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Community Research Initiative

Collaborate with a community partner on a research question that really matters

The Community Research Initiative is the Union's very own service connecting taught masters students with community partners to create collaborative research answering real world's questions.

In universities, we are very quick to think we know what all the important questions are. At the Community Research Initiative we think there’s another way – the voluntary & community sector is a hugely rich and diverse sector working on the ground, in very practical and pragmatic ways. They can often be a lot closer to policy than we are. Crucially, they aim to work collectively and to bring about change or action, not simply new knowledge. Through conversation and hopefully collaboration, we can learn from each other and make better research: research-for-change, not research-for-knowledge.

  • We can give you 1:1 coaching to think about this way of working. Explore something new with us!
  • We can skill you up with key dissertation skills. These are useful whatever you do in your dissertation!
  • We can make the introductions for you and your supervisor with sustainability organisations.
  • We help keep conversations flowing and new working relationships going while you juggle your other master's priorities.

Get in touch any time through terms 1 & 2. This process is entirely led by you and your priorities as they ebb and flow throughout the year. We are here every step of the way.


UCL Living Lab

Use UCL campus to test solutions to real-world sustainability challenges

Are you a student considering a sustainability dissertation or other assessed projects as part of your studies? Sustainable UCL, the team leading on sustainability at the university, can help.

Sustainable UCL can provide data on the following:

  • Energy data for buildings and departments
  • Some water consumption data for buildings
  • Some travel data for departments
  • Data on behaviour change and engagement with the UCL community on sustainability topics
  • Information on sustainability projects across UCL: we can connect you with other researchers and staff solving UCL’s sustainability challenges
  • Information on sustainable buildings
  • Data on UCL’s supply chains, modern day slavery principles and products bought and re-used across UCL
  • Information on policy