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Working Together

The way ahead for research involves working together

Professor Caroline Meyer, Pro Vice Chancellor for Research, Warwick

In August 2021, I was appointed to the post of Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research at the University of Warwick. I was inspired by our bold commitment to research excellence, embodied in our Research Strategy. I believe firmly in Warwick’s commitment to building a better world through cutting-edge research, making lives healthier, safer, more resilient, and fulfilled.

I’m fully motivated by what we can achieve in the future, particularly when we work together. Our research is internationally leading, impactful, and provocative, enabled by the commitment of over 1,000 academics from more than 100 countries, giving us a unique insight into global challenges and their potential solutions.

It’s not just our experienced academics who contribute to life-changing research. Our doctoral students, early and mid-career researchers, our lab technicians and our research support services all play an invaluable role at Warwick. Our estates teams help to create the optimum conditions for our research to succeed whilst our funders and partners help us to create lasting value in society and economy by collaborating with us and supporting our work.

Here at Warwick, we work hard to create the conditions necessary for our academics to thrive. This includes attracting the very best talent and creating a supportive environment for our research community to flourish. We’re building a compassionate and collaborative culture. Our researchers are supported by state-of-the-art equipment and facilities. We take a proactive approach to future planning to ensure investment is strategic and targeted – in turn, ensuring we are an attractive place for highly talented research staff.

For example, our £54.3m Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research Building (IBRB) is now complete, supported by a grant from the Wolfson Foundation to fund a state-of-the art laboratory space - the Wolfson Tissue Mechanobiology and Human Disease Laboratory- where researchers will investigate how cells and tissues perform mechanical functions. IBRB brings to life the University’s commitment to delivering world-leading neuroscience research, microbiology and infection, cell biology, and disease models, and supports and facilitates interdisciplinary biomedical research of the highest quality.

Our newest space, the £57.5m Faculty of Arts, brings together the departments and schools of the Faculty under a single roof to promote and enable collaboration, creativity, and innovation in the fields of the arts and humanities. Warwick has also developed a sustainable ‘mini-city’ environment on campus creating a ‘living lab’ environment to enable sustainable research and development. Warwick’s campus offers an excellent, safe test bed for testing transport innovations, offering a variety of both rural and high-density environments. Our STEM Grand Challenge has been established to grow and strengthen our existing world-class STEM research and education activities, and to consider the key enablers of innovation and scientific discovery in a changing world.

We take great pride in showcasing and celebrating the work of our research community and we’re committed to translating our world-leading research for wider society. We encourage and support interdisciplinary research, for example, through the Global Research Priorities (GRPs), as well as providing focal points for collaborative work such as the Institute for Global Sustainable Development. These bring together academics from a range of research backgrounds to collaborate and solve a range of problems – such as our approach to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

I’ve always placed value on international collaboration and research without borders, so our work with global partners plays a crucial and pivotal role in our research environment. This includes the establishment of new strategic partnerships across Europe, the USA, and China – as well developing our established partnerships with the Monash and EUTOPIA.

Excellent researchers are fundamental to generating internationally leading research. The University of Warwick takes its roles as an enabler seriously and has worked hard, over many years, to create the right conditions for our academics to thrive. I am particularly interested in championing new ways for researchers to collaborate and building a culture that supports and encourages compassion, collaboration, and exploration.

In the nine months I have been in my post as Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research, I have felt increasingly proud of our internationally leading research and the vibrant and diverse community of academics who make it happen. As part of commitment to the future success of research at Warwick, we will continue to cultivate our community of like-minded people, seeking to solve global challenges together.

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