancet Countdown: Tracking Progress on Health and Climate Change, an international, multi-disciplinary research collaboration hosted at UCL
Global partnerships: Africa Voices and India Voices
The Africa Voices series of events was held at UCL in early 2016. The events brought senior academics from across the continent to London, emphasizing our goal of co-producing knowledge about Africa with African colleagues on the continent and in the diaspora. The events included talks, panel discussions and cultural events and brought together people from many different disciplines as well as different backgrounds.
In a similar vein, the ongoing India Voices series is run by the Grand Challenge of Cultural Understanding. Filmmakers, academics and policy experts are taking part in events between March and June 2017, all aimed at exploring aspects of India today.
Hong Kong University
A link between UCL and Hong Kong University (HKU) encourages cross-disciplinary collaboration in support of research addressing global challenges, particularly issues affecting Hong Kong and its region of Asia. The first applications - joint proposals from UCL and HKU for funding - were submitted in January 2017; we hope to announce the winner or winners of these first award(s) in April 2017.
We will be encouraging new applications under this initiative in August 2017.