GW4 Director's Update
March 2022

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

A core aim of GW4 is to work with organisations, industry and society to address major societal and industrial challenges, which is why I am thrilled that we have announced a new strategic partnership with the Western Gateway. This exciting new relationship has been driven by shared ambitions for the South West and South Wales area. Through our partnership, we will respond to and anticipate challenges faced across our geographic area, with a particular emphasis on achieving net zero and green growth, which will enable us to drive UK-wide and international change. Our new partnership was announced by Professor Hugh Brady at the Western Gateway’s first powerhouse conference held in Newport earlier this month, and I was delighted to see how warmly GW4 was received by business leaders and local government officials at the event.

We are also working hard on delivering more in-person GW4 events, as remaining Covid restrictions are lifted and more of us head back to the workplace. While there have been many positive aspects of working online during the Covid-19 pandemic, it will be brilliant to meet our GW4 colleagues, academics and partners face-to-face once again. We are currently planning our Building Communities Generator Award Showcase on 17 May and the British Academy Early Career Researcher (ECR) Network South West launch on 19 May, and will share more details on these events soon, so stay tuned.

Finally, I want to thank you for the kind words and messages on receiving my MBE. It is a privilege to have been recognised for services to Covid-19 research funding. But it is also testament to the hard work and dedication of professional service and funding teams that are very much an integral part of our amazing research and innovation landscape in the UK. This award is as much for them as it is for me. 

We have more current news, events and opportunities to share with you, so please read on below.
GW4 Alliance announces new strategic partnership 
The GW4 Alliance has entered a new strategic partnership with the Western Gateway, strengthening collaborative activities that will drive green and economic regional growth.

The two parties have signed a three-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that will bring together the GW4 universities of Bath, Bristol, Cardiff and Exeter – four of the most research-intensive and innovative universities in the country – with the UK’s first pan-regional partnership.

Read more.
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GW4 Alliance Director receives MBE at Windsor Castle

The Director of the GW4 Alliance has been formally presented with her MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) for services to Covid-19 research funding.

Dr Joanna Jenkinson received her MBE from His Royal Highness Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales, at Windsor Castle, after being named in the Queen's Birthday Honours 2021 list.

Dr Jenkinson was recognised for leading ground-breaking research funding to tackle Covid-19 as Head of Infection and Immunity at the Medical Research Council (MRC) – the role she held prior to joining GW4. 

Read more

New TV series co-designed by GW4 experts

Could living a simpler life with no modern comforts and being cut off from the modern world be better for us?

A team of environmental human health, mental health and psychology researchers from the Universities of Bath, Bristol, Exeter and California have contributed to a new Channel 4 series, The Simpler Life.

The series follows a group of 24 Brits who have given up all their worldly possessions to see whether living a simpler life off grid, without any form of technology, mains electricity or gas, benefits their health and wellbeing.

Read more. 

GW4WARD Collaboration Fund open to technicians 

Technical staff across the GW4 universities are invited to apply to the newly launched GW4WARD Collaboration Fund.

The small grants scheme offers awards up to £500 for collaborative professional development activities, such as training, job shadowing or joint workshops. 

There is no closing date – proposals can be submitted anytime, and will be assessed by the GW4 Technical Infrastructure and Knowledge Working Group during scheduled meetings. 

Read more and apply here

Online masterclasses helping GW4 Cruciblees to develop careers

The first online masterclass sessions of GW4 Crucible 2022 have begun, giving this year’s cohort the opportunity to connect with expert guest speakers and senior academics.

GW4 Cruciblees have been able to consider new approaches to their research and its impact, with an initial session offering practical advice on how to influence change, followed by a second insightful session on how to move from researcher to research leader.

Our Twitter threads provide an overview of the key takeaways: read more on Masterclass One and Masterclass Two. Or follow the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #GW4Crucible. 

Save the date for ECR Network launch 

The South West Hub of the British Academy Early Career Researcher Network, which is being led by the GW4 Alliance, will be officially launched in May.

The British Academy is currently organising the launch event, which will provide an opportunity for ECRs in the humanities and social sciences, British Academy Fellows and others to come together.

The day will feature a variety of formal and informal sessions for learning and knowledge exchange. The event will be taking place on Thursday 19 May at 10am – 3.45pm (time may be subject to change) at the M Shed in Bristol. More details will be announced in due course.

Join the British Academy ECR Network here.

Get involved in the CSCT Summer Showcase 2022

Learn more about the latest in sustainability and the circular economy, at the University of Bath’s Centre for Sustainable and Circular Technologies (CSCT) annual conference.

The multi-disciplinary summer showcase, taking place on 27-28 June, will feature a range of research topics presented by selected speakers, and offer the opportunity to network with key leaders and collaborators in academia and industry.

Read more.
GW4 is a collaboration between the University of Bath, the University of Bristol, Cardiff University & the University of Exeter. 

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