Creativity and Teamwork: Finding Inventive Solutions to Real-World Challenges

A fully funded opportunity for doctoral researchers to engage in creative, interdisciplinary, real-world problem-solving

Network and collaborate with doctoral researchers from a range of disciplines across the GW4 Alliance (the universities of Bath, Bristol, Cardiff and Exeter).

rsz_collaboration_event_3In small groups, you will be asked to work together to explore imaginative ways to address vital research challenges. You will have the chance to:

  • learn about yourself and about creative collaborations,
  • develop your interpersonal and problem-solving skills,
  • create, disseminate and evaluate your work and that of your peers.

Applications are invited from doctoral researchers who are working in any discipline at a GW4 university. Attendance is limited to 16 doctoral researchers per university (64 in total).

We will be seeking to balance attendance across universities and disciplines to create an exciting and creative interdisciplinary workspace.

The event is free and reasonable travel expenses to Bristol will be reimbursed for non-Bristol students.

Applications close on Monday 19 June 2017.

How to Apply

Complete the Application Form no later than 5pm on 19 June 2017.

You will be notified within two weeks if your application has been successful. Please do not book any travel until you have heard from us.

If you accept a place, you will be expected to attend, so please block out the time in your diary now.

We will provide all details of how to get to the venue, how to book accommodation, and how to claim back your expenses to accepted delegates.

If you have any queries, please contact the GW4 PGR Coordinator, Dr Conny Lippert at

These events bring together research students from all four GW4 universities for high quality training to develop skills for research collaboration.


Data Intensive Research Workshops

We would like to invite you to attend data intensive workshops across GW4  in May and June.  There will be one workshop hosted at each of the GW4 institutions.  Each event will have a morning session showcasing the data-intensive research/projects at the university and the afternoon session will focus on a specific area.

There will be external collaborators (industrial, third party sector, government) also attending and presenting potential areas for collaboration, it will be a great opportunity to build your networks.

Bath – date: May 16 2017; subject: Creative Industries

(Data science – Bath workshop programme)

Exeter – date: May 22 2017; subject: Environment

(Data science – Exeter workshop programme)

Cardiff – date: June 5 2017; subject: Government/Social Science

(Data science – Cardiff workshop programme)

Bristol – date: June 15 2017; subject: Medical/Bioinformatics

(Data science – Bristol workshop programme)

These workshops are free of charge, and all travel expenses will be covered, including evening dinner and overnight accommodation if necessary.

They are fantastic opportunities to network with people working in data science in the above themes. There will also be industrial representation. At the Cardiff event will be talks and attendees from Welsh Government and the Office for National Statistics. The event at Exeter will have representation from the Met Office.

If you are interested in attending, please contact the relevant person at your institution:

Bath: Institute for Mathematical Innovation (

Bristol: Jean Golding Institute (

Cardiff: Data Innovation Research Institute (Jon Gillard,

Exeter: Susan Banducci (

Opening Ceremony for the GW4 Facility for High-Resolution Electron Cryo-Microscopy

Event to celebrate new shared facility

Following awards made by Wellcome to Prof Christiane Berger-Schaffitzel and Prof Phil Ingham and teams of researchers across our GW4 partners, we will be establishing a dedicated Cryo-EM Facility for structural biology at the University of Bristol. The Facility will be managed under the Wolfson Bioimaging Facility headed by Prof Paul Verkade and Dr Mark Jepson, and will be housed in the Life Sciences Building.

Alongside the Wellcome investment, the facility has been established through co-funding by the GW4 Alliance, including significant investment for refurbishment by the University of Bristol. We expect the facility to be fully operational by summer 2017.

Opening Ceremony of the GW4 Facility for High-Resolution Electron Cryo-Microscopy

13:00 Opening Address: Dr Jim Smith, Director of Science, Wellcome
Session 1, chaired by Christiane Berger-Schaffitzel
13:20 – 14:30 Sjors Scheres, LMB Cambridge
The atomic structure of Tau filaments from Alzheimer’s disease brain
14:30 – 14:50 Ariel Blocker, University of Bristol
Structure, assembly and function of the “injection needle” and “tip” of type III secretion machines
14:50 – 15:10 Bertram Daum, University of Exeter:
CryoEM in Exeter – focus on the structure and function of the type-IV plus machinery in bacteria and archaea
Coffee Break & Poster SessionSession 2, chaired by Paul Verkade
15:45 – 16:05 Danielle Paul, University of Bristol
Relaxed and active structures of the thin filament: a new structural mechanism for the regulatory mechanism
16:05 – 16:55 John Briggs, LMB Cambridge/ EMBL Heidelberg
Enveloped viruses and coated vesicles – structures “in situ” using cryo-electron tomography
16:55 – 17:00 Closing Address: Professor Phil Ingham, Director of the Living Systems Institute, University of Exeter
Drinks & Poster Session

To book

The event is free but booking is essential. Book via Eventbrite

For further information contact Hannah Scarbrough, GW4 Communications Officer.

Electron Cryo-Microscopy poster competition

As part of the launch of the £2.3 million Cryo-EM facility we will be holding a poster competition at the event. Three prizes will be awarded based on scientific quality and most promising project.


  • 2 days of data collection on the new Talos Arctica electron cryo-microscope including support for the duration
  • 3D print-out of solved molecular models, sponsored by Molecular Models
  • £100 Early Career Researcher prize, sponsored by FEI and Gatan

The judging panel will comprise all GW4 partners and Malcom Skingle (Director of Academic Liaison Worldwide Business Development GSK), who will present the prizes on the day.


GatanFEIMaster MM logo

GW4 Early Career Neuroscientist Day 2017

Logo - blackSpecially designed by and for those in the early stages of their neuroscience career, this popular annual event returns with expert talks, networking opportunities and prizes.

There are four internationally renowned research-intensive universities leading the way in collaborative science in the South West and Wales: Bath, Bristol, Cardiff and Exeter. This one-day event offers the opportunity for researchers across these four universities to discuss best practice, share experiences and hear directly from experts in their field.

The day will include talks and breakout sessions focusing on a wide range of topics from scientific techniques to alternative careers; from cellular neuroscience to public engagement. There will also be the opportunity to present posters and win prizes!


The final GW4 ECND 2017 programme can be downloaded. Speakers include Professor Adrian Harwood of Cardiff University, Professor John Aggleton of Cardiff University and BNA and Professor Marcus Munafo of University of Bristol. Representatives from a wide range of academic and public engagement organisations, including the Wellcome Trust and Pint of Science, are also due to speak at the event.

Registration is now closed but you can follow the action and join in the conversation on Twitter using #GW4Neuro

GW4 Crucible Alumni Event

Calling all Crucible alumni who work at GW4 universities! If you attended any Crucible programme and are now working at a GW4 institution (Bath, Bristol, Cardiff and Exeter), join us for an afternoon of talks and activities to re-engage with the Crucible network and its benefits and values.

The event will take place from 11.00am on Wednesday 7 November in the National Museum, Cardiff. To register, please complete the online form.

We are delighted to announce that our keynote speaker is Professor Rich Pancost, Cabot Institute Director, University of Bristol. For more information on timings and content, please consult our GW4 Crucible Alumni Event agenda. Please bear in mind this agenda is a guide only, to give you a flavour of the day.

We are excited to say that we are launching a new GW4 Crucible and want to gather together alumni from previous programmes as part of this new programme.

If you have any queries, don’t hesitate to contact the GW4 Developing People Officers, Alice Scott and Pam Lock on

GW4 Cancer Research Consortium Workshop

GW4 Cancer is a new GW4 initiator programme that has been established to encourage cross-institutional collaborations capitalising on the breadth of complementary expertise and high impact cancer research at the GW4 institutions. Our aim is to apply for large strategic grant applications and to establish a cross-centre non-clinical doctoral training programme in cancer.

The first GW4 Cancer Research Consortium workshop is an opportunity to network, identify our strengths and how these can be harnessed to underpin large strategic grant applications. This 2 day workshop will be professionally facilitated with the following objectives:

1. Showcasing current scientific research
2. Documenting an inventory of skills, expertise and facilities that can be shared
3. Brainstorming to identify novel exciting ways to competitively address grand challenge questions in cancer research.
4. Identifying resources required to underpin large strategic grant applications.
5. Drafting an action plan for a doctoral cancer training programme
6. Outlining a future strategy for sustainability of GW4Cancer.

It will be beneficial to the success of the consortium to attend both days of the workshop. In discussion with the facilitators it has been decided that the workshop agenda will be fluid to meet the needs of the working group and to achieve the above objectives.

Register for the event

Deadline for registration is 17 May 2016 at 12pm

Doctoral Training Event for Collaboration Skills

Upcoming GW4 Doctoral Training Event in July 2017:

Creativity and Teamwork: Finding Inventive Solutions to Real-World Challenges



These events bring together research students from all four GW4 universities for high quality training to develop skills for research collaboration.


Most recent GW4 Doctoral Training Event:


Collaboration can deliver a multitude of benefits for researchers. Developing skills and practical experience in initiating and maintaining collaborative research projects should therefore be an important part of professional development for doctoral students.  The workshop will develop skills for research collaboration and provide practical experience in applying these skills in group problem-solving sessions.

This one-day workshop is organised by the GW4 Alliance (Bath, Bristol, Cardiff and Exeter) will bring together doctoral researchers from all four universities.

The programme will include:

  • Expert training in communicating your research to potential collaborators
  • Reflective exercises to identify the characteristics of effective collaborative teams, to explore different approaches to collaboration, and to assess your own collaboration strengths
  • An in-depth practical session to develop collaborative projects, working in small groups
  • Panel discussions featuring experienced academic collaborators
  • Networking opportunities with researchers across the GW4 Alliance

The event is free for doctoral researchers enrolled at the GW4 universities.  Travel expenses to Exeter will be reimbursed for non-Exeter students and, for students coming from a substantial distance, accommodation will be available on the night of Monday, 11 July.  We anticipate that the workshop may be most relevant to students entering their second year of the PhD, but others are welcome to apply.


How to Apply

Complete the Application Form and return it, not later than 6 May 2016, to your local GW4 contact:

Bath: Dr Neil Bannister,
Bristol: Sophie Benoit,
Cardiff: Terri Delahunty,
Exeter: Dr Rachel Torr,

You will be notified within two weeks if your application has been successful.  Please do not book any travel until you have heard from us.

If you accept a place, you will be expected to attend so please block out the time in your diary now.

We will provide all details of how to get to the venue, how to book accommodation, and how to claim back your expenses to accepted delegates.

If you have any queries, please contact your local GW4 or the GW4 PGR Coordinator, Dr Conny Lippert,




Previous events: 

“Skills for Research Collaboration in Sustainable Futures” (11 September, Cardiff University)

“Communication for Collaboration” (3 September, University of Bristol)

Humanities and Social Sciences Postgraduate Conference

The conference ‘ Changing Lives, Changing Worlds‘ aims to provide a friendly and supportive environment for postgraduate researchers to gain experience of presenting their work, explore potential ‘real world’ applications of their research and develop inter-disciplinary links. The conference is organised by postgrads for postgrads. Staff members will be invited to attend and participate in questions and discussions. Feedback will be provided to all participants to help develop their presentation skills.

All postgraduates within the Humanities and the Social Sciences from GW4, including taught Masters and MRes students, are welcome to attend.

The conference will also offer workshops, social activities, lunch, and refreshments to attendees.

Find out more and register. 

GW4 Biosensor Workshop

The GW4 Biosensor Network will bring together researchers from different disciplines with an interest on biosensors. Biosensors measure chemical or biological molecules in complex samples (e.g. blood, water, air) for a wide range of applications: medical diagnosis, monitoring of physiological levels of different analytes, monitoring of therapies, personalised medicine, drug discovery, water quality control, environmental monitoring, food quality control, air quality control, detection of warfare agents, etc.

Inherently, biosensor research is highly interdisciplinary with integration of knowledge between engineers, physical scientists, life scientists, clinicians and other end users to accelerate innovations that are informed and fit for purpose.

The GW4 Biosensor Network is organising its first workshop on the 24th March 2016 at the University of Bath. This will be an open workshop, with participation of academics, postdoctoral researchers and research students from the four Universities. The main objective of this 1-day workshop is to provide a way of disseminating across the GW4 biosensor community the research being done by the different groups, establish links and initial networking.

The event is free and open to anyone within the GW4 Universities with an interest in biosensors.

The GW4 Biosensor Network will cover the travel expenses of around 20 participants from each of the Bristol, Cardiff and Exeter Universities. Please register as soon as possible to ensure a place.

To register, please go to

Deadline for registration is the 18th March 2016.

There are a few slots available for oral presentations – if you wish to be considered for a talk, please register by the 13th March.

British Library Labs workshop

A workshop organised by British Library Labs, the University of Bristol and GW4 as part of the British Library Labs Roadshow (2016).

The workshop will showcase some of the British Library’s digital content and data, addressing some of the challenges and issues of working with it and how interesting and exciting projects from researchers, artists, and entrepreneurs have been developed via the annual British Library Labs Competition and Awards.

This will be followed by presentations about research at GW4.

Finally, the session will end with an ‘Ideas Lab’ encouraging participants to explore, experiment and think of ideas of what they might do with the British Library’s digital content and data. A panel will give feedback on the ideas and there will be a British Library goody bag for the best one!

Find out more and register.