All posts by Natalie Lafferty

Global Health Challenge 2022/23

The University’s award winning Global Health Challenge is restarting in 2022/23 following a break due to Covid. We are inviting students from our eight schools to work together across 6 teams to design innovative and entrepreneurial solutions for the global issues of climate change, sustainability and public health. The aim being to improve social, cultural, physical and mental wellbeing.

With growing awareness of how climate change and sustainability impact on health, our challenges for Global Health Challenge 2023 (GHC23) have a sustainability focus. This links with the University’s strategic themes of net zero and climate, population health and wealth and equality and inclusion and also Dundee City Council’s Sustainable Dundee strategy.

Our partners for GHC23 are Dundee City Council, NHS Tayside, The Green Health Partnership, DUSA and for the first time University departments and an academic school. Participating students will get an opportunity to work with one of these organisations to design innovative and entrepreneurial solutions to tackle real challenges that are faced by individuals, families and communities.

When is GHC23

Launching on Wednesday 25 January, GHC23 involves a commitment over five consecutive Wednesday afternoons culminating in a Pecha Kucha session where each team will present their challenge project on Wednesday 22 February 2023.

What’s in it for me

The Global Health Challenge is a great opportunity to learn from other students, staff and the local community, to problem solve, be creative and develop new skills. Students who’ve taken part in previous years have gone onto to complete the Elevator Accelerator programme run by the UoD Centre for Entrepreneurship to develop their concepts and solutions further. Others have gained invaluable experience through unique volunteering opportunities and been invited to present their projects and raise awareness to a variety of different audiences including senior representatives in the local tourist industry and at the University’s annual Discovery Days.

How can I take part in GHC23

GHC23 is open to all 2nd or 3rd year students across the University as well as BMSc students and 1st year Health Sciences students. If you’d like to take part in this year’s Global Health Challenge please tell us a little about yourself by completing our application form.   

The deadline for applications has been extended to 23:00h on Monday 12 December 2022 and we will confirm your place by 14 December. 

You can find out more about our upcoming challenges and previous Global Health Challenges and hear about the Open Ears team’s experience of doing the GHC and the idea they developed.  

If you have any queries about the application process, please email Natalie Lafferty at  

Global Health Challenge wins Herald HE Award

The Global Health Challenge (GHC) saw success at the Herald Higher Education Awards in Glasgow on 28th June when it was announced the winner of the Enhancing Student Learning Award.  Members of GHC co-ordinating team were delighted to receive the award from former University of Dundee Rector, Fred MacAulay.

Student feedback over the past two years has highlighted how much they love the interdisciplinary approach of the GHC and how they value and appreciate the input and support from academics and our agency partners and their clients.  Many students have commented on how the GHC has increased their connection with Dundee and given them a desire to give something back to the local community.  Working on real life problems, being able to develop their creativity and continuing to volunteer has seen the GHC develop into a rich and unique learning experience.  It’s therefore fantastic to see the GHC be recognised with the Enhancing Student Learning Award, sponsored by the Quality Assurance Agency.

The GHC co-ordinating team would like to thank all the local agencies that have contributed to the Global Health Challenge over the past two years.  The GHC and this award wouldn’t have been possible without their enthusiastic and dedicated contributions.  Thanks too to academic colleagues from across the University for their support with mentoring and sponsoring challenge projects.

We’re looking forward to our third year of the GHC and plans are underway for the launch of GHC18 in October.


All set for Global Health Challenge 2017

Following the success of the 2016 Global Health Challenge (GHC) we’re ready to get started with a set of new challenges for GHC17.  It’s fair to say we were overwhelmed by the creativity, energy and inspiration of our students to tackle the six challenges set last year and we’re  excited to see how this year’s challenge projects develop.

We’re delighted to see some of last year’s project sponsors, Deaf Links, Hearing Voices and PAMIS join us again with a fresh set of challenges.  It’s also great to welcome five new project sponsors, the Archie Foundation, Dundee International Women’s Centre, Faith in Community, Parkinson’s UK and NHS Tayside Primary Care Services.  With eight challenges this year there’s an opportunity for more students take part.

GHC17 kicks off on 18 October when our project sponsors will present their challenges to our students.  Following the short challenge pitches, students will get an opportunity to dig a little deeper into each of them and outline the key questions that relate to them.  They’ll then get an opportunity to see the outputs of each groups’ discussions before deciding which challenge they want to work on.  Once the teams have formed and started to outline the first steps of their projects they’ll get the chance to hear from one of GHC16’s teams, Open Ears.  Working with the Deaf Hub, Open Ears went on to develop a practical simulation kit to be used as a part of basic face-to-face awareness training with medical and frontline staff across a wide range of services.  We’ll be posting more about Open Ears in the next few days.

We’ll be posting an update following our launch event tomorrow and further updates over the next five weeks of the the GHC17. In the meantime to find out more about the GHC17 challenges browse the links on our 2017 challenges page.


Using Change Cards to Consider Your Challenge

In a previous post we shared some advice and links to helpful resources on how to go out about framing the challenge your team is working on.  Once you’ve done this you might  find it useful to start to look at your challenge from different perspectives and one way you can do this is to use a set of change cards like the ones shared below developed by the Policy Lab.  These change cards are framed around six categories and you can use them to collectively explore your challenge further and to develop and deliver your project.  As you work through them they might inspire your team to frame some other questions and create your own change cards that can help shape and inform how you respond to the challenge you are addressing.  As you work through these cards you’ll find they get you thinking about how these challenges might be addressed in other locations, how different groups might approach the challenge and consider how you can be resourceful.


This second presentation from the Policy Lab gives an overview of the methods it adopts in its work with civil servants and others to help encourage more open and innovative strategies to developing policy and tackling different issues and challenges.    The Policy Lab makes effective use of user centred design-based approaches  to innovate and understand the problems individuals face and address these problems.  You’ll notice that the presentation talks about challenge setting, something we’re encouraging you to do by framing your challenge.  Another important concept presented here, which is relevant to all the challenges, is to consider and define different personas for the individuals affected by the problem you’re addressing.  This process helps you to build empathy with the people your project will be helping and to start you thinking about the journeys people take as they interact with different services and identify where things could be improved.

Welcome to the Global Health Challenge

Welcome to the University of Dundee Global Health Challenge (GHC). Over at 5-week period (18th October – 15th November 2017)  we will be running our first set of GHC projects as students from across our academic schools come together to consider and address seven local health related challenges.  We kick off the GHC17 on Wednesday 18th October by introducing our challenge sponsors and our seven challenges which touch on ageing and social isolation, deafness, learning disabilities, homelessness, mental health and refugees.

We’ll be updating the blog over the next 6 weeks with updates on our kick-off session and the development of our student led projects.

Click here to apply for this year’s Global Health Challenge.