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UCL and the French Embassy: fostering interdisciplinary research

JasonLewis31 March 2017

UCL and French Embassy logosUCL and the French Embassy share a longstanding impactful partnership with the aim of fostering the co-production of innovative insights into how to solve some of the world’s most pressing challenges.

This partnership has resulted in a number of collaborative initiatives that have provided platforms for cross-disciplinary research collaboration between UCL scholars and leading French academics and researchers. These initiatives are largely driven by UCL’s Grand Challenges programme, allowing for interdisciplinary collaboration in the development of societally relevant interventions.

Here are a few examples of UCL/French Embassy initiatives that seek both to build on existing links, and to stimulate new ones between UCL and French academic and higher education organisations such as French universities, Grand Écoles and research organisations:

UCL / French Embassy Funding for Arts, Humanities and Social Science Workshops

This co-operative scheme, which is currently calling for proposals, commenced in 2013 and has been extended to July 2019. Around £2,500 per workshop is available for academics and researchers seeking to organise workshops in the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. This initiative seeks to encourage junior and senior scholars to establish new directions for possible research collaborations – not only in their own areas of expertise, but also across disciplines. The deadline for applications is 26 April 2017.

Conférence-débat lecture series

The annual Conférence-débat lecture series, started in 2010, brings together eminent French academics and UCL’s finest minds to discuss topics such as ‘The State of Nature’, ‘Towards Decarbonised Economies’, and ‘Climate Governance, post COP21 agreement’. These deeply insightful and engaging evening joint lectures have also involved afternoon workshops designed with the aim of facilitating potential collaboration between the visiting French research team and the team from UCL.

Collaborative Science & Technology Workshop competition

The Collaborative S&T Workshop competition, initiated in 2012, calls for proposals from leading academics and senior researchers to hold workshops at UCL that address a related challenge at the frontiers of either basic or applied science, one of UCL’s Grand Challenges, or a European Commission thematic programme.

In accordance with a 2012-signed Memorandum of Understanding between UCL and the French Embassy, the Embassy has generously provided up to €22,500 in annual grants to support five cycles of the S&T workshops. The main aim of this annual event is to strengthen existing links between UCL and French academic and research organisations, and to create a platform that fosters the development of new approaches for potential research collaborations across Europe.

Spatial justice – an Anglo-French dialogue, supported by the UCL/Institut Français du Royaume Uni Partnership

KerryMilton3 July 2015

Social justice remains an enduring, if at times muted, driver of social policy. At the city scale, this normative imperative is increasingly being encapsulated through the notion of spatial justice – an attempt to conceptualise, and render actionable, the complex interplay of relations between distribution, recognition, governance and territory. Spatial justice is a bold and vivid concept, inherently dynamic and political and, as such, warrants closer scrutiny.

With the support of the UCL-Institut Français du Royaume Uni Partnership, colleagues from the Bartlett’s Development Planning Unit and Department of Geography at UCL will, on 7-8 September, have an opportunity to unpack the concept in dialogue with partners from Université de Paris Est (UPE).

The exchange will enable a rare exploration of the linguistic and conceptual appropriation of the term in Anglophone and Francophone literatures, as well as their translation into urban policy. Working across disciplinary and theoretical vantage points, grounded in Northern and Southern based cases of practice, the exchange will test the similarities and differences between so-called ‘French’ and ‘Anglo’ perspectives on spatial justice, and explore how these affect both the conceptualisation of appropriate policy responses, and the formulation of policy instruments to drive implementation.

The exchange will include a public event on 7 September with political philosophers Jonathan Wolff (UCL) and Catherine Audard (LSE & Forum for European Philosophy), who will explore the possible implications for urban development of justice debates in Anglo-American and Francophone philosophical and political thought.

For more information, please email Dr. Barbara Lipietz at b.lipietz@ucl.ac.uk

School pupils give entrepreneurship a global squeeze with Citrus Saturday

KerryMilton3 July 2015

School pupils around the world will be starting their first enterprises on Saturday 4 July as part of Citrus Saturday, a UCL initiative to get young people thinking about entrepreneurship. The programme gives teams of young people aged 11 to 15 years a taste of running their own businesses through setting up and managing lemonade stands for the day.

Over 200 young people are due to take part in this year’s event, with participating countries including the UK, Ireland, France, Belgium, Germany, Spain, Poland, Armenia, Swaziland, Mozambique, Burkina Faso, Niger, Kenya and Tanzania.

Media are invited to attend the formal launch at the British Library where Timothy Barnes and Jack Wratten will be available for interview from 11:30am, while local and international media can also attend local stands – for a full list of where Citrus Saturday is happening please visit the website

Citrus Saturday, which is in its fifth year in the UK and second internationally, is a hands-on education programme developed by UCL to provide an introduction to entrepreneurship for young people.

Each team will run their stand as closely to that of a small business as possible, having been provided with seed funding from UCL to buy fruit and materials for the day. Any profits made are kept by the teams to reinforce the link between hard work and earning money.

Jack Wratten, Citrus Saturday Manager, said: “Our mission is to ensure that every young person in the world who wants to learn about business and experience entrepreneurship first-hand gets the opportunity to do just that.

“Citrus Saturday helps to fulfil the need for enterprise education in a fun and easy way, students directly learn skills not only valuable for entrepreneurs but for the entire workforce of tomorrow.”

Participation in the programme, which was established in 2011 by Timothy Barnes, Director of UCL Enterprise Operations, has tripled since last year and aims to engage with 1 million young people by 2020.

The programme is designed for small teams of pupils, with the Citrus Saturday Toolkit available to any organisation that works with young people. The Toolkit includes all materials needed to run workshops covering the basics of being an entrepreneur.

The teams will be supervised by volunteers from UCL and the wider community, who will provide support on the day and at introductory workshops, teaching the teams everything from business planning to food hygiene.

The stands have been generously supported by partners including The British Library, Spitalfields Market and Network Rail, with supplies provided by Booker.

UCL-Institut Francais call for applications for workshop funding

KerryMilton3 April 2014

UCL academics, including doctoral (PhD) students and postdoctoral researchers, are invited to apply for funds to help organise collaborative workshops for the 2014-2015 academic year involving participants from UCL and research institutions in France.

Institut Francais logo

In July 2013, UCL and the Institut Français signed an agreement to collaborate on a series of workshops over a period of three years, focusing specifically on research in the humanities.

The agreement aims to build on existing, and explore new links, between UCL and French academic and research organisations.

By providing funding each year for three workshops between UCL and French academics, all held at UCL, the agreement is aimed at encouraging junior and senior scholars to establish new directions for possible research collaborations– not only in their own areas of expertise, but also across disciplines.

During the 2013-2014 academic year, the UCL European Institute organised three highly successful workshops under the theme of ‘In Places(s) of Memory’

For further information, including how to apply and requirements for this year’s funding, download the call for proposals PDF

Deadline for receipt of applications: Friday 30 May 2014

UCL-Institut Francais call for applications for workshop funding

KerryMilton3 April 2014

UCL academics, including doctoral (PhD) students and postdoctoral researchers, are invited to apply for funds to help organise collaborative workshops for the 2014-2015 academic year involving participants from UCL and research institutions in France.

Institut Francais logo

In July 2013, UCL and the Institut Français signed an agreement to collaborate on a series of workshops over a period of three years, focusing specifically on research in the humanities.

The agreement aims to build on existing, and explore new links, between UCL and French academic and research organisations.

By providing funding each year for three workshops between UCL and French academics, all held at UCL, the agreement is aimed at encouraging junior and senior scholars to establish new directions for possible research collaborations– not only in their own areas of expertise, but also across disciplines.

During the 2013-2014 academic year, the UCL European Institute organised three highly successful workshops under the theme of ‘In Places(s) of Memory’

For further information, including how to apply and requirements for this year’s funding, download the call for proposals PDF

Deadline for receipt of applications: Friday 30 May 2014