Date of release: Thursday, December 7, 2017

RETI LaunchAchieving excellence is among the aims of the University of Greenwich's new Research & Enterprise Training Institute.

Set up to provide expert advice and mentoring to staff and postgraduate research students, the Institute – known as RETI – will help support the university's researchers as they progress in their careers.

"We are thoroughly committed to our goal of cultivating a top-class research community of staff and students," says Professor Javier Bonet, the university's Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research & Enterprise). "Our mission is to see all areas of the university producing even more high-impact, life-changing research in the future – this is one of the many factors that makes Greenwich great.

"RETI will help our talented researchers develop, personally and professionally, to meet their research goals, through tailored training, coaching and mentoring. Our new Institute is an exciting development and one which will shape the university's research and enterprise agenda for the coming years. We want to achieve excellence in all that we do."

The official launch took place on Wednesday 6 December (2017) at the university's award-winning Stockwell Street building. The event was attended by more than 130 delegates, many of whom are leaders in their own research fields.

As part of the launch, two of Greenwich's rising stars were presented with their Early Career Researcher Excellence Awards by the university's Vice-Chancellor, Professor David Maguire. Dr Maria Nikolaidi, Senior Lecturer in Economics within the Business School, and Dr Bonny Hartley, Research Fellow in the Faculty of Education & Health, have each received a prestigious grant of £5,000 to support their innovative research at the university.

Dr Nikolaidi's research focuses on the causes of financial fragility, macroeconomic effects of the shadow banking system, the impact of climate change on financial stability and the role of 'green' finance policies. Dr Hartley's study explores how 'masculinity norms' contribute to boys' underachievement at school.

Dr Nikolaidi says: "'I am delighted and honoured to have received the Early Career Researcher Excellence Award. It will enable me to enhance my contribution to the research agenda of the university, and will increase the impact of my research."

The launch event also featured Postgraduate Research Student and Early Career Researcher poster competitions and awards, as well as networking opportunities. Presentations were given by a cross-section of Greenwich researchers who have already achieved prominence for their work, much of which is having a tangible impact on society both in the UK and around the globe.

Those speaking included Dr Michael Okereke, Senior Lecturer in Engineering Mechanics, Faculty of Engineering & Science, discussing his research into saving soldiers' lives by strengthening military vehicles. Dr Josh Davis, Reader for Psychology, Faculty of Education & Health, spoke about 'super-recognisers' – those whose ability to recall faces from CCTV images is helping the police solve serious crimes.

Maruthi Gowda, Professor of Molecular Plant Pathology with the university's Natural Resources Institute, highlighted the importance of eliminating threats to the cassava crop and ensuring food security in Africa. Darrick Jolliffe, Professor of Criminology, Faculty of Architecture, Computing & Humanities, spoke about his recent research into violence in prisons: since arriving at Greenwich, he has led three large research projects in this area.

Other research and enterprise highlights of the past year include a landmark report by Elizabeth West, Professor of Applied Social Research at the Faculty of Education & Health, into the differential treatment of black and ethnic minority nurses and midwives; a Work and Employment Research Unit (WERU) study which has helped to ensure a rise in the national minimum living wage; and a prestigious Queen's Award for Enterprise for Carbon8 Systems Limited, a University of Greenwich spin-out company.

Story by Public Relations

Picture: Professor David Maguire, Vice-Chancellor, with Maria Nikolaidi during the launch of RETI