AND ANCIENT HISTORY
Professor C Ruggles
A Critical Synthesis of European Archaeoastronomy
£60,183 Leverhulme Trust
This Fellowship, which runs from October 2004 to September 2006, will enable Professor Ruggles to undertake a critical synthesis of European
archaeoastronomy, leading to the publication of a European sequel to his acclaimed book,
Astronomy in Prehistoric Britain and Ireland, which was
published by Yale University Press in 1999. This is a very prestigious award. Only 19 such Fellowships were awarded this year amongst all UK Universities and spanning all fields of the Humanities or Social Sciences.
Archaeoastronomy may be defined as the study of beliefs and practices concerning the sky in the past, and especially in prehistory, and the uses
to which people's knowledge of the skies was put. The project will involve travel to many different parts of Europe and the new book will address a
range of key issues and themes, drawing upon case studies ranging from Palaeolithic times through to modern folk traditions. The Leverhulme Trust
places a special emphasis on interdisciplinary research, and it is a tremendous accolade to archaeoastronomy for its academic status to be
recognised in this way.
Dr A Gilburn
Sexual conflict and ageing in the seaweed fly, Coelopa Frigida
Seaweed flies show a dramatic increase in mortality in the presence of seaweed. The presence of seaweed not only increases mortality but also stimulates mate searching and mounting in males and egg-laying in females. The seaweed fly mating system is based upon intense sexual conflict with females invariably attempting to remove mounted males using a violent rejection response. Recent studies have highlighted the potential role sexual conflict plays in the evolution of senescence. We propose here to investigate the role of mate searching and sexual conflict in generating the increase in mortality seen in the presence of seaweed. We will also use the data collected to test the alternative predictions of the two main theories of ageing, that the increases in mortality occurs either 1) as a result of accumulation of damage through increased activity or 2) as a result of flies switching resources away from survival and into reproduction.
Dr D Harper
Supplement - Trinity Boards Restoration
£2,581 Environmental Agency
The Trinity Broads are three of the 42 lakes in the Norfolk and Suffolk broadband, all have which have been degraded over the past fifty years by
increased nutrients from agricultural runoff and sewage effluent, leading to algal blooms and loss of biodiversity.
The Trinity broads are particularly important economically because they are the drinking water source for east cost towns served by Essex & Suffolk
Water Company, as well as a recreational and conservation asset. This project is joint funded by the water company, Environment Agency and
the Broads Authority to investigate the ecological consequences of biomanipulation. This is an ecotechnical management tool used over the past
two decades to restore shallow lakes elsewhere in the UK, Holland and Denmark, but one whose effectiveness is not fully quantified.
Dr M Sheehy
Use of Lipofuscin for Ageing Caribbean Spiny Lobster
£3,125 US National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration/ State of
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
The Caribbean spiny lobster, Panulirus argus, is one of the most valuable commercial species in the Florida and also supports a large recreational fishery. The resource is approaching or has already reached overexploited status throughout its range. Information on age and growth for this species is critical in order to achieve sustainable exploitation, but such information is currently lacking. The purpose of this 2-year multidisciplinary collaborative project (Total value US$115,281) is to use the cellular ageing biomarker, lipofuscin, to develop age-length keys for lobster from the Florida Keys and Dry Tortugas that can then be used to interpret information on growth, recruitment, maturation, longevity and mortality of the lobster.
Professor J Fiadeiro
AGILE - Architectures for Mobility
AGILE - Architectures for Mobility - is a European project that is addressing some of the
challenges of coordinating software applications that can be distributed and move across different locations. These include, for instance, software systems that make use of wireless technologies and run on Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs). Such systems can become notoriously intricate and difficult to control due to the high number and volatility of
interactions, often performed over unreliable communication networks.
Through its Software Specification and Design Group, the Department of Computer Science at Leicester is contributing to this effort by extending architectural principles and techniques to include primitives that address distribution and mobility directly as first-class concerns. The Group is collaborating with other universities in the development of formal models for ensuring correctness against user requirements and certifying conformance to required levels of service, and with an SME, ATX Software, to transfer this technology to the industrial sector.
Dr S Yang
Adaptive and Hybrid Genetic Algorithms for Production Scheduling Problems in Manufacturing
This project is supported by EPSRC Overseas Travel Grants for the investigator to carry out research cooperation with
Professor Mitsuo Gen at Waseda University, Japan in the research area of
developing adaptive and hybrid genetic algorithms for production scheduling problems in manufacturing systems. The production scheduling problem concerns the allocation of limited resources (or machines) to perform a collection of tasks (or jobs) over time in order to optimise one or more objectives, such as minimizing the makespan. It plays an important role in manufacturing systems. Based on the investigator's recent work in adaptive genetic algorithms, in this project we will develop new adaptive genetic algorithms specific for static production scheduling problems in manufacturing systems. In addition, we will also investigate new hybrid intelligent methods combining genetic algorithms with neural networks for solving production scheduling problems in dynamic manufacturing environments.
Professor S Pudney
An Evaluation of the 'Blueprint' Drug Prevention Programme
£105,787 Home Office (via Strathclyde)
The research project is concerned with part of a large-scale evaluation of the Blueprint initiative - a multi-component drug prevention programme involving young people aged 11 to 13. The programme consists of an integrated mix of intervention strategies designed to address the community influences on drug use: school, parent, community organisation, media, and health policy. The Blueprint project will focus on 29 schools. The team at
the University of Leicester will be concerned with analysing how representative this sample of schools is of English schools in general in order to predict the likely impact of a national-scale Blueprint-style intervention. The team at Leicester will also undertake an evaluation of the associated costs of the drug prevention programme. Such costs include financial as well as time costs borne by schools, pupils, parents and other stakeholders.
Professor C Dimmock
The Leadership of Schools with Substantial Numbers of Ethnic Minority
Students: School Community Perspectives and their Leadership
£24,000 National College for School Leadership
Cultural diversity has long been a feature of British society, and in the globalised world of the twenty-first century the richness of this diversity is likely to increase. Schools have a crucial role to play in providing opportunities for all those living in the UK, and for bringing together people from different cultures and communities. The important contribution of education, and schools in particular, has been long been recognised as vital in the development of a cohesive society, based on tolerance and respect.
However, leading and managing schools in an era of cultural diversity brings its own challenges. Researchers at the Centre for Educational Leadership and Management (CELM) are currently engaged in research in schools across the UK that seeks to explore the contribution of school leaders to the creation of effective culturally diverse schools. Among the key questions the project is examining are: What is the relationship between these schools and their local communities? What is the role of school leaders in creating effective multicultural schools? and, How can other schools learn from their experience?
Dr M Pont
Case Studentship - Chisanga Mwelwa Development of a Computer Aided Software
£13,200 MIRA Ltd
This project involves the development and assessment of a tool intended to support the development of embedded systems based on a time-triggered,
co-operatively scheduled (TTCS) architecture.
Most studies suggest that systems implemented using TTCS architectures have more
predictable behaviour than those implemented using alternative architectures (such as those which are event-triggered and / or
pre-emptively scheduled). Set against this is the fact that the creation of TTCS architectures requires careful design and implementation if the
theoretically-predicted improvements in system reliability are to be realised in practice.
To support the design of TTCS systems, a complete pattern language has been developed at the University of Leicester (see: Pont,
M J, 2001, Patterns
for Time-Triggered Embedded Systems, Addison-Wesley). This pattern language is intended to allow TTCS architectures to be simply and
cost-effectively applied in a wide range of embedded projects.
In previous studies, these patterns have been used 'by hand': in the present study, a tool will be developed to support the development of TTCS embedded
systems. The effectiveness of the tool will then be rigorously assessed by means of appropriate user trials conducted both at the University of
Leicester and at MIRA Ltd. The particular focus of these trials will be to determine the extent to which the use of this approach can improve the
reliability of TTCS embedded systems.
Dr M Sheehy
Wellcome Value in People Award - Dr Sheehy
£45,095 Wellcome Trust
African trypanosomes are flagellat uni-cellular parasites that multiply extracellularly in the blood stream of mammalian hosts and are transmitted
by the tsetse fly. Trypanosomes cause fatal sleeping sickness in man which affects up to 500 000 people and the nagana disease in cattle costing a
US$ 1.3 billion loss in milk and meat production annually.
Trypanosomes invade their hosts, adapt to them and escape immune attack using a set of genes located at their chromosome ends (telomeres).
However, the nature of telomeres makes them difficult to study and many
genome projects lack information on this region. Professor Louis lab has
developed a specialised cloning technique to overcome this problem. The aim of this project is to establish and analyse collections of telomere
clones from different trypanosome species and strains. This will provide insights into trypanosome biology, pathogenicity and biodiversity, and may
lead to new strategies of disease intervention.
Dr C Madge
Exploring online research methods in a virtual training environment
This project is funded under the Second Phase of the ESRC's Research Methods Programme. Specifically, the project will provide the first online training package in online research methods. Given the growth and impact of the internet in recent years, the ability to utilise online
research methods is both timely and of utmost significance to social scientists.
The specific objectives are:
1. To produce and evaluate a high-quality online portal to provide training in online research methods. This portal will act as a self-supporting online resource to enhance understanding of both theoretical and practical aspects of online research methods including web-based
questionnaires, virtual synchronous interviews and virtual ethnographies. It will provide step-by-step technical guidance on how to use widely available software packages such as Microsoft FrontPage and Hotline Connect. It will draw on a wide range of successful projects that have already used online quantitative and qualitative research methods;
2. To provide face-to-face and online dissemination and training on how to use the training package for established academics, postgraduates, undergraduates and non-academics;
3. To prepare research articles/non-technical summaries/conference presentations outlining the use and evaluating the success of the Online Research Methods Training Package.
Dr D Cunningham
Refraction/wide-angle reflection profiling of polydeformed intracontinental
transpressional basins, southern Mongolia
£191,291 Electro PLC
In this project, we aim to carry out a combined receiver function, time delay and shallow crustal seismic refraction experiment in collaboration with a consortium of multi-national companies involved in oil exploration in the Gobi Desert of Mongolia. London-based Electro Silica Plc is funding the research which ultimately aims to understand processes of transpressional basin evolution and continental interior deformation. This project will run in tandem with seismic reflection surveys in the basins of southern Mongolia and builds on 10 years of field-based research activities by geoscientists in the Department of Geology investigating the crustal evolution of Mongolia, mountain building processes, basin evolution and Mongolia's natural resources.
Dr S Davies
Supplement - Arnold Lodge admission cohort: reconviction and intervening
£7,689 Nottinghamshire Healthcare Trust
This is an extension of an existing grant for a follow-up study of psychiatric patients discharged from Arnold Lodge Medium Secure Unit, Leicester. The project has been supported by the secretary of State for Health under Section 60 of the Health and Social Care Act 2001 as not requiring patient consent for follow-up through case notes and databases. This project is the first mental health project to receive such support. Data collection is underway with data on mortality (Office for National Statistics) and re-convictions (Home Office Offenders Index) now available. The research assistant employed on the project has been accepted as a PhD student at the university. Further funding has been obtained from the NHS National Programme for Forensic Mental Health Research and Development.
Dr N Sheehan
Wellcome Value in People Award - Dr Sheehan
£52,766 Wellcome Trust
In the current climate of rapid development in biomedical and genomic research,
methodological issues in the analysis of complex data structures pose enormous challenges.
The proposed research will address the continuing development of methods for complex
family (or pedigree) data, which can arise in numerous ways. The large complicated pedigree
structures that typically feature in human genetic isolates and animal populations, present
an obvious example. Moreover, genetic traits are often complex in that they may depend on
several genes and environmental factors which may also interact with each other. Genetic
information may comprise huge numbers of genes spread throughout the genome. Data
are often longitudinal, such as in a follow-up cohort study, with several measurements
on the same individual which will be correlated, by definition. In addition, study design
may introduce its own complexity. For example, the deliberate sampling of families with
affected members can profoundly complicate the inferential process. In all of the above,
exact methods for calculating probabilities and likelihoods of interest often break down in
practice and alternative methods of approximation are required.
Primary Care Collaborating Centre - FY 04/05
£252, 227 NICE via RCGP
A component of the Primary Care Collaborating Centre of NICE has been set up within the Clinical Governance Research & Development Unit of the Department of Health Sciences. This new funding will enable the Unit to continue to develop National Guidelines at the request of NICE for the next year.
Guidelines currently under development are dealing with epilepsy in adults and children, referral of patients with suspected cancer, and obesity.
Supplement - Funding for clinical governance R&D unit (03/04)
£160,610 Eastern Leicestershire PCT
The Clinical Governance Research & Development Unit undertakes research in primary care and across the interface with secondary care. The Unit is an established and leading national and international research group. Principal fields of interest include methods of improving the performance of professionals, investigation of the views of patients about the care they receive, methods of developing review criteria and guidelines, and monitoring of outcomes in primary care.
Dr S Ewen
ESRC Postdoctoral Fellowship
This fellowship is concerned with the relationship between urban governance and ‘policing’
between 1870 and 1947. Taking the cities of Birmingham, Coventry and Leicester as case
studies, the project explores the nature and practice of inter-governmental relations in
administering the police and fire services through extensive archival research. By exploring the ways in which both services controlled and deployed inter-organisational resources (funds, legal powers, information and organisational experience) this inter-disciplinary project compares and contrasts the urban experience of modern public administration. The police service, through the provision of Exchequer funding and annual inspection from 1856, was increasingly subjected to a tri-partite system of municipal, national and professional regulation. The fire service, on the other hand, owing to its historic inter-relationship with the insurance industry, was dependent on a dual system of municipal and professional regulation. Central government co-ordination
was minimal until the late 1930s whereupon the threat of incendiary fires shifted fire protection onto the national agenda, symbolised by the creation of the National Fire Service in 1941. Paradoxically, the return to local control in 1947 coincided with further centralisation of the police service. Urban ‘policing’, therefore, was diverse and fragmented in its administration, yet any attempt to govern either service depended on organisational interactions and negotiation over resources.
Professor N Cull
Library resources for Truman's Civil Rights programme and White Resistance and
£2,098 US Embassy
The US Embassy has generously provided funds for a major purchase of microfilms
of archival documents on the history of race relations in the USA. The documents come from two important collections
- the Harry S Truman presidential library and the archives of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, which is the oldest Civil Rights organisation in the US.
The Truman papers detail the first major effort by the federal government to investigate the Civil Rights problems of Black American people, while the NAACP collection provides a unique insight into the attempts of white
Americans to block racial progress in the later 1950s. The materials represent a major resource for Civil Rights historians in the UK who are limited in the materials they have available. They will also be really useful for the University of Leicester's well known American Studies programme which both requires all its students to complete a piece of original research and offers specialised courses on the subject of the Civil Rights era, taught by
Dr George Lewis.
Professor Cull - Director of the Centre for American Studies - noted "We are most grateful for this generous gift. The gift is in the tradition of valued embassy support for American Studies at Leicester. Older members of the University community recall that the core American collection of the library was purchased in the 1960s by the Embassy at the suggestion of
Professor Robin Winks of Yale University."
IMMUNITY AND INFLAMMATION
Dr J Grigg
The relationship between pollution particles in alveolar macrophages from
normal children and proxy markers of PM10 exposure - Yr 2
£60,416 Health Effects Institute
This study, in part funded by the US Government Environmental Protection Agency, will assess the relationship between the amount of traffic-derived soot in lower airway cells from normal children and the Leicester City Council's air pollution model. Lower airway cells (alveolar macrophages) are sampled from healthy children using induced sputum and analysed by image analysis. Children are asked about where they exercise, and their exposure to indoor pollutants such as cigarette smoke. The location of each child's home is identified by geographical information system technology and then entered into the pollution model (which takes into account traffic flows near the home, and fixed emission sources). By January 2004 we aim to assess the relationship between particle loading in cells and the mean annual modelled exposure to particles (primary PM10) in 100 children. This grant represents the second half of the overall study.
Dr N Snashall
BLOC (Bristol, Leicester, Oxford, Colloquium)
£1,200 London Mathematical Society
BLOC - Bristol Leicester Oxford Colloquium - has been awarded a further grant of £1200 by the London Mathematical Society for support of
research in the Representation Theory of Algebras. This is now the seventh year in which the London Mathematical Society has supported BLOC. The
grant provides travel expenses for participants from the named universities to attend four one-day meetings with invited speakers, with
particular support given to research students. Thus BLOC brings together people working in the representation theory of algebras to provide a
context in which research results can be shared and discussed and to encourage further collaborative research. The local organiser at Bristol
is Professor J Rickard and at Oxford is Dr K Erdmann.
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