The GW4 Building Communities Programme aims to build research communities of scale and capability that will deliver a step change in world-class research that could not be achieved by one of the institutions alone.

In 2020, we launched Generator funding which awards communities up to £20K for 6 months. This replaced the Initiator (up to £20K for 5 months) and Accelerator (up to £75K for 8 months) funding schemes, which ran from 2014 – 2019. Building Communities Funding supports both the creation of new GW4 communities and the development of the strongest ideas emerging from our existing communities, and is open to any academic area.

To date, the GW4 Alliance has invested over £3.1m in 112 collaborative research communities, which have generated £62.8M in research income. This means that for every £1 GW4 spends on collaborative research communities, GW4 captures an impressive £20 in external research awards.

Research Integrity

The GW4 Alliance has adopted the Russell Group Research Integrity Statement of cooperation in cross-institutional research misconduct allegations, which aims to support the efforts of researcher communities to foster research integrity (also known as good practice in research or the responsible conduct of research).


Building communities generator Award (Round 3) Funding Call

CLOSED The third round of the Generator Fund closed in February 2022. Applications for the fourth round of the Generator Fund will open again in late 2022. For more information, or to be informed about when applications open again, please contact the GW4 Building Communities Manager (Harriet Mills) at communities@gw4.ac.uk.


Explore our communities

Explore our research communities by award type or activity group. (All communities are also listed below in order of award date with newest first).

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Fund: Accelerator

Fund: Generator

Fund: Initiator

SHuSH! A research network on Suicide, Homicide, and Self-Harm in parent carers

INITIATOR FUND 

Project period: March – July 2019 

GW4 community leads
University of Bath: Katie Maras, Paul Stallard
University of Bristol: Becky Mars, Lucy Biddle, Paul Moran
Cardiff University: Thomas Slater
University of Exeter: Siobhan O’Dwyer, Astrid Janssens (Co-PIs) 

University of Warwick: Professor Richard Hastings 

Project overview 

SHuSH! is a network of researchers, carers, clinicians, and community organisations working together to develop and conduct world-leading research on suicide, homicide, and self-harm in parents caring for children with disabilities. The acronym SHuSH! reflects the silence that has, to-date, surrounded these issues in research, practice, and policy. Carers who are experiencing thoughts of suicide or homicide, are self-harming, or are otherwise in need of urgent support should contact The Samaritans on 116 123. 


Circular economy for affordable, low-carbon secondary raw materials

INITIATOR FUND 

Project period: February – June 2019 

GW4 community leads
University of Bath: Pete Walker, Stephen Allen 
University of Bristol:  Steve Eichhorn, Rinat Nigmatullin
Cardiff University: Eshrar Latif, Marianna Marchesi
University of Exeter: Raffaele Vinai (PI), Matt Eames, Peter Hopkinson  

Project overview 

The project will focus on materials, processes, technologies and systems to enable up-cycling of industrial waste and agricultural co-products into valuable components, fostering circular economic solutions for sustainable building products. 


Family component of school approaches to promoting mental health

INITIATOR FUND 

Project period: February – June 2019 

GW4 community leads
University of Bath: Janet Goodall
University of Bristol:  Judi Kidger
Cardiff University: Jeremy Segrott (PI) 
University of Exeter: Katrina Wyatt 

Project overview 

We will form an interdisciplinary collaboration to develop an intervention to strengthen the family component of a Health Promoting School approach in secondary schools. 


GW4 NanoEvade: Smart design of nanoparticle-drugs to evade the immune response

INITIATOR FUND 

Project period: February – June 2019 

GW4 community leads 

University of Bath: Karen Edler
University of Bristol: Ash Toye
Cardiff University: Mark Young, Riccardo Bonsignore, Andreia De Almeida
University of Exeter: Charlie Jeynes (PI), David Richards

Project overview 

This GW4 initiator grant will bring together experts from different disciplines, ranging from nanoparticle chemistry & toxicity to mathematical modelling & immune system biology to address this complex problem.  


Imaging Arthritis Consortium

INITIATOR FUND 

Project period: February – July 2019 

GW4 community leads

University of Bath: Elise Pegg, Richie Gill
University of Bristol: Flossie Carpenter, Mike Whitehouse
Cardiff University: David Williams, Cathy Holt
University of Exeter: Ben Sherlock (PI) 

Project overview

The Imaging Arthritis Consortium will leverage leading experience and facilities for musculoskeletal imaging that exists across the GW4 to promote new collaborations in the field of musculoskeletal imaging. 


MOVING THROUGH MOTHERHOOD

INITIATOR FUND 

Project period: February – June 2019 

GW4 community leads
University of Bath: Peter Rouse
University of Bristol:  Charlie Foster
Cardiff University: Lucie Warren
University of Exeter: Richard Pulsford (PI), Victoria Salmon, Lauren Rogers 

Project overview 

The GW4 Moving Through Motherhood Community comprises researchers from different disciplines with a shared interest in supporting physical activity during pregnancy by establishing a regional multidiscipline and multisector network to steer research and resource development. 


South West regional centre for secrecy, security and society research

INITIATOR FUND 

Project period: February – June 2019 

GW4 community leads
University of Bath: Brett Edwards
University of Bristol: Elspeth Van Veeren (PI) 
Cardiff University: Claudia Hillebrand
University of Exeter: Brian Rappert 

Project overview 

The GW4 community aims to establish a regional, national and international centre of excellence in the innovative research area of secrecy and ignorance.   


Stratify and Treat – a new horizon for type 1 diabetes after 100 years

Initiator fund

Project period: February – June 2019

GW4 community leads
University of Bristol: Kathleen Gillespie, Alistair Williams, Anna Long 
Cardiff University: Danijela Tatovic, Colin Dayan, Susan Wong 
University of Exeter: Sarah Richardson (PI), Noel Morgan, Richard Oram, Angus Jones, Andrew Hattersley, Bev Shields, Tim McDonald

Project overview

The GW4 Type 1 Diabetes Centre of Excellence will reveal the causes of diabetes leading to improved patient stratification and tailored therapies