Researcher Links Workshops

Researcher Links Workshops bring together early-career researchers from the UK and one of select partner countries to allow them to make international connections that can improve the quality of their research. We are currently taking applications for workshop grants; see here for all open calls.

Once funded, grants are available for early career researchers in the UK and the country hosting the workshop to attend. All open calls will be listed here.

Researcher Links workshop in Thailand, 2014 - Roboshop:  a workshop for research into aerial and terrestrial robotics

Robots are about to change the way that we live in the world. They already build our cars, harvest our crops and drive our trains, and within the next 20 years robots will be flying our aeroplanes and performing our surgeries.

In March 2014, 28 early-career researchers (15 from the UK, 13 from Thailand) convened in Bangkok, Thailand to participate in a workshop entitled Roboshop: A workshop for research into aerial and terrestrial robotics. The aim of Roboshop was to spark new collaborations between robotics researchers in UK and Thailand, who hold expertise in different, complimentary areas. 

Over four days, scientists and engineers from the UK and Thailand working in robotics showcased their work, discussed cutting-edge research and discovered how their strengths could be matched for future collaborations. 

"We have greatly expanded our potential for interdisciplinary research into robotics, with direct applications in fields such as healthcare and education." - Dr William Crowther, University of Manchester UK

A key outcome of RoboShop was to identify ways in which Thai and UK researchers could work together in order to shape the future of robotics. To prove how this international robotics partnership would work, Thai and UK researchers were given the challenge of working together to build and control a real flying robot. In just a single afternoon all teams managed to construct their robots, undertake flight training, and conduct an aerial survey over the campus of the Asian Institute of Technology. 

One of the major benefits to the institutions involved is the potential for research into unmanned air vehicle applications, including aerial mapping and surveying. This was enhanced by the provision of four flying robots funded through Researcher Links that will be jointly managed by KMUTT, UoM and AIT, and made available for collaborative research.

The workshop, organised by the University of Manchester (UK) and King Mongkut’s University of Technology (Thailand), was funded under the British Council Researcher Links initiative, in partnership with the Thailand Research Fund. 

The participating researchers were all early-career, meaning they had completed their PhD less than 10 years ago. Giving such opportunities to researchers early on is central to the Researcher Links initiative, which is helping to internationalise research to the benefit of the UK and partner countries.