GW4 Director's Update
September 2021

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

I am proud of the GW4 Alliance’s achievements to date in delivering interdisciplinary collaborative research and innovation, creating the research leaders of the future and supporting our technical communities. These activities are all directly relevant to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) research and development people and culture strategy. This month, research excellence and talent across the Alliance was on show at our GW4 Generator Award Showcase, which I was delighted to attend. The first round of Generator awardees had to pivot their proposals into online communities and it was inspiring to see what has already been achieved through this networking; often driven by ECRs. Meanwhile, we have opened applications for the GW4 Crucible 2022, which is offering ECRs a focused programme of career development and the opportunity to work with researchers in other disciplines on the theme of interdisciplinary mental health and wellbeing. I strongly encourage all ECRs with an interest in these topics to consider applying.

Since the GW4 Alliance was formed in 2013 the funding environment has changed dramatically. In reflecting on the evolution of GW4, we are becoming more focused on the major societal challenges where the collective power of our institutions has so much to offer. This also provides an opportunity to work together on major bids for funding, as we have done in net zero. As a result, there is scope for us to consider how GW4 can become more external and government facing. We are therefore beginning a process to develop a Strategic Plan that builds on the institutional plans.

I am also pleased to see good progress being made in our priority research areas. The GW4 Accelerating to Net Zero initiative has been working on the creation of a proposition document that outlines our direct response to the UK Government’s net zero ambitions, in sustainable mobility, while the GW4 Climate Alliance has been gearing up for its official online launch on 20th October. 

Details on these and more GW4 news and opportunities below.
GW4 Accelerating to Net Zero – CSR submission
The climate emergency is an urgent and fundamental challenge, with decarbonising transport a key strategic challenge as set out by the UK Government.

GW4 is responding to the UK Government’s Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR) open call with a submission on achieving sustainable mobility. GW4 Accelerating to Net Zero working groups in aviation, data and digital, marine, and road and rail have already been identifying the particular strengths and unique capabilities across GW4, and are looking at ways to develop the proposition further.

It is being overseen by our Ambassador grouping who include strong representation from the social sciences, ensuring our institutions set out a plan to accelerate to net zero by: reaching further, beyond our region and beyond our disciplines, decarbonising transport and enabling a green revolution; working faster, identifying technologies that can be adopted quickly and accelerating innovation where long-lasting, sustainable change needs to be developed; and enabling fairer and equitable transitions, through co-creation and tackling issues in the context of the whole system and ensuring social justice is at the centre of these transformations.
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GW4 Climate Alliance Launch – register

There is less than four weeks to go until the official launch of the GW4 Climate Alliance.

Bringing together interdisciplinary research expertise from the four GW4 universities – Bath, Bristol, Cardiff and Exeter – the GW4 Climate Alliance aims to deliver world-leading climate science, help shape policy and contribute to positive and equitable social change.

Our free online launch takes places on 20th October and will feature a keynote address by Sir Tim Smit KBE, Co-Founder of The Eden Project, a panel debate titled 'How can we build collaborations to help save the planet?', and a collaborative research showcase led by ECRs on research, policy and practice to tackle the climate crisis.

If you are interested in attending this event, you can sign up via our Eventbrite page.

GW4 Generator Award Showcase

We were delighted to see the breadth of collaborative research communities who came together at our GW4 Building Communities Award Showcase last week. 

The event, held online on Wednesday 22nd September, provided a platform for award holders established through the first round of the GW4 Generator Award to present their communities. Delegates also took part in breakout group sessions to discuss the opportunities and challenges of building a community in a virtual environment, and heard about further collaboration opportunities with GW4.

Read more


GW4 Crucible 2022 – applications open

Are you a researcher with an interest or expertise in addressing mental health, wellbeing and mental illness?

The theme of GW4 Crucible 2022 is ‘Building Back Better: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Mental Health and Wellbeing Research’. The global challenge of mental health and illness, and its exacerbation due to the impact of the pandemic, the intensifying climate emergency and racial inequalities, among other concerns, will require innovative and multidisciplinary responses.

GW4 Crucible is an excellent opportunity for researchers across a broad range of disciplines to come together to: consider new approaches to research and its impact; to enhance their leadership potential and career development; and to network with peers and experts from across GW4 and beyond.

The deadline for expressions of interest is 31st October. Find out more and apply now.

Celebrating technicians at HETS 2021 Royal Academy of Engineering - Funder visit

The Royal Academy of Engineering is holding an information event at Cardiff University on 8th October to provide an overview of the available funding opportunities as well as practical advice on how to put together a successful application. 

Following the session, individuals interested in applying for funding can then attend a one-to-one session.

GW4 researchers who would like to attend can find out more here.

Celebrating technicians at HETS 2021

GW4 technical staff are invited to attend the Higher Education Technician Summit (HETS) 2021, the UK’s biggest celebration event for technicians.

This free event on 10th November addresses key topics and issues impacting the technical community along with sessions that facilitate the sharing of best practice across the sector.

Technicians of all levels and disciplines are invited to register here.
GW4 is a collaboration between the University of Bath, the University of Bristol, Cardiff University & the University of Exeter. 

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