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Strategic funding of four new research projects

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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 £114,400 from its RETF Open Fund to four 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 is the second time we have run this competition as part of our commitment to supporting research excellence at Reading.

“Congratulations to those researchers who have won awards in this round. In total we received 19 applications which demonstrated 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 receiving funding include:

Francesca Greco (Pharmacy): Nanotechnologies for pregnancy

Funding of £18,685 towards a collaborative project with the University of Manchester and University of Padua to explore systems that allow pharmacological treatment of pregnant women without being harmful to the unborn child.

Ian Hamley (Chemical Sciences): New functional protein biomaterials for carbon capture and healthcare technologies

Pump-priming of £10,000 towards research to develop a new class of protein complexes that will help carbon capture by plants or bacteria and for use in health therapeutics.

Simon Sherratt (Biomedical Sciences): Design of sensor-based packaging of pharmaceuticals to facilitate medicine reuse and reduce wastage through increased adherence

Every year, the NHS loses £300m because of wasted medicines yet between 30% and 50% of this waste is avoidable. Funding of £43,565 is awarded to researchers from Biomedical Engineering and Pharmacy to develop a suite of informatics solutions to facilitate medication reuse.

Chris Westbrook (Weather): Exploiting new G-band radar measurements of ice clouds

Funding of £42,163 for work to pioneer the practical use of data from a new type of radar measurement at ‘G-band’, which is used to learn about cloud microphysics and monitor clouds.

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