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Strategic funding of six new research projects through the Research Endowment Trust Fund

colour photograph of two univesity colleagues discussing ideas


The Research Endowment Trust Fund (RETF) supports the strategic development of promising and ambitious research ideas and emerging initiatives in the University. In a recent competitive process, the University Research Committee awarded £100,000 from its RETF Open Fund to six new projects.

The RETF Open Fund supports projects of up to two years duration that align with the strategic priorities of the University or their respective Research Themes. The aim is to support proposals that:


  • demonstrate ambition to achieve growth in research income, scale, methodologies, partnerships, reputation or audiences
  • enable high-risk research – for example providing proof of concept to inform external grant applications, or
  • support innovation and the translation of research into products and processes, for example, by supporting pilot projects.


Professor Dominik Zaum, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Innovation, said: “This competition demonstrates our commitment to supporting research excellence at Reading.

“Congratulations to those researchers who have won awards in this round; the standard of applications was outstanding and represented an impressive breadth of research ideas from applicants at all stages of their careers. There will be further funding competitions for the next academic year and we would encourage staff to consider applying.”

Those winning funding include:

Alice Baderin (Politics and International Relations): Equality: Distribution and Relationships

£7,700 to support the pilot phase of a survey experiment to investigate the impact of material inequality on status inequality.

Andrew Godley (Leadership Organisations and Behaviour): Extending the novel entrepreneurship ecosystem framework of analysis to Ukraine, Georgia and Kazakhstan 

£20,000 to support research staff in partner institutions to underpin the rapid extension of empirical testing of entrepreneurship ecosystems formation to regions in Tbilisi (Georgia), Kiev (Ukraine) and Alma-Ata (Kazakhstan).

Patrick Lewis (Pharmacy): Unravelling a clathryn mediated endocytic pathway to Parkinson’s

£13,932 to investigate two dysfunctional genes involved in the development of Parkinson’s, to potentially identify new possible treatments for the disease.

Steven Mathews (English Literature): Samuel Beckett Research Centre

Funding for a research assistant to support the Samuel Beckett Research Centre to harness the public engagement and research potential of the world-leading Beckett archive held within the University’s Special Collections, focusing on lesser-known aspects of the collection such as work on Beckett and music, the audiovisual, or theatre posters and ephemera.

Mark Pagel (Ecology and Evolutionary Biology): Pilot study on detecting macro-evolutionary signals of the capacity for ecological adaption

£22,514 to support a pilot study of a new statistical model that could show species’ evolutionary capabilities to respond to climate change, studying species including mammals, birds, reptiles and fish.

Nicola Wilson (English Literature): The Modernist Archive Publishing Project

Funding for a research assistant to support the Modernist Archives Publishing Project, a critical digital archive documenting the material history of early twentieth century publishing, aiming to display, curate and describe a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of books.


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