Researchers inspired to ‘reimagine academia’ at GW4 Crucible Alumni event

October 7, 2022

How can you become a collaborative researcher, rekindle enthusiasm for your research, embrace a discipline spanning career and communicate new findings beyond academia?  

More than twenty academics from Bath, Bristol, Cardiff and Exeter universities came together to discuss these thought-provoking ideas and more, as part of the 2022 GW4 Crucible Alumni Network event. 

GW4 Crucible offers future research leaders a six-month leadership development programme to consider new interdisciplinary and collaborative approaches to research and its impact.  

Held at Bristol Watershed on Tuesday (20 September), the alumni event focused on helping Cruciblees to foster new energy in their research and provided the opportunity to network with cohorts from previous years. Attendees had the opportunity to connect with expert guest speakers, enhancing their professional networks and visibility.  

Acclaimed science writer Dr Dean Burnett was the first to speak, on rethinking the rules around academic language and finding your voice to connect with more people. He was followed by Professor Kate Robson Brown, who discussed ways of reimagining the academic trajectory. As part of her talk, Kate shared her own interdisciplinary career journey, from Anthropology to Engineering Mathematics. 

Cruciblees who attended the event said they enjoyed hearing the experiences of others, and as a result of attending the event would push themselves outside of their comfort zones and work to maintain connections and network with colleagues from across the institutions.  

Following the event, GW4 Director, Dr Joanna Jenkinson MBE, said: “The GW4 Crucible provides a fantastic opportunity for early career researchers to explore the benefits and challenges of interdisciplinary and inter-institutional collaborations, as well as collaborations with external partners such as government, media and the public. 

 “After taking part in the Crucible programme, we continue to engage with our researchers through the Crucible Alumni Network, welcoming them into the wider GW4 community and beyond and providing continued opportunities for professional development.” 

 To date, GW4 Crucible has supported over 170 early careers researchers, many of whom have gone on to successfully apply for initiatives such as the New Generation Thinkers scheme and the UKRI Future Leaders Fellowships scheme.