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Funding is fundamental for our research activities which span across a wide range of subjects at Keele University. Research at the University is funded from a variety of sources from Research Councils to commercial and public partners. Our research accounts for around 17% of the University’s annual income.
The following projects represent a sample of our most prestigious and recent funding awards. This list also provides an overview of the variety of research at Keele University. A full list of funding awards is available by year from the menu on the left.
Prestigious Senior Lectureship
Dr Kika Konstantinou, a physiotherapist and clinical academic based at the Arthritis Research UK Primary Care Centre and the Haywood Hospital, has been awarded a prestigious Senior Clinical Lectureship by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and the Higher Education Funding Council for England.
This award provides support for sustained personal and clinical academic development at a high level.
Dr Konstantinou's award will also facilitate high quality physiotherapy research and leadership in clinical practice as well as develop further research capacity within allied health professionals. Her research focuses on back pain and sciatica.
She is currently leading the first primary care clinical observational cohort of patients with back and leg pain including sciatica and/or suspected sciatica (the ATLAS study; Konstantinou K et al (2012) in BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 2012, 13:4).
The study will describe the characteristics of patients with sciatica and suspected sciatica and identify the key factors that predict clinical outcomes over 12 months.
The award will support Dr Konstantinou over the next five years.
NIHR Funding for Keele's Research Design Service guaranteed for another five years
Since 2008 Keele has been part of the NIHR funded RDS national network. By offering free specialist methodological advice in areas including statistics, health services research, mixed methods research, health economics, and patient and public involvement in research, the RDS helps health and social care researchers to formulate high quality research grant proposals. The Keele RDS serves researchers from across Staffordshire and Shropshire and since 2008 the support offered has led to grant successes (mainly for researchers from Keele and/or UHNS) that have generated income in excess of £3 million. Thanks to the NIHR, RDS support is now guaranteed for a further five years from October 2013.
The Keele RDS is hosted by the Institute of Primary Care and Health Sciences and the core RDS team includes Roger Beech (Director), Julius Sim (Assistant Director), John Bankart, Clare Jinks, Faye Foster, Lucy Riley and Debbie Cooke (other Keele staff who supported the bid for ongoing funding were Peter Croft and Rhian Hughes).
The RDS team are available to offer advice on formulating research questions; building an appropriate research team; designing a study; involving patients and the public in research; appropriate methodologies (quantitative (including statistics), qualitative, health economics); identifying the resources and costs required for a successful project; identifying suitable funding sources; regulatory issues and writing lay summaries.
Researchers who are preparing grant submissions can access RDS support, by going to http://www.rds-wm.nihr.ac.uk/web/guest/keele-hub-contact and registering a query.
MRC Centenary Awards
As part of the Medical Research Council's Centenary celebrations, Keele received an extra award of £30,000 for the benefit of newly-recruited scientists and medics at the start of their independent research careers. Keele received the award due to the number of MRC research students it hosts and the training environment it offers in biomedical sciences.
Following two competitions, connected to the well-established "Bridging the Gaps" grants and Keele ACORN scheme, the following members of the Research Institute for Science & Technology in Medicine (ISTM) have received funding for their medical research ideas (in alphabetical order):
- Dr Ed Chadwick, Lecturer in Biomedical Engineering, for a new collaborative project on "Continuous control of advanced myoelectric prostheses" involving Dr Theo Kyriacou & Dr Cath Bücher.
- Dr Ruoli Chen, Lecturer in Clinical Pharmacy & Pharmacology, for a PhD project on "Proteomic Analysis of Thrombi Retrieved from Cerebral Arteries of Patients with Acute Ischaemic Stroke"
- Dr Wen-Wu Li, Lecturer in Analytical Biochemistry, for his novel work on "Plant-derived anti-infective molecules: a Keele-based nexus for their identification, characterisation and development" involving Dr Paul Horrocks, Prof Trevor Greenhough and Dr Tony Curtis.
- Dr Mark Skidmore, Lecturer in Biochemistry, for a PhD project on "Next generation, anticoagulant, low molecular weight heparins".
Professor Mark Ormerod, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research & Enterprise), who is leading the activity on behalf of young researchers in biomedical sciences, congratulated them by saying "Keele is very grateful to the MRC for providing this extra support for some of our outstanding early-career researchers recruited into the Schools of Medicine, Pharmacy and Life Sciences. They have put forward some truly novel, high quality medical projects and we want to encourage them to develop these into new publications and new strengths in Keele's research over the next few years."
Leverhulme International Fellowship
Professor Matthias Klaes, Keele Management School, has been awarded a highly competitive Leverhulme International Academic Fellowship to support his on-going research related to digital history of economics collections.
The prestigious award (£22K) will allow him to spend time at the Centre for History of Political Economy at Duke University, US and liaise with the Roy Rosenzweig Centre for History and New Media at George Mason University.
Following his recent Headship of Keele Management School, Professor Klaes is set to join the School of Business at the University of Dundee as Dean and Professor for History and Philosophy of Economics, retaining his longstanding involvement in Keele's Forum for Philosophical Research.
Marie Curie Fellowship for Keele Academic
Dr Sorin Baiasu, SPIRE (RI Social Sciences), has secured a prestigious Marie Curie Fellowship, under the European Commission's Framework Programme 7 for research and development.
This 'Intra-European Fellowship' will bring a researcher from Kocaeli University in Turkey, Dr Mehmet Demiray, to work on a project with Sorin for 24 months, starting in September 2013.
Sorin, a prominent scholar in the field of Kantian practical philosophy, will lead the team and Dr Brian Doherty, a well-established scholar in the field of political sociology from Keele, is research advisor.
The research will deal with the problematical relations between modern law and religious commitments, as they have been arising in contemporary European societies and Turkey, e.g. the French ban on face-veils, Köln state-court's decision against boys' circumcision, the new Turkish law on education envisioning courses on the Koran and the life of Mohammed the prophet in public schools, and Turkish government's recent proposal of a law banning abortion and caesarean-births.
Marie Curie Fellowships are very competitive. The deadline for proposals this year is 14 August 2013.
British Academy Grant Awarded
The British Academy has awarded £9,938 to Dr Alena Audzeyeva, Economics and Finance Group, Keele Management School, to conduct a study investigating the predictability of sovereign emerging markets credit spreads.
This is a collaborative research project with Professor Ana-Maria Fuertes from Cass Business School, City University. As the recent sovereign financial crises demonstrated, the risks attached to sovereign debt are poorly understood. Securitised emerging market debt which is dominated by sovereign borrowers reached over $7 trillion in 2010.
Given large holdings of such debt by financial institutions, the mismanagement of associated risks can lead to systemic bank failures and financial crises. The project will investigate the determinants of sovereign emerging market credit spreads which serve as the market-based gauge of sovereign risk and build a credit spread forecasting model. The findings will improve our understanding of sovereign risk and will be of direct relevance to financial institutions and also marker regulators and policy makers.
Preventing death by indifference - £52,300 award
The award winning access to healthcare Toolkit for generic healthcare staff supporting people with a learning disability in acute care settings is now three years old and requires timely updating.
Funding has been awarded by the West Midland's LETC to enable a collaborative working group, led by Professor Sue Read, School of Nursing and Midwifery and involving people with a learning disability, parents, clinicians, advocates and academics at Keele to update the existing Toolkit for implementation across local UHNS NHS Trust and Staffordshire hospitals (thus expanding its local use).
New themes will include important contemporary areas such as safeguarding; dementia; visiting the GP; having complex health needs; and autism; the funding will also enable formal evaluation of the Toolkit's impact from an individual, family, and healthcare professional perspective.
The ultimate aim of this project it to build on the strengths of the existing Toolkit and develop, design and update the contents so that it remains fit for contemporary healthcare practice.
Keele astrophysicist co-investigator on multi-million dollar survey
Professor Coel Hellier of Keele's Astrophysics Group is a co-investigator on a major new grant for 4.83 million dollars awarded by the Qatar National Research Fund.
The grant will develop the Qatar Exoplanet Survey into a major international collaboration with new survey facilities looking for transiting extrasolar planets. While most of the money will be spent internationally, with little coming to the UK, Professor Hellier brings to the team experience and expertise developed through the WASP project.
This grant is also significant for the development of scientific research in Qatar and the surrounding region.
Major Award for ISTM Research Group
Professor William Farrell, Dr Derek Mattey, Dr Jon Packham, Dr Peter Dawes and Dr John Glossop have been awarded a grant by the Haywood Rheumatism Research and Development Foundation for a bench-to-bedside research project titled "Epigenetic mechanisms in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis".
The grant represents a major long-term investment in research in ISTM by the local charity based at the Haywood Hospital in Burslem. The three-year project will build on exciting preliminary genome-wide DNA methylation data based on the analysis of approximately 450,000 gene-specific candidate sites in more than 21,000 genes in three different cell populations that impact on rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
The research will analyse and validate the methylation of these sites/genes in a larger independent cohort of RA patients. The team will then conduct a prospective study investigating methotrexate therapy and DNA methylation in RA. The findings from these studies will increase our understanding of this disease and perhaps lead to improvement in long term clinical management strategies.
Keele staff in the research includes Professor Farrell, Dr Mattey and Dr Glossop, together with consultant rheumatologists, Dr Dawes and Dr Packham, based at the Haywood Hospital.
ESRC Grant for project on Climate Policy and Political Parties
Professor Robert Ladrech (SPIRE) and Professor Neil Carter (University of York) have been successful in securing an ESRC grant for a project on Climate Policy and Political Parties.
Professor Ladrech, as Principal Investigator, will lead the comparative study, which is a two-year project that aims to understand and explain the way mainstream political parties in Western Europe develop their positions on climate change policy.
It will examine the impact on party policy development of domestic factors, including internal party dynamics and party system competition, environmental and business interests, and external factors notably European Union legislation and international commitments.