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Nottingham’s universities launch ambitious researcher training project to solve local community challenges

Nottingham Trent University and the University of Nottingham are joining together in an ambitious project bringing together researchers, community-focused organisations and citizens.

UfN Co(l)lab logo

Over the next eight years, the Co(l)laboratory programme will undertake research projects to improve the lives of communities across Nottingham and Nottinghamshire.

50 PhD students and 50 ‘Citizen Scientists’ will be trained to participate in a unique programme of locally relevant, challenge-based research, supporting the development of the local economy, increasing productivity, driving growth and improving wellbeing.

The team is now inviting local, community-focused organisations to get in touch and help shape these research projects.

Rebekah Smith McGloin, Director, Doctoral School and Research Operations at Nottingham Trent University said: “This is an exciting project which really brings together academia and the community in a collaborative way that’s not been seen before.

“It’s an opportunity for the community to get involved with research that makes a real difference to the lives and the livelihoods of people in Nottingham, and for academics and students to see how their research can impact the community around them.

“To kick start the project, we’re looking to hear from organisations in the community who are best placed to know what the real issues are that matter to those they come into contact with every day.

“They will have the opportunity to shape the direction our research projects take and collaboration with us on those projects. They will also benefit from practical skills development and training with the support of the project team”.

Professor Jeremy Gregory, University of Nottingham lead for Civic Engagement and Pro-Vice-Chancellor for the Faculty of Arts, said: "At the University of Nottingham, our doctoral researchers and academics are leading research projects addressing many of today's global problems.

"But as an institution with a history firmly rooted in the City of Nottingham, this ground-breaking initiative will involve collaborations with locally-based experts and organisations to help tackle some of most pressing problems identified by our local communities.

"Who could be better to help shape and contribute to the delivery of research projects, than the people who are dealing with these challenges on a daily basis? We look forward to working with these local experts to deliver real impact for our communities."

Once the first research priorities have been defined, project teams will be recruited based on experience in those areas, and research is expected to commence throughout the next year.

Community-focused organisations are invited to find out more about the project and to register their interest here.

Co(l)laboratory sits within the Universities for Nottingham Civic Agreement. A collaboration between our two world-class universities and eight key anchor institutions; the agreement sets out partners’ commitment to working across Nottingham and Nottinghamshire, for the benefit of our people and place.

The project is funded by Research England as well as both Nottingham Trent University and the University of Nottingham.

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    About Universities for Nottingham

    The Universities for Nottingham initiative is a pioneering collaboration which brings together the combined strength and civic missions of 10 anchor institutions from across Nottingham and Nottinghamshire. Working with local communities and partners we aim to improve levels of economic prosperity, educational opportunity, environmental sustainability and health and wellbeing for the benefit of our people and place.

    As part of the response to the challenges we collectively face, we have announced a refreshed Universities for Nottingham Civic Agreement with our partners, setting out our joint plans for the future.

    Find out more at #UnisForNottingham

    About Nottingham Trent University

    Nottingham Trent University (NTU) received the Queens Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education in 2021 for cultural heritage science research. It is the second time that NTU has been bestowed the honour of receiving a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for its research, the first being in 2015 for leading-edge research on the safety and security of global citizens.

    The Research Excellence Framework (2021) classed 83% of NTU’s research activity as either world-leading or internationally excellent. 86% of NTU’s research impact was assessed to be either world-leading or internationally excellent.

    NTU was awarded The Times and The Sunday Times Modern University of the Year 2023 and ranked second best university in the UK in the Uni Compare Top 100 rankings (2021/2022). It was awarded Outstanding Support for Students 2020 (Times Higher Education Awards), University of the Year 2019 (Guardian University Awards, UK Social Mobility Awards), Modern University of the Year 2018 (Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide) and University of the Year 2017 (Times Higher Education Awards).

    NTU is the 5th largest UK institution by student numbers, with nearly 39,000 students and more than 4,400 staff located across five campuses. It has an international student population of 7,000 and an NTU community representing over 160 countries.

    Since 2000, NTU has invested £570 million in tools, technology, buildings and facilities.

    NTU is in the UK’s top 10 for number of applications and ranked first for accepted offers (2021 UCAS UG acceptance data). It is also among the UK’s top five recruiters of students from disadvantaged backgrounds and was the first UK university to sign the Social Mobility Pledge.

    NTU is ranked 4th most sustainable university in the world and 1st in the UK for sustainability-themed Education and Research in the 2021 UI Green Metric University World Rankings (out of more than 900 participating universities).

Nottingham’s universities launch ambitious researcher training project to solve local community challenges

Published on 3 November 2022
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