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

Cognitive Bias Modification (CBM)

INITIATOR Fund

Project period: May – July 2014

GW4 community leads

University of Bath: Sally Adams
University of Bristol: Ian Penton-Voak
Cardiff University: Chris Chambers
University of Exeter:  Anna Adlam

Project overview

This project has established a GW4 CBM community that was able to share knowledge, understand existing links and the extent of complementary expertise.


Collective Human-Information Interactive (CHI2)

INITIATOR Fund

Project period: May – July 2014

GW4 community leads

University of Bath: Peter Johnson
University of Bristol: Alex Bentley
Cardiff University: Alun Preece
University of Exeter: Roger Maull

Project overview

Advances in information and communication technologies – including human-computer interaction, intelligent information processing, “big data” and social media – have led to new possibilities for how people and machines can live and work collectively: making best cumulative use of each other’s strengths and ameliorating each other’s weaknesses.


Composites for Enhanced Lightning Performance

INITIATOR Fund

Project period: May – July 2014

GW4 community leads

University of Bath: Richard Butler
University of Bristol: Fabrizio Scarpa
Cardiff University: Manu Haddad
University of Exeter: Chris Smith

Project overview

This project addresses the ‘Advanced Materials’ grand challenge through the development of innovative lightweight materials and coatings with improved mechanical and electrical properties under lightning strike for the aerospace sector.


Damage Detection in Metallic and Composite Structures

INITIATOR FUND

Project period: May – July 2014 

GW4 community leads
University of Bath: Alicia King
University of Bristol: Stephen Hallett
Cardiff University: Carol Featherston (PI) 
University of Exeter: Meiling Zhu 

Project outcomes
The aim of this research is to advance the state of the art in damage detection in metallic and composite structures by enabling a modular system approach utilising energy harvesting and wireless communication for industrial applications. 


Flexible Formwork

INITIATOR Fund

Project period: May – July 2014 

GW4 community leads

University of Bath: John Orr
University of Bristol: John Macdonald
Cardiff University: Diane Gardner
University of Exeter: Prakash Kripakaran 

Project overview

This collaboration will bring together experts in structural engineering, serviceability, materials characterisation, durability, sustainable materials, and composites to consider the specific future research required to fully realise this field.


GW4 Epigenetics Consortium

INITIATOR Fund

Project period: May – July 2014

GW4 community leads

University of Bath: Andrew Ward, Adele Murrell
University of Bristol: Caroline Relton, Matthew Hickman
Cardiff University: Anthony Isles, Stan Zammit
University of Exeter: Jonathan Mill, Katie Lunnon

Project overview

A cohesive and enthusiastic epigenetics community has been established, as well as a much clearer recognition of the respective skills and expertise across GW4 in this field.


GW4 Medieval Studies

INITIATOR Fund

Project period: May – July 2014 

GW4 community leads

University of Bristol: Carolyn Muessig (PI), Ian Wei
Cardiff University: Bronach Kane
University of Exeter: James Clark 

Project overview

GW4 Medieval Studies aims to fortify its rich resource of medievalists (65 members of staff and over 75 research students) into a cohesive and energetic research cluster that offers an unmatched range of expertise. 


Health-related Behaviour Change Interventions

INITIATOR Fund

Project period: May – July 2014

GW4 community leads

University of Bath: Fiona Gillison, Afroditi Stathi, Julie Barnett
University of Bristol: Anne Haase, Simon Sebire, Russ Jago
Cardiff University: Sharon Simpson, Graham Moore
University of Exeter: Jane R Smith, Charles Abraham, Colin Greaves

Project overview

This project has developed stronger and wider multi-disciplinary links between individuals and departments/groups involved in health-related behaviour change. There is now a greater awareness of current work, expertise, potential future research areas and funding opportunities.