Academic networks header image

Websites for academic networks

Academic networks around the world enable researchers, students and academic organisations to communicate with each other, find funding opportunities, organise events, and share resources. Good web design is essential for these networks to function effectively.

Castlegate has been building bespoke websites for academic networks for more than a decade. Having built websites for a number of academic networks ⁠— including food system resilience project IKnowFood, the THYME Project for the BioVale network,  and the Biomass Biorefinery Network ⁠— we understand the important role that good website design can play in facilitating effective communication between members of academic networks.

Websites for research centres and networks

We are committed to designing and developing websites of the highest quality for university departments, research centres and graduate programs on both a local and national scale. Our creative and talented team will work with you to design and code your website around the industry-leading WordPress content management platform.

BBNet mobile visual

Let your members interact

Our goal is to deliver a website that accurately reflects the brand and image of your academic organisation; disseminates information to prospective members, potential partner organisations, and the public at large; and provides a portal for your members to interact with each other.

An example of a high-end technology website visualised on a desktop device

Quantum Communications Hub

The Quantum Communications Hub brings together UK Universities, industrial partners and public sector stakeholders with the aim of producing next-generation communications technologies based on quantum physics research. Castlegate were asked to build a site which would enable the QCH to present itself to each of its distinct user bases (researchers, industry/government, and the wider community) in a unique way.

We achieved this by dividing the website into three subsites with a shared homepage. A carefully considered navigation system enables different user groups to quickly and intuitively access the information most relevant to them; and new content added to the site is automatically displayed on the relevant subsites. A modern design and distinctive photography of developing quantum technologies reflect the cutting-edge research being enabled by the QCH.

Find out more about Quantum Communications Hub

High end local government design visualised on a laptop

Air Quality Hub

The Air Quality Hub is a government-funded resource and research network, providing a place for local authorities, air quality professionals and researchers in the UK to easily share knowledge about air quality related issues.

The site includes a number of features to make it as easy as possible for users to share and access information. A forum provides a place for users to discuss air quality strategy ideas with experts and colleagues. Users can easily upload content to their account, and a simple feedback system allows the most useful content to rise to the top. Tiered access levels give extra control within councils.

We integrated all these features – and more – into an easy-to-use and intuitive site design, ensuring that the site is accessible and useful for all.

Find out more about The Air Quality Hub

BioVale (THYME project)

BioVale drives innovation in green chemistry and agricultural research by connecting businesses and researchers in Yorkshire and the Humber. Having previously built their main website in collaboration with design agency Bivouac; Castlegate was asked to build a website for their new THYME project, intended to boost the bioeconomy in and around Yorkshire.

For this project we took on design duty as well, which gave us the freedom to produce an eye-catching and distinctive website that is fully tailored to BioVale’s requirements. The site features a complete network membership system, which enables new members to sign up online, and access exclusive information about the project and its other members.

Find out more about BioVale and The THYME Project

An example of high end design visualised on a desktop device


Q-BEx is a collaborative research project aimed at addressing questions of how best to measure the language experiences of bilingual and multilingual children.

The Q-BEx website is central to the project. It provides an online platform where speech and language researchers can create online questionnaires for bilingual and multilingual children. With the back-end of the site providing tools to make this process as effective and simple as possible for both researchers and participants; the front-end of the site serves as a public-facing information base for parents, teachers and other individuals and organisations.

Find out more about Q-BEx

An example of high end non profit design visualised on a desktop device

Crustacean Industry Welfare Hub

The Crustacean Industry Welfare Hub is an initiative that aims to boost welfare standards for decapod crustaceans in seafood supply chains. To effectively convey their message advocating  compassion and respect for crustaceans, the group needed a unique brand identity and an online hub where relevant research materials could live.

We crafted a distinctive brand identity featuring a memorable logo and a sleek yet playful visual style. An industry hub of gated content provides easy access to industry news, legislative updates, and research links free of charge. The ‘resources’ section contains an expansive directory of materials which can be filtered by sector, species, and type, for efficient and personalised searching. The hub has built trust among stakeholders, and has succeeded in grounding the conversation around crustacean welfare in science.

Find out more about Crustacean Industry Welfare Hub

An example of high end not for profit design visualised on a desktop device

The Cemetery Research Group

The Cemetery Research Group is a community of academics which aims to expand global understanding of funeral culture. The group needed a new website that could be used by anyone in the discipline to efficiently access a huge amount of information and connect with like-minded scholars.

At the heart of the website sits an extensive bibliography of cemetery studies with an intelligent search plugin incorporated. The website also contains two vital directories: an expanding listing of researchers and links to institutions in the field. This has given the client the ability to reach a global audience for the first time, with the website forming an online hub which facilitates visibility and collaboration within a worldwide community.

Learn more about The Cemetery Research Group

IKnowFood Desktop visual


IKnowFood is a four year collaborative project investigating food system resilience. The project; a collaboration between the Universities of York, Liverpool and Manchester; required a new website to explain its aims and publicise its latest news and events.

We produced a simple yet eye-catching website including image galleries, videos and icons to promote and explain the project’s research. The site is built around the WordPress content management system, which enables project staff to easily post news updates, disseminate information and manage events.

Find out more about IKnowFood

BBNet desktop visual

Biomass Biorefinery Network

Castlegate was approached by Biomass Biorefinery Network, a new academic network who were in need of a website to allow them to support their growing community of researchers, academics and people in industry. The site needed to allow easy dissemination of news to members and the public, and provide a portal where members could find information about upcoming network events and funding opportunities.

Castlegate developed a modern and highly usable website, built around existing branding. The website includes an easy-to-use sign-up system, and a feature-rich portal which enables over 600 active users to interact with other members of the network.

Learn more about Biomass Biorefinery Network

Evidence for the Frontline

There is a lot of academic research into the most effective approaches for teaching in schools. We were approached by a consortium including the Institute for Effective Education (IEE) and Sandringham School who wanted to develop an online system to bring this world of academic expertise to the service of teachers at work in UK schools.

Find out more about Evidence for the Frontline

CONNECTED – Community Network for African Vector-Borne Plant Viruses

CONNECTED is a Vector-borne Disease Network awarded to the University of Bristol, UK. It is funded by the UK government Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) which supports research on global issues affecting developing countries.

Find out more about CONNECTED – Community Network for African Vector-Borne Plant Viruses

Get in touch and let’s discuss how we can help