GW4 LAUNCHES RESEARCH FUND TO TACKLE WORLD’S ‘GRAND CHALLENGES’

March 1, 2014

Academics from across GW4 – an alliance of Bath, Bristol, Cardiff and Exeter universities – will get the chance to build new research communities focused on tackling some of the world’s biggest research ‘grand challenges’ as part of a significant financial commitment from GW4.

The GW4 Alliance has launched the GW4 Building Communities Fund which is designed to bring academics from across the four universities together to create new or build on existing communities, focused on major research or societal challenges.

Drawing together the combined research strengths of Wales’ and the West of England’s leading research intensive universities, the GW4 Alliance will help us create critical mass and give us a new and competitive edge according to Professor Nicholas Talbot, Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Exeter.

“Ultimately we want GW4 to deliver a step change in world-leading research that could not be achieved in one of the institutions alone. Creating the Building Communities Fund is a key means of achieving our objective. From the arts, humanities, social science, experimental and theoretical science, engineering and medicine the Fund is designed to open up new opportunities to collaborate on research, develop shared research infrastructure and seek joint capital investment,” he added.

The Building Communities Fund is a two-staged funding programme open to all academics from across the GW4 Alliance, across all subject areas.The first stage is the GW4 Initiator Fund which offers up to £20,000 to help set-up workshops and activities to help new and established communities.

Once a research GW4 community has been successfully established, they will then be able to apply for the second stage, the GW4 Accelerator Fund. This stage is designed to establish structured pump priming activities with the expectation that it will lead to external funding for the community.

The launch of the GW4 Building Communities Fund is an important milestone for the Alliance according to Professor Colin Riordan, Chair of the GW4 Council.

We already know there are existing and well established research collaborations between academics from across the GW4 Alliance.

Establishing a dedicated Fund will create a renewed focus and kick start the creation of communities of academic staff with complementary expertise capable of creating high impact research that could not be carried out by a single institution. I would urge colleagues from across the GW4 Alliance to get more information and to apply he added.