Project period: February – May 2017 

This community later received Accelerator Funding for the project: Global Challenges ‘Low Carbon Energy Access’ Hub

GW4 community leads 

University of Bath: Janet L. Scott (PI) 
University of Bristol: Paul Harper 
Cardiff University: Kersty Hobson 
University of Exeter: Stephen J Eichhorn 

Project overview

The primary goal of the Building Communities activity proposed here is to develop GW4 capacity, particularly within the “Sustainability” and “Healthy Living” themes identified in the GW4 5-year Strategy (2015), to respond quickly and effectively to anticipated RCUK Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) 2 calls in 2017. 


The 2017 EPSRC GCRF calls focused on aspects of Energy and Healthcare and specifically how these “contribute to the development and welfare of people in developing countries”. Thus, the community proposed these two themes as the basis for a Sandpit to develop interdisciplinary themes, reflecting strengths across the GW4 partners, and multi-disciplinary teams, able to react immediately to calls as soon as these are released, specifically to draft large grant proposals including multiple GW4 partners. With these GCRF related Energy and Healthcare themes and core teams already identified, we will be able to quickly begin focussing and refining proposals, drawing in any missing key persons or expertise. By strengthening (and sharing amongst all GW4 partners) our links with excellent researchers in ODA countries, we will have a core group of partners already in place. This will overcome a potential rate limiting step in developing strong GCRF proposals. 

Project summary 

The community consolidated existing collaborations across GW4 and developed new partnerships in the topics of Energy and Healthcare and the broader theme of Sustainability. They held a two-day sandpit entitled “Global Challenges in Energy and Healthcare” bringing together 23 participants from GW4 in Engineering, Science, Policy, Management, Social Sciences & Humanities. Four speakers from ODA country collaborators were also invitedThe sandpit resulted in the development of multiple outline projects and publications; collaborations continued to be developed following the award end.