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GW4 Crucible 2023

Our Data and Digital World – Opportunities for Transformative Interdisciplinarity

From the abacus to AI, censuses to smartphones, data can transform our lives. It powers innovation at scale and at speed, generating insight, foresight and new utility in areas as varied as climate modelling and disease prediction, social justice and policy, autonomous vehicles and software engineering, immersive technologies, cyber security and more. However, events like the Cambridge Analytica scandal also highlight the potential ethical conflict between data exploitation and fundamental human rights such as privacy and anonymity, prompting significant debate. GW4 Crucible offers an opportunity for future research leaders to come together to generate innovative, multifaceted responses that harness the power of data, AI and digital approaches while challenging its misuse.

Devising solutions to these questions necessitates multidisciplinary investigations from anthropologists to programmers and psychologists to statisticians. GW4 Crucible 2023 will foster conversations and collaborations between future research leaders across a broad range of disciplines. If you are a GW4 researcher with an interest in or expertise applicable to any aspect of data and digital, we want to hear from you!

What is GW4 Crucible?

GW4 Crucible brings together 30 competitively selected future research leaders to explore how you can enhance your career by working with researchers in other disciplines on a themed research topic.

The new hybrid programme will include two in-person residential (two-day) labs as, well as four online masterclasses (see below for dates)*. Through these, you will explore working in an interdisciplinary and collaborative way and will have the chance to connect with expert guest speakers, enhancing your professional networks and visibility.

GW4 Crucible is an excellent opportunity for you to consider new approaches to your research and its impact, to enhance your leadership potential and career development, and to network with peers and experts from across GW4 and beyond.

The programme will provide you with the following benefits to help you make the next steps in your career:

  • Enhanced ability to think creatively and innovatively about your approach to your research and its wider impact.
  • Increased understanding of advocating for change and how you can impact on change processes these through your research.
  • Enhanced understanding of your own personal impact and effectiveness, and how to use your skills to further your career aspirations.
  • Increased visibility amongst a range of connected, thought provoking and influential people, including senior research and external stakeholders in the GW4 institutions and beyond.
  • Opportunity to start building collaborations across disciplines and institutions.
  • Opportunity to understand and develop the key leadership skills needed to lead confidently in a collaborative environment.

If you would like to discuss GW4 Crucible and how participation will help you make the next steps in your career, your local development teams would be happy to discuss this with you.

Eligibility criteria

You are eligible to apply for GW4 Crucible 2023 if you are:

  • The holder of a PhD (or equivalent) and see yourself at the cusp of research independence (see application guidance for more information)
  • Employed at one of the GW4 universities for the duration of the GW4 Crucible programme (until June 2023)
  • Able to commit to attending all the workshops. There will be two in-person labs (two-day residentials), as well as a short series of online masterclasses*. It is a requirement of the Crucible programme to attend all the below programme elements in full:
    • Lab 1 –7-8 February 2023 in Cardiff
    • Lab 2 – 25-26 April 2023 in Bath
    • Online masterclasses – 12:30-2:00pm on:
      • 2 March 2023
      • 16 March 2023
      • 30 March 2023
      • 20 April 2023

*The programming of in-person residential Labs remains subject to the latest government guidance and restrictions with regards to public health and COVID-19. 


An important principle of the GW4 Crucible is that it provides a welcoming, supportive environment which enables future research leaders to grow and flourish. As such we want to make sure that the GW4 Crucible programme is accessible to all, including all aspects of our new hybrid online and in-person workshops. If there are any factors which you feel would impede your access or full participation in any of the online or offline elements of this programme (i.e., caring responsibilities, accessibility requirements, etc.), please get in touch with us at We are keen to offer options that will help you best participate in GW4 Crucible.

How to apply

To receive an application pack, contact the GW4 Talent and Skills Team ( Please include a little information about your current role, your area of research and one or two lines on why you are interested in applying, which will we consider to be your expression of interest.

Please note: the expression of interest is not a formal part of your application and will not be included with your application when it is sent to the selection panel. We request this information merely to confirm that you fulfil the criteria listed above.

The deadline for expressions of interest is 25 October 2022. The final deadline for completed applications is midday, Tuesday, 1 November 2022.

University of Bath
University of Bristol
Cardiff University
University of Exeter