GW4 Director's Update
January 2021

Welcome to the GW4 newsletter: your regular digest of GW4 news, funding and development opportunities.

It may seem a while ago now, but I'd like to take this opportunity to wish you all a Happy New Year. I know for most 2021 has not started how we hoped it would, however I am optimistic for the future and appreciate many of us are busier than ever. This is especially true for the GW4 Alliance team and while it's been a long and wet month, we have lots of opportunities to hopefully brighten up your day. Therefore, I am excited to share some of our current activities and plans for the coming months.

Only this week, we were delighted to host Kelly Vere MBE (Director of Technical Skills and Strategy at University of Nottingham, Project Lead for MI Talent and Technician Commitment Lead) to talk about the importance and impact of the Technician Commitment, as part of our new GW4WARD Technical Staff webinar series. We had a fantastic response to our launch event and look forward to seeing even more colleagues at future events, held each month. 

We continue to advance our collaborative research and innovation, especially in our strategic research areas of Climate and AMR, to address the global challenges we face. I am pleased to welcome to the team our new Alliance Managers, along with part-time Research Administrators based at each institution. Our successful Early Career and Postgraduate Researcher Symposia 2021 teams have also started to work on their flagship online symposia focusing on the themes Climate and AMR.

I’m excited to attend this year’s GW4 Crucible, starting next week, which is themed around 'Transitions to Net Zero in the time of COVID-19'. I look forward to meeting our 30 competitively selected research leaders of the future and finding out more about their research ideas and projects. 
GW4 is also working on an exciting transformative net zero project, which I hope to be able to share more widely and announce in the coming weeks!

Finally, there is still time to apply for our GW4 Generator Funding Awards. I'd encourage all GW4 researchers to apply for funding of up to £20K to support new projects, or develop existing collaborative communities to tackle global and social challenges.
 GW4 Launches Technical Staff Webinar Series
The GW4 Technical Staff Webinar Series aims to encourage collaboration and sharing of best practice across the GW4 Alliance universities by bringing together technical staff and external speakers to discuss key topics in a webinar format.

Over 60 technical staff attended the launch event this month with guest speaker Kelly Vere MBE discussing the progress and impact of the Technician Commitment and the work of Midlands Innovation Technician TALENT programme.

The webinars will run monthly, from now through to July 2021. Each session will be focused on a different theme including digital skills, professional registration, and sustainability in research. 

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International collaboration to develop research management capacity 

Researchers from all four GW4 institutions are part of an exciting new international collaboration, along with UWE and three African research organisations, to develop research management capacity and partnerships.

GW4 funding will help to support some of the activities coming from this award such as network building and knowledge exchange workshops

The project involves an online survey among research managers and administrators (RMAs) designed to identify the skills and resource gaps and the operational and infrastructural challenges that RMAs face in both Africa and the UK. If you work in this area you are invited to take part in the survey via this link.

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Future research leaders selected for GW4 Crucible 

30 researchers from across the GW4 Alliance have been selected to take part in GW4 Crucible 2021, with the theme ‘Transitions to Net Zero in the time of COVID-19’. 

Now in its fifth year, GW4 Crucible provides hands-on training and mentoring to develop collaborative research leaders of the future.

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GW4 Generator Awards Funding Call

Researchers from across the Alliance are invited to apply for up to £20,000 to support the creation of new communities and develop existing collaborations. 

The GW4 Generator Awards are designed to support research communities of scale and capability, delivering a step change in world-class research, not achievable by a single institution. Projects with a focus on the Global Challenges Research Fund, the Industrial Challenge Strategy Fund and, new for this round, those with a Net Zero focus are also encouraged. However, funding is not limited to addressing these initiatives.

Deadline for applications is Monday 8 February 2021.

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GW4 funds technical staff professional development 

Following the success of the GW4 Technical Staff Professional Registration Scheme, launched last year, we are pleased to announce a further 7 successful applications.

As part of our GW4WARD initiative, designed to enhance and drive forward the professional development of technical staff across the Alliance, technical staff across GW4 have been awarded funding to enhance their career and become members of professional bodies and learned societies.

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Reflections on the GW4 Early Career Researcher Symposiums 2020

In our latest GW4 Opinion pieces the GW4 AMR and Climate Symposium organising committees reflect on the challenges they faced delivering the event during a global pandemic, the skills they learnt and the new collaborations developed along the way. 

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GW4 Funding and Development Opportunities
GW4 is a collaboration between the University of Bath, the University of Bristol, Cardiff University & the University of Exeter. 

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