The aim: This short workshop will bring together interested academics to debate the opportunities, challenges, goals and ethical issues involved in building collaborative relationships between researchers and military personnel/organisations/campaign groups. We will also discuss knowledge-exchange and research-outreach on military matters more generally (e.g. the glorification of war, the promotion of peace). Participants will have the opportunity to exchange experiences and ideas, without any pressure to find consensus. The discussion will open with short presentations by three academic staff (Dr Kenneth Mavor, Dr Laura Mills, and Dr Roddy Brett) with recent experience of knowledge-exchange/research-outreach in military contexts or on military topics. One aim of the workshop is to support researchers conducting/negotiating knowledge-exchange partnerships at present; another is to help researchers to think creatively and ethically about impact opportunities in the future.
This workshop is open to PGR and PGT students as well as academic staff. A light lunch will be provided.
The University has recently secured funding through the Scottish Funding Council for FY 2018-19 as part of a 3-year strategy for longer-term projects to support cutting-edge research that promotes the economic development and well-being of countries on the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Development Assistance Committee (DAC) list.
The OECD DAC list is available on: http://www.oecd.org/dac/stats/daclist.htm
The University is committed to supporting projects that are intended to make a real difference to the lives of people in ODA countries, particularly in countries on the Least Developed, Low Income and Lower Middle Income DAC list.
The aim is to develop strong and enduring partnerships between the University and developing-country researchers to enhance the research and innovation capacity of both and to deliver substantial impact on improved social welfare, economic development, and environmental sustainability.
The funding will support projects spanning 1-3 years. Projects must have incremental milestones with associated budgets, which must include yearly milestones for projects over 12 months, as funding will be distributed on a yearly basis. This funding will be open to new and existing applicants to SFC GCRF funding from all disciplines; interdisciplinary applications and proposals led by post-doctoral researchers seeking to establish St-Andrews and Scotland-wide collaborations will be particularly welcome. Projects are expected to be in the region of £5-60k for 2018-19, but we anticipate that the majority of awards will be at the lower end of the range.
Applications are welcome from researchers who may not previously have considered the applicability of their work to development issues.
Priority umbrella themes are:
Energy and innovation
Global health and inequality
Sustainability and environmental change
Sustainable livelihoods, promoting justice and humanitarian action, and secure and sustainable food systems are relevant to each theme and, in line with Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) priorities, cross-cutting issues of gender equity and rapid urbanization should also be considered.
Acceptable use of funds includes supporting:
Capacity and capability building in the UK and developing countries (including strengthening partnership with DAC countries across Scotland).
Visiting fellowships for colleagues from DAC listed countries (including those from academic, third sector, commercial and policy-focused institutions)
Challenge-led interdisciplinary and collaborative research activity
Pump-priming activities to under-pin GCRF bids to other funders, including relationship building
Generating impact from research both within and beyond the sector
Rapid response to emergencies where there is an urgent research need
PhD studentships supporting scholars from countries on the DAC list can be outlined in the longer-term proposals but will not be made available until 2019 at the earliest.
Activities should align with the GCRF Strategy and BEIS ODA Statement of Intent which were published at the end of June 2017:
The UK Aid Strategy recognised that research and innovation has a critical role to play in tackling global challenges which most significantly impact upon developing countries. The report identifies the following major drivers of today’s development challenges:
The youth bulge
Global health security
Fragility and conflict
Funding will prioritise those areas that have the strongest pathways to impact and where there is the strongest demonstrable expertise to deliver maximum benefits to the global poor. Applications should therefore include anticipated outcomes and project aims and explain how these are directly and primarily relevant to addressing the problems of developing countries.
We encourage applicants, especially those applying for the first time to GRCRF funding, to seek advice from members of the St Andrews Global Challenge Forum by contacting email@example.com in the first instance.
The deadlines for applications is Thursday 8th November 2018 although rapid response applications can be made at a later date provided the spend date of 30th June 2019 can be met. Please email applications to firstname.lastname@example.org.
All spend on the grant must be completed by 30th June 2019.
The fund is not intended to support the following costs:
Buy-out of time or salary costs for permanent academic staff
The Global Health Team from the School of Medicine recently completed a national eye care training and distribution exercise in Rwanda utilizing the Arclight solar powered ophthalmoscope. The team, led by Dr Andrew Blaikie (Senior Lecturer and Consultant Ophthalmologist), delivered the training in collaboration with the Rwandan Ophthalmic Clinical Officers & Cataract Surgeons Society. The University of St Andrews KE & Impact fund and the Gelsenkirchen Rotary Club of Germany funded the initiative.
The Arclight is a low-cost solar-powered direct ophthalmoscope developed by William J. Williams, an optometrist and Honorary Research Fellow in the Global Health Team. The latest Mk 3 version of the device was distributed and along with new simulation training eyes marked a double first for the Arclight team and Rwandan eye care.
All 130 of the clinical officers in Rwanda received an Arclight device and vision-testing tools along with a training package delivered in the five main regions of the country. Six Rwandan clinical officers attended a ‘training the trainers’ session on day one. The newly trained trainers then successfully led the education programme while being supported by the Global Health Arclight Team.
We anticipate the initiative to impact positively on eye care in the country as the ophthalmic clinical officers serve the entire population of the 12 million people living in Rwanda and perform over 500,000 consultations per year.
The team also met a number of leaders in health and eye care in Rwanda including the Assistant Minister of Health, the Vice Principal of the University of Rwanda, the country director for ‘Vision for a Nation’, the Dean of the College of Allied Health Sciences, the Vice-President of the College of Ophthalmologists and the lead for the Rwandan International Institute of Ophthalmology.
Based on the success of this initiative, future training and distribution exercises are being planned in Rwanda in collaboration with the School of Medicine and the College of Allied Health Sciences.
For information on the research associated with the project click here.
As part of our campaign to assist Advanced Manufacturing in Fife, Fife Council Economic Development, Centre for Engineering Education and Development (CeeD) and the Scottish Manufacturing Advisory Services are inviting you to join us for an Introduction to Industry 4.0 on Tuesday 11th September 2018 from 8:15am to 10:45am at The Enterprise Hub Fife, 1st Floor, 1 Falkland Gate, Glenrothes, KY7 5NS.
The world of manufacturing is experiencing rapid advances in digital technologies that are transforming the way we design, build and sell our products and services. New business models are creating opportunities for businesses to improve productivity and profitability.
Industry 4.0, 4IR, Smart Manufacturing, Manufacturing 4.0. Whatever term you’re familiar with, they all mean the same thing: the integration of traditional manufacturing processes with digital technologies to connect products, people, plant, business and supply chains together.
To ensure Scottish businesses are well placed to grow and earn higher income from this revolution a large amount of support has been made available to them through Scottish Enterprise and newly created Innovation Centres. This event is designed to introduce companies to the topic and make them aware of the support that they can access.
Asia is the main rice-growing region of the world and is responsible for about 90% of global rice production. Rice is the staple food for more than 50% of the population in Asia, a figure that can reach up to 70% for Southern regions of this continent including least developed countries such as Vietnam and Cambodia. Prof. John Jones in the School of Biology and colleagues from the James Hutton Institute are working on the development of rice cultivars resistant to the rice root-knot nematode, Meloidogyne graminicola, a damaging pathogen which is increasing in prevalence and importance due to climate change and evolution of agricultural practices. Along with researchers from France and Vietnam, they are working to identify informative sequence differences that will be used to develop markers that are genetically associated with nematode resistance. Markers generated in this project will be fed into Vietnamese rice breeding programmes to ensure that the developed cultivars are relevant in a local context to promote economic development for the local growers by decreasing the yield losses caused by the pathogenic nematode and by decreasing pest control costs.
The Athenians of the 5th-4th centuries BCE valued the performance of drama, as a mass art form and communal experience. They invested heavily in it too. Dr Jon Hesk, from the School of Classics, discusses how the example of Greek theatre can inspire young performers both to create their own original play and to passionately argue for the real social value of what they love doing.
‘We welcome spirits to the light!
We welcome spirits wrong or right.
We dig down deep inside the earth
And drag up something to judge its worth.
We chant and shout and screech and scream.
But we do not appear as we first may seem.’
Where do you think these lines of choral chanting come from? A Penguin translation of Aeschylus or Euripides, perhaps? Or one of the many versions and reworkings of Greek tragedy which have been produced by various celebrated poets and playwrights of the 20th and 21stcentury?
Well, you’d be forgiven for either of these guesses. But they’re actually taken from the very start of an original play called Hamartia. This work’s title was inspired by Aristotle’s word for the mistake, error or flaw of personality which often lead the main characters of a Greek tragedy into terrible suffering. The play was devised and performed by members of Byre Youth Theatre Ltd.’s Adult Collaborative Performance Group. Byre Youth Theatre Ltd is a non-profit organization providing exciting opportunities and training in drama and song to children and young people in Fife. The organization has close links to the recently re-opened Byre Theatre in St Andrews.
From September 2016-June 2017, I and my colleague Dr Ralph Anderson worked with this group of performers – four young local people aged 17 and above – and their teacher from BYT Ltd., Stephen Jones. Stephen is a specially trained and experienced theatre practitioner. The group met every Thursday evening in the school term.
The project was called ‘Greek Drama in the Community. Working with the Byre Youth Theatre towards a devised performance’. Designed by Stephen, myself and Ralph, it was funded by the University of St Andrews’ Knowledge Exchange and Impact Fund. Alongside the final goal of helping these young people to create their own short piece of theatre, its key aim was to explore how the content, context and conventions of ancient Greek tragedy might be used to inform and inspire the group’s work. The performance itself was a great success and we hope that our experiences and documented findings will prove useful for anyone contemplating similar ventures. Whether you work in the professional theatre, a local ‘amateur’ group or in theatre education I think our project offers some valuable lessons and ideas. The model of combining ‘academic’ briefings and Q & A sessions alongside more practical workshops and brainstorming sessions proved very successful. But it was also crucial to think of ancient tragedy’s conventions and themes as resources for the group’s own creative imaginations and onward learning rather than as a restrictive template for them to emulate or apply. And the project only worked because Ralph and I let the group tell us what they wanted to know about, rather than imposing upon them our preconceived ideas about what they ought to know.
I learned my first important and surprising lesson in my initial meeting with the group back in September 2016. (This was before we had even fully decided on the project’s goals). Stephen knows a good deal about Greek theatre, having studied it (among other things) at university. But the group itself only knew a few bits and pieces. So, I had come prepared to give them an overview of the context and conventions of Greek drama and I’d also got some answers to questions which they’d sent to me in advance: why did the Greeks not have female actors and chorus-members? How was gender depicted on stage? How were masks used? How did gods appear? Why was violence generally kept off stage in Greek tragedy?
These were all good questions and I did my best to answer them. But it was during the initial overview that things took a surprising turn. I was explaining that Greek drama was central to the Athenian religious festival calendar; that it was a mass art form watched and enjoyed by thousands of citizens; that the Athenians put huge amounts of money and organizational effort into putting on these plays; that great prestige and honour attached to those wealthy citizens who funded a winning chorus; that the choruses were trained-up ‘amateur’ citizens and that many audience members had experience of being in the plays themselves; that theatre was clearly integral to the culture and values of the Athenian citizen-state (the polis). I paused for breath and fumbled with my laptop to find some suitable images. Stephen jumped in and asked the group what they thought about everything I’d said so far. How did it compare with their experience and understanding of what theatre is now?
The group had many diverse and differing opinions but they were all vehemently agreed on one thing: theatre just isn’t valued by their own society in the way that it was for the ancient Athenians. They didn’t see modern theatre as a mass art form and they were largely sceptical about my counter-argument that popular drama is still valued as a cultural and communal experience (thanks to cinema, television and online streaming services). For all that films and TV series can say something important and complex about our society, politics and values, they said, the fragmentation of audiences and the sheer quantity and variability of content meant that they weren’t anything like the communal experience of an Athenian dramatic festival. And they argued that this communal experience had value in and of itself.
This wasn’t a detached, purely intellectual debate for the group. Their view that live theatre is not a popular art form and is not properly valued was a matter of deep regret and intense personal feeling for them. The sociology of Athenian drama had offered them a means of discussing how marginalized and undervalued they felt as young people with a real commitment to drama. It wasn’t that they were idealizing classical Athens and its tragedies and comedies, either. They knew about its use of slavery and its exclusions and restrictions on women and foreigners. Their point was that this society produced great theatre through a commitment and appreciation which was both deeply held and genuinely ‘community-wide’. The fact that the Athenians were prepared to spend so much time and money on communal religious festivals and theatrical art highlighted the comparatively diminished status of the performing arts and ‘community theatre’ in the UK today.
Before that meeting, I had a rather prosaic reason for giving the title of ‘Ancient drama in the community’ to our overarching project. If the mission was to bring my department’s research and expertise in Greek and Roman drama out of the academy and into the wider world, this title seemed like a simple and effective description of that goal. What I now realize is that the socio-political centrality and cultural embeddedness of Greek and Roman drama – aspects of which are key to my own and colleagues’ research – are themselves important and salient items of evidence to bring into public debates about the social and political role and value of live theatre and dramatic culture at large.
The city of Athens and the surrounding demes of Attica developed a form of ‘community theatre’ which genuinely brought the mass of citizens – the ‘people’ (‘dēmos’ in Greek) – together to participate in it. Drama flourished in tandem with this community’s new and developing democratic constitution. So Athens’ culture of mass participation in the making and watching of plays didn’t just produce all those great works by Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides and Aristophanes. It forged a strong sense of communality and community by focusing citizens’ minds on shared values, tastes, and commitments, not to mention shared problems and areas of conflict. Athenian theatre offers us a powerful image for how the valuing and nurturing of live theatre could strengthen our own communities.
The EPSRC Impact Acceleration Account is intended to:
Strengthen user/academic engagement
Strengthen the exchange of knowledge through culture and capability development
Support KE and commercialisation in the early stages, by progressing research outputs/outcomes to the point where they would be supported by other funding
Support activities that enable impact to be achieved in an effective and timely manner including secondments and people exchange
The University of St Andrews proposes to use the funding to provide support mainly in two areas
Project development – at the early and later stages of impact, to the point where projects would be supported by other funding. The previous two calls have focussed on this area.
Researcher development – training, networking, building external relationships and ‘people exchange’
Most projects will be awarded following rolling open calls, but some funds will be set aside for centrally organised activities, such as training and networking events.
The University particularly welcomes applications from anyone who has not applied for EPSRC IAA funding before. The applicant does not have to be the PI on an earlier EPSRC grant, or even working in an ‘EPSRC discipline’, as long as the proposed project builds on some EPSRC funded research. Please see the Guidance Notes and Application Form for more details.
My work explores the boundaries between art and science, organic and inorganic, natural, synthetic and manmade. I work in collaboration with the Organic Semiconductor Centre led by Prof Ifor Samuel on “The use of creative art for explaining organic semiconductors”. The purpose of the project is to give a higher visibility to the interesting phenomenon of organic semiconductors using their aesthetic values.
Over the last five years, Brazil has suffered a significant recession. Healthcare has been particularly affected with continuous budget cuts, and a large part of the general population is unable to get access to basic healthcare. The National Health Service in Brazil (SUS) has struggled to satisfy demand for essential health services, leading to unnecessary deaths in many cases. Over the last five years, 24,000 beds have been lost across public hospitals in Brazil.
The aim of this project was to analyse services and processes currently in practice at two hospitals in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, in order to identify areas of improvement. The work shown concerns Hospital Santa Cruz do Sul, a community hospital that is currently running at a deficit of BRL$1m per month. It serves a population of around 500,000 people in the region of Rio Pardo.
We identified two areas to focus on: (i) shift changes, and (ii) procedural changes such as room cleaning and calling patients to consultation.
An analysis of the given A&E data revealed that in both areas there is a potential for improvement. The impact of the proposed changes is modelled using SAN (Stochastic Automata Network) and Arena (queueing simulation). Although the simulation work is still ongoing, we currently estimate that implementing all proposed changes could lead to increasing the number of patients seen per doctor per hour by three during peak times. The benefits of this would be twofold: (i) the waiting time for patients would be reduced, thus potentially leading to better health outcomes, and (ii) less patients would walk away while waiting to be seen, which leads to more patients treated and more money recovered for the hospital while using the same level of staffing.