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Funding boost for grassroots research communities

11 May 2015

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Grassroots research communities from across GW4 - an alliance of Bath, Bristol, Cardiff, and Exeter universities - have received a boost thanks to a major financial commitment from the Alliance.

GW4 has committed over £450,000 to establish cross-institutional research communities that will tackle the world's most significant research 'grand challenges'.

This latest round of funding brings the Alliance's total investment in grassroots research communities to over £1million.

The 12 successful projects cover areas including data science, pay equality, musculoskeletal research, Alzheimer's disease, and neurological and psychiatric disorders.

Funding comes from the GW4 Building Communities Programme. The Programme brings together academics with complementary expertise from across the four universities to build communities focused on major research or societal challenges.

Professor Colin Riordan, President and Vice-Chancellor of Cardiff University and Chair of the GW4 Council, said: "To date, GW4 has invested over £1million to help foster open and collaborative, grassroots-level research communities that address some of the world's most pressing challenges.

"Our latest round of funding represents a major commitment to enhancing collaboration across GW4, developing shared infrastructure, and ensuring that we maintain our competitive edge.

"Covering topics as varied as musculoskeletal research and pay equality, these research communities will draw on each institution's respective strengths to deliver high-impact research that we could not deliver alone."

This is the third round of funding awarded by GW4's Building Communities Fund. The Programme consists of two funds open to academics of all disciplines from across GW4.

The GW4 Initiator Fund provides up to £20,000 to set up workshops and activities that help to establish new research communities.

Established communities can apply for funding from the GW4 Accelerator Fund, which provides structured pump-priming activities with the expectation that it will lead to future sustainable external funding.

Professor Guy Orpen, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bristol and Chair of the GW4 Board, said: "This type of funding is essential to ensure that grassroots networks are able to develop from informal links between academics into enduring and successful research communities.

 "That we have now surpassed the £1million funding milestone goes to show how committed the GW4 Alliance is to establishing the networks of expertise that help to develop our economy and to address some of the biggest problems that we face as a society."

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