GW4 Director's Update
May 2021

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

I am very sad to say this is my last GW4 Director's update. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time as Interim GW4 Director and hope to continue working with many of you as I return to my substantive post as Head of Research Development at the University of Bristol. 

It has been a pleasure to work with the GW4 team and colleagues across the Alliance over the past six months. Such a short space of time, yet together we have achieved so much. We have funded new collaborative research communities and I'm delighted to say our return on investment is at its highest figure to date, capturing an impressive £16 in external research awards for every £1 GW4 spends on collaborative research communities. We have developed new flagship communities of research excellence including the Climate Alliance and AMR Alliance and launched our GW4 Accelerating to Net Zero initiative, placing our region at the forefront of global efforts to reach net zero emissions. 

Our doctoral training programmes are going from strength to strength and we continue to support our early career researchers with schemes such as GW4 Crucible and the ECR Symposiums. We launched a new webinar series as part of our GW4WARD initiative, designed to enhance and drive forward the professional development of technical staff across the alliance. We have engaged with the development and growth of the Western Gateway and I know GW4 will continue to play a central role in our region and contribute at a national and international scale. 

I will miss GW4 and everyone involved and would like to thank you all for your hard work and making my time here so enjoyable and rewarding. Collaborative working is challenging but I know GW4 will continue to grow and prosper, especially in the capable hands of the new permanent Director, Dr Joanna Jenkinson. GW4 is in a strong and exciting position and I look forward to following its success as it delivers its vision for world-class collaborative research and innovation on a regional, national and global scale.

I'll leave you with a bumper edition of the GW4 newsletter full of exciting opportunities and updates, including our new research communities and our ECR Symposiums. 
GW4 Invests in new Pump-priming Collaborative Research Communities
The GW4 Alliance is pleased to announce Generator Award funding for seven new research communities exploring a range of global and societal challenges, including flood resilience, green recovery in cities and new drugs to tackle antimicrobial resistance. The research groups are all collaborative communities, formed of academics from across the GW4 institutions. 

These research communities will officially commence on 1st June 2021 for six months and were kick-started with an online launch event this week. The event provided an opportunity for the communities to hear more about each other, gain advice from previous award holders and learn about the wide range of resources and information available from the GW4 team. 

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GW4 Alliance Appoints New Permanent Director

The GW4 Alliance has announced the appointment of Dr Joanna  Jenkinson as the new GW4 Director, previously Head of Infection and Immunity at the Medical Research Council, and a graduate of both Bristol and Exeter Universities.

Jo will take up the post from Monday 7 June 2021. 

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GW4’s Return on Investment Reaches Record High

GW4’s return on investment in collaborative research communities is at its highest level since the GW4 Alliance was formally launched in 2014. 

The GW4 Alliance has invested over £3.1m in 112 collaborative research communities, which have generated nearly £50m in research income. This means that for every £1 GW4 spends on collaborative research communities, GW4 captures an impressive £16 in external research awards.

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GW4 ECR AMR Symposium: Multidisciplinary Approaches to AMR: Pandemics, Practices and Innovation

Hosted by early career researchers from across the GW4 Alliance this free symposium, taking place 5th-7th July, is designed to facilitate networking between researchers working across different disciplines with an interest in antimicrobial resistance (AMR). The event aims to reflect on how the COVID-19 pandemic has catalysed changes to research, society and public health policy and how these may influence the future of AMR. Deadline for abstract submissions extended till 1st June, with registration deadline 28th June.

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GW4 ECR Climate Symposium: Climate Change: Solutions and how to Communicate them

Organised by GW4 early career researchers, this free online symposium will address four broad themes: traditional natural resource management, energy technology towards net-zero, AI and climate change and communication to maximise research impact. The event will take place 22-23rd June and feature panel discussions, paper presentations and networking opportunities. Abstract deadline 8th June

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GW4WARD Technical Staff Webinars

Our Technical Staff Webinar Series aims to encourage collaboration and sharing of best practice across the Alliance by bringing together technical staff and external speakers to  present and discuss key topics.

Our June webinar next month will focus on sustainability in research.  We'll be joined by Dr Martin Farley, managing LEAF (the Laboratory Efficiency Assessment Framework developed by UCL), and Dr Anna Lewis, Sustainable Science Manager at the University of Bristol.

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GW4 Crucible 2021

This year’s GW4 Crucible focused on the theme 'Transitions to Net Zero in the time of COVID-19'. The GW4 Crucible offers the opportunity for future research leaders to come together to generate innovative, multifaceted responses to tackle this global challenge.

Over a series of three workshops, known as ‘labs’, they explore working in an interdisciplinary and collaborative way, hear from expert speakers, consider new approaches to their research and its impact and have the chance to enhance their leadership potential and career development. Take a look at some of the visual representations captured during Lab 3. 

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Climate Exp0 - GW4 Panel 

This month we hosted a GW4 research panel session at the Climate Exp0 Conference. GW4 academics presented their research, based around the theme of Nature-based Solutions. The Climate Exp0 also featured other GW4 academics and students throughout the week, including members of our GW4 Climate Alliance, GW4 Water Security Alliance and ambassadors for our Accelerating to Net Zero initiative. If you missed it you can watch the highlights online. 

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GW4 AMR Alliance - join us

Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) is one of the greatest emerging threats to global health and development as it impacts on human, animal and plant health and also our environment, water safety and food security.

GW4 academics and researchers from all disciplines, including our Early Career Researchers and postgraduate students, working or interested in AMR are invited to join our new ‘One Health’ Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) research consortium. 

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CSCT Summer Showcase 2021

The Centre for Sustainable and Circular Technologies, at the University of Bath, Summer Showcase 2021 will explore how science and technology can help governments and businesses across the globe in their Race to Zero.

The multi-disciplinary online conference, taking place between 7th to 9th July, will feature guest plenary speakers, industry talks, TED-style talks, debates, PhD researchers’ presentations and more. 

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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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