Research_SPOTLIGHT Newsletter #5 SPRING_EW

SPOTLIGHT Research Newsletter
Professor Caroline Meyer
Student Test <>
Spotlight - Celebrating our research community


I hope you enjoyed the winter break and are looking forward to the year ahead.

In 2024, we’re continuing to work towards improving research culture, both within the University and the wider sector. This work includes launching our first Research Celebration Awards and the Warwick PATHWAY programme which you can read more about in this edition.  

We’ve also got updates from across the faculties, and some exciting opportunities for undergraduate students and researchers.

Best wishes,

Caroline signature
Professor Caroline Meyer, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research)

Research Culture

Why is research culture important?

A video thumbnail featuring professor Sotaro Kita

Hear from The University of Warwick colleagues and guests from UKRI and UKRN, talking during the International Research Culture Conference (IRCC 2023).

The National Centre for Research Culture is working with partners and HEIs nationwide to improve research culture across the sector. Watch this space for more information about the IRCC 2024, coming soon!

The Warwick PATHWAY Programme

The Warwick Pathway launch event

Last year, we launched the Warwick PATHWAY Programme, designed to tackle the under-representation of black academics in Higher Education.

Led by Professor Sotaro Kita, PATHWAY offers a range of opportunities along the entire career pathway. It also provides opportunities for networking and community building to generate synergy and collaboration.   

Applications for the Undergraduate Research Support Scheme are open now, with further opportunities for PhD Studentships, Early Career Fellowships and more coming soon. 

Creative research reveals enabling and constraining aspects of research culture

Researchers are encourages to create collages

Dr Harriet Richmond, supported by the Enhancing Research Culture Fund, is leading a new project exploring research culture. Stemming from her Creative Methods workshops for researchers, the study explores the link between research problems and research culture.  

Workshop participants explore research problems using arts-based methods, but the conversations prompted by these activities also touch on questions of identity, career anxiety, and belonging.  

The research will culminate in a public exhibition showcasing participants' creative work. Learn more about Harriet's work in research culture.    

Faculty of Arts

Money talks

A selection of old coins

In September 2022, the Money and Medals Network (MMN) relocated from the British Museum to The University of Warwick’s Classics Department.

The MMN currently has more than 240 partner organisations and provides numismatic training (training on coins) to UK museum staff, equipping them with practical skills and providing a forum for information exchange. 
In 2023, the MMN organised two successful in-person training workshops, with more events planned for 2024. Regular beginner-friendly online talks will begin in January, providing easier access to training and specialist expertise across the UK. 


Connecting archives and the community through creative approaches 

Professor Kate Astbury is developing creative approaches to understanding the history of black revolutionaries held in Britain as prisoners of war. She has co-curated a banner exhibition about them, in collaboration with cultural heritage charity St Vincent and the Grenadines Second Generation.

A creative approach to the history of Black Revolutionaries

She has also toured a screening of a powerful new play on these women revolutionaries, called ‘The Ancestors’, by Lakesha Arie-Angelo, which was made with the National Youth Theatre and English Heritage.  

In addition, Professor Astbury has just started a new project with the charity Photoworks which seeks to engage pupils with the history of the French Revolution in the Caribbean through photography. Learn more about her current projects.

The Stages of Violence Research Network  

Since 2021, the School of Creative Arts, Performance and Visual Cultures has hosted the AHRC-funded Stages of Violence Research Network led by Dr Bobby Smith. 

The Network is facilitating international collaboration over a two-year period between academics and theatre practitioners in England, France, Kenya, Northern Ireland and Rwanda. The partnerships will explore relationships between performance and violence.

Findings will help enhance the approaches adopted by performance practitioners in their work, and inform the agenda for the final online symposium funded by the AHRC.


Faculty of Science, Engineering & Medicine

The Mental Health and Productivity Pilot (MHPP)

The mental health productivity pilot

Over in Warwick Medical School, the Mental Health and Productivity Pilot (MHPP) comprises a collaboration of seven Midlands universities and other stakeholders. The group is working together to support Midlands’ business communities and their employees to improve workplace mental health and reduce the impact of sickness absence and presenteeism on productivity. 

As part of this programme, Warwick researchers (Professor Caroline Meyer, Dr Carla Toro and Dr Talar Moukhtarian) partnered with the University of Birmingham and Mind, the mental health charity. They led on the development and testing of four evidence-based interventions to support the mental health and wellbeing of employees across the region.

New grant secured for an international collaboration on pioneering research

Dr Mark Greenhalgh

Congratulations to Dr Mark Greenhalgh, who has secured a substantial grant from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to establish an international collaboration for his pioneering research in catalysis and molecular interactions. 

Dr Greenhalgh's project focuses on 'chalcogen bonding' in catalysis, and he will work in collaboration with computational chemists at Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB). The collaboration was initiated through the EUTOPIA European university alliance

He said: “I am incredibly excited about this collaboration and believe we will achieve things together that would have been impossible on our own. This collaborative effort exemplifies EUTOPIA's spirit, enabling us to achieve scientific milestones beyond individual capacities”. 

Faculty of Social Sciences

A blueprint for Cockney rhyming slang

Professor Christopher Strelluf

They say that the Cockney dialect will soon be dead (or ‘brown bread’), but Dr Christopher Strelluf in the department of Applied Linguistics is working to change that. 
Working closely with East London community organisers, Christopher provides guidance on how to use Cockney to foster confidence among residents and increase socioeconomic and educational attainment. The work is part of a new £800,000 Community Languages Programme awarded to the London borough of Tower Hamlets. 
With support from an ESRC Impact Accelerator Award, Dr Strelluf and partners have created and published A Cockney Blueprint for Tower Hamlets to provide linguistically informed learning materials on language prejudice, features of Cockney, and the role of language in shaping culture and identity

Could AI threaten academic freedom?

Professor Schweta Singh

Professor Shweta Singh at Warwick Business School explores how academics can manage AI to enhance learning without hampering academic freedom.

She explains: “As academics and as a sector, we need to consider how to adapt to AI while maintaining academic freedom. AI tools such as ChatGPT inherently feel positive for education, but we must keep alive the importance of learning for its own sake, as well as critical thinking. It’s vital that the next generation of students are taught how to think rather than what to think, as AI risks us doing.”

A decorative banner in black and yellow with the words Get involved

New opportunities

Nominations are open for the Research Celebration Awards, a chance for all staff to nominate individuals and teams who have contributed to Warwick’s research successes. Hurry, place your votes by 20th February.

Last chance to apply for the Undergraduate Research Support Scheme (URSS), which allows undergraduate students to work alongside academics on research projects. Applications close on 4th February.

The call for abstracts for the International Conference of Undergraduate Research (ICUR) is now open! Undergraduates have until 1st March to submit their abstract.  

Innovate ICURe, a support programme to help researchers commercialise their research, is now open for applications.

Could your idea improve our research culture? PhD students, researchers, technicians and professional services colleagues are invited to take part in the Research Culture Sandpit workshop on 27th February.

Useful resources

Our innovative new SafePod service is now open for bookings to accredited researchers. SafePod (Floor 1 of the Library) provides access to a wealth of datasets, in a physically secure and controlled space.

Develop your skills using the research training directory. It’s been developed by the Research Operations Group (ROG) to help research staff and students find suitable training opportunities across the University. 

Take a look at the new R&IS Research Integrity and Research Compliance web pages, which contain easily accessible information on all aspects of research governance. 

If your research involves working with international partners, ROG has created guidance for international research projects across the project life-cycle, including a useful checklist and contacts.

Thank you for reading Spotlight

Please share widely among your teams and encourage others to sign up to Spotlight. And, if you have something you’d like to contribute to the next edition, which will be sent in late April, please get in touch.