The University of Warwick is one of the first in the UK to create a dedicated research facility solely for staff and postgraduate research students.
The Wolfson Research Exchange was officially opened this month by Chair of the Training and Development Agency for Schools (TDA) Sir Brian Follett.
Sir Brian, who was Vice Chancellor at Warwick for eight years from 1993 to 2001, joined current Warwick Vice Chancellor Professor Nigel Thrift and invited guests at a special ceremony at the University’s Library.
The Wolfson Research Exchange is part-funded by the Wolfson Foundation and provides an imaginative and technology-rich facility where researchers and research students can study and collaborate.
As well as an open-plan informal study space, there are also bookable seminar rooms for research workshops and conferences. The seminar rooms have retracting walls to allow for larger groups and conferences of up to 90 participants.
Freddy James, Education PhD student said the facility will have a huge impact on the way postgraduate students work within the University. She said: “The PhD life can be a lonely life and you can feel a little isolated, the Wolfson Research Exchange is a place I want to spend time in, a really useful space to be and to work with other people around me.”
The Wolfson Research Exchange has been designed to support the University Strategy, and one of its primary purposes is to stimulate inter-disciplinary collaboration by enabling greater awareness amongst researchers of research activity taking place across the University.
Focus groups of researchers helped to plan the facility and they raised the importance of being able to share their ideas and problems and to extend their sources of inspiration by learning about research being undertaken in other disciplines.
To support this there is a unique ‘creative wall’ coupled with a facility allowing projection on to it from points throughout the facility (including the seminar rooms), allowing anyone in the space to work collaboratively with a group and also involve others.
Images from the event are available, please contact Kelly Parkes-Harrison, Communications Officer, University of Warwick, firstname.lastname@example.org, 02476 150483, 07824 540863