GW4 Director's Update
May 2020

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

The coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic is the defining global health crisis of our time and one of the greatest threats that we have faced together. As such, collaboration will play a crucial role in helping universities recover from this crisis. Collaboration is at the heart of our Alliance and one of the most important things we can do is continue to advance our collaborative research and innovation, to support our institutions and develop initiatives at scale to drive economic and social recovery.

We are working hard to build on our strategic research areas of Climate and Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR). We are currently supporting our next generation of research leaders, working with our successful PGR and ECR teams to deliver flagship symposia focusing on each research area. The final workshop of our GW4 Crucible programme, designed to develop collaborative research leaders of the future, was successfully delivered online for the first time. This year’s theme was antimicrobial resistance and in our first ever twitter takeover you can catch up with their discussions and insights using the hashtags #GW4Crucible and #GW4TwitterTakeover. One of the GW4 opinion pieces, linked below, is also from this year’s GW4 Crucible cohort, Dr Aimee Murray from the University of Exeter, exploring how the COVID-19 crisis could impact AMR.

We continue to work on developing collaborations at scale. This month we are delighted to announce that researchers at Cardiff and Bristol, part of the GW4 Water Security Alliance, will be leading a multi-million pound international project to help tackle climate change resilience. 

Image Credit: BBC Media Action
GW4 scientists lead international project to tackle climate change resilience
An international team of researchers and organisations has been awarded over €6.7M from EU Horizon 2020 to help tackle food and water insecurity in the Horn of Africa Drylands (HAD).

Led by scientists at Cardiff University with substantial contributions from 13 other partners in seven countries, including a team from the University of Bristol, the EU project, called DOWN2EARTH, will employ state-of-the-art seasonal forecasts and decadal projections of climate change. 

The scientists working on this project from GW4 institutions Cardiff and Bristol are also part of the GW4 Water Security Alliance - the largest water research consortium in the UK and one of the largest worldwide. 

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GW4 researchers develop website to help reduce the spread of Coronavirus 

The researchers behind ‘Germ Defence’ from the GW4 universities of Bath and Bristol, plus Southampton believe the website will help people shift behaviours in the move from current lockdown towards a so-called ‘new normal’, where social distancing measures look likely to apply for the foreseeable future.  

GW4 Crucible 2019 alumni Dr Ben Ainsworth is leading on the international dissemination of the project and the site is currently being translated into over 20 languages for international use.

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COVID-19 and implications for AMR

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) has been cited as the most significant threat to global health and global economy in recent years. However, for now at least, the risk of AMR has been eclipsed by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. 

In GW4 Opinion, Dr Aimee Murray, Research Fellow at the University of Exeter and GW4 Crucible 2020 Alumni explores how the COVID-19 crisis could impact AMR, and explains why GW4 is well placed to research and help combat these significant global challenges.  

Read more

COVID-19 and a low-carbon society

The coronavirus pandemic has proven that society can be radically and quickly transformed when necessary.

In GW4 Opinion, Dr Stuart Capstick from Cardiff University looks at the changes to our behaviour and the impact on our climate, but insists lower levels of pollution cannon be cited as ‘a good thing’ amid the pandemic. 

Vision Researchers Colloquium 2020

This annual one-day event, led by Bristol Vision Institute at the University of Bristol, is organised in collaboration with the Universities of Bath, Cardiff and Exeter and brings together vision researchers from different disciplines.

The abstract submission deadline has been extended until 12pm on Monday 1 June and researchers across GW4 are encouraged to get involved. 

For the first time in twelve years, the event will take place online on Thursday 2 July. 

Register now

GW4 Doctoral Training Programmes 

Interested in doing a PhD in freshwater, biosciences and sustainability? Apply for a NERC fully funded project and join the 3rd cohort of the GW4 FRESH Centre for Doctoral Training, starting in October 2020. Deadline for application is 11th June at 9am.

GW4 WSA Research RendezVous

The GW4 Water Security Alliance (WSA) are hosting a series of online research webinars. Join them for their next event on 3rd June focusing on Coastal Processes, with speakers from Natural Resource Wales and the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Water Informatics: Science and Engineering (WISE)

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JGI Data Week Online 2020

Hosted by the Jean Golding Institute for data intensive research at the University of Bristol, Bristol Data Week Online is a free series of live talks, training and workshops. From 15th - 19th June online workshops are avaliable covering a range of topics from data analysis to deep learning. 

Register now

Collaboration in Isolation 

Collaboration is at the heart of GW4 and we encourage colleagues to connect across the Alliance and beyond. With many of us working from home and delivering content in new ways it has become even more important to stay connected virtually. We have put together our top ten tips for collaborating online and links to resources to help.

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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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