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Neuromarketing goes global

GuestBlogger10 November 2017

By Joe Devlin, UCL Experimental Psychology, Div of Psychology & Lang Sciences

When John Hogan and I began running Neuromarketing Workshops we received a noticeably cool reception from colleagues.  To most neuroscientists, “neuromarketing” epitomizes the worst of pseudo-science and is used to exploit unsuspecting companies.  But business leaders are genuinely interested in what neuroscience and psychology can offer them and they naturally want to take advantage of the latest scientific knowledge.  Where can they go to get accurate, unbiased information? UCL’s reputation as a world-leading research institution provided the perfect opportunity to uniquely meet this need and deliver global impact.

John and Joe hosting workshopWhen we began, we assumed that our workshops would primarily attract people from marketing companies around London.  In fact, there was much wider interest than we anticipated.  Over the last two years, our participants have come from a range of industries beyond marketing, including retail, fashion, publishing, finance, and government.  In addition, they came not only from the UK but also from Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, Italy, South Africa, Thailand, Turkey, the UAE and the USA. Being based in the heart of London clearly appeals to a wide audience, many of whom are willing to travel considerable distances to attend.

Fostering marketing and neuroscience collaborations in Brazil

This year we had an opportunity to run a series of seminars and workshops on a two week trip to Brazil, organized through UCL Consultants (UCLC).  In São Paulo we spoke to business leaders about the appeal of neuromarketing and its potential for improving our understanding of consumer decision making.  In Rio de Janeiro we spoke at the government’s House of Business, where we discussed how even micro-to-small sized enterprise can benefit from neuromarketing (and crucially, how to avoid neuromarketing snake oil).

John and Jo speaking at University of Central Brazil (UniCEUB)Finally in Brasilia, we were hosted by the University of Central Brazil’s (UniCEUB) marketing school to speak with faculty and students.  There we focused on the science behind neuromarketing and the need to foster stronger collaborations between marketing and neuroscience in order to further develop the field.

In all three cities, we ran in-depth two-day workshops that fleshed out these concepts, provided case-study examples (of both good and bad neuromarketing), and engaged participants with hands-on learning activities.  Ultimately about 70 people attended the workshops and another 150 came to the lectures.

Building partnerships through engagement and enterprise 

For us, the workshops are both exciting and slightly terrifying as we are often challenged to apply the research we discuss to real-world situations on the spot.  On the plus side, this has led to new industry-funded research projects.  Following our Brasil trip, we are now in discussions with two large, international companies about how they can use consumer neuroscience to understand their customers better.

In our experience, these types of opportunities provide access to new research questions, novel (and rather large!) data sets that go beyond anything we could collect in the lab, and unique opportunities for students to apply their knowledge towards solving real-world problems. We were also invited by Brazil’s small business association to help them co-create content about neuromarketing to share with businesses throughout the country via the Sebrae Corporate University.

In a recent Vice-Provost View in The Week@UCL, Dr. Dame Nicola Brewer (Vice Provost International) revealed that the Global Engagement Office has made substantial progress delivering on our Global Engagement Strategy (GES) goals with an investment of less than half a percent of UCL’s overall expenditure.  Building partnerships through engagement and enterprise also helps to meet our GES objectives, while at the same time generating revenue and novel research opportunities.

UCL Research Catalyst Award Winners – 2016/17

JasonLewis4 April 2017

UCL Research Catalyst Award Winners – 2016/17

Congratulations to this year’s winners of the Santander Universities Research Catalyst Awards!

We wish our UCL colleagues best of luck, and look forwarding to seeing the outcomes of these exciting collaborations.

Here’s the full list of winners:

UCL Award Winner      UCL Department           Partner Institution(s)
Arroyo-Kalin, Manuel Institute of Archaeology Universidad Nacional de Colombia
Attanasio, Orazio Economics Universidad de Los Andes
Beeken, Rebecca Behavioural Science & Health University of Guadalajara
Boano, Camillo Development Planning Unit Universidad Católica del Norte; Universidad de Chile;  Universidad Alberto Hurtado
Drinot, Paulo Institute of the Americas Universidad Nacional de Quilmes
Edwards, Stephen Earth Sciences La Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
Heinrich, Michael School of Pharmacy UNAM, Méxcio, D.F; Instituto Nacional de Ciencias Médicas y Nutrición “Salvador Zubirán”
Heywood, Wendy ICH Genetics & Genomic Medicine, UCL GOS Institute of Child Health Universidade Federal de Pernambuco;  Real Hospital Português; GSK – Latin America & Caribbean; Hospital das Clínicas de Porto Alegre
Mindell, Jennifer Epidemiology & Public Health Various (Brazil; Chile; Colombia)
Murcio, Roberto Geography UNAM; Universidad de Pamplona
Ortiz, Catalina Bartlett Development Planning Unit National University of Colombia;  University of Los Andes
Phelps, Nicholas Bartlett School of Planning Universidad Catolica del Norte
Prieto-Garcia, Jose School of Pharmacy Universidad de La Plata
Schuster, Christian Political Science National School of Public Administration (ENAP); Federal University of Minas Gerais and National School of Public Administration (ENAP)
Sulu, Michael Biochemical Engineering Universidad Autónoma de Chihuahua

 

The Santander Universities Research Catalyst Awards, in line with UCL’s Global Engagement Strategy, seeks to engender innovative research collaborations between UCL and universities and research institutions abroad.

While the Research Catalyst Awards focuses solely on collaborations with universities in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Mexico, UCL provides various other global engagement funding opportunities for its academics and researchers.

 

Ask GEO: Ciaran Moynihan, Senior Partnership Manager (North and Latin America)

SophieVinter25 January 2017

Ciaran Moynihan, Senior Partnerships Manager (North and Latin America)Ciaran is GEO’s Senior Partnerships Manager for North and Latin America. Here he shares some key updates and opportunities from both regions with us.

Tell us more about your role in GEO and activity in your regions

I work closely with UCL faculties and departments, as well as other Professional Services, to manage and develop partnerships with institutions in North and Latin America. As you can imagine, UCL has a very wide range of activity in both regions, ranging from research collaborations and student exchanges to dual degrees and beyond. Some interesting partnerships I work on would be the Yale UCL Collaborative; an emerging priority partnership with Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile; and another emerging partnership with the University of Toronto (to name but a few!)

One challenge I face in my role is around capturing the full breadth of activity that UCL colleagues have underway with partners in North and Latin America – I am always interested to hear about links in the regions which I may not be aware of – so please do get in touch to tell me about your research and education links in both regions. There may be ways I can support you in your endeavours!

Map showing a sample of UCL collaborations in North and Latin America, by metropolitan areaWhat are the UCL Research Catalyst Awards?

The UCL Research Catalyst Awards, sponsored by Santander Universities, have successfully run since 2011. The scheme has enabled more than 40 visits to Latin American universities to support development of research collaboration.

The purpose of the awards is to foster research collaboration between UCL and key partner universities in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru. The awards are available to cover travel, accommodation and subsistence costs associated with focused visits to potential research collaborators, and are aimed at achieving a specific outcome that will support future research collaboration.

We have recently extended the deadline for this year’s applications to Monday 13 February 2017 at 10am. If you’d like to apply, find out more on GEO’s website.

Why do you think UCL’s partnership with Santander Universities is so successful?

UCL began its partnership with Santander Universities in 2007 and was one of the very first UK universities to become a member of the Santander Universities network. The partnership provides UCL students and staff with numerous benefits and opportunities, ranging from study abroad experiences, to research travel grants for staff, to Masters scholarships for incoming students from Latin America.

The partnership with Santander Universities is a strong one for UCL – this year marks the ten-year anniversary of the relationship, which has gone from strength to strength. Not only does Santander Universities provide funding to UCL, but we also work closely with them on support for student entrepreneurship and on helping students to gain internships in small and medium enterprises to enable them to be better prepared for global careers and lives.

UCL will shortly sign a new partnership agreement with Santander Universities, renewing our strong relationship through to 2019, so watch this space for updates on opportunities for staff and students!

What are you working on at the moment?

One of my big areas of focus right now is developing a potentially important partnership with the University of Toronto (U of T). UCL already has strong collaborative links with U of T in a range of areas including child health, education, big data and cancer research, to name a few. We also have a large undergraduate student exchange programme with them. I am currently working with UCL faculties and U of T, under the leadership of the Vice-Provost (International), to explore other areas in which we might collaborate together. Most specifically right now, we are organising a joint workshop on ‘cities’ at UCL, to discuss research collaboration in this area.

U of T is a similar institution to UCL – located in a global city, similarly placed in world league tables, research intensive and with strong educational underpinnings for our students. We are excited at UCL with the opportunity this developing partnership presents, to enable us to work together to deliver excellence in research that will potentially have global impact while also supporting our students as global citizens.

What benefits would joining the North and Latin America networks bring to UCL academics?

Both networks essentially act as ‘communities of interest’ for UCL academics working on topics related to the region, with partners in the region or from the region. We hold termly meetings to bring academics together to hear about institutional initiatives in these regions, while also providing a forum for academics to network with each other and discuss their work regarding partners from North and Latin America.

We also utilise the networks to share regular region-specific funding opportunities that may be of interest to academics, and we are planning to run some academic led events over the coming months. In fact, it would be wonderful to hear from UCL academics on themes, topics etc. for possible events which colleagues would like to see run via the networks!

Contact Ciaran on:

ciaran.moynihan@ucl.ac.uk
+44 (0)20 3108 7777 / internal 57777

UCL Research Catalyst Awards: tackling rare diseases in Brazil

Chris E CCook23 January 2017

28 February 2017 is the tenth international Rare Disease Day, focusing on the theme of research. We take a look at how the UCL Research Catalyst Awards have enabled an international collaboration tackling rare diseases to go from strength to strength.

In 2014 UCL Professor Jim Owen (Emeritus Professor of Molecular Medicine) and Professor David Abraham (Professor of Cell and Molecular Biology) travelled to Brazil thanks to a £5,000 Santander Universities-funded Research Catalyst Award.

Their visit identified research on rare disease (RD) as a significant area that could be jointly developed between UCL and institutions in north-east Brazil – a centre of global rare disease.

The partnerships formed went on to help with students and post-doctoral researchers coming to UCL via Brazil’s Science without Borders (SwB) mobility programme.

International Symposium on Rare Diseases 2016Collaboration on rare disease

Professor Owen said the area of RD was identified due to two compelling reasons: (i) that it is now Brazilian National Policy to introduce early and accurate diagnosis of RD plus treatments for affected individuals into the public health system; and (ii) that genetic clusters of RD are concentrated in north-east Brazil due to centuries of colonisation and crossbreeding between natives, Europeans (Portuguese, Dutch) and African slaves.

Building on links with Universidade Federal de Pernambuco (UFPE), this joint goal progressed further with Brazilian researchers from LIKA [the leading biomedical centre in north-east Brazil situated on the UFPE campus] visiting UCL Departments and the UCL Institute of Child Health (ICH) in September 2014. In turn, this led to a highly successful Rare Diseases symposium (RDis-2015) the following April attended by seven UCL researchers, including three from ICH.

The Zika virus outbreak slowed progress in 2016, but a second symposium ran in March 2016 with the clear aim of sustaining emerging partnerships between UK-Brazil laboratories and developing new ones. UCL links with five universities (UFPE, Universidade Federal Rural de Pernambuco,  Universidade Federal do Ceará, Universidade de Fortaleza and Universidade Federal da Bahia) in north-east Brazil are now in place, with a vision for UFPE and associated Recife Hospitals to form a Reference Centre for RD in line with recent National and Interfarma recommendations. At the same time the partnership will seek to widen this consortium to encompass Brazil’s leading universities.

Rare diseases debate held at the Legislative Assembly of Pernambuco StateProf Owen highlighted a further strong positive note as the involvement of GlaxoSmithKline at the 2016 symposium – it is hoped this tentative partnership will be developed in the months ahead, along with involvement of further pharmaceutical companies.

These research links are now beginning to show tangible evidence of success, through publications (a 2015 PLoS One article, two submitted and others in preparation) and also through grant funding (with UCL researchers included grants of £185,000 and £144,000 to UFC and UFPE, respectively), while UFPE was named on a £20,000 grant awarded to Drug Discovery, UCL School of Pharmacy.

Links help foster mobility

Thanks to links fostered by the original visit and subsequent collaborations, a number of Brazilian students and post-doctoral researchers have come to UCL via SwB.

Dr Ayrles Brandão da Silva (a post-doc SwB fellow from Fortaleza) spent a year in UCL’s Institute for Liver and Digestive Health working with Dr Raj Mookerjee, while Isabella Cantanhede (a UFPE medical student and undergraduate SwB fellow) undertook a five-month research project in UCL’s Department of Clinical Neurosciences with Dr Jan-Willem Taanmen. While in the UK they had the opportunity to meet Professor Sir John Gurdon when he gave the UCL Clinical Science Prize lecture.

Brazilian students met Professor Sir John Gurdon when he gave the UCL Clinical Science Prize lectureSandwich PhD student Felipe Domingos de Sousa investigated the therapeutic potential of plant lectins in healing processes and other related skin diseases under the supervision of Professor David Abraham (UCL Centre for Rheumatology and Connective Tissue Diseases). In Brazil, Felipe has dual positions in the Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Universidade Federal do Ceará and in the Centre of Experimental Biology (Nubex), Universidade de Fortaleza. Before leaving UFC, he successfully cloned and expressed Frutapin, a lectin from Artocarpus incisa seeds, in milligram amounts from E coli cultures.

Two further SwB sponsored students from north-east Brazil have also spent periods at UCL: Victor Passos (UFPE) who worked with Professor Steve Hart at ICH and Kildere Marques-Canuto, who received training in the Division of Medicine, RFC.  Though the SwB programme is currently suspended, three other UFPE researchers are currently seeking fellowships to come to UCL: Dr Luiz Alberto Mattos to spend a year at UCL Department of Clinical Trials, Dr Carolina Córdula for a proteomics study at ICH (Dr Kevin Mills) and a PhD student, Andriu Catena who will extend Dr Ayrles Brandão da Silva’s project.

New resources to support LGBT staff and students working abroad

SophieVinter14 July 2016

The charity Stonewall has launched a set of Global Workplace Briefings to support LGBT employees travelling overseasForty per cent of the world’s population live in countries where lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people can be imprisoned, just for being themselves.

UK charity Stonewall is fighting to change this and has launched a set of Global Workplace Briefings open to UCL staff and students to access the latest information.

UCL has a history of opening up education to people previously excluded from it, and was the first UK university to join Stonewall’s Global Diversity Champion programme for international employers, helping to promote equality around the world.

The new Global Workplace Briefings shine a spotlight on the situation for LGBT people in different countries, which will enable UCL staff and students planning to work overseas to keep up to date on changing laws and the potential implications.

Protecting from discrimination

In more than half the world, LGBT people are not protected from discrimination under workplace law.

The first set of briefings, which are available via UCL’s Equalities website, cover Brazil, China, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Poland, Russia, Singapore, South Africa and Turkey.

Further briefings will follow later this year.

Each briefing outlines the legal, socio-cultural and workplace situation for LGBT people in the specified country and showcases progressive workplace practices from Stonewall’s membership.

They provide an important summary of in-country contexts for global mobility teams, helping them to identify where colleagues may need additional support when travelling internationally.

Supporting UCL’s LGBTQ community

Dr Fiona Leigh, a member of UCL’s LGBTQ+ Equality Advisory Group (LEAG), said UCL is now working further with Stonewall to produce additional briefings specifically for those working within higher education.

She said: “UCL is committed to providing resources and information for the safety and support of all of our staff and students, when travelling and working internationally.

“These briefings provide a very useful background in this endeavour, whether for LGBT staff or students or those supporting others with international visits.”

UCL Research Catalyst Award Winners – 2015/16

SophieVinter23 February 2016

A new round of Santander Universities Research Catalyst Awards launched in November 2015, with the aim of fostering new research collaborations between UCL and universities in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Mexico.

Colleagues from across UCL applied for funding, with the winners shown below.

The Catalyst Award winners will undertake their visits over the coming academic year, in order to develop collaborative activities with their chosen partners.

Congratulations to all of this year’s winners.

UCL Award Winner UCL Department Partner Institution
Arroyo-Kalin, Manuel Institute of Archaeology Universidad de Los Andes; Universidad Nacional de Colombia
Boano, Camillo Development Planning Unit Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile
Edwards, Stephen Hazard Centre Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile
Hamilton, Ian Energy Institute Universidad Diego Portales
Kalaskar, Deepak Division of Surgery and Interventional Science Universidad Industrial de Santander
Mookerjee, Raj Institute for Liver and Digestive Health Universidade Federal de Pernambuco
Phelps, Nicholas School of Planning Universidad Catolica del Norte
Ricardo, Silva Statistical Science Universidade Federal do Ceara
Whitmore, David Cell and Developmental Biology Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico
Zaidi, Zehra Institute of Risk and Disaster Management Universidad Nacional de Colombia
Zuluaga, Maria Medical Physics and Bioengineering Universidad Nacional de Colombia

UCL delegation heads to South America in first trip of 2015

KerryMilton26 January 2015

From 19-23 January 2015, a UCL delegation visited Brazil and Colombia to discuss opportunities for partnership and collaboration in higher education.

The group visited a number of institutions and organisations including various Brazilian and Colombian universities and national agencies. Highlights included high level meetings at Universidade de Sao Paulo and UNICAMP in Brazil; Universidad Nacional de Colombia and Universidad de Los Andes in Colombia; and two inspiring UCL alumni events jointly hosted with UCL by the British Consulate General, Sao Paulo and the British Ambassador to Colombia.
Brazil Colombia Events 2

In addition, the delegation met with FAPESP, a public agency funded by the State of Sao Paulo with a mission to support research projects in higher education and research institutions in all areas of knowledge in order to discuss developing a potential relationship with them.

In Colombia, the delegation met with Colfuturo, with whom UCL already has an existing relationship and Colciencias, the national agency for Science, Technology and Innovation to discuss development of UCL’s relationship with them.

Discussions spanned across higher education with a particular focus on public health, transport, medical sciences, sustainable cities and social sciences. Of particular note were discussions around mutually beneficial partnerships, the Newton Fund, which is part of the UK’s official development assistance and other potential and other potential funding streams to support development of collaborations.

Brazil Colombia Events 1

The delegation was led by Professor Alejandro Madrigal, UCL’s Pro-Vice-Provost for the Americas. Joining Professor Madrigal were:

  • Dr Jenny Mindell, Reader, Epidemiology and Public Health
  • Ciaran Moynihan, Partnership Officer, Office for International Affairs

The delegation spent time in Sao Paulo and Bogota as part of UCL’s plan to develop its relationship with countries in Latin America, with Colombia and Brazil being key priorities.

UCL’s Latin America Network, which meets throughout the year, is helping to shape UCL’s engagement with Latin America. The delegation plans to liaise with the Network over the coming weeks to disseminate opportunities identified on the visit in order to support development of the relationships with key partners in both countries.

In our next UCL Global News e-newsletter, we will have an update on the specific outcomes and developing relationships/collaborations in these countries, as well as an interview with an amazing alumna from Colombia. Subscribe at our UCL Global website

If you would like to join the Latin America Network, please email Ciaran Moynihan at ciaran.moynihan@ucl.ac.uk

What is the Newton Fund?

KerryMilton27 October 2014

The Newton Fund is part of the UK’s official international development assistance. This new funding is designed to promote the long term economic development and welfare of people in partner countries and unlock new opportunities for HEIs to contribute and build partnerships.

The fund is worth £75 million each year from 2014 for 5 years, predicated upon reciprocal funding in cash or kind from each partner country.

The partner countries have been confirmed as 15 fast-developing economies, identified by OECD:

  • Brazil
  • Chile
  • China
  • Colombia
  • Egypt
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Kazakhstan
  • Malaysia
  • Mexico
  • Philippines
  • South Africa
  • Thailand
  • Turkey
  • Vietnam

The fund has a governance board chaired by the Minister for Universities and Science, while BIS will oversee the management of the fund via a core group of ‘delivery partners’, including various academies, the British Council and International Higher Education Unit, Research Councils UK, Technology Strategy Board (TSB) and the Met Office.

The fund is organised into a wide-ranging series of collaborative programmes grouped into three ‘pillars’: People, Programmes, Translation.

Each UK delivery partner has a particular role in promoting different programmes; see Newton Fund Programme Descriptions [PDF] for further information.

Each partner country decides upon its own priorities in consultation with the UK delivery partners and UK diplomatic centres in-country, according to local need and the local availability of reciprocal matching resources.

How to apply

UCL applications for Newton funding will follow the applicant’s usual departmental procedures in line with the relevant Newton Fund delivery partner’s requirements. Further guidance if required can be obtained from the research facilitation team member for the appropriate School, visit the Office of the Vice Provost for Research website for contact information

Useful information

An overview of the BIS policy [webpage]

The Newton Fund Programme Descriptions [PDF]

Government Newton Fund Presentation [PowerPoint]

Frequently asked questions [PDF]

Universities UK International Unit maintains an up-to-date web page as a one-stop for all current calls [webpage]

Universities UK International Unit runs an email alert service for all new calls, and UCL colleagues are encouraged to sign up for this [webpage]

UCL President and Pro-Provost for the Americas visit Brazil

KerryMilton22 August 2014

As well as attending the third Universia Vice-Chancellors Meeting in Rio, Brazil, where Santander Universities announced 700 million Euro investment in universities until 2018; UCL President and Provost, Professor Michael Arthur and Pro-Provost to the Americas, Professor Alejandro Madrigal, met with some of Latin America’s top universities and organisations to discuss opportunities for partnership and collaboration in higher education.

Engagements included meeting with the Rector of Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (PUC) to deepen the developing institutional relationship between UCL and PUC through the Engineering 2030 Programme.

The Engineering 2030 initiative provides funding from the Chilean Economic Development Agency (Corfo) to universities that plan transforming their Engineering Schools into world-class entities, with a particular focus on the four pillars that are increasingly important in the engineering field: applied research, technology development and transfer, innovation and entrepreneurship.

UCL formally supported PUC’s successful proposal and over the coming months will explore further opportunities for working under this partnership.

Another highlight was a meeting with the Rector of Universidade de São Paulo (USP), the oldest university in Brazil and one of the most prestigious higher education and research institutions in Latin America, to discuss a potential high-level relationship between USP and UCL.

A final meeting took place with the President of Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico (UNAM), one of the world’s largest universities with an excellent international reputation, and a long-standing collaborator of UCL.

Discussions spanned renewing a highly-successful research agreement in biomedical and life sciences, as well as exploring new subject areas for potential collaboration and partnership.

To discuss UCL’s current links and on going plan for the Latin America region, contact Professor Madrigal at a.madrigal@ucl.ac.uk or Julia Dawson, Assistant Director at the Office for International Affairs at julia.dawson@ucl.ac.uk