Grant winners - 5 February 2015

February 5, 2015

Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council


The root to stability – the role of plant roots in ecosystem response to climate change

Interplay between phosphorylation and ubiquitination in plant immune signalling homeostasis

Research Grant

Genomics-assisted selection of Solanum chilense introgression lines for enhancing drought resistance in tomatoes


Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council

Using physics to understand how ion channels in biological cells function

Standard research

E&ID:USES – The next generation of low-cost energy-efficient appliances and devices to benefit the bottom of the pyramid

Developing a bespoke incremental sheet-forming machine for cranioplasty

Standard Research – NR1

ALOOF: Autonomous learning of the meaning of objects


Leverhulme Trust

Major Research Fellowships

Oshima Nagisa: a politics of cinema

The reformation of the generations: age, ancestry and memory in England 1500-1700

In detail

Award winner: Mick Dumper
Institution: University of Exeter
Value: £139,9

Power, piety and people: the politics of holy cities in the 21st century

Does the “holiness” of a city matter in contemporary political and policy analysis, and how does that designation further understanding of conflict generally and, specifically, in cities divided by sectarianism? To explore the question, this project will draw on earlier research done in divided cities such as Belfast and Jerusalem and will look at cities where religion plays a key role in urban development, such as Lhasa, Kyoto, Najaf and Rome. These cities are characterised by particular forms of land use and ownership, by the public performance of rituals such as processions and by significant religious monumental construction. “I would like to see how powerful vested interests are created in holy cities and examine their relations with the state within which they are located,” said Mick Dumper, professor in Middle East politics at the University of Exeter. He thinks that they may “exacerbate state fragility through constraints on state sovereignty and through urban fragmentation”, and that religion’s role in state and city fragility has been “largely overlooked”. The convergence of the “growing religiosity of society…and rapid urbanisation” makes this an “urgent topic” for study, he said.

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