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New Global Research Priorities programme to tackle some of the planet’s biggest challenges


Addressing urgent global challenges through research lies at the heart of the newly refreshed Global Research Priorities programme.

The GRP programme has undergone an extensive review to ensure that global concerns - from energy, to manufacturing, to sustainability - can be tackled through excellent interdisciplinary research. The GRPs harness academic excellence from across the University, with researchers working together to generate real-world impact.

Interdisciplinarity is a key element of both the GRPs and the wider University research strategy. The GRP programme unites researchers across departments and faculties, as well as facilitating close partnerships with third parties such as policy makers, cultural and creative organisations, charities, public sector stakeholders and industry.

The GRPs in the new programme are…
  • Behaviour, Brain & Society: Focusing on how the behavioural sciences can contribute to a better world
  • Connecting Cultures: Supporting critical work on how cultures connect and how those connections have shaped the world across the centuries. As technology shrinks the space around us, turning the global into the local, there is arguably more need than ever for scholars to contribute to greater understanding between cultures
  • Cyber Security: Contributing to the better security of society, business and government - one of the major challenges of the 21st Century
  • Energy: Encompassing all areas of energy-related research at Warwick
  • Innovative Manufacturing & Future Materials: Encompassing all materials and manufacturing research at Warwick
  • Health: Encompassing all health-related research at Warwick, including biomedical engineering and biotechnology, anti-microbial resistance, mental health, artificial intelligence, digital health, global health and data
  • Sustainable Cities: Addressing the challenges faced in developing sustainable cities across the globe.

A newly refreshed Food GRP, tackling aspects of local and global food insecurity so that people can eat regularly, fairly and well, is also expected to launch this autumn.

Professor Pam Thomas, PVC for Research, commented: “I am delighted that a new GRP programme has emerged from the very comprehensive review that took place over the past 12 months. The new programme is closely aligned with our recently-launched research strategy, and will continue to flourish and evolve as they create a unique concentration of high-quality research activity across our talented academic community.”

Professor Jackie Hodgson, Deputy Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research and Chair of the new GRP steering group, commented: “Our newly refreshed GRP programme exemplifies excellent interdisciplinary collaboration and cross-sector partnerships. Through these research networks, we will be able to make a meaningful and impactful contribution to tackling some of the biggest questions facing the planet.”

Hear from some of the GRP leads…

“Behaviour, Brain and Society brings together disciplines including psychology, economics, medicine and biology to enhance the study of human behaviour. We are delighted to be part of the revised GRP programme, and excited to undertake research across a range of areas, from behavioural and experimental economics to cognitive science and judgement and decision making, bridging quantitative and qualitative approaches. Our interdisciplinary network of researchers will enable us to make an impact and improve the lives of people around the world.”

Professor Daniel Read and Professor Thomas Hills – Behaviour, Brain and Society GRP leads

“Connecting Cultures unites researchers with an interest in a diverse array of areas such as memory, intercultural studies, translation and language politics, urban futures, human rights and global humanities. Our GRP will support the next generation of researchers in this area, and contribute at both a theoretical and an applied level to debates around what connects and what distinguishes cultures. We look forward to continuing and building on our existing research in this area ahead of Coventry City of Culture 2021.”

Dr Helen Wheatley, Professor Michael Scott and Dr Cath Lambert – Connecting Cultures GRP leads

“The Innovative Manufacturing and Future Materials GRP is an exciting research hub focused on areas including the circular economy, industrial biotechnology and intelligent mobility, as well as the theoretical design, synthesis, and processing of materials with understanding of their properties and function in industrial applications. This GRP brings together engineers, chemists, physicists, social scientists, computer scientists, mathematicians, statisticians, life scientists and scholars from the humanities and the arts. Our research will deliver technological and societal impact, and change the way science and manufacturing engage with society, and vice versa – now and in the future.”

Professor Kerry Kirwan, Dr Guy Barker, Professor Noortje Marres, Dr John Low and Professor Stefan Bon – Innovative Manufacturing & Future Materials GRP leads

A celebration event will be held in October to thank those involved in developing and delivering the programme. This will be followed by a series of workshops for the whole GRP community, which will run throughout the 2019-20 academic year.


Mon 05 Aug 2019, 11:24 | Tags: risfeed