Global Engagement Funds: diversifying UCL’s collaborations
By Rachel P Corcoran, on 7 September 2016
The launch of the 2016/17 Global Engagement Funds builds on a successful pilot year, which offered support to 75 academics developing partnerships with colleagues at 93 different institutions.
Looking at the picture to the left, what quickly becomes clear is the diverse nature of UCL’s partnerships that were initiated or strengthened through these funds.
The funds are open to staff from all 11 UCL faculties – last year colleagues worked with partners in 34 countries. You can see in which region each faculty spent funds last year below.
Colleagues can apply for funds to support a range of activities:
- to further research activity with colleagues in other countries (funds to cover travel and accommodation for inward/outbound visits, for example);
- to facilitate the drafting of publications and/or collaborative research bids;
- to organise workshops, symposia and festivals (inviting world-class speakers, covering the cost of venue hire, catering );
- to carry out field visits;
- to create new, or widen the range of, opportunities available through partner institutions to the benefit of students (for example, student exchange).
Applicants may involve colleagues based in different countries – for example last year researchers at the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience (Brain Sciences) used the funds to finance travel and accommodation for a unique brain tumour research project in partnership with colleagues at the Humboldt University, Berlin, and the University of California, San Francisco.
The global partner – that is, the colleague(s) with whom applicants intend to collaborate – is not limited to another higher education or research institute, but can be from a charity, NGO or public/corporate body. So in this way the funds are encouraging innovative collaborations to deliver global impact.
Colleagues from UCL Institute of Education (Social Science) were awarded Global Engagement Funds to carry out explorative research on the situation of the 500+ unaccompanied children at ‘the Jungle’ migrant camp in Calais, France. They strengthened relationships with a group of NGOs/charities with whom they will write a collaborative research bid in future.
Over in UCL Laws, an academic travelled to the USA to initiate research into the International Law Commission with colleagues at the United Nations in New York.
Global Engagement Funds can also be used to create more international opportunities for UCL students.
A researcher from Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering received funding to visit the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore to develop a programme of student exchange alongside collaborative research in geotechnical engineering.
Shortly after the UK referendum result, Dame Nicola Brewer, Vice Provost (International), reinforced UCL’s commitment to intensifying our global engagement activity.
The Global Engagement Funds are enabling academics across the university to engage in such work.
Rachel Corcoran is GEO’s Programme Manager.
Applications for the Global Engagement Funds close on 28 October 2016 – find out more and apply here.