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315 Projects

  • 2013-2022
  • UK Research and Innovation
  • OA Publications Mandate: No
  • 2011
  • 2016

10
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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: AH/J502716/1
    Funder Contribution: 286,093 GBP

    We request funding for field research on ancient urban planning on the East African Swahili coast. This funding will support three seven-week field seasons of archaeological research at Songo Mnara, a Swahili stonetown on the southern coast of Tanzania, along with subsequent analysis of data recovered and dissemination of research results. Stonetowns, the quintessential expression of Swahili culture, are known along the eastern coast of Africa, and represent an important form of autochthonous urbanism that linked Africa with the Indian Ocean world system. A World Heritage Site, Songo 1vlnara is recognized as the most impressive of all Swahili townscapes and considered to be the quintessential expression of the coral-built tradition for which the coastal towns became famous. The town has a full range of domestic and non-domestic structures, with more than 40 coral-built houses and room-blocks, 5 mosques and multiple cemeteries. Occupation of the site was brieC li'otn the 14'" to 16'" centuries AD, coinciding with the golden age of Swahili stonctowns along the coast. Research at Songa .Mnara adopts a spatially-integrated approach to Swahili economic and ritual/religious practice that will allow us to isolate both deliberately-planned elements of the town (central cemeteries and open spaces) and elements that might have been created through exigency, particularly in the realm of domestic architecture. The proposed fieldwork will explore the urban space of Songo Mnara at four interlinked scales: (l) Household activities will be sought through systematic excavations within and around buildings at the site; (2) Public and communal practices will be recovered through geo archaeology, geophysical survey, and excavations across the open areas and monuments of the site; (3) The site plan will be accurately plotted; and (4) The site will be positioned within its broader landscape through off-site survey and geophysics. Analysis of recovered materials will take place first in the field, and then in the USA and UK over the periods between field seasons and in the year all the final field season. The project will be conducted in collaboration with local authorities and UNESCO partners, and accompanied by conservation efforts on the important coral architecture at the site; funding for this aspect is being sought separately. Intellectual Merit Research at Songo will contribute to discussions of urban planning in Swahili and other urban contexts. The exceptional preservation at Songo Mnara will allow for the construction of a robust dataset to explore the way that Swahili towns were both planned and unplanned, with their components altering an insight into the priorities and social negotiations of their inhabitants. This work will contribute substantially to discussions of organizational principles and levels of meaning in ancient town plans more generally, and especially to research on aspects of town layouts that were recursively linked to movement and activity. In this way, Swahili town plans offer a dramatic case study in which to break down the 'false dichotomy' between planned and organic, and explore the importance of spatial practice in the negotiation of global and local economic and religious practice. Broader Impacts This project will offer important training for American, British, and Tanzanian students, both graduate and undergraduate. The training of students from the University of Dares Salaam is significant, as it provides these students with hands on experience with up-to-date equipment and techniques. The preservation and conservation of Songo Mnara-which remains an "endangered" World Heritage Site-is a priority for the Tanzanian Department of Antiquities, who have invested in the site as a tourist destination. Archaeological research at the site also aligns with the interests of the local residents, who have an active village 'Ruins Committee' with which we will closely work. A long term commitmen

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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: G1000758
    Funder Contribution: 4,436,610 GBP

    Allergy affects 1 in 6 people in the UK and Asthma affects 1 in 12 of the population in the UK, with 5.4 million people currently receiving treatment. The UK has one of the highest prevalences of asthma in young adults in Europe and the numbers of children reporting asthma symptoms has risen six fold over the last 30 years. Asthma costs the NHS almost #1bn per year and it is estimated that at least 12.7 million working days are lost due to asthma each year. This health and economic burden on the nation emphasizes the importance of research that tries to understand the diseases. The current proposal for a Centre brings together a group of doctors and scientists to discover new ways to prevent, treat and cure allergy and asthma.

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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/J501785/1
    Funder Contribution: 69,121 GBP

    Doctoral Training Partnerships: a range of postgraduate training is funded by the Research Councils. For information on current funding routes, see the common terminology at https://www.ukri.org/apply-for-funding/how-we-fund-studentships/. Training grants may be to one organisation or to a consortia of research organisations. This portal will show the lead organisation only.

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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: G1100312
    Funder Contribution: 1,118,590 GBP

    After spinal cord injury, many people are wheelchair-bound for the rest of their life. The reason for this dilemma is that neurons, which are crucial cells in the spinal cord connecting the brain with the body, cannot self-repair, and repair can currently not be promoted. So far, research has - without any major breakthrough - mainly focused on chemical signals impeding neuronal re-growth. The proposed project will take an alternative approach: I want to unravel if mechanical barriers are in the way of neuronal repair and find a way how to negotiate these barriers. I will develop a microscopy technique that, for the first time, allows to measure and compare the stiffness of healthy spinal cord tissue with that of scar tissue developing at the injury site. Concurrently, I will investigate the response of nervous system cells to mechanical stimuli and illuminate how these stimuli are translated into a cellular response. Equipped with this knowledge, I will suppress the response of cells in the scar environment to mechanical stimuli. In this manner, I will overcome the negative effect of the scar stiffness and promote neuronal re-growth, which could ultimately lead to the repair of damaged spinal cord tissue.

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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: 920031
    Funder Contribution: 2,500,460 GBP

    Awaiting Public Project Summary

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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: ES/I902023/1
    Funder Contribution: 2,631,470 GBP

    Doctoral Training Partnerships: a range of postgraduate training is funded by the Research Councils. For information on current funding routes, see the common terminology at https://www.ukri.org/apply-for-funding/how-we-fund-studentships/. Training grants may be to one organisation or to a consortia of research organisations. This portal will show the lead organisation only.

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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: NE/I019565/1
    Funder Contribution: 78,971 GBP

    Over the last 200 years human activity has increased CO2 in the atmosphere by around 40%, roughly 25% of which has been absorbed by the oceans. This has increased oceanic acidity by around 30%. Many studies have shown negative effects of lowered pH on biological functions in a wide range of marine animals and algae. There is widespread concern from scientists, policymakers and conservationists over the effects this change is having, and will increasingly have, on marine life and on the stability of marine ecosystems. This is especially so for species with high requirements for CaCO3 to make skeletons (Royal Society 2005, IPCC 2007). There is thus a need to understand better how marine species can cope with lowered pH, how those currently living in environments of different pH are adapted to those conditions, and how these groups have coped with varying pH in the past both since industrialisation and in deeper geological time. The best way to address questions of this type is to study a marine group that is heavily calcified, has widespread distributions in sites of different pH and has a long and well represented fossil record. In this respect living articulated brachiopods are, if not the best candidate group, then certainly one of the best. They inhabit all of the world's oceans from the poles to the tropics, and from the deep sea to the intertidal. They are possibly the most calcium carbonate dependent on Earth. Over 90% of their dry mass (in some species over 97%) is accounted for by calcareous skeleton. They also have one of the best fossil records in terms of representation and abundance over long geological periods of any marine animal group. There are excellent museum collections for this group, including repeat samples of the same species over the last 150 years and extensive collections at the family level for several major geological periods from single sites. They are, therefore ideal for investigating questions associated with changing environmental pH. We will use up to date SEM and ion probe techniques to quantify articulated brachiopod skeletal characteristics (shell thickness, primary & secondary layer thickness, crystal morphology, major & minor elemental composition) to address questions in four main areas. Firstly we will investigate the effects of varying pH in current environments by sampling populations of key species living in sites of different pH. Terebratulina retusa is distributed from the Mediterranean to Svalbard, with populations living in sealochs and harbours where pH is lower than offshore. Calloria inconspicua inhabits a similar range of sites around New Zealand. We will sample populations living in different pH conditions and analyse their shells. We will also monitor pH in the areas sampled for at least a year. This will allow us to identify skeletal responses to being raised in reduced pH in the natural environment. Secondly we will quantify changes in skeletons that have occurred since the industrial revolution, when CO2 levels have been consistently rising. Both our key species have good museum collections from given localities covering the last 50 years, and T. retusa collections date back to 1870 in the BM Nat Hist. Collections of the Antarctic L. uva also date back to the 1960's. We plan to exploit these collections to identify skeletal changes over the recent past as oceanic CO2 has risen. Thirdly we will analyse shell characteristics in Articulated brachiopods from different geological periods when CO2 levels in the environment were markedly different from today. This will allow evolutionary scale responses to be addressed. Finally we will hold our key species in culture systems with altered pH conditions and assess changes in skeletal composition and structure. These approaches should provide a very good understanding of how marine species have and can respond to acidification over as wide a range of time and spatial scales as possible.

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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: ES/I902287/1
    Funder Contribution: 2,703,950 GBP

    Doctoral Training Partnerships: a range of postgraduate training is funded by the Research Councils. For information on current funding routes, see the common terminology at https://www.ukri.org/apply-for-funding/how-we-fund-studentships/. Training grants may be to one organisation or to a consortia of research organisations. This portal will show the lead organisation only.

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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/J502030/1
    Funder Contribution: 345,605 GBP

    Doctoral Training Partnerships: a range of postgraduate training is funded by the Research Councils. For information on current funding routes, see the common terminology at https://www.ukri.org/apply-for-funding/how-we-fund-studentships/. Training grants may be to one organisation or to a consortia of research organisations. This portal will show the lead organisation only.

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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: G0902375
    Funder Contribution: 1,527,780 GBP

    Around 7% of children have specific problems in acquiring reading and writing skills, with a ratio of 4:1 boys:girls. When there is no obvious sensory, neural or educational basis, this learning difficulty is called dyslexia. The causes of dyslexia are poorly understood, but some features are common across different languages. One is difficulties in phonological tasks like counting the number of syllables in words and deciding whether words rhyme. Another is difficulty in distinguishing how rapidly sounds begin - dyslexics find it difficult to distinguish the abruptness of onset of sounds, for example a note played by a trumpet (sharp onset or ?rise time?) vs a violin (more extended onset or ?rise time?). We think these difficulties with phonology and rise time are linked, because the brain uses the onsets of sounds to define where the modulation (the important frequency and amplitude information) is in speech. The brain also uses sound onsets to reset the oscillation patterns of groups of brain cells that track the incoming acoustic signal by locking their oscillatory frequency to this signal. If the perception of sound onsets is impaired, then this tracking mechanism would not work as efficiently in a dyslexic brain. Some of these cell networks are driven by syllable-level fluctuations in the incoming signal, which means they are driven by lower frequency modulations. These low frequency modulations are crucial for speech intelligibility and are also important for hearing rhythm in music and syllable stress in speech. Our current rise time data suggest that children with dyslexia find both hearing metrical structure in music and syllable stress in speech difficult. In our work, we will test whether the brains of children with dyslexia have a specific difficulty in perceiving these low frequency modulations, using a variety of behavioural and brain imaging approaches. If we find that there is this proposed sensory/neural difficulty in dyslexia, then interventions based on music and metrical language (like poetry and nursery rhymes) may be very beneficial early in development for enriching this kind of auditory perception. We hope to improve our understanding of the causes of dyslexia through this research, and to find biomarkers (specific neural signatures of processing difficulty) that could help identify children at risk early in life. If the factors we propose turn out to be important, they will also help us in designing better educational programmes for children with dyslexia.

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Advanced search in
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315 Projects
  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: AH/J502716/1
    Funder Contribution: 286,093 GBP

    We request funding for field research on ancient urban planning on the East African Swahili coast. This funding will support three seven-week field seasons of archaeological research at Songo Mnara, a Swahili stonetown on the southern coast of Tanzania, along with subsequent analysis of data recovered and dissemination of research results. Stonetowns, the quintessential expression of Swahili culture, are known along the eastern coast of Africa, and represent an important form of autochthonous urbanism that linked Africa with the Indian Ocean world system. A World Heritage Site, Songo 1vlnara is recognized as the most impressive of all Swahili townscapes and considered to be the quintessential expression of the coral-built tradition for which the coastal towns became famous. The town has a full range of domestic and non-domestic structures, with more than 40 coral-built houses and room-blocks, 5 mosques and multiple cemeteries. Occupation of the site was brieC li'otn the 14'" to 16'" centuries AD, coinciding with the golden age of Swahili stonctowns along the coast. Research at Songa .Mnara adopts a spatially-integrated approach to Swahili economic and ritual/religious practice that will allow us to isolate both deliberately-planned elements of the town (central cemeteries and open spaces) and elements that might have been created through exigency, particularly in the realm of domestic architecture. The proposed fieldwork will explore the urban space of Songo Mnara at four interlinked scales: (l) Household activities will be sought through systematic excavations within and around buildings at the site; (2) Public and communal practices will be recovered through geo archaeology, geophysical survey, and excavations across the open areas and monuments of the site; (3) The site plan will be accurately plotted; and (4) The site will be positioned within its broader landscape through off-site survey and geophysics. Analysis of recovered materials will take place first in the field, and then in the USA and UK over the periods between field seasons and in the year all the final field season. The project will be conducted in collaboration with local authorities and UNESCO partners, and accompanied by conservation efforts on the important coral architecture at the site; funding for this aspect is being sought separately. Intellectual Merit Research at Songo will contribute to discussions of urban planning in Swahili and other urban contexts. The exceptional preservation at Songo Mnara will allow for the construction of a robust dataset to explore the way that Swahili towns were both planned and unplanned, with their components altering an insight into the priorities and social negotiations of their inhabitants. This work will contribute substantially to discussions of organizational principles and levels of meaning in ancient town plans more generally, and especially to research on aspects of town layouts that were recursively linked to movement and activity. In this way, Swahili town plans offer a dramatic case study in which to break down the 'false dichotomy' between planned and organic, and explore the importance of spatial practice in the negotiation of global and local economic and religious practice. Broader Impacts This project will offer important training for American, British, and Tanzanian students, both graduate and undergraduate. The training of students from the University of Dares Salaam is significant, as it provides these students with hands on experience with up-to-date equipment and techniques. The preservation and conservation of Songo Mnara-which remains an "endangered" World Heritage Site-is a priority for the Tanzanian Department of Antiquities, who have invested in the site as a tourist destination. Archaeological research at the site also aligns with the interests of the local residents, who have an active village 'Ruins Committee' with which we will closely work. A long term commitmen

    visibility32
    visibilityviews32
    downloaddownloads189
    Powered by Usage counts
    more_vert
  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: G1000758
    Funder Contribution: 4,436,610 GBP

    Allergy affects 1 in 6 people in the UK and Asthma affects 1 in 12 of the population in the UK, with 5.4 million people currently receiving treatment. The UK has one of the highest prevalences of asthma in young adults in Europe and the numbers of children reporting asthma symptoms has risen six fold over the last 30 years. Asthma costs the NHS almost #1bn per year and it is estimated that at least 12.7 million working days are lost due to asthma each year. This health and economic burden on the nation emphasizes the importance of research that tries to understand the diseases. The current proposal for a Centre brings together a group of doctors and scientists to discover new ways to prevent, treat and cure allergy and asthma.

    visibility186
    visibilityviews186
    downloaddownloads367
    Powered by Usage counts
    more_vert
  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/J501785/1
    Funder Contribution: 69,121 GBP

    Doctoral Training Partnerships: a range of postgraduate training is funded by the Research Councils. For information on current funding routes, see the common terminology at https://www.ukri.org/apply-for-funding/how-we-fund-studentships/. Training grants may be to one organisation or to a consortia of research organisations. This portal will show the lead organisation only.

    more_vert
  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: G1100312
    Funder Contribution: 1,118,590 GBP

    After spinal cord injury, many people are wheelchair-bound for the rest of their life. The reason for this dilemma is that neurons, which are crucial cells in the spinal cord connecting the brain with the body, cannot self-repair, and repair can currently not be promoted. So far, research has - without any major breakthrough - mainly focused on chemical signals impeding neuronal re-growth. The proposed project will take an alternative approach: I want to unravel if mechanical barriers are in the way of neuronal repair and find a way how to negotiate these barriers. I will develop a microscopy technique that, for the first time, allows to measure and compare the stiffness of healthy spinal cord tissue with that of scar tissue developing at the injury site. Concurrently, I will investigate the response of nervous system cells to mechanical stimuli and illuminate how these stimuli are translated into a cellular response. Equipped with this knowledge, I will suppress the response of cells in the scar environment to mechanical stimuli. In this manner, I will overcome the negative effect of the scar stiffness and promote neuronal re-growth, which could ultimately lead to the repair of damaged spinal cord tissue.

    more_vert
  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: 920031
    Funder Contribution: 2,500,460 GBP

    Awaiting Public Project Summary

    more_vert
  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: ES/I902023/1
    Funder Contribution: 2,631,470 GBP

    Doctoral Training Partnerships: a range of postgraduate training is funded by the Research Councils. For information on current funding routes, see the common terminology at https://www.ukri.org/apply-for-funding/how-we-fund-studentships/. Training grants may be to one organisation or to a consortia of research organisations. This portal will show the lead organisation only.

    visibility32
    visibilityviews32
    downloaddownloads1,437
    Powered by Usage counts
    more_vert
  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: NE/I019565/1
    Funder Contribution: 78,971 GBP

    Over the last 200 years human activity has increased CO2 in the atmosphere by around 40%, roughly 25% of which has been absorbed by the oceans. This has increased oceanic acidity by around 30%. Many studies have shown negative effects of lowered pH on biological functions in a wide range of marine animals and algae. There is widespread concern from scientists, policymakers and conservationists over the effects this change is having, and will increasingly have, on marine life and on the stability of marine ecosystems. This is especially so for species with high requirements for CaCO3 to make skeletons (Royal Society 2005, IPCC 2007). There is thus a need to understand better how marine species can cope with lowered pH, how those currently living in environments of different pH are adapted to those conditions, and how these groups have coped with varying pH in the past both since industrialisation and in deeper geological time. The best way to address questions of this type is to study a marine group that is heavily calcified, has widespread distributions in sites of different pH and has a long and well represented fossil record. In this respect living articulated brachiopods are, if not the best candidate group, then certainly one of the best. They inhabit all of the world's oceans from the poles to the tropics, and from the deep sea to the intertidal. They are possibly the most calcium carbonate dependent on Earth. Over 90% of their dry mass (in some species over 97%) is accounted for by calcareous skeleton. They also have one of the best fossil records in terms of representation and abundance over long geological periods of any marine animal group. There are excellent museum collections for this group, including repeat samples of the same species over the last 150 years and extensive collections at the family level for several major geological periods from single sites. They are, therefore ideal for investigating questions associated with changing environmental pH. We will use up to date SEM and ion probe techniques to quantify articulated brachiopod skeletal characteristics (shell thickness, primary & secondary layer thickness, crystal morphology, major & minor elemental composition) to address questions in four main areas. Firstly we will investigate the effects of varying pH in current environments by sampling populations of key species living in sites of different pH. Terebratulina retusa is distributed from the Mediterranean to Svalbard, with populations living in sealochs and harbours where pH is lower than offshore. Calloria inconspicua inhabits a similar range of sites around New Zealand. We will sample populations living in different pH conditions and analyse their shells. We will also monitor pH in the areas sampled for at least a year. This will allow us to identify skeletal responses to being raised in reduced pH in the natural environment. Secondly we will quantify changes in skeletons that have occurred since the industrial revolution, when CO2 levels have been consistently rising. Both our key species have good museum collections from given localities covering the last 50 years, and T. retusa collections date back to 1870 in the BM Nat Hist. Collections of the Antarctic L. uva also date back to the 1960's. We plan to exploit these collections to identify skeletal changes over the recent past as oceanic CO2 has risen. Thirdly we will analyse shell characteristics in Articulated brachiopods from different geological periods when CO2 levels in the environment were markedly different from today. This will allow evolutionary scale responses to be addressed. Finally we will hold our key species in culture systems with altered pH conditions and assess changes in skeletal composition and structure. These approaches should provide a very good understanding of how marine species have and can respond to acidification over as wide a range of time and spatial scales as possible.

    more_vert
  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: ES/I902287/1
    Funder Contribution: 2,703,950 GBP

    Doctoral Training Partnerships: a range of postgraduate training is funded by the Research Councils. For information on current funding routes, see the common terminology at https://www.ukri.org/apply-for-funding/how-we-fund-studentships/. Training grants may be to one organisation or to a consortia of research organisations. This portal will show the lead organisation only.

    more_vert
  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/J502030/1
    Funder Contribution: 345,605 GBP

    Doctoral Training Partnerships: a range of postgraduate training is funded by the Research Councils. For information on current funding routes, see the common terminology at https://www.ukri.org/apply-for-funding/how-we-fund-studentships/. Training grants may be to one organisation or to a consortia of research organisations. This portal will show the lead organisation only.

    more_vert
  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: G0902375
    Funder Contribution: 1,527,780 GBP

    Around 7% of children have specific problems in acquiring reading and writing skills, with a ratio of 4:1 boys:girls. When there is no obvious sensory, neural or educational basis, this learning difficulty is called dyslexia. The causes of dyslexia are poorly understood, but some features are common across different languages. One is difficulties in phonological tasks like counting the number of syllables in words and deciding whether words rhyme. Another is difficulty in distinguishing how rapidly sounds begin - dyslexics find it difficult to distinguish the abruptness of onset of sounds, for example a note played by a trumpet (sharp onset or ?rise time?) vs a violin (more extended onset or ?rise time?). We think these difficulties with phonology and rise time are linked, because the brain uses the onsets of sounds to define where the modulation (the important frequency and amplitude information) is in speech. The brain also uses sound onsets to reset the oscillation patterns of groups of brain cells that track the incoming acoustic signal by locking their oscillatory frequency to this signal. If the perception of sound onsets is impaired, then this tracking mechanism would not work as efficiently in a dyslexic brain. Some of these cell networks are driven by syllable-level fluctuations in the incoming signal, which means they are driven by lower frequency modulations. These low frequency modulations are crucial for speech intelligibility and are also important for hearing rhythm in music and syllable stress in speech. Our current rise time data suggest that children with dyslexia find both hearing metrical structure in music and syllable stress in speech difficult. In our work, we will test whether the brains of children with dyslexia have a specific difficulty in perceiving these low frequency modulations, using a variety of behavioural and brain imaging approaches. If we find that there is this proposed sensory/neural difficulty in dyslexia, then interventions based on music and metrical language (like poetry and nursery rhymes) may be very beneficial early in development for enriching this kind of auditory perception. We hope to improve our understanding of the causes of dyslexia through this research, and to find biomarkers (specific neural signatures of processing difficulty) that could help identify children at risk early in life. If the factors we propose turn out to be important, they will also help us in designing better educational programmes for children with dyslexia.

    visibility87
    visibilityviews87
    downloaddownloads90
    Powered by Usage counts
    more_vert