Grant winners – 3 November 2016

 A round-up of recent recipients of research council cash

November 3, 2016
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Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council

Research grants

AI planning with continuous non-linear change


TAPESTRY: trust, authentication and privacy over a decentralised social registry


Doped-up: bio-inspired assembly of single crystal nanocomposites


Royal Society

Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowships

Air quality impacts of land-atmosphere interactions (AQUILA)


Planetary systems around evolved stars


Cathelicidin is Critical for Pathogenic T cell development in multiple sclerosis


Exploring heterogeneity in implicit mentalising and its consequences in autism


Economic and Social Research Council

Research grants

The impact of dengue fever in early life on human capital formation


The role of natural environments within the emotional geographies of visual impairment


How learning and using words shapes the structure of the lexicon


In detail

Award winner: Jack Blumenau
Institution: London School of Economics
Value: £184,857

Measuring political debate: responsiveness, influence and rhetoric in parliamentary texts

Most parliamentary debates in the UK pass unnoticed by those outside Westminster. This is regrettable, as parliamentary speech-making is a core democratic responsibility of elected politicians. Furthermore, debates provide MPs with the opportunity to scrutinise government policy and to voice the concerns and interests of their constituents. Recently, there has been a great deal of progress in analysing parliamentary debate, particularly into revealing MPs’ underlying ideological preferences, or estimating the priorities they place on certain policy issues. This project aims to move beyond existing research by developing new ways to extract meaning from the speeches made by politicians. New statistical methodologies will be designed for understanding three features of political speech: how responsive ministers are to the questions that are put to them by backbench MPs; which politicians are influential in parliamentary debates; and how MPs use rhetoric to make their speeches more persuasive. The researcher will focus on analysis of debates from Clement Attlee’s 1945 government through to the end of the 2015 legislative session.

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