New funding opportunity for doctoral students

As part of our collaboration with the UCL Doctoral School, UCL Grand Challenges invites proposals to support activities relating to two recently-created Research Domains: Space and Microbiology. We will fund cross-disciplinary projects up to £2,000, pursued by pairs of UCL doctoral research students.


The Grand Challenges Doctoral Students’ small grant scheme is a partnership between the UCL Doctoral School and UCL Grand Challenges. The scheme supports cross-disciplinary activities pursued by pairs of UCL doctoral research students from different Faculties, addressing issues of relevance to UCL’s six Grand Challenges – Global Health, Sustainable Cities, Cultural Understanding, Human Wellbeing, Transformative Technology or Justice & Equality.

The 1st Call for proposals, announced in the Spring Term of 2016-17, resulted in 16 awards for joint activity in 2017-18. Early outcomes featured in the 18 April 2018 Grand Challenges Showcase event. The 2nd Call, for joint activities in 2018-19, resulted in ten awards.

The current ‘Supplementary Call’ promotes cross-disciplinary interaction between researchers at doctoral and post-doctoral levels, whose interests relate to two recently-created Domains – ‘Space’ and ‘Microbiology’. Successful bids will be those that clearly explain how working between disciplines will help to resolve important questions in fundamental research and/or in the translation of novel research discoveries for societal benefit. Examples of activity suitable for support include: pilot project generating data/evidence for a potential research grant application; early-stage testing of an innovation or enterprise idea; or other research-informed activities of relevance to society, including through public engagement.
Awards up to a value of £2,000 each are available for activities relating to the Space and Microbiology Research Domains, with a maximum of three awards are available per Domain.

Collaborating research students and postdoc researchers supported by this initiative should aim to gain insights of value to their own particular area of research, providing a step on the pathway to research impact or societal benefit. The GC Doctoral Students’ small grants scheme, and the current Supplementary Call focused on two Research Domains, respond to the fundraising Campaign for UCL ‘Disruptive Thinking’ theme, asking ‘How do the people of this world find solutions that enable them safely to reach the 22nd Century?’

The deadline for applications is 09:00, Monday 26 November 2018 – apply here.