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Research Endowment Trust Fund: funded projects announced

Research Endowment Trust Fund

We are pleased to announce that eight further research projects have been funded through the Research Endowment Trust Fund Open Fund.

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.

Over 30 projects were submitted, with applications totalling just over £1million, and the University Committee for Research and Innovation was pleased to make eight awards totalling over £200,000.

Professor Dominik Zaum, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Innovation, said: "The RETF Open Fund supports the development of promising and ambitious research ideas and emerging initiatives. The high number of responses and the quality of submissions reflects the vibrancy and ambition of our research plans.

"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."

A second call for the RETF Open Fund will be issued in March 2020, and we encourage colleagues with strong projects to apply.

Winning projects

Those winning funding in this round include:

Emily Black (Earth Observation and Space): Applying TAMSAT Technology Globally: Agricultural risk assessment

£16,860 over two years for preliminary work to adapt the TAMSAT-ALERT system, used for anticipating and managing agricultural risk, for use in commercial settings. This project will develop TAMSAT-ALERT for this purpose and demonstrate the technology in two case studies: corn in California, and cocoa in West Africa, Indonesia and South America.

Tony Capstick (Modern Languages and Linguistics): Refugee-led Cross-Border Research in Multilingual Teams: Voice and representation in participatory research

£31,480 over two years to pilot action research with migrant communities in Jordan, Lebanon and the UK to explore issues relating to displacement, language learning and unaccompanied minors.

Sylvie Dubuc (Global Development): Comparing Recent Trends in Prenatal Sex-selection and Son Preference in India and China

Awarded £32,093 over two years to provide indicators, based on novel mathematical models, to measure and compare the spread, extent and trends in son preference and sex selection in India and China, to inform and improve policymaking.

Robbie Girling (Sustainable Agricultural and Food Systems): Deciphering How Common Air Pollutants Impact on Pest Regulation Services

£32,612 over two years to investigate the impacts of common air pollutants on pest regulation provided by insect natural enemies under field conditions and the mechanisms behind any changes to service provision observed. This project will utilise the new NERC-funded and globally unique Free-Air Diesel and Ozone Enrichment platform at the University's Sonning Farm.

Kirsty Kliem (Sustainable Agricultural and Food Systems): Impact of Biodiverse Pasture on the Nutritional Quality, Eating Quality and Peroxidisability Index of Lamb Meat

Seed funding of £20,201 during 2019/20 and 2020/21 outputs of which will feed into future work on transforming meat and dairy production by making it more environmentally sustainable, animal welfare friendly, and acceptable to the consumer.

Daniela La Penna (Modern Languages and Linguistics): Mapping the Translation of European Fiction in British Publishers' Archives

£30,913 over two years for the scoping phase of a large-scale study of post-war translation of fiction into English, based on the Records of British Publishing and Printing held at the University's Special Collections. The interdisciplinary study will bring together translation studies, publishing history, and business history.

Ivan Sangiorgi (ICMA Centre): The Impact of Football Clubs on the Local Economy and Society

£15,148 for a pilot study of the impact that Reading Football Club has on the local region.

Kim Watson (Biomedical Sciences): Development, Characterisation and Validation of Bile Acid Derivatives for the Treatment of Fatty Liver Disease and Type II Diabetes

Awarded £21,392 to support research on the structure of receptor cells within the liver. As part of this work, the team will test and develop potential new drugs derived from bile acids for treatment of Type II Diabetes.

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