Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-ETN | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2014-ETN | Award Amount: 3.09M | Year: 2015
Hyporheic zones (HZs) are key compartments for the functioning of aquatic ecosystems. As dynamic and complex transition regions between rivers and aquifers, they are characterized by the simultaneous occurrence of multiple physical, biological and chemical processes. Turnover and degradation of nutrients and pollutants figure among the prominent ecological services the HZ provides. We are facing a significant knowledge gap in the understanding of how hyporheic processes are linked and how they impact on each other. This can be attributed to a lack of truly supra-disciplinary research and harmonized and innovative investigation methods. The concept of HypoTRAIN has been tailored to fill this gap. Collaborative research with state-of-the art technologies from multiple disciplines (hydrology, ecology, microbiology, engineering, environmental physics, contaminant science, modelling) will generate new mechanistic insights into the functioning of HZs. A group of ESRs will be educated using the multi-faceted nature of HZs as the central theme of the training programme. The supra-disciplinary expertise within the network and the high-level training program will generate scientific knowledge that will set the ground for a more holistic design of river management plans and restoration measures. Research excellence as well as scientific and technological innovation is ensured as all partners have world-leading reputations and work at the forefront of their respective discipline areas. Participating in HypoTRAIN will make ESRs highly attractive for employers and open up doors for their successful careers in research, regulation, consulting, and industry. They will be experts for the better assessment of the ecological and chemical status of surface waters and for providing successful river restoration and management strategies. The strong involvement of the non-academic sector will provide the ESRs with a holistic perspective on career opportunities.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2012-ITN | Award Amount: 4.24M | Year: 2013
The research training focuses on the substantive and theoretical challenges posed by universities new role in a global knowledge economy, and especially the contrast between developments in Europe and the Asia Pacific rim. In recent years, massive effort has been put into reforming, managing and marketing universities in Europe and elsewhere in the world. The justification is that universities are to play a new role in the formation of the EHEA and ERA and in driving a knowledge-based economy. The reform processes are, arguably, themselves producing new ways of organising this economy in world regions and reforming the higher education sector itself. This research training project provides ESRs and ERs with the theoretical, methodological and technical skills to analyse these processes in Europe and the Asia Pacific Rim.
Agency: GTR | Branch: AHRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 174.70K | Year: 2016
Before Shakespeare: The Beginnings of London Commercial Theatre is the first major project to ask how and why public playhouses came to open in London, taking seriously the often repeated but rarely interrogated claim that the playhouses that opened in the second half of the sixteenth century were the first purpose-built public spaces for performance in Europe since the Roman Empire. We seek to answer this question through an innovative two-way conversation between archival research and performance workshops exploring the plays of this early period. Working alongside Shakespeares Globe and the new company Dolphins Back, specifically devoted to staging forgotten early modern plays, we are rethinking the earliest playhouses of this period to remember how pioneering, unusual and shocking these spaces were. This work will also take advantage of the archaeological remains of the original playhouses, which have been discovered in the last thirty years but remain surprisingly marginal to current scholarly stories about the period. We will thus explore not only new architectural experiments with single playhouses buildings but with the earliest creation of theatre districts. This is also the first project to take seriously the mid-century beginnings of those playhouses, seeing them as mid-Tudor and early Elizabethan phenomena rather than becoming distracted by the second generation of people working in the playhouses, the most famous of whom was William Shakespeare himself. This project asks what happens if we privilege instead the beginnings of those playhouses, thinking about them as entrepreneurial, architectural and creative innovations and considering the changes they brought about in the way people wrote, performed, watched and (eventually) read plays.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: ERC-COG | Phase: ERC-CoG-2015 | Award Amount: 1.49M | Year: 2016
The project aims at developing a pioneering approach to the reception of Classical Antiquity in childrens and young adults contemporary culture. This newly identified research field offers valuable insights into the processes leading to the formation of the culture recipients identities along with their initiation into adulthood. However, the most vital potential of this phenomenon remains unexploited, for the research is still selective, focused mainly on Western culture. With my project, I intend to overcome these limitations by applying regional perspectives without the pejorative implication of regional as parochial or inferior. I recognize regions as extremely valuable contexts of the reception of Antiquity, which is not only passively taken in, but also actively reshaped in childrens and young adults culture in response to regional and global challenges. Thus, the essence of this innovative approach consists in comparative studies of differing reception models not only across Europe but also America, Australia & New Zealand and a bold but necessary step in parts of the world not commonly associated with Graeco-Roman tradition: Africa and Asia. The shared heritage of Classical Antiquity, recently enhanced by the global influence of popular culture (movies, Internet activities, computer games inspired by the classical tradition), gives a unique opportunity through the reception filter to gain deeper understanding of the key social, political and cultural transformations underway at various locations. The added value of this original research, carried out by an international team of scholars, will be its extremely broad impact on the frontiers of scholarship, education and culture: we will elaborate a supra-regional survey of classical references, publish a number of analyses of crucial reception cases, and prepare materials on how to use ancient myths in work with disabled children, thus contributing to integration and stimulating cultural exchange.
Gibson E.L.,Roehampton University
Behavioural Pharmacology | Year: 2012
Comfort eating, that is eating induced by negative affect, has been a core theme of explanations for overeating and obesity. Psychobiological explanations and processes underlying comfort eating are examined, as well as its prevalence in clinical and nonclinical populations, to consider who may be susceptible, whether certain foods are comforting, and what the implications for treatment may be. Comfort eating may occur in a substantial minority, particularly in women and the obese. Human and animal theories and models of emotional or stress-induced eating show some convergence, and may incorporate genetic predispositions such as impulsivity and reward sensitivity, associated with dopamine dysregulation underlying incentive salience. Comfort eaters show vulnerability to depression, emotional dysregulation and a need to escape negative affect and rumination. During negative affect, they preferentially consume sweet, fatty, energy-dense food, which may confer protection against stress, evidenced by suppression of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis response, although activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis may itself drive appetite for these palatable foods, and the risk of weight gain is increased. Benefits to mood may be transient, but perhaps sufficient to encourage repeated attempts to prolong mood improvement or distract from negative rumination. Cognitive behavioural treatments may be useful, but reliable drug therapy awaits further pharmacogenomic developments. © Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
Agency: GTR | Branch: ESRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 20.23K | Year: 2016
The media is a powerful player in the promotion or otherwise of gender equality worldwide and media representations of women have great impact on how women are viewed and view themselves. Representations of women professionals and leaders are however under increasing scrutiny. A continued media focus on womens gender, not competence, ignores womens achievements as leaders and professionals, misrepresenting their ability, contribution and advancement e.g. the focus on women political leaders appearance, children, partners and not on social policy. These misrepresentations undermine gender equality and social justice and perpetuate women professionals and leaders as out of place, constraining their progress. Challenges to gendered media misrepresentations of women are reflected in an increasingly powerful discourse of resistance by governmental groups, lobbyists, media organisations and feminist societies. Yet to date there is limited management and business (M&B) studies research into gendered media misrepresentations of women professionals and leaders. Further, a contradiction exists between UK and European governmental and societal debates on gender inequalities, quotas and initiatives to increase women professionals and leaders (e.g. Lord Davies Report 2010; Horizon 2020) and the continued gendered media misrepresentations of women. Interrogating gendered media representations is essential to gain fresh insight into contemporary debates of social justice and instrumentally bringing about social and economic change. Researchers have begun to consider the negative implications of gendered media misrepresentations of women yet there is a lack of established and rigorous research protocols in the field; the research remains marginalised and researchers are isolated from the M&B mainstream. In contrast, research into gendered media representations has a long history in gender, journalism, media, communications and cultural studies but approaches have not fully engaged in the implications for women professionals and leaders. The Seminar Series is a timely and innovative opportunity for M&B researchers to connect with scholars from other disciplines, media producers, editors and journalists; key audience groups (professionals, leaders, unions, networks representing young women); lobbyists and policy makers through a multidisciplinary knowledge exchange. This groundbreaking Series will develop an international multidisciplinary network by bringing together a core group of scholars with diverse media stakeholders, lobbyists and policy makers. This will lead to a unique network and focal point for academics at varying career stages to engage across disciplines with diverse stakeholders for topical research into, and provide challenge to, gendered media misrepresentations of women professionals and leaders.The Series will develop: innovative theoretical, methodological and conceptual frameworks; M&B research capacity, curricula and research priorities and through instrumental dissemination will raise awareness and influence global challenge and change. The Series reflects the global nature of the research issue. Keynote speakers and participants will be UK and international scholars and key stakeholders who will each bring expertise from regional, national and international levels. The Series will develop sustainable collaborative networks and research publications in M&B studies and maximise impact. The Seminar Series has 3 themes: 1. Gendered Media Misrepresentations: Why do they matter and how do we know? 2. Developing Research Capacity for B&M Studies: Multidisciplinary methodologies, theories and concepts/analysing media texts and visual methods; and 3. Developing Priority Research Agendas and Maximising Impact. 8 of the 1 day Seminars will focus on distinct but inter-related aspects of the Series focus. The final Seminar will be a 1-day conference to consolidate knowledge exchange and research priorities.
Agency: GTR | Branch: MRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 310.55K | Year: 2017
This research addresses the urgent need to tackle the rise of childhood obesity; Malaysia is suffering more than other Southeast Asian countries in terms of increasing numbers of young children becoming overweight or obese. There are many adverse consequences of obesity, including development of non-communicable diseases such as Type-2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and some cancers. These diseases will occur at younger ages and increase in prevalence in the population if obesity levels continue to grow. In addition, obesity can harm both physical and mental development and function, thus harming both individual wellbeing and national welfare and economy. A recent report from the World Health Organisation recognises that ending childhood obesity will require multiple and multifaceted interventions, involving changes to policy, education and the environment, in order to deliver sustained changes in behaviours related to obesity risk. Since many of these behaviours rapidly become habitual, key recommendations include targeting early childhood to encourage healthy eating, physical activity, less sedentary behaviour and reduced intake of sugar-sweetened beverages. However, to do this successfully requires not just education, but also removal of environmental barriers to these behaviours, and engagement of the young childrens families. The ToyBox-Study programme (www.toybox-study.eu) is one intervention that incorporates these facets and has already been trialled in 4-6 year-old kindergarten children across six European countries. The intervention is designed to be carried out in kindergartens, involving the kindergarten teachers encouraging healthy behaviours in the children, by educating through specially focussed activities, and by changing the kindergarten environments. This permits hands-on learning to instil healthy habits, such as drinking water as the main fluid in place of sweetened drinks, healthier snacking, enjoying more physical activity, and avoiding prolonged periods of sedentary behaviour. The kindergarten setting is also a relatively inexpensive and less disruptive, than a school setting for such an intervention. The ToyBox-Study programme has a complete set of materials to guide kindergarten teachers, and the primary caregivers of the children, in achieving these healthier behaviours. However, it is recognised that some adaptation of the materials, as well as translation, may be necessary for the Malaysian sociocultural context. Thus, the primary aim of this research is to conduct a feasibility study of the adaptation and application of the ToyBox intervention in Malaysian kindergartens, in sites in both Peninsular Malaysia, and in Sarawak. The intervention will run for 24 weeks across a kindergarten year. Similar measurements will be taken at baseline and post-intervention as in the original study, including height and weight of the children, so that comparisons can be made with published evidence from the ToyBox-Study. These will evaluate whether the intervention has altered the health-related behaviours, as well as the acceptability of the intervention to stakeholders, teachers and families of the children. In addition, a follow-up set of measurements will be made 6 months later, to determine how sustainable any behavioural changes have been. Comparison will be made to kindergartens not enrolled in the intervention but whose children will be measured in the same way over the same period. The kindergartens will be recruited from the KEMAS pool of kindergartens, so that a greater number of underprivileged children and families can benefit. The research will be conducted by experienced University staff with expertise in obesity, nutrition, behaviour and education: a separate team will be based at each site. The local teams will be strongly supported by UK experts, two of whom worked on the original ToyBox-Study programme. Guidance and training will be provided at every stage.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-IOF | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2012-IOF | Award Amount: 392.42K | Year: 2014
A training-through-research project whose aim is to substantially enhance and complement the experienced researchers established profile as a respected writer with specialisms in theatre, performance and art theory, by creating a strong profile in curatorial practice (and strategy) within the visual arts sector. The project stages a sustained investigation of diverse curatorial approaches within and outside international art institutions, under the expert supervision of Carol Becker (Professor and Dean, School of the Arts, Columbia University, NYC). Becker is renowned for her work on radical art practices, art institutions, globalization and the politics of contemporary cultural production. CTE takes place in the context of a proliferation of contemporary art practices that challenge the objecthood, permanence and material status of the artwork. It examines recent tendencies toward socially engaged, processual and relational artworks; the re-valuation of dance and performance art within museums; and the conditions of display, reception and archival presence now given to such work by arts institutions and arbiters. The project will move through the close examination and realization of curatorial tactics in participating major international art institutions in America and Europe as well as the observation and analysis of work by numerous independent curators. Consolidating and articulating the curatorial knowledges acquired through sustained cross-cultural and cross-sectoral training experiences, I will produce a landmark publication alongside public-facing outreach events within participating institutions. The international dimension of this research will benefit European art and performance cultures and institutions, by transferring knowledge of historically marginalized European work, and by the attainment of a new curatorial profile that returns a rich resource of skills, connections, strategies and grounded analyses for the curation of the ephemeral.
Agency: GTR | Branch: ESRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 847.26K | Year: 2016
There is a current crisis in mental health care for young people, and the UK government is trying to find ways of addressing it. Currently, approximately one in ten young people in the UK experience significant problems with their emotions or their behaviour. Schools may be a particularly good place to tackle this problem because they are somewhere that nearly all young people go to. Indeed, evidence suggests that young people are as much as ten times more likely to attend a school-based service than a non-school-based one. Certain psychological treatments, such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), can help young people address specific mental health disorders like generalised anxiety. However, the kind of psychological problems that many young people experience do not fit into such diagnostic categories. Rather, they are responses to particular life problems, such as family difficulties, bereavements and bullying. Although these difficulties may not be at a severe level, addressing them early on may be very important in helping to ensure that they do not develop into more chronic problems in later life. In the UK, one of the most common ways to try and help young people through these problems is school-based counselling. This can take a variety of forms but, in contrast to CBT, focuses mainly on providing young people with a space to talk through their problems, get things off their chest, and work things out for themselves in a supportive, confidential and understanding relationship. Initial evidence suggests that counselling is very popular with young people and their teachers, and there is some scientific evidence -- including PhD work funded through the ESRC -- that a standardised form of school-based counselling (school-based humanistic counselling) reduces psychological distress and improvements in self-esteem. However, to properly inform government decision-making, better evidence is needed to test whether it really is of help. To provide this evidence, we will conduct a study in 18 English secondary schools. We will provide some young people (aged 13-16) who are experiencing psychological difficulties with up to 10 weeks of school-based humanistic counselling while others will receive their schools usual pastoral care. Decisions about who gets what will be made on a random basis, as this gives us the best chance of working out if the therapy really works. After six weeks, three and six months, we will look at whether those young people who received the counselling are experiencing less psychological distress than those who did not. We will also look at whether the benefits of providing the counselling service justify the costs. This is important as there might be better ways of spending the money to improve well being in schools. In addition, we will look at whether the counselling helps young people improve their resilience, self-esteem and engagement with education; and what they -- and their teachers and parents/carers -- think is helpful and unhelpful about counselling. This research is important because school counselling may be able to make a major contribution to improving the psychological wellbeing of young people in the UK. The project team have extensive experience of conducting studies like this, and the current design has been tested and shown to work. The costs of the trial cover the work of the project team along with involvement from a specialist trials unit at Manchester University. Members of the project team have also been closely involved in recent policy initiatives regarding childrens mental health. The safety of young people is a major concern. We will not include any young person who is at risk of harm to self or other, but refer them to specialist support. We will assess young people in the study and arrange for appropriate support for them if we become concerned about them. We will also ensure the highest levels of anonymity and confidentiality for participants.
Agency: GTR | Branch: AHRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 297.53K | Year: 2014
This project aims to find out how reading shapes our lives. What do we remember about the books we have read (as a child, on the tube, on holiday), and why? Reading is often experienced as a private activity, which takes place in silence, on ones own. Yet reading groups have grown immensely in popularity over the past two decades, bringing reading experiences into the public domain. In what ways do we share our memories of reading? This project is interested in both individual and collective memories of reading fiction. It will firstly set up an oral history archive of interviews with members of local reading groups, to explore memories as described in individual life stories. In doing so, the project will provide a new kind of resource - differing from the numerous interviews carried out with authors, from oral history interviews (for the Authors Lives archive at the British Library) to radio and other interviews by journalists, literary critics, fans and other readers. By turning to readers themselves, the project will make available new material enabling insights into memories of fiction and life stories. How are memories of books associated with particular experiences and emotions? How do readers make use of fiction in their life stories? One thing that is interesting about reading groups is that they turn written text into group talk, turning back the clock from literacy to orality, from the act of the individual reading to talking, from the solitary experience to the social. Scholars of book history often note how reading became an increasingly private activity over the course of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, due in part to the rise in literacy, but book groups interestingly highlight the social potential of reading. Thus the project is concerned not only with individual memories but also with how memories of fiction are exchanged with others. After working with individual interviewees, the project researchers will thus work in the reading groups. Having identified clusters of books recalled across a number of interviews, these books, and memories of them, will then be discussed in groups. We are interested in how these shared memories compare to individual recollections. In what ways can group talk change how we remember fiction? The project will challenge assumptions that reading is merely a private, personal activity. It will consider how reading and storying the self may be related, establishing how individual memories can be shared and related to a wider social and historical context. The projects findings will be of interest not only to individual academics but to reading groups themselves. We will disseminate the research through academic publications and also through public talks, a learning resource and website. As well as providing access to the interviews, the website will provide information and other material including the learning resource, which will outline our methodology for other reading groups to take up and develop, and a forum through which these groups can respond and feed back into the project. The project will thereby provide a hub of activity to foster wider discussions and ongoing reflection about how we remember fiction.