GW4 Alliance Director Update:
The New Year has got off to a fantastic start as we announce that our return on investment in collaborative research communities has reached an all-time high, of 20:1. This phenomenal achievement is down to the success of our Generator Award Funding scheme, which supports both new GW4 communities and existing communities to explore research opportunities. I'm delighted to say we have supported over 100 research communities to date, which are tackling a range of global and societal challenges such as climate, net zero and antimicrobial resistance (AMR). This impressive uplift in ROI highlights the growing importance in this type of small-scale funding that enables researchers to build interdisciplinary networks, develop innovative research, and deliver real world-impact.
Our strength in collaborative, interdisciplinary research was evident at the GW4 AMR Alliance’s first networking and bid development event, which took place earlier this month. More than 50 participants came together to discuss our four priority themes related to AMR: the built and urban environment; natural and farmed environments; food, crop and industrial production systems; and co-infections, polymicrobial communities and microbiomes. Attendees ranged from microbiologists, mathematicians and civil engineers to architects and historians, demonstrating how GW4 has the breadth of academic expertise to take a world-leading One Health approach to tacking AMR. I was pleased to see the Alliance’s level of ambition and scale, and its progress to date has been well received by the GW4 Board.
In other news, it was a pleasure to participate in a panel discussion on the ‘Future of the PhD’ as part of the University of Bristol's 100 Years of Postgraduate Research Celebration Event last week, where an additional investment in 400 PhD students was announced. We discussed how research degrees are evolving to meet current challenges and how they may look in the next 100 years. In reflecting on my own experience as a PhD student, I cannot understate the importance of supporting the development and careers of postgraduate researchers, and attracting and retaining talented people within our region - particularly if we are to achieve the aims of the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) R&D People and Culture Strategy.
Find out more about our current news, events and opportunities in this month’s newsletter.