Grant winners – 11 August 2016

A round-up of recent recipients of research council cash

August 11, 2016
Grant winners tab on folder

Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council

Research grants

Exploring the physiology and behavioural relevance of circuits in the human motor cortex with a novel transcranial magnetic stimulation device

Function of brainstem brain-derived neurotrophic factor (Bdnf) in food choice

Linking reproductive behaviour and dense core granule biogenesis in secondary cells of the Drosophila male reproductive system

Science and Technology Facilities Council

Research grants

A three-dimensional integrated gamma-ray and vision system

ACID – Accelerated Contraband Identification by Diffraction

Laser-driven multimodal probe beams for nuclear waste inspection

Leverhulme Trust

Research project grants

Linking functional and epigenetic plasticity at the single-neuron level

Network organisation in biological photosynthesis

Enhancing the representation of architectural space in 3D modelling environments

Are endoparasitic cnidarians venomous animals? A pioneering study into an ancient lineage

In detail

Award winner: Vera Kempe
Institution: Abertay University
Value: £151,091

Literacy acquisition in situations of dialect exposure

Many children grow up speaking a local dialect at home before they are introduced to the standard language when they start school. Consequently, they encounter competing phonological or phonetic variants of words – standard English “house” versus “hoose” in Scots. This project will use lab experiments to teach children and adults to read and write in an invented language to study, in a controlled manner, the effects of encountering competing variants of words on literacy acquisition. “Some educators seem to believe that exposure to dialects can hinder children’s learning to read and write, and have on occasion even resorted to banning the use of local dialects in schools,” Vera Kempe, professor of the psychology of language learning at Abertay University, told Times Higher Education. “However, direct evidence for this belief is lacking, apart from a few US-based studies” that looked at literacy acquisition in children exposed to African American Vernacular English in the home. “By creating different experimental conditions, we hope to be able to determine if encountering competing variants of words is indeed detrimental to literacy acquisition, and if so, what factors can remedy such an effect.”

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