All GW4 Universities (Bath, Bristol, Cardiff, Exeter) are members of the Technician Commitment which aims to ensure visibility, recognition, career development and sustainability for technicians working in higher education and research, across all disciplines.
GW4 held a number of workshops throughout April providing a starting point for discussion of how cross-institution working practices, knowledge exchange and peer support could be developed. The first set of workshops covered facility areas where each of the four GW4 institutions has a particular strength, including Cell handling; Genomics; Mass Spectrometry; NMR; Light and Electron Microscopy.
Angela Marchbank, Genome Research Hub Manager at Cardiff University said: “I found last week’s meeting really useful and has given me plenty of food for thought from training and workshops to how we might improve our access and booking systems.”
Facility managers and technicians from all four GW4 institutions and across all technology areas attended. Discussions covered broad themes including approaches to sharing equipment and expertise, financial charging models, contracts and maintenance and training both for users and managers.
A key outcome from all workshops was a need for more networking between institutions. The next step could be to set up groups on the GW4 Portal to facilitate interaction and collaboration with peers and stakeholders. Attendees were also enthusiastic for continuing similar workshops in the future, in some cases setting up more specialist groups around technology areas but still with the same aim of improving networking and communication between institutions.