Contributions of universities

Contributions of universities

COVID-19 has placed unprecedented demands upon everyone, including universities. Thankfully, we have been able to respond speedily to new constraints, and through research and innovation, can play a crucial role in helping society to tackle the immediate and longer-term challenges we face in the wake of the pandemic.
At Glasgow Caledonian University and at universities in general, expertise, technologies and resources have been used for social good – to aid both in living through COVID-19 and into recovery.

You can see some examples of how universities are making a difference via the links below.

GCU scientists feature highly on new Scottish COVID-19 research repository

‚ÄčA new Public Health Scotland repository of Scottish COVID-19 research has now been published which includes world-leading research by Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) scientists.

GCU is listed as an official partner in the Public Health Scotland (PHS) repository here following a major collaboration with GCU Sir Alex Ferguson Library staff over the last few months.

Toby Hanning, GCU Research Information Systems Manager at the Sir Alex Ferguson Library, said: "GCU library has been working with PHS over the last few months to help them ingest data from Pure, the current research information system used by many HEIs in Scotland, including GCU.

"GCU is listed as an official partner of the PHS repository and our relevant research is fully represented within the repository.

"The library has also been working to ensure that, where possible, GCU's COVID-19 research is available open access in Research Online, to ensure the widest possible audience for our research."

A current list of all COVID-19 research at GCU can be accessed on Research Online.

The repository has been developed by PHS with the aim of aggregating access to Scottish COVID-19 research on a single shared platform and to promote Scottish research to an international audience.

The main objectives of the repository are to:

  • make research on COVID-19 easier to find
  • raise awareness of Scottish research
  • track, understand and report on the impact of this work
  • reduce duplication of effort
  • encourage a collaborative, cross-sectoral approach to COVID-19 research in Scotland
  • provide full-text open access to research wherever possible
  • ensure permanent preservation of PHS research
Higher Education Leadership during COVID-19

Vice Chancellor of GCU and President of GCNYC Pamela Gillies will share how she has guided the University through the COVID-19 pandemic in the next Resilience and Reconstruction series of talks from GCNYC's Center for Social Impact and Innovation on February 4.  The event will start at 5pm.  Register on Eventbrite

Universities need to be turned inside out

On 20 June 2020, The Herald published a piece on why our universities need to be turned inside out by Mark Anderson and Professor Cam Donaldson.

Future of the Research Excellence Grant post COVID-19

On 1 June 2020, the Principal, Professor Pamela Gillies, and Pro-Vice Chancellor (PVC) Research, Professor Cam Donaldson, contributed a blog to Media-FHE on the future of the Research Excellence Grant post COVID-19, taking the perspective of a Modern University.

What is the civic university for?

Also in June, Professor Michael RoyDr Alec Wersun and Professor Cam Donaldson had a paper entitled ‘What is the Civic University for? Embedding action through research by placing the Sustainable Development Goals at the centre of university planning’ published in the Stanford Social Innovation Review (Summer 2020) series on Innovating Higher Education for the Common Good.

Rethink the notion of value

Professor Cam Donaldson has written a piece on how we need to rethink the notion of ‘value’ in the Higher Education sector.  This was published in the The Sunday Herald on 24 May 2020 along with an accompanying commentary.


Research at GCU

Research is instrumental in tackling society’s biggest problems. The health, social and economic challenges uncovered by COVID-19 brings into sharp focus our commitment to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure peace and prosperity for all.

Sustainable Development Goals

These global goals reflect our ethos as the University for the Common Good and our mission to make a positive difference to the communities we serve. Read our institutional research strategy to find out more about our commitment to the SDGs during the COVID-19 pandemic, and beyond.

The icons below show which of the 17 SDGs we aim to impact through the research above.