Gradconsult are pleased to announce the five researchers who beat hundreds of other applicants to win our grants to help pursue their research. Established to help new researchers and early career academics get a ‘foot in the door’ with funding bids, Gradconsult’s microgrants have been designed to give individuals a track record to go on and secure larger funding bids to conduct research in their field.
As an organisation that works closely with many universities and sees the value of research in higher education, we want to practice what we preach.
We invited the winners to GC Towers here in Sheffield to toast their achievements!
The microgrants were formed due to the difficulty for new researchers or early career academics to get projects funded when they don’t necessarily have a track record.
Here is a little about the winners and their exciting projects:
Jamie Barton, PhD student at Liverpool John Moores University, £500 awarded for research into how stories can help those who are suffering from the effects of addiction.
Jamie is researching into how storytelling can be therapeutic in aiding those with addiction issues to recovery.
His award will help him conduct interviews with therapists and local recovery services as to how story telling can help give a helping hand to those struggling with addiction.
Jamie, who is a PHD student in English language and literature and has had addiction issues in his own life, told the Gradconsult panel about his Mirrors of Mythology project, which is a continuation of the project he conducted during his degree in drama and creative writing.
Jamie said in today’s austere financial climate there is a lack of convincing frameworks for evaluating arts and health data, which means it is difficult persuading policymakers.
“I’ll be looking at how we can understand ourselves through stories, and how when dislocated from ourselves during addiction we can see ourselves reflected in the rich history of mythology and story,” he said.
Adam Jenson, PhD student at Northumbria University, £400 awarded for research project setting out to help local authorities become more efficient.
Local authorities are under increasing pressure to become more open and transparent with their data and decision making. In the UK, this is has led to austerity, which has seen resources, staff and budgets greatly reduced.
This crisis has meant that local authorities must now be prepared to adapt, change and embrace creative alternatives in their strategic planning and service delivery. By using in depth case studies from local authorities in England, his project seeks to discover the ways in which local authorities are turning towards technology to meet these challenges.
This project seeks to highlight the exciting positive and progressive work being done by local authorities. Illustrating that by embracing new technologies, skills and ways of working it is possible to maintain and deliver a high standard of insight and service delivery. It is hoped sharing ideas of good practice can help inspire other local authorities and ultimately have a positive impact on the lives of many citizens.
Nathan Case, Senior Research Associate at Lancaster University, £550 awarded for studying the Northern Lights effect on the earth’s magnetic fields.
Nathan Case is involved with AuroroWatch UK, a volunteer-run project, looking at the aurora borealis’ otherwise known as the Northern Lights.
He has received £550 from Gradconsult, which will help go towards constructing a magnetometer, an instrument to measure changes, and place them in the North of the UK.
Nathan has met with difficulties as he attempts to look into the issue, as amateur scientists struggle to gain recognition with the mainstream scientific community.
“I strongly believe that involving ‘everyday citizens’ in cutting-edge research can deeply benefit both the professional scientist and the citizens themselves,” said Nathan.
Lina Isabel Brand Correa, PhD student at The University of Leeds, £400 awarded for helping align climate change goals to helping those in poverty.
Lina has won a grant to help find a way to stop climate change, whilst also helping the world’s poorest people.
Colombian born Lin’s grant will help her conduct and analyse workshops in her native country working out how important energy is for people’s well-being.
Lina is in the 3rd year of her PhD in Earth and Environment and she told the Gradconsult panel about her scheme to look at those living in poverty in her homeland and creating a way where climate change can be slowed down, whilst still helping people.
Lina said whilst climate change needs urgent action, the needs of the poorest in society have to be catered for.
“In my PHD I see energy as the key link between well-being and environmental impact,” she said.
Andrew Fletcher, Research Associate at Durham University, £400 awarded for his project looking at the effects the arts has on health.
Andrew has won a grant to aid in the understanding of how the arts could increase human well-being.
His winning entry will help him conduct music workshops and study their effects on mental well-being.
Andrew, aged 37, told the Gradconsult panel about his scheme, which will look at designing arts projects aimed at maximising well-being and commented as follows:-
“In social research, this is the most valuable of data, as it means that projects can be designed to maximise wellbeing, making the best use of dwindling resources,” he said.
Well done again to all of our successful researchers!