Research celebration

Join us for our annual Research Celebration Discover how together we can achieve a better and more sustainable future for all.

Our annual Research Celebration on May 26 and 27 will take place entirely online and will highlight the University's efforts in tackling the effects of not only the health impacts, but also the wider social impacts, of coronavirus both at home and overseas.

Our work will be illustrated throughout the two days with varied and exciting sessions, including discussions on sustaining community volunteer organisations, the relationship between COVID-19 and climate change, new life-saving drug developments, reducing inequalities and effective contribution to tackling poverty.

There will be an opening keynote from GCU’s inspirational Principal, Professor Pamela Gillies CBE, as she reflects on her earlier research career in light of the COVID pandemic and from Jason Leitch, National Clinical Director of the Scottish Government.

The event will be rounded off by the traditional Three Minute Thesis competition, introducing the work of the next generation of researchers to join us in our mission for the Common Good.

Research Celebration on May 26 and 27 - Running Order

Day 1    10.00am – 11.00am         Welcome and Keynote Principal

             11.05am – 12.05pm          Session 1 Workshops

               1.00pm – 2.00pm            Keynote Professor Jason Leitch

               2.05pm – 3.05pm            Session 2 Workshops 

               3.15pm – 4.15pm            Session 3 Workshops

               4.15pm – 4.30pm            ‘What does Social Innovation mean to you?’

Day 2     9.30am  – 10.30am          Session 1 Workshops

              10.45am – 11.45am          Session 2 Workshops

              12.45pm – 1.45pm            Session 3 Workshops

                2.00pm – 3.15pm            Three Minute Thesis Competition

Keynote speaker

Professor Jason Leitch, National Clinical Director of the Scottish Government

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Professor Leitch has played a key role in public health communication and engagement. He regularly features at Scottish Government press conferences as well as public engagement on regional and national television and radio. He was also awarded a 2020 Fletcher of Saltoun Award by the Saltire Society after they judged the public had benefitted enormously from his scientific skills, and commended him for making scientific knowledge accessible.

A wide range of workshops to choose from

Day one - 26 May 2021

Day one, Session one 11.05am-12.05am

Information and Insights from the Routledge Studies in Climate Justice Book Series

Climate justice is a rapidly growing field of critical enquiry. To help address growing interest, The Centre for Climate Justice at Glasgow Caledonian University, in partnership with Routledge, launched the Routledge Studies in Climate Justice book series in September 2020. This event will include an introduction and overview of the series. It will also feature a talk by Professor Angela Kallhoff (University of Vienna), whose book, ‘Climate Justice and Collective Action’, will be the first work published as part of the series in May 2021.

Social Innovation: discovering novel therapeutic targets for the treatment of pulmonary hypertension

Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a devastating disease in which the pressure of arteries in the lungs rises leading to right heart failure. Find out more about this disease and efforts to find new drugs with which to treat PAH.

The GCU ‘A-Gender’

The Gender Research Group’s mission is to "contribute to the work of Glasgow Caledonian University through multi-disciplinary collaborations in gender research for the Common Good. Our vision is for our research to build social benefit with regard to Gender Equality, as stated in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals" 

In this presentation we will highlight the collective work of our members (staff and post graduate students here at GCU) such as cross disciplinary research, support and intellectual creativity; the generation of new writing projects, research ideas and public engagement. Our presentation will discuss how the Gender Research Group was able to nurture and sustain this work during a year of social distancing.

Day one, Session two 2.05pm-3.05pm

Men’s Sheds in Scotland: a sustainable health intervention?

Men’s Sheds are important spaces for men, particularly those who are socially isolated or marginalised, to meet people and take part in regular practical activities within their communities. However, as community volunteer organisations predominantly run by older men, how might they sustain and develop to help those in need? This workshop is interactive and engages participants in discussions exploring the tensions that exist in sustaining community volunteer organisations and trying to meet the health and wellbeing needs of communities.

Learning from the COVID-19 pandemic to solve our climate future

The Centre for Climate Justice has organised an interactive workshop during which participants will explore and discuss ways in which the national and international responses to COVID-19 can guide our fight with climate change and climate injustices at home and abroad. The workshop will start with two short presentations of research findings by Centre staff on the relationship between COVID-19 and climate change in 10 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, followed by group discussions climate-café style. The goal is to develop a mini-manifesto of climate action informed by our collective experience of COVID-19.

Social innovation: modelling and therapeutically targeting bone marrow driven drug resistance in acute myeloid leukaemia

Blood cancer expert Dr Mark Williams will take you on an amazing journey through his potentially life-saving research aimed at cutting cancer drug resistance in acute myeloid leukaemia (AML). Get a real insight into how the Biological Sciences’ Leukaemia Research Group use a cutting-edge 3D modelling system to recreate how leukaemic cells interact with bone marrow and get hands-on experience in the use of state-of-the-art portable fluorescent microscopes.

Day one, Session three 3.15pm - 4.15pm

Plant to Protect: how can nature-based solutions help mitigate climate change hazards?

This workshop will explore how plants can be used as nature-based solutions against climate-change hazards such as landslides, erosion and flooding. We will also explore, with the participants, how community-based approaches can be put into practice to transform locally available resources into nature-based solutions.

The care economy

This workshop will focus on the issue of care – the importance of which has been underscored by COVID-19. The pandemic has dramatically exposed the complex interdependence within the unpaid care work/paid care work/paid work circle especially through women’s dual roles in paid care as frontline health workers and the increase in their unpaid care work, due to school and childcare closures. The pandemic-induced interruption has refreshed the issue of the gendered distribution of care, opened the possibility of changing care roles and the gendered organisation of work and family life and presented a challenge to the desire to 'build forward better’.

Moving mindfulness online: is this the way forward for people affected by stroke?

Helping Ease Anxiety and Depression after Stroke (HEADS: UP) research explores Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) as a self-management approach to coping with mood disorder after stroke. In this workshop, we will explain where HEADS: UP came from, and explore online options for MBSR for people affected by stroke. In particular we will look at how we moved HEADS: UP online and what people affected by stroke thought of it. You will also learn how people with aphasia are helping develop an aphasia-friendly HEADS: UP Online. There will be an opportunity to experience two mindfulness meditations: breath and movement.

Day two - 27 May 2021

Day two, Session one 9.30am - 10.30am

Common Good comics: visualising stories

Join us to hear about the Common Good Comics project, which uses comics to uncover and celebrate Common Good action. Funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, the GCU Archive Centre, Yunus Centre for Social Business and Health, and Magic Torch Comics CIC are working together to celebrate and value Scotland’s rich heritage of social enterprise, while strengthening heritage skills across these sectors. Through the workshop you’ll have the chance to make a mini comic strip and gain insight into how visualising stories could enhance your work.

The #erasethegrey campaign – using research, collaboration and public engagement to challenge gender-based violence

This workshop will present GCU’s award-winning #erasethegrey gender-based violence prevention campaign and the body of research at GCU that provided its evidence base. The session will also present how we adapted the campaign to respond to those aspects of gender-based violence that were exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and associated restrictions. Attendees will also have the opportunity to feedback on #erasethegrey, suggest areas for future messaging, and interact with the assets and those who produced the campaign.

Day two, Session two 10.45am - 11.45am

Providing ‘poverty intelligence’ for the Common Good

This session reviews how the Scottish Poverty and Inequality Research Unit provides ‘poverty intelligence’ to organisations committed to tackling poverty in Scotland. First, we introduce the Scottish Poverty Bibliography, a new resource we are developing in the summer of 2021 to make poverty research and analysis in Scotland more accessible to anti-poverty practitioners and researchers. Second, we introduce our work as part of GCU’s Common Good Award. This offers opportunities for GCU students to support the anti-poverty work of a community organisation or interest group in Scotland. Finally, we review the impact of SPIRU Work Placement activity on tackling and better understanding poverty in and around Glasgow.

Pain isn’t always bad for us, but what can we do about it?

Half the population experience pain at one time or another. It can be difficult to manage for those who have had it for a long time and can disrupt the daily lives of those who experience it, although this isn’t the case for everyone with pain. Delve into the psychology behind chronic pain with psychologist and researcher Dr Joanna McParland and researcher Ukay Abaraogu. Dr McParland will explain the complexities of pain. We think of pain as something bad that needs to be avoided, but sometimes pain can give us important information about our bodies and so can have a useful function. Ukay's talk will focus on management of pain.

How healthy and safe are your building designs?

GCU has delivered an innovative, multimedia app for architects and other designers to help them improve health and safety for construction workers, as well as the occupiers and users of buildings. In this interactive session, participants at this event can log onto the app to learn about good practice, then view photos of buildings and their surroundings and evaluate how well they have been designed with health and safety in mind.

Day two, Session three 12.45pm -1.45pm

How is partnership working in Scotland helping to reduce health inequalities amongst Gay, Bisexual and other Men who have sex with men (GBMSM) post Covid-19?

GBMSM have multiple mental, sexual and wider health inequalities compared to wider society. This workshop explores how GCU-led research has underpinned NHS and 3rd sector work, operating at the community level, to enhance GBMSM’s health. It will be co-led by GCU and our partners at Waverley Care, S-X, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, NHS Lothian and Terrence Higgins Trust. We present our latest research findings and our partners share how this has informed their community-level service provision and developments. Finally, we discuss our new socially innovative research, reimagining gay spaces in Scotland, to reduce health inequalities across our community.

Snippets of energy research

This talk will cover the PhD research taking place among the power and renewable energy research group.

Fighting against the Doomsday Clock: using the media to tackle the world’s biggest problems

In January 2020, the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists moved their famous Doomsday Clock – an assessment of how close the world is to apocalypse – to 100 seconds before midnight. Not even during the height of the Cold War was the Clock set this close to Doomsday. In making their assessment, the scientists at the time pointed to three interrelated issues: the continued proliferation of nuclear weapons; ongoing climate change; together with a degraded information environment consisting of cyberwarfare, disinformation and ‘fake news’, that is preventing humanity from acting on these first two issues. The issues highlighted by the Atomic Scientists may seem too huge, intractable and hopeless to be counteracted at an individual level, but there are locally-sponsored initiatives, engagements and innovations that can at least begin to make a difference.

Opportunities to connect and share ideas

Meet our research community; get to know our PhD students, research associates and post-doctoral researchers. We will share with you the innovations and explorations that have the potential to make a positive impact in the world.

We also want to hear from you. What’s your desire to improve our way of life? This could be your first step towards a business venture, career development or a new qualification. Come along to find out more about our range of postgraduate courses and research specialisms, as well as the wider application process, funding options or our Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP)s.

We promise you a day of varied and exciting sessions, including discussions on sustaining community volunteer organisations, the relationship between COVID-19 and climate change, new life-saving drug developments, reducing inequalities and effective contribution to tackling poverty. Rounded off with the traditional three-minute thesis competition, introducing the work of the next generation of researchers to join us in our mission for the Common Good.