GW4 Director's Update
November/December 2021

Welcome to the final GW4 Newsletter of 2021: bringing you your regular digest of GW4 news, funding and development opportunities.

As we near the end of 2021, I am immensely proud of the achievements GW4 has made during yet another challenging year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to so many of you. Since joining in June I have been really impressed by the breadth of activities GW4 delivers, many of which speak directly to the ambitions of the BEIS R&D People and Culture Strategy.

It has been a privilege to work with so many passionate and supportive academics who have made me feel so welcome, including the Pro Vice-Chancellors of Research who have been really encouraging. Much of my time has been spent working on our Net Zero Programme and developing our collaborations in hydrogen; the Ambassadors, project team and working groups have committed so much of their time to drive forward these activities.  

Last but not least, I am lucky to have an outstanding team committed to the value of collaborative working and the excellence of our four institutions. I can't wait to see what we can achieve together in 2022.

On behalf of everyone at GW4, I would like to wish you a Merry Christmas, and a happy and healthy New Year.
GW4 Year in Review: 2021
Take a look at some of our successes over the past year including the launch of our Climate and AMR Alliances and Accelerating to Net Zero project, the announcement of a new South West Hub to support early career researchers (ECRs), investment in seven pump-priming collaborative research communities, and initiatives to support our technical staff. View our highlights here.

Share your favourite GW4 moments of 2021 with us on Twitter #GW4Highlights2021.

Is a colleague missing out? Forward on this email so they can click here to subscribe to our monthly GW4 newsletters.

GW4 supports British Academy’s expansion into South West

We are delighted to announce the GW4 Alliance has led a successful collaborative bid to be the South West Hub of the British Academy Early Career Researcher (ECR) Network – a pilot programme aimed at UK-based postdoctoral researchers in the humanities and social sciences.

The four GW4 institutions of Bath, Bristol, Cardiff and Exeter universities will facilitate networking events and activities for ECRs in the South West together with a consortium of five other universities located in the region – Bath Spa, Bournemouth, Gloucestershire, Plymouth and UWE.

This two-year pilot programme aims to establish an inclusive, UK-wide Network for ECRs in the humanities and social sciences, providing opportunities for skills development and networking across the whole country.

GW4 researchers are invited to join the ECR Network via the British Academy’s website. Read more.

Apply for £20K Generator Award Funding

The new GW4 Generator Award funding call is now open to all collaborative research communities across the Alliance.

Research communities can apply for up to £20K funding to support the creation of new communities or to develop existing collaborations.

Applications from ECR communities are particularly welcome, as well as those with a focus on GW4’s strategic research areas of Climate and Net Zero and Antimicrobial Resistance - although communities in any area of research can apply to this open call.

Deadline for applications is 7 February 2022. Read more.

GW4WARD showcase series recognises crucial role of technicians

A new video series celebrating technical staff across the GW4 Alliance was formally launched at a Technician Commitment Signatory Event in London.

Dr Joanna Jenkinson MBE, GW4 Alliance Director, and Dr Sabrina Fairchild, GW4 Talent and Skills Manager, presented the series at the event on 23 November.

The four videos support the aims of GW4WARD – to enhance the visibility and development of technical staff – by showcasing the experience of different technicians from each GW4 university. The videos highlight the breadth of different technical roles and their pivotal position in teaching and research activities.

Read more and watch the series on the GW4 Alliance YouTube channel.

GW4 expertise represented at COP26

All four GW4 universities and partners were represented at the crucial COP26 climate change summit in November.

Experts from the universities of Bath, Bristol, Cardiff and Exeter took part in a range of activities and events, including the launch of a major report on carbon emissions, engaging exhibitions in the Green Zone, and discussions with policy makers and business leaders.

And to coincide with Science and Innovation Day at the conference, the GW4 Climate Alliance released a new video showcasing its interdisciplinary research expertise. The video explores the causes and effects of climate change, the aims of the Alliance, and why GW4 is best placed to tackle this global crisis. Read more and watch the full video on the GW4 Climate Alliance YouTube channel

It follows the recent GW4 Climate Alliance official launch, attended by over 150 guests online, which highlighted how the research consortium is providing an umbrella for collaborative, long-term, interdisciplinary research efforts across the four institutions. Read more.

GW4 response to AMR during World Antimicrobial Awareness Week

The GW4 Alliance launched a new video outlining its response to the global challenge of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), to mark World Antimicrobial Awareness Week from 18-24 November.

The video features GW4 AMR Alliance researchers, who discuss how they aim to tackle this complex issue by increasing understanding of, and developing and implementing effective interventions for, containing, controlling and preventing AMR.

The Alliance aims to become the UK’s leading interdisciplinary ‘One Health’ AMR research consortium, recognised worldwide. Read more and visit the GW4 Alliance YouTube channel to view the video.

GW4 team changes

We bid a fond farewell to Tom, GW4 Coordinator, who has taken up a new role in cybersecurity at JISC. Tom has made a huge impact on GW4 during his five years with the Alliance and we wish him success in this next phase of his career. 

Meanwhile, we would like to give a warm welcome to James, who has taken up the position of GW4 Coordinator for Research and Innovation. 

We would also like to thank Katie who has provided maternity cover for the GW4 Building Communities Manager and has made significant strides in capturing data to demonstrate the Alliance’s return on research investment and supporting the communities during the pandemic. Good luck with your future endeavours, Katie. We welcome back Harriet who returned to the role on 13 December.
GW4 is a collaboration between the University of Bath, the University of Bristol, Cardiff University & the University of Exeter. 

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