The Institute for Global Pandemic Planning, through philanthropic investment, will enable the University of Warwick to combine world-class expertise in Mathematical Epidemiology, Public Health, and Behavioural Science to develop comprehensive solutions for global leaders struggling to respond to the health, social, economic and psychological impacts of pandemics.
Through the Institute for Global Pandemic Planning, Warwick will:
- Rapidly mobilise an interdisciplinary response group of experts to advise governments and;
- Establish a robust pipeline of doctoral students to expand worldwide scientific leadership on managing pandemics
Given the scale of damage caused by pandemic outbreaks it is frightening how few governments maintain their own teams of interdisciplinary experts. The community of academics who make up these advisory groups are small, and governments risk becoming over-reliant on a small number of advisors, whose assumptions and approach at a time of crisis significantly shape national policy. The experience of Covid-19 demonstrates governments everywhere need access to interdisciplinary expertise, particularly from epidemiological modellers, public health academics, and thinkers in behavioural science – disciplines in which Warwick has deep expertise.
During the Covid-19 crisis, Warwick’s expertise in statistical analysis and mathematical modelling has been crucial to the UK’s Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modelling (SPI-M), the network of researchers who are informing the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE). As countries around the world begin to embark upon the longer-term management of the virus, more attention is being placed on exit strategies, and Warwick’s leading data scientists are working on new epidemiological models that demonstrate the viability of various scenarios, as well as examining how Big Data could provide a route through this current crisis.
Public Health involves the organised the efforts of society to protect and promote human health. This includes developing and using healthcare, biomedical and other technologies for disease diagnosis, treatment, and control. It also involves influencing the much wider structures, policy, culture and practices that affect health. Academic public health therefore spans disciplines from policy research to technology development and implementation, bringing evidence for effectiveness into decision making. It can help to define the critical outcomes to guide predictive mathematical modelling, identify the areas of individual and corporate behaviour most critical to protecting health, and evaluate the impact of interventions. With academics at the forefront of their fields advising bodies such as the World Health Organisation on key public health issues, Warwick is ideally positioned to provide a population-wide understanding of the issues presented by each pandemic. Combined with mathematical modelling, and behavioural science this will generate new qustions and solutions.
As the Covid-19 pandemic reveals, our individual decisions, how we socialise, and how we run our businesses and workplaces, can have a dramatic impact on the health of others. Behavioural Science, which sits at the intersection of the natural, social, and economic sciences has a vital role to play, allowing us to explore how we might balance the challenges imposed on different parts of society in a way that is perceived to be fair. It also has the potential to encourage citizens towards making ‘good’ decisions, intuitively. At Warwick, we have the largest concentration of behavioural science expertise in Europe and our academics have been visibly and actively involved in public debate concerning policy responses to Covid-19.
Research Posts and PhD Students
We are recruiting our first Institute for Global Pandemic Planning cohort of doctoral students to start in October 2021 on a four year funded PhD programme in October 2021. Each student will have supervision from senior academics in at least two of the main disciplines of the centre and across two university departments. Students will share research space to support the cohort in learning together. Please follow the link from below for more details.
The University of Warwick will be pleased to discuss a range of recognition opportunities to celebrate donations to The Institute for Global Pandemic Planning. If you would like to find out more information or would like to discuss these opportunities further please visit our contact page.