Research Festival: Building partnerships to tackle Global Challenges

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  • Copthorne Hotel, Armada Way, Plymouth, PL1 1AR

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The Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) is a five year, £1.5 billion fund announced by the UK Government to support cutting-edge research that addresses the challenges faced by developing countries through:

  • challenge-led disciplinary and interdisciplinary research
  • strengthening capacity for research and innovation within both the UK and developing countries providing an agile response to emergencies where there is an urgent research need
  • GCRF is administered through delivery partners including the research councils and national academies.

This day-long event will explore the responses to Global Challenges that address key issues, including a showcase of research areas that are already having an impact and those with potential.

Session one

Tackling Global Challenges, chaired by Professor Iain Stewart, Director of the Sustainable Earth Institute

Keynote speakers: 

  • Dr John Rees - Risk and Resilience in the Global Challenges
  • Professor Laura Lee - Designing for interdisciplinary working
  • Dr Claire McNulty - Senior Director at National Geographic. 

This session will comprise of keynote speakers with international research experience spanning biodiversity and conservation, environment and human health, and adaption to disasters.

Following a welcome from Professor Jerry Roberts, Deputy-Vice-Chancellor, the event will open with Dr Claire McNulty of National Geographic, on ‘empowering the global community to generate solutions for a healthier and more sustainable future’.

More details featuring the rest of our exciting line up will be announced soon.

11.15–11.30 | Break

Session two

GCRF project marketplace, chaired by Professor Will Blake

Insight into the current University of Plymouth projects that have previously benefited from the GCRF, as project leads offer a three minute lightning talk followed by round-table discussions.

  • Ardhi na kujifunza (Land and learning): Building a sustainable future on the Jali Ardhi legacy by Dr Claire Kelly
  • Water-LION: Developing capacity to design and distribute potable water supply technology in East Africa by Dr Andrew Fox
  • Portable device for multiplexed detection of water-borne pathogens and heavy metals using aptamer conjugated functionalised nanomaterials by Dr David Jenkins
  • KUPUMUA project: Partnership working/Capacity building projects to prevent and treat chronic lung disease in East Africa by Dr Rupert Jones
  • African Flowers: Aeolian plastic pollution in deserts by Professor Anne Mather
  • Is the freshwater crab Barytelphusa cunicularis suitable for use as a sustainable livelihood resource in India? by Professor John Spicer

13.00–14.00 | Lunch and poster exhibition featuring current University of Plymouth projects funded by the Newton Fund and GCRF, plus stands from University Research Institutes.

Session three

Developing ideas around core GCRF Challenge areas, chaired by Dr Sana Murrani

How can the University of Plymouth strengthen our responses to future funding calls? This session will comprise of two-minute lightning talks on each of the Global Challenge areas, followed by in-depth roundtable discussions.

Roundtable discussions:

Rapporteur feedback (three minutes each)

15.30–16.30 | Coffee and networking

Who is this event for?
This event will be beneficial for academics with research that is currently, or has potential to be, applied to Global Challenges. If you'd like to broaden your horizons on research needs, hear the latest updates about current projects, and gain an understanding for how your own research can be shaped to benefit, this is the ideal event for you. The event is also open to the public who may wish to hear more about the international research that takes place across the University.

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