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

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

Paramagnetic Species for Catalysis and Materials Applications


Project period: May – July 2014

GW4 community leads

University of Bath: Mike Whittlesey
University of Bristol: 
Robin Bedford
Cardiff University: 
Damien Murphy

Project overview

This project has developed a new GW4 community with interests in the catalytic and materials applications of paramagnetic species.

Political, Social, Institutional and Cultural Dimensions of Risk and Security


Project period: May – July 2014

GW4 community leads

University of Bath: David Galbreath
University of Bristol: Tim Edmunds
Cardiff University: Christian Bueger
University of Exeter: Doug Stokes, Sir Paul Newton

Project overview

This project has helped to foster and further concretise this GW4 community. The aim of the workshop was to bring together policymakers, academics and other stakeholders to examine contemporary security and risk dynamics within international relations.

SynBio Showcase and Strategy Meeting


Project period: May – July 2014


University of Bath: David Leak
University of Bristol: Paul Race
Cardiff University: Dafydd Jones
University of Exeter: Thomas Howard


This project has established a GW4 synthetic biology strategy group comprising researchers from all four universities which are now poised to push ahead with cross-institute collaborations.

The Impact of Offshore Windfarms on Marine Organisms


Project period: May – July 2014

GW4 community leads

University of Bath: Phillipe Blondeli
University of Bristol: Andy Radford, Daniel Robert
Cardiff University: Roger Falconer
University of Exeter: Rick Bruintjes, Steve Simpson, Darren Croft, Matt Witt, Phillipp Thies

Project overview

​This project has allowed testing of new ideas in the real world which will lead to high impact interdisciplinary publications. A valuable research network of world-known scientists has been created and two research grant proposals were produced and submitted to the Catapult Environmental Programme. There are plans to submit future NERC large grants applications and for GW4 studentships.