University College London (UCL)

The 2011 UCL Research Strategy calls for a transformation of the understanding of the role of our comprehensive research-intensive university in the 21st century.

In addition to highlighting the need to nurture and celebrate individual curiosity-driven research, the strategy sets out for UCL an innovative cross-disciplinary research agenda – designed to deliver immediate, medium- and long-term benefits to humanity – that is simultaneously extraordinary and in complete alignment with our fundamental values.

Delivering a culture of wisdom
UCL will seize the opportunity – and fulfil its obligation – to marshal the breadth of its expert perspectives, in order to address issues in their full complexity and contribute to the resolution of the world’s major problems. This will be achieved not just through the generation of knowledge, but also through the delivery of a culture of wisdom, that is an environment committed to the judicious application of knowledge for the good of humanity.

Delivering a culture of wisdom, therefore, means drawing on the full range of our expertise. It requires a spirit of collaboration and a recognition that the contribution of which each of us is capable can be vastly greater when made in concert. It necessitates:

  • respecting specialist knowledge, while dismantling the barriers to its cross-fertilisation
  • supporting the synthesis of new knowledge, both within and across fields and disciplines
  • facilitating collective, collaborative working practices in order to gain fresh perspectives and, ultimately, wisdom
  • formulating and advocating policy and practice based upon the insights so developed.
Research aims
The success of this research strategy over the next five years will depend on our ability to:

  • continue to foster leadership grounded in excellence in discipline-based research – where an individual’s leadership is demonstrated through, for example: sustained leadership in one’s discipline and the development of novel lines of enquiry; contribution to the intellectual life of one’s discipline; cultivation of collegiality in one’s department, faculty and university; support for and nurturing of early career researchers and students; and openness to the benefits of crossdisciplinary collaboration
  • expand the distinctive cross-disciplinarity of our research, collaboration and partnerships – where cross-disciplinarity occurs between experts in different disciplines, transcending subject boundaries (in contrast to interdisciplinary generalism)
  • increase the impact of our global university’s research, locally, regionally, nationally and internationally – where impact is the beneficial application of expertise, knowledge, analysis, discovery or insight, primarily delivered through scholarly outputs, education, public engagement, translational research, commercial and social enterprise activity, and influence on public policy and professional practice.
London's Global University
As UCL achieves these aims and delivers a culture of wisdom, we will fulfil our potential as London’s Global University: engaged across the spectrum of research subjects, from arts and humanities to the basic and applied sciences and medicine; open to talent from around the world; and, furthermore, engaged with the needs of an interconnected world.