Collective Activities


Collaboration and group working are at centre of the Grand Challenges and the work of The Human Mind Project. We started our exploration of research on the mind by hosting a series of roundtable discussions on the future of research at our events. In 2016, these roundtables focused on the Grand Challenges and asked multi-disciplinary audiences to identify crucial areas for new research. This year, we have hosted a series of unique Grand Challenges Sessions that take cross-disciplinary groups through challenging group conferencing exercises. The Sessions have involved participants in creating cutting-edge research questions and research criteria, to help us develop a series of recommendations on how funders can best support new styles of interdisciplinary research.

Workshops and Conferences

Events Series

Find out more about our events, reports and blog series, and our Roundtables on the Future of Research.

Interdisciplinarity & the Mind

Our first dedicated Grand Challenges Session took place at Interdisciplinarity & the Mind, a two day workshop bringing interdisciplinary theory and practice into dialogue with current research on the mind. Hosted by the Institute of Advanced Study at Durham University, the workshop brought together researchers and policy makers from across the disciplines to hear their experiences of collaborating across disciplinary boundaries.

The workshop then took a reflexive approach, asking what cutting-edge research on the mind can teach us about our intellectual capacities to engage in interdisciplinary work. In a two hour Grand Challenges Session the workshops’ high-profile panel of speakersworked with participants to evaluate research questions gathered at past events, and to develop a series of criteria to assess interdisciplinary research projects.

The Human Mind Conference

The Human Mind Conference was an international, interdisciplinary event bringing together a wide range of experts from across the humanities and the cognitive sciences. Organised with the New Directions in the Study of the Mind Project at Cambridge University, the event provided a major statement of the current state of knowledge in the study of the mind, and identified future directions of research for the years to come.

We ran two dedicated Grand Challenge Sessions at the conference, involving its international panel of speakers and over 80 participants. The first of these sessions focused on the results of our public consultation and the second asked cross-disciplinary groups to devise new research questions and criteria.

Grand Challenges Working Group


The Human Mind Project has worked with Lawrence Phillips, Emeritus Professor of Decision Sciences at the LSE, in designing an innovative decision-making process for the Grand Challenges. In a series of closed-door workshops, the team has aimed to create a cross-disciplinary, group-oriented process to capture the challenges and opportunities of interdisciplinary research on the mind.

Members of the Project’s Steering Group and Advisory Board met in December 2017 to discuss a final list of Grand Challenges and our recommendations to funders. A report on future directions for interdisciplinary research on the mind will published in Summer 2018.

Lawrence Phillips


Colin Blakemore

Project Leader

Mattia Gallotti


Anna Hopkins

Project Coordinator

Uri Hertz


Sofia Bonicalzi


Matt Phillpott

Digital Manager