Case study - University College London

QR funding enables the creation of impactful institutes and support of emerging fields of research

(Credit: University College London)

Over the last five years, UCL has received over £120m a year, a total of £654m, in QR funds. This funding has played a key role in advancing research at UCL. Using QR funding UCL has invested in emerging areas of research, established new institutes addressing pressing issues of societal concern, fostered cross-disciplinary projects to tackle global problems, and focussed on career development of their researchers and academics.

The stability and continuity of QR funding has enabled UCL to strategically invest in focussed hubs of research activity, underpinning work in studying and developing solutions to global and socioeconomic challenges. QR funding has been used to establish UCL research institutes and programmes specifically focusing on societal challenges.

QR funding has enabled UCL to support emerging fields of research for societal challenges, harnessing expertise across disciplines and sectors, the provision of space, recruitment of academic leaders, and ensuring academic time to deliver research.

  • The Centre for Behaviour Change brings together the breadth and depth of academic expertise in behaviour change at UCL to address key challenges facing society, including smoking cessation, alcohol reduction, diabetes and weight management, cybersecurity, transport and pro-environmental behaviours. The Centre works with key sector partners including ActionAid (on empowering women), the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (on the sustainability of the built environment), the Samaritans (on reducing suicide on the railways) and with Groundwork (on reducing illness from cold homes).
  • The Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction has brought together an interdisciplinary community to prioritise research into risk management and emergency responses in natural disaster situations. Since its creation, the IRDR has responded to natural disasters such as the Haiti earthquake in 2010, the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, the eruption of Eyjafjallajökull volcano and the Italian earthquake in 2016; developed a guide on writing an emergency plan and is developing a mobile app to support maternal and new born health in Nepal during and after disasters.