Programme FAQs

The GW4 Building Communities programme consists of two funds (Initiator Fund and Accelerator Fund) that is designed to enable new, high-quality GW4 research communities or for existing high quality collaborations to enhance their scope.


  • To support enabling activities that bring together communities of academic staff with excellent and complementary expertise and capability
  • To address research questions with potential for high impact that could not be carried out by any single institution
  • To facilitate exploration of novel research concepts to a point at which significant external funding can be sought
  • To promote and facilitate ground breaking interdisciplinary research
  • To demonstrate clearly the added value of the GW4 collaboration.

Research communities may apply from any area of academia, including the arts, humanities, social science, experimental and theoretical science, engineering and medicine. We explicitly encourage interdisciplinarity.

All applications must be a strategic fit to a broad grand challenge area. We have identified a number of these challenges that we believe GW4 is well placed to address. Whilst this is not a prescriptive list, and bids from other areas are welcomed, all bids must provide a clear articulation of the challenge and how the project will enable them to address research funding opportunities they have identified.


Accelerator Funds can be used for collaborative pump priming activities which will normally position the community to win major external funding. Applications for the Accelerator Fund will either have successfully completed the Initiator stage or provided evidence of recent activities that have enabled the scoping of research ideas to a level appropriate for direct submission to the Accelerator Fund.

Applications to the Accelerator Fund will only be considered where there is justification that it fits a funding gap.

Eligible costs include travel and subsistence, consumables, meeting costs, external facilitation and support, equipment (small purchases only, justifiable in line with project deliverables) and post doc salaries. Ineligible costs include academic salaries, studentship fees/stipend, internal facilities costs and other indirect costs.

PLEASE NOTE that applications in this round must adhere to both the existing fund criteria as well as the following additional guidance from the GW4 Board:

Applications will be expected to focus their efforts on Official Development Assistance (ODA) compliant activity to enable communities to develop in line with the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) priorities.


Initiator Funds can be used for workshops, sandpits or other community building or collaborative activities that enable communities to scope and refine research ideas and identify potential collaborators.

  • Initiator Funding can be used as a stand-alone award or could be a step towards other funding sources.
  • Eligible costs are travel and subsistence, external speakers/facilitators and venue and catering costs.
  • Ineligible costs include academic salaries, equipment, studentship fees, internal research facilities costs and indirect costs.
  • Funding will be provided to the Lead applicant who will be responsible for all arrangements for any events, activities and participation.
  • Leads should discuss their application with their University’s Research Support Team, who will notify GW4 Programme Managers.
  • Where appropriate and feasible this team may be able to provide some logistical and other support for the planned activities if the application is successful.
  • All funded applications will be promoted via the GW4 website

PLEASE NOTE that applications in this round must adhere to both the existing fund criteria as well as the following additional guidance from the GW4 Board:

Applications will be expected to focus their efforts on Official Development Assistance (ODA) compliant activity to enable communities to develop in line with the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) priorities.


A GW4 research community should involve at least three GW4 institutions, with communities involving all four partners preferred. Where less than four are involved this will need to be justified.

Each application will need to articulate the added value of working across GW4.

This may be in terms of capacity and capability building, complementarity or synergy of expertise, new interdisciplinary groupings, academic endeavour and the ability to attract external funding.


Each GW4 institute has a dedicated GW4 Programme Manager who can help put you in touch with appropriate partners:

Bath: Richard Hocking
Exeter: Charlie Lane
Bristol: Jenny Knapp
Cardiff: Jude Bown


Applications to a maximum of £20k can be made to the Initiator Fund.

Applications of between £20k and £75k can be made to the Accelerator Fund.

 


Project activities and spend should be undertaken within a six month period beginning from the start date of the award.

Applicants should ensure that activities are planned and scheduled accordingly, so that in the event of an award, activities can be undertaken rapidly.


Project activities and spend should be undertaken within a three month period beginning from the start date of the award.

Applicants should ensure that activities are planned and scheduled accordingly, so that in the event of an award, activities can be undertaken rapidly.


All funded communities will be expected to provide a brief final report proportionate to their stage and scale.

They will also be expected to participate in evaluations and updates, and promotional and communication events, as appropriate.


The latest Building Communities call has now closed.
For future calls, please read before submitting application: Application From Guidance – Pitfalls & Top Tips

Please see the Programme Guidelines for further information.


The call for Initiator Funds (Round 8) and Accelerator Funds (Round 7) has closed. The date of the next Building Communities call is to be confirmed.


The latest Building Communities funding round has closed. Date of the review panel for this call TBC


The latest Building Communities funding round has closed. Academics to be notified of the status of their application at a date TBC


Initiator fund: Project activities and spend should be undertaken within a three month period beginning from the start date of the award.

Accelerator fund: Project activities and spend should be undertaken within a six month period beginning from the start date of the award.


This information may be accessed at the discretion of the previous successful applicant. The GW4 Project manager will endeavour to contact the previous successful PI for release of information.

Information is available on previously funded GW4 projects.