Grant winners – 20 April 2017

A round-up of academics awarded research council funding

April 20, 2017
Grant winners tab on folder

Leverhulme Trust

Research Project Grants
Social sciences

Jaina prosopography: monastic lineages, networks and patronage


Sciences

Engineering of electric field controlled molecular gates in porous materials


Research Leadership Awards

New searches for dark energy


Science and Technology Facilities Council

Multi-scale modelling of heating and particle acceleration in twisted magnetic fields in solar flares and coronal heating


Revealing the structure of the universe: from extreme gravity to exoplanets


Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council

Newton Fund: practical hydrogen-fuelled vehicles for China


Learning from earthquakes: building resilient communities through earthquake reconnaissance, response and recovery


Royal Society

Wolfson Research Merit Awards
The scheme provides up to five years of funding, after which the award holder continues with a permanent post at the host university. The focus of the award is a salary enhancement, usually in the range of £10,000 to £30,000 per annum.

Exploring the nanoscale dynamics of single proteins


In detail

Leverhulme Trust Research Project Grant

Award winner: Elli Leadbeater
Institution: Royal Holloway, University of London
Value: £249,516

The evolution of cognition: ‘intelligence’ in the wild

“We assume that sophisticated cognitive abilities are evolutionarily advantageous because they allow animals to make good decisions, solve problems and adapt to change,” Elli Leadbeater, reader in the School of Biological Sciences at Royal Holloway, University of London, told Times Higher Education. “However, the fact that animals vary in their cognitive abilities suggests this isn’t always the case. The aim of this project is to elucidate the circumstances under which cognitive abilities are evolutionarily useful, and when they are not, in our specific model system (social bees).” Previous attempts to answer this question in organisms other than humans have proved difficult, she continued, because in order to relate cognitive abilities to survival and reproductive success, animals must be living in the wild rather than the lab. “Our bumblebee system offers a unique advantage in this respect, because we can keep colonies in the lab for cognitive testing and control confounding variables such as previous experience and parasite loads, but allow individuals to forage in the natural environment to assay fitness,” Dr Leadbeater added.

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