GW4 Director's Update
June 2021

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

I'm Dr Joanna Jenkinson, the new Director of the GW4 Alliance, and I'm delighted to have joined GW4, especially at such an interesting and critical time for higher education and regional initiatives.

GW4 has a fantastic track record of delivering pioneering collaborative research and innovation, and creating the research leaders of the future. I look forward to working with colleagues across our institutions to build on this success, and cultivating new and existing partnerships to harness our collective strengths. I've had the pleasure of meeting a number of colleagues across GW4, but I'd love to connect with more of you, so please do get in touch if we haven't already got a meeting scheduled. Together, and in collaboration with our partners, we can respond to complex and pressing global challenges, including the environment crisis, accelerating to net zero emissions, and the pandemic of antimicrobial resistance.

Already, in my first month, I have witnessed the scale of GW4's research strength and ambition, plus the breadth and depth of our activities. We launched our interdisciplinary 'One Health' AMR Alliance with an online Symposia attended by over 200 stakeholders. We continue to support our early career researchers with schemes such as the ECR Climate and AMR Symposia and held our first GW4 Crucible Alumni Network event this month focusing on leadership and communication skills. We are committed to supporting the professional development of our technical staff, and this month our GW4WARD webinar focuses on CPD opportunities. I have also enjoyed being involved in our GW4 Accelerating to Net Zero initiative and we are working with our ambassadors and others to develop an initial proposition document to place our region and the UK at the forefront of global efforts to reach net zero. 

Find out more about our current news, events and opportunities below and I look forward to working with our institutions to build on our collective successes and develop new opportunities. 
GW4's world leading 'One Health' approach to tackling the AMR pandemic
"It is great news that the GW4 AMR Alliance is launching to increase understanding, development and implementation of effective interventions.”
Dr Timothy Jinks, Head of the Drug-Resistant Infections Programme Wellcome Trust, and GW4 AMR Alliance Symposia keynote speaker. 
The GW4 AMR Alliance has been established to tackle the global challenge of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and aims to become the UK’s leading interdisciplinary ‘One Health’ AMR research consortium, recognised worldwide.

At the external launch event earlier this month GW4 showcased our collaborative and complementary research strengths and some of the One Health AMR projects and programmes being undertaken by GW4 teams and their collaborators. Key topics covered included the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on AMR, climate change as a potential driver of AMR, and the importance of understanding the socio-cultural dimensions in adopting a global One Health approach to AMR.

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GW4 Director receives Queen’s Birthday Honours 

Our new GW4 Director, Dr Joanna Jenkinson, has been recognised for her ground-breaking and lifesaving research funding for the COVID-19 pandemic while working at the Medical Research Council.

Jo received an MBE award in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours list, which recognises the achievements and service of people across the UK.

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GW4 Climate Alliance - join us

The climate crisis is the largest enduring global, anthropogenic threat to humanity and the natural environment. The GW4 Climate Alliance is uniquely placed to address the global challenge of climate change, due to both our regional ‘ecosystem’ and the complementary critical mass of expertise across the GW4 institutions. 

GW4 academics and researchers from all disciplines, including our Early Career Researchers and postgraduate students, working or interested in climate research are invited to join our new GW4 Climate Alliance. An external launch will also take place in October 2021. 

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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. 

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Climate change and health: Societal vulnerabilities and opportunities

This workshop on 14th July provides an opportunity for GW4 researchers to meet and share trans-disciplinary ideas around the priority area of climate and health. The online event will feature guest speakers, networking across institutions, discussions around key themes in Climate and Health and will ask how can we make a difference?

Attendees will have the opportunity to apply for dedicated EPSRC Impact Acceleration Accounts (IAA) funding for cross-institutional projects following the workshop.

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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.

In the last of our current series, our July webinar will focus on CPD for technical staff. We'll be joined by Liam Barr from HEaTED, a leading organisation for Higher Education and Technician Educational Development which provides opportunities for technical staff to engage with CPD and training.

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GW4 research launches reopening of Bristol's We The Curious

Educational charity We The Curious, based in Bristol, is reopening after COVID-19 lockdown restrictions with a bold new experience 'Project What If'.

The launch programme will run until July 2021 and includes ‘The A-Z of Secrecy’ – a collaborative open source science activity developed with the GW4 Secrecy, Power, and Ignorance research Network (SPIN).

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Innovative GW4 research project to reduce antibiotic use in sheep farming

A new citizen science study, funded by a GW4 Crucible 2020 seed funding grant, is trying to understand how easy it is to spot lameness in sheep by using a simulation game – in order to help reduce the use of antibiotics in sheep farming and fight the global problem of antimicrobial resistance.

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

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