CASE hat-trick for Nottingham

CASE hat-trick for Nottingham

PA 86/09

The University of Nottingham has retained the top spot for the number of Collaborative Awards in Science and Engineering (CASE) from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) — for the third year running.

These awards, worth a total of 420,000, enable companies, charities and public organisations to jointly supervise PhD students on three-year research projects that are of direct benefit to their organisations and to the wider society.

The effect of rural bank and building society closures; encouraging glaucoma patients to manage their medication more effectively; and exploring ways in which young people and schools can help achieve sustainability of urban water supplies are some of the PhD research projects that have been awarded CASE funding this year from ESRC.

Professor Claire O’Malley, Dean of the Graduate School, said: “In a particularly competitive round The University of Nottingham has retained top spot nationally for the third year running. These awards, over twice as many as the next ranked institutions, span six schools across three faculties. This is testament to the breadth and strength of social science research at The University of Nottingham. The topics and partnerships also indicate our strengths in interdisciplinary and applied social science research — which is these days more than ever relevant to addressing some of the society’s most challenging problems in economics and finance, health and education.”

The University received seven awards across the Schools of Education, Geography, Psychology, Sociology and Social Policy, Nursing Midwifery and Physiotherapy and Nottingham University Business School.

Andrew Leyshon, Professor of Economic Geography and Sarah Hall, Lecturer in Economic Geography in the School of Geography have been awarded a CASE project with the Commission for Rural Communities. Professor Leyshon said: “This project will examine how mainstream and alternative networks develop and operate in response to the problems of financial exclusion in rural communities, given the long-term decline in bank and building society branches and the current uncertainty surrounding the future of the Post Office network. Although the UK is a world leader in developing financial exclusion policy, a good deal of it has to date been less than ‘joined-up’, with rural areas neglected in terms of research and policy. We will explore how a number of rural communities and households across the UK cope.”

Eamonn Ferguson, Professor of Health Psychology in the School of Psychology, has been awarded a CASE project with Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust. He said: “The focus of this project is to develop interventions to improve patient compliance with medication for glaucoma treatment. Glaucoma is the second most common cause for registered blindness in the UK in patients over 65 and treatment non-compliance accounts for much of this sight loss. Therefore, developing interventions to reduce this non-compliance should benefit patient prognosis.”

Roger Firth, a Lecturer in the School of Education, has been awarded a CASE project in collaboration with Severn Trent Water Ltd, Papplewick Trust and Land Quality Management Ltd. He said: “This is an exciting and important project which connects the Sustainable Schools Strategy, the learner voice and citizenship agendas in schools with the threat of declining local and global water supply. There is growing acceptance that managing water demand is necessary and the project will explore the ways in which young people and their schools can help achieve sustainability of urban water supplies within the communities of Nottingham, working with commercial and charitable organisations.”

CASE awards provide PhD students with an annual tax-free maintenance grant in excess of 17,000 (including a ‘top-up’ from the project partner organisation), a contribution towards research training costs and payment of University tuition fees.

These studentships will be advertised on the University’s Vacancies web pages (under ‘Current Opportunities | Studentships’) in the next few weeks and are open to ‘Home’ and ‘EU’ applicants, according to fee status, who satisfy the Research Councils’ eligibility requirements based on residency within the UK.

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