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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: NE/E00511X/1
    Funder Contribution: 324,555 GBP

    On June 15 2006, the World Wildlife Federation (WWF) released a report called 'Killing them Softly', which highlighted concern over the accumulation and toxic effects of persistent organic pollutants present in Arctic wildlife, particularly marine mammals such as the Polar Bear. The Times newspaper ran a full-page article summarising this report and detailed 'legacy' chemicals such as DDT and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), as well as the rise in 'new' chemical contaminants such as brominated flame retardents and perfluorinated surfactants, which are also accumulating in arctic fauna and adding an additional toxic risk. The high levels of these contaminants are making animals like the Polar Bear less capable of surviving the harsh Arctic conditions and dealing with the impacts of climate change. The work in this proposal intends to examine how these chemicals are delivered to surface waters of the Arctic Ocean, and hence the base of the marine foodweb. Persistent organic pollutants reach the Arctic via long-range transport, primarily through the air from source regions in Europe, North America and Asia, but also with surface ocean currents. The cold conditions of the Arctic help to promote the accumulation of these chemicals in snow and surface waters and slows any breakdown and evaporative loss. However, the processes that remove these pollutants from the atmosphere, store them in snow and ice and then transfer them to the Arctic Ocean are poorly understood, and yet these processes may differ depending on the chemcial in question. For example, some chemicals are rather volatile (i.e. they have a tendency to evaporate), so while they can reach the Arctic and be deposited with snowfall they are unlikely to reach the ocean due to ltheir oss back to the atmosphere during the arctic summer. On the other hand, heavier, less volatile chemicals, become strongly bound to snow and particles and can be delivered to seawater during summer melt. Climate change and a warmer world are altering the Arctic and affecting pollutant pathways. For example, the number of ice-leads (large cracks in the sea-ice that give rise to 'lakes' of seawater) are increasing. As a result, the pathways that chemical pollutants take to reach ocean waters are changing and may actually be made shorter, posing an even greater threat to marine wildlife. During ice-free periods, the ocean surface water is in contact with the atmosphere (rather than capped with sea-ice) and airborne pollutants can dissolve directly into cold surface waters. Encouragingly, there is evidence that some of the 'legacy' pollutants are declining in the arctic atmosphere, but many 'modern' chemicals are actually increasing in arctic biota and work is required to measure their input and understand their behaviour in this unusual environment. For example, in sunlit surface snow following polar sunrise (24 h daylight), some of these compounds can degrade by absorbing the sunlight, and in some cases, this can give rise to more stable compounds that subsequently enter the foodchain. Therefore, the quantity of chemical pollutant that is deposited with snowfall and the chemical's fate during snowmelt are important processes to address, especially to understand the loading and impact of these pollutants on the marine ecosystem. This project aims to understand these processes, and to understand which type of pollutants and their quantities pose the greatest threat to wildlife.

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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/J008303/1
    Funder Contribution: 503,961 GBP

    Extensive unexploited resources of heavy oil and bitumen exist, for example in Canada and Venezuela, as well as heavier deposits under the North Sea UK, which could potentially be utilized as the production of conventional light crude declines. Heavy oil and bitumen are more difficult to recover than conventional crude, requiring mining or specialized in-situ recovery techniques followed by upgrading to make them suitable for use as a fuel. Toe to heel air injection (THAITM) is an in-situ combustion and upgrading process in which air is injected to a horizontal well to feed combustion of a small fraction of the oil (up to 15 %). The heat generated causes the oil to flow along the well, where thermal upgrading reactions occur, leading to upgrading of the oil (by 4-6 API). CAPRI is a catalytic add-on to THAI in which catalyst is packed around the well to effect further catalytic upgrading reactions, such as hydrotreatment, however previous studies showed that the catalyst lifetime and process effectiveness are limited by coke deposition upon the catalyst. Additionally the costs and challenges of packing the well with pelleted catalyst prior to starting up also make the CAPRI process less economically attractive. The current proposal seeks to develop cheap, effective nanoparticulate catalysts which could be conveyed into the well by air or as slurry during operation, thereby avoiding the requirement for packing the well with catalyst prior to start up and to reduce the amount of deactivation and bed blockage that occurs by coke deposition upon pelleted catalysts. Initially, readily available iron oxide nanoparticles will be tested as a base-case. Nanoparticulate catalysts will also be prepared by supporting the metal upon bacteria, using a method in which metal containing solution is reduced in the presence of a bacterial culture, followed by centrifuge and drying which kills the live bacteria. The method has the advantages of being able to utilize scrap metal solutions and thus facilitate recycling of metals from waste sources, and it may be tuned to engineer nanoparticles of desired size and properties (e.g. crystal structures). Here we seek to develop, test and scale up the production of biogenic Fe catalysts for the upgrading of oil in the THAI process. Furthermore, waste road dusts contain deposits of catalytic metals from the exhaust of vehicular catalytic converters and these will be converted into cheap mixed metal catalysts by economically proven biohydrometallurgical methods for testing in the THAI process. Key to the effectiveness of utilizing nanoparticle catalysts will be the ability to contact them with oil in the mobile oil zone and flame front of the well, where the reaction is taking place. Studies of the rock void structure will be carried out using techniques such as X-Ray microtomography. Monte Carlo and Lattice Boltzmann simulations will be used to study the pneumatic conveying of particles into the reservoir and to study penetration and distribution of particles within the void space of the rocks. Conveying of slurry catalysts and process performance will be modeled using STARS reservoir simulation software. Evaluation of the different catalysts will be performed experimentally under real conditions using a rig developed under a previous project. The effect of variables such as gas:oil ratio, temperature, pressure and gas composition will be studied experimentally, in order to select the best catalyst and understand the conditions required for maximum upgrading. The experiments will also indicate whether catalyst deactivation occurs during use and enable conditions to be tuned to avoid deactivation.

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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/L016362/1
    Funder Contribution: 3,527,890 GBP

    The motivation for this proposal is that the global reliance on fossil fuels is set to increase with the rapid growth of Asian economies and major discoveries of shale gas in developed nations. The strategic vision of the IDC is to develop a world-leading Centre for Industrial Doctoral Training focussed on delivering research leaders and next-generation innovators with broad economic, societal and contextual awareness, having strong technical skills and capable of operating in multi-disciplinary teams covering a range of knowledge transfer, deployment and policy roles. They will be able to analyse the overall economic context of projects and be aware of their social and ethical implications. These skills will enable them to contribute to stimulating UK-based industry to develop next-generation technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels and ultimately improve the UK's position globally through increased jobs and exports. The Centre will involve over 50 recognised academics in carbon capture & storage (CCS) and cleaner fossil energy to provide comprehensive supervisory capacity across the theme for 70 doctoral students. It will provide an innovative training programme co-created in collaboration with our industrial partners to meet their advanced skills needs. The industrial letters of support demonstrate a strong need for the proposed Centre in terms of research to be conducted and PhDs that will be produced, with 10 new companies willing to join the proposed Centre including EDF Energy, Siemens, BOC Linde and Caterpillar, together with software companies, such as ANSYS, involved with power plant and CCS simulation. We maintain strong support from our current partners that include Doosan Babcock, Alstom Power, Air Products, the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI), Tata Steel, SSE, RWE npower, Johnson Matthey, E.ON, CPL Industries, Clean Coal Ltd and Innospec, together with the Biomass & Fossil Fuels Research Alliance (BF2RA), a grouping of companies across the power sector. Further, we have engaged SMEs, including CMCL Innovation, 2Co Energy, PSE and C-Capture, that have recently received Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC)/Technology Strategy Board (TSB)/ETI/EC support for CCS projects. The active involvement companies have in the research projects, make an IDC the most effective form of CDT to directly contribute to the UK maintaining a strong R&D base across the fossil energy power and allied sectors and to meet the aims of the DECC CCS Roadmap in enabling industry to define projects fitting their R&D priorities. The major technical challenges over the next 10-20 years identified by our industrial partners are: (i) implementing new, more flexible and efficient fossil fuel power plant to meet peak demand as recognised by electricity market reform incentives in the Energy Bill, with efficiency improvements involving materials challenges and maximising biomass use in coal-fired plant; (ii) deploying CCS at commercial scale for near-zero emission power plant and developing cost reduction technologies which involves improving first-generation solvent-based capture processes, developing next-generation capture processes, and understanding the impact of impurities on CO2 transport and storage; (iimaximising the potential of unconventional gas, including shale gas, 'tight' gas and syngas produced from underground coal gasification; and (iii) developing technologies for vastly reduced CO2 emissions in other industrial sectors: iron and steel making, cement, refineries, domestic fuels and small-scale diesel power generatort and These challenges match closely those defined in EPSRC's Priority Area of 'CCS and cleaner fossil energy'. Further, they cover biomass firing in conventional plant defined in the Bioenergy Priority Area, where specific issues concern erosion, corrosion, slagging, fouling and overall supply chain economics.

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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/G015325/1
    Funder Contribution: 313,341 GBP

    The biological membrane is a highly organised structure. Many biologically active compounds interact with the biological membrane and modify its structure and organisation in a very selective manner. Phospholipids form the basic backbone structure of biological membranes. When phospholipid layers are adsorbed on a mercury drop electrode (HMDE) they form monolayers which have a very similar structure and properties to exactly half the phospholipid bilayer of a biological membrane. The reason for this is that the fluid phospholipid layer is directly compatible with the smooth liquid mercury surface. The great advantage of this system is that the structure of the adsorbed phospholipid layer can be very closely interrogated electrochemically since it is supported on a conducting surface. In this way interactions with biologically active compounds which modify the monolayer's structure can be sensed. The disadvantage is that Hg electrodes are fragile, toxic and have no applicability for field use in spite of the sensitivity of the system to biological membrane active species. Another disadvantage is that the Hg surface can only be imaged with extreme difficulty. This project takes the above proven sensing system and modifies it in the following way. A single and an array of platinum (Pt) microelectrode(s) are fabricated on a silicon wafer. On each microelectrode a minute amount of Hg is electrodeposited and on each Hg/Pt electrode a phospholipid monolayer is deposited. The stability of each phospholipid layer will be ensured through the edge effect of the electrode. We will use the silicon wafer array to carry out controlled phospholipid deposition experiments which are not possible on the HMDE. We shall also try out other methods of phospholipid deposition. The project will exploit the fact that the microelectrode array system with deposited phospholipid monolayers is accessible for imaging. AFM studies at Leeds have already been used to image temperature induced phase changes in mica supported phospholipid bilayers showing nucleation and growth processes. The AFM system is eminently suitable therefore to image the potential induced phase changes of the phospholipid monolayers on the individual chip based microelectrodes. It is important to do this because the occurrence of these phase transitions is very sensitive to the interaction of the phospholipid layer with biomembrane active species.In addition the mechanism of the phase changes which are fundamentally the same as those occurring in the electroporation of cells are of immense physical interest and a greater understanding of them can be gained through their imaging. We shall also attempt to image the interaction of the layer with membrane active peptides at different potential values. The AFM system will be developed to image the conformation and state of aggregation of adsorbed anti-microbial peptides on the monolayer in particular as a function of potential change. When biomembrane active compounds interact with phospholipid layers on Hg they alter the fluidity and organisation of the layers. This in turn affects the characteristics of the potential induced phase transitions. This can be very effectively monitored electrochemically by rapid cyclic voltammetry (RCV). Interferences to the analysis will be characterised. Pattern recognition techniques will be developed to characterise the electrochemical response to individual active compounds.The project will deliver a sensor on a silicon wafer which has the potential to detect low levels of biomembrane active organic compounds in natural waters and to assess the biomembrane activity of pharmaceutical compounds. The proven feasibility of cleaning the Hg/Pt electrode and renewing the sensing phospholipid layer will facilitate the incorporation of the device into a flow through system with a full automation and programmable operation.

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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: BB/E011632/1
    Funder Contribution: 379,127 GBP

    The cells that make up every organism are delicate and intricate machines that must carry out many complex tasks to stay alive. The single celled fungus, the budding yeast, although modest in size, shares with our cells many of these intricate mechanisms. Yeast has the huge advantage over humans in scientific research: it is relatively easy and cheap to study. Many of the insights gained into how yeast cells work apply, in one form or another, to other organisms, including ourselves. Among the key tasks shared between yeast and human cells is the ability to grow bigger without bursting. Another is to survive changes in the immediate environment that threaten lysis (bursting), such as changes in temperature or nasty chemicals. Yeast possesses one main system that senses a variety of threats to the cell's integrity and responds so as to maintain that integrity (and thereby keep the cell alive) - the cell wall integrity (CWI) pathway. Many of the components of this system are shared with humans but some are not - these latter may be a fungus' Achilles' heel, to which drugs could be developed that cause fungal cells (many pathogenic) to blow up (die) leaving human cells undisturbed. The CWI pathway is worth understanding. In addition, the CWI pathway presents scientific puzzles that challenge our understanding of how living systems work. Multiple signals feed into this pathway, and the pathway can activate a variety of distinct responses: how can one pathway integrate many inputs and 'decide' to make a sensible response? Key regulators of the CWI pathway are proteins called GEFs. CWI-GEFs appear to come in two distinct flavours that appear to perform distinct roles in activating the pathway. In this proposal, we seek to better understand how these GEFs are regulated, how they differ from each other both structurally and functionally and how information is processed by these GEFs to affect CWI outputs in the appropriate way. We hope to better understand how the complex and important CWI pathway is regulated.

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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/H009612/1
    Funder Contribution: 5,814,410 GBP

    Reducing carbon emissions and securing energy supplies are crucial international goals to which energy demand reduction must make a major contribution. On a national level, demand reduction, deployment of new and renewable energy technologies, and decarbonisation of the energy supply are essential if the UK is to meet its legally binding carbon reduction targets. As a result, this area is an important theme within the EPSRC's strategic plan, but one that suffers from historical underinvestment and a serious shortage of appropriately skilled researchers. Major energy demand reductions are required within the working lifetime of Doctoral Training Centre (DTC) graduates, i.e. by 2050. Students will thus have to be capable of identifying and undertaking research that will have an impact within their 35 year post-doctoral career. The challenges will be exacerbated as our population ages, as climate change advances and as fuel prices rise: successful demand reduction requires both detailed technical knowledge and multi-disciplinary skills. The DTC will therefore span the interfaces between traditional disciplines to develop a training programme that teaches the context and process-bound problems of technology deployment, along with the communication and leadership skills needed to initiate real change within the tight time scale required. It will be jointly operated by University College London (UCL) and Loughborough University (LU); two world-class centres of energy research. Through the cross-faculty Energy Institute at UCL and Sustainability Research School at LU, over 80 academics have been identified who are able and willing to supervise DTC students. These experts span the full range of necessary disciplines from science and engineering to ergonomics and design, psychology and sociology through to economics and politics. The reputation of the universities will enable them to attract the very best students to this research area.The DTC will begin with a 1 year joint MRes programme followed by a 3 year PhD programme including a placement abroad and the opportunity for each DTC student to employ an undergraduate intern to assist them. Students will be trained in communication methods and alternative forms of public engagement. They will thus understand the energy challenges faced by the UK, appreciate the international energy landscape, develop people-management and communication skills, and so acquire the competence to make a tangible impact. An annual colloquium will be the focal point of the DTC year acting as a show-case and major mechanism for connection to the wider stakeholder community.The DTC will be led by internationally eminent academics (Prof Robert Lowe, Director, and Prof Kevin J Lomas, Deputy Director), together they have over 50 years of experience in this sector. They will be supported by a management structure headed by an Advisory Board chaired by Pascal Terrien, Director of the European Centre and Laboratories for Energy Efficiency Research and responsible for the Demand Reduction programme of the UK Energy Technology Institute. This will help secure the international, industrial and UK research linkages of the DTC.Students will receive a stipend that is competitive with other DTCs in the energy arena and, for work in certain areas, further enhancement from industrial sponsors. They will have a personal annual research allowance, an excellent research environment and access to resources. Both Universities are committed to energy research at the highest level, and each has invested over 3.2M in academic appointments, infrastructure development and other support, specifically to the energy demand reduction area. Each university will match the EPSRC funded studentships one-for-one, with funding from other sources. This DTC will therefore train at least 100 students over its 8 year life.

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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/V043811/1
    Funder Contribution: 497,214 GBP

    Coronaviruses are transmitted from an infectious individual through large respiratory droplets generated by coughing, sneezing or speaking. These infectious droplets are then transmitted to the mucosal surfaces of a recipient through inhalation of the aerosol or by contact with contaminated fomites such as surfaces or other objects. In healthcare settings, personal protective equipment (PPE) plays a crucial role in interrupting the transmission of highly communicable diseases such as COVID19 from patients to healthcare workers (HCWs). However, research has shown that PPE can also act as a fomite during the donning and doffing process as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) can survive on these surfaces for up to three days. This creates a need for more effective PPE materials that can provide antiviral protection. In this proposal we aim to develop a dual action antiviral/antifouling coating to lower the risk of transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 to HCWs from COVID19 patients. This project will deliver antiviral/antifouling coatings that can be readily applied to PPE surfaces such as faceshields that are likely to encounter a high level of viral load and would be of great benefit to the health of clinical staff. Furthermore, this project has embedded into its planning a rapid pathway for optimisation, translation, and upscaling of manufacture to deliver a low-cost technology within a short timescale.

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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: NE/V019856/1
    Funder Contribution: 12,298 GBP

    The human mouth contains many different types of microorganisms that are often found attached to oral surfaces in 'sticky' communities called biofilms. These microorganisms are held in close proximity and will therefore likely influence the behaviour of each other. The effects of this could result in increased microbial growth, the displacement of some microorganisms to other sites, the alteration of gene expression and potentially, the enabling of microorganisms to cause infection. A PhD research project being done by Ms Megan Williams at the School of Dentistry, Cardiff University has been exploring how a fungus called Candida albicans can interact both with acrylic surfaces (used to manufacture dentures) and also with bacterial species often found alongside Candida albicans. To date, the work has indicated that colonisation of acrylic coated with different fluids, including those generated from tobacco smoking, may change the way Candida albicans grows. Candida albicans can grow as round cells called yeast, or as filamentous forms called hyphae. It is the hyphal forms that are often considered more damaging to human tissue surfaces during infection. In addition, the research shows that when certain bacteria are grown on acrylic surfaces with Candida albicans, hyphal development is also triggered. This is important, as it may mean that occurrence of infection by Candida albicans is at least in part determined by the community composition of the bacteria present alongside Candida. To date, the methods used to study these effects have included fluorescent microscopy, where the Candida is stained to fluoresce a different colour to bacteria and the surface of attachment. Whilst this approach allows quantification of attachment and imaging of the different growth forms, it cannot determine strength of cell-cell-surface interactions. Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) is a method that provides images through measuring forces acting between a moving probe and a surface. It is possible to attach different molecules and even whole bacteria to the AFM probe, and in doing so, we can measure interactions occurring between bacteria, and either Candida yeast or hyphae serving as the substrate. Dr Laurent Bozec and his team at the University of Toronto are experts in use of AFM, which is not available in the School of dentistry, Cardiff. The exchange therefore offers the PhD student the opportunity to learn a new experimental technique, generate important data for the PhD and benefit from unique networking experiences. The results generated from this proposal will greatly enhance the research output and complement existing findings of the PhD. Ultimately, this could help determine how bacteria physically interact with Candida albicans and trigger the development of hyphal filaments to facilitate infection.

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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: NE/I027282/1
    Funder Contribution: 612,995 GBP

    Methane is a powerful long-lived greenhouse gas that is second only to carbon dioxide in its radiative forcing potential. Understanding the Earth's methane cycle at regional scales is a necessary step for evaluating the effectiveness of methane emission reduction schemes, detecting changes in biological sources and sinks of methane that are influenced by climate, and predicting and perhaps mitigating future methane emissions. The growth rate of atmospheric methane has slowed since the 1990s but it continues to show considerable year-to-year variability that cannot be adequately explained. Some of the variability is caused by the influence of weather on systems in which methane is produced biologically. When an anomalous increase in atmospheric methane is detected in the northern hemisphere that links to warm weather conditions, typically wetlands and peatlands are thought to be the cause. However, small lakes and ponds commonly are overlooked as potential major sources of methane emissions. Lakes historically have been regarded as minor emitters of methane because diffusive fluxes during summer months are negligible. This notion has persisted until recently even though measurements beginning in the 1990s have consistently shown that significant amounts of methane are emitted from northern lakes during spring and autumn. In the winter time the ice cover isolates lake water from the atmosphere and the water column become poor in oxygen and stratified. Methane production increases in bottom sediment and the gas spreads through the water column with some methane-rich bubbles rising upwards and becoming trapped in the ice cover as it thickens downward in late winter. In spring when the ice melts the gas is released. Through changes in temperature and the influence of wind the lake water column mixes and deeper accumulations of methane are lost to the atmosphere. In summer the water column stratifies again and methane accumulates once more in the bottom sediments. When the water column become thermally unstable in the autumn and eventually overturns the deep methane is once again released although a greater proportion of it appears to be consumed by bacteria in the autumn. Lakes differ in the chemistry of their water as well as the geometry of their basins. Thus it is difficult to be certain that all lakes will behave in this way but for many it seems likely. The proposed study will measure the build-up of methane in lakes during spring and autumn across a range of ecological zones in North America. The focus will be on spring build-up and emissions because that gas is the least likely to be influenced by methane-consuming bacteria. However, detailed measurements of methane emissions will also be made in the autumn at a subset of lakes. The measurements will then be scaled to a regional level using remote sensing data providing a 'bottom-up' estimate of spring and autumn methane fluxes. Those results will be compared to a 'top-down' estimate determined using a Met Office dispersion model that back-calculates the path of air masses for which the concentration of atmospheric methane has been measured at global monitoring stations in order to determine how much methane had to be added to the air during its passage through a region. Comparing estimates by these two approaches will provide independent assessments of the potential impact of seasonal methane fluxes from northern lakes. In addition measurements of the light and heavy versions of carbon and hydrogen atoms in methane (C, H) and water (H) will be measured to evaluate their potential use as tracer for uniquely identifying methane released by lakes at different latitudes. If successful the proposed study has the potential to yield a step-change in our perception of the methane cycle by demonstrating conclusively that a second major weather-sensitive source of biological methane contributes to year-to-year shifts in the growth rate of atmospheric methane.

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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: AH/K000764/1
    Funder Contribution: 96,159 GBP

    This proposal builds on - and extends to new audiences and user communities - our NDA funded research project (2009-2012) entitled Ages and Stages: The Place of Theatre in Representations and Recollections of Ageing. It aims to develop some of the activities and research-led learning from that project and, in so doing, reach out to - and bring together - user communities who may not traditionally have worked with drama in the ways proposed here. This will be achieved through the following connected programme of drama-related activities: 1) The formation of an intergenerational theatre company at the New Vic Theatre. Through a regular series of workshops, the company will bring older and younger people together in creative, drama-based activities to enhance understanding between the generations and support the continued social engagement of both groups. 2) A touring performance. The IG company will create a touring piece(s) which can be taken out to audiences within, and beyond, North Staffordshire. We anticipate that these audiences might include local councils; primary as well as secondary schools; residential homes/housing developments for older people; community groups and higher education institutions providing professional training courses (for teachers, social workers and doctors/nurses). 3) An inter-professional training course and training materials/resources, which will aim to develop practice capabilities and age awareness amongst teachers, health and social care professionals, arts practitioners and others interested in learning about and including intergenerational theatre/drama in their practice. The IG company will act as an important resource by contributing to the development and delivery of the training sessions and providing feedback to participants. 4) A scoping exercise for a wider 'Creative Age Festival', which could leave a concrete community legacy from Ages & Stages. The project will continue to be overseen by the existing 'Ages and Stages' Advisory Group, which includes experts in drama, intergenerational practice, policy and gerontology. The group will also be refreshed by new members, including younger members of the intergenerational theatre company (aged 16-18) . The activities we propose are timely for the following reasons. First, there is a notable groundswell of interest in the arts in general and theatre/drama in particular, not simply as a cultural activity but as one which has the potential to impact positively on the well-being of older and younger people. Second, in times of scarce resources, it is important to capitalise on activities which bring people together rather than those which might pit the generations against each other. Third, there is a role for practitioners in facilitating and enabling these kinds of activities but rarely, to our knowledge, have there been opportunities for professionals from differing arenas to work together as is proposed here. Finally, it is important to make best use of existing knowledge - not just that generated from our own work but also that of colleagues. We will be drawing strongly from our collaborators, including our linked Canadian project (about the impact of theatre on health ageing, which runs until 2013), and will also remain part of the New Dynamics of Ageing programme and will benefit from the knowledge exchanges this offers.

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577 Projects
  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: NE/E00511X/1
    Funder Contribution: 324,555 GBP

    On June 15 2006, the World Wildlife Federation (WWF) released a report called 'Killing them Softly', which highlighted concern over the accumulation and toxic effects of persistent organic pollutants present in Arctic wildlife, particularly marine mammals such as the Polar Bear. The Times newspaper ran a full-page article summarising this report and detailed 'legacy' chemicals such as DDT and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), as well as the rise in 'new' chemical contaminants such as brominated flame retardents and perfluorinated surfactants, which are also accumulating in arctic fauna and adding an additional toxic risk. The high levels of these contaminants are making animals like the Polar Bear less capable of surviving the harsh Arctic conditions and dealing with the impacts of climate change. The work in this proposal intends to examine how these chemicals are delivered to surface waters of the Arctic Ocean, and hence the base of the marine foodweb. Persistent organic pollutants reach the Arctic via long-range transport, primarily through the air from source regions in Europe, North America and Asia, but also with surface ocean currents. The cold conditions of the Arctic help to promote the accumulation of these chemicals in snow and surface waters and slows any breakdown and evaporative loss. However, the processes that remove these pollutants from the atmosphere, store them in snow and ice and then transfer them to the Arctic Ocean are poorly understood, and yet these processes may differ depending on the chemcial in question. For example, some chemicals are rather volatile (i.e. they have a tendency to evaporate), so while they can reach the Arctic and be deposited with snowfall they are unlikely to reach the ocean due to ltheir oss back to the atmosphere during the arctic summer. On the other hand, heavier, less volatile chemicals, become strongly bound to snow and particles and can be delivered to seawater during summer melt. Climate change and a warmer world are altering the Arctic and affecting pollutant pathways. For example, the number of ice-leads (large cracks in the sea-ice that give rise to 'lakes' of seawater) are increasing. As a result, the pathways that chemical pollutants take to reach ocean waters are changing and may actually be made shorter, posing an even greater threat to marine wildlife. During ice-free periods, the ocean surface water is in contact with the atmosphere (rather than capped with sea-ice) and airborne pollutants can dissolve directly into cold surface waters. Encouragingly, there is evidence that some of the 'legacy' pollutants are declining in the arctic atmosphere, but many 'modern' chemicals are actually increasing in arctic biota and work is required to measure their input and understand their behaviour in this unusual environment. For example, in sunlit surface snow following polar sunrise (24 h daylight), some of these compounds can degrade by absorbing the sunlight, and in some cases, this can give rise to more stable compounds that subsequently enter the foodchain. Therefore, the quantity of chemical pollutant that is deposited with snowfall and the chemical's fate during snowmelt are important processes to address, especially to understand the loading and impact of these pollutants on the marine ecosystem. This project aims to understand these processes, and to understand which type of pollutants and their quantities pose the greatest threat to wildlife.

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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/J008303/1
    Funder Contribution: 503,961 GBP

    Extensive unexploited resources of heavy oil and bitumen exist, for example in Canada and Venezuela, as well as heavier deposits under the North Sea UK, which could potentially be utilized as the production of conventional light crude declines. Heavy oil and bitumen are more difficult to recover than conventional crude, requiring mining or specialized in-situ recovery techniques followed by upgrading to make them suitable for use as a fuel. Toe to heel air injection (THAITM) is an in-situ combustion and upgrading process in which air is injected to a horizontal well to feed combustion of a small fraction of the oil (up to 15 %). The heat generated causes the oil to flow along the well, where thermal upgrading reactions occur, leading to upgrading of the oil (by 4-6 API). CAPRI is a catalytic add-on to THAI in which catalyst is packed around the well to effect further catalytic upgrading reactions, such as hydrotreatment, however previous studies showed that the catalyst lifetime and process effectiveness are limited by coke deposition upon the catalyst. Additionally the costs and challenges of packing the well with pelleted catalyst prior to starting up also make the CAPRI process less economically attractive. The current proposal seeks to develop cheap, effective nanoparticulate catalysts which could be conveyed into the well by air or as slurry during operation, thereby avoiding the requirement for packing the well with catalyst prior to start up and to reduce the amount of deactivation and bed blockage that occurs by coke deposition upon pelleted catalysts. Initially, readily available iron oxide nanoparticles will be tested as a base-case. Nanoparticulate catalysts will also be prepared by supporting the metal upon bacteria, using a method in which metal containing solution is reduced in the presence of a bacterial culture, followed by centrifuge and drying which kills the live bacteria. The method has the advantages of being able to utilize scrap metal solutions and thus facilitate recycling of metals from waste sources, and it may be tuned to engineer nanoparticles of desired size and properties (e.g. crystal structures). Here we seek to develop, test and scale up the production of biogenic Fe catalysts for the upgrading of oil in the THAI process. Furthermore, waste road dusts contain deposits of catalytic metals from the exhaust of vehicular catalytic converters and these will be converted into cheap mixed metal catalysts by economically proven biohydrometallurgical methods for testing in the THAI process. Key to the effectiveness of utilizing nanoparticle catalysts will be the ability to contact them with oil in the mobile oil zone and flame front of the well, where the reaction is taking place. Studies of the rock void structure will be carried out using techniques such as X-Ray microtomography. Monte Carlo and Lattice Boltzmann simulations will be used to study the pneumatic conveying of particles into the reservoir and to study penetration and distribution of particles within the void space of the rocks. Conveying of slurry catalysts and process performance will be modeled using STARS reservoir simulation software. Evaluation of the different catalysts will be performed experimentally under real conditions using a rig developed under a previous project. The effect of variables such as gas:oil ratio, temperature, pressure and gas composition will be studied experimentally, in order to select the best catalyst and understand the conditions required for maximum upgrading. The experiments will also indicate whether catalyst deactivation occurs during use and enable conditions to be tuned to avoid deactivation.

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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/L016362/1
    Funder Contribution: 3,527,890 GBP

    The motivation for this proposal is that the global reliance on fossil fuels is set to increase with the rapid growth of Asian economies and major discoveries of shale gas in developed nations. The strategic vision of the IDC is to develop a world-leading Centre for Industrial Doctoral Training focussed on delivering research leaders and next-generation innovators with broad economic, societal and contextual awareness, having strong technical skills and capable of operating in multi-disciplinary teams covering a range of knowledge transfer, deployment and policy roles. They will be able to analyse the overall economic context of projects and be aware of their social and ethical implications. These skills will enable them to contribute to stimulating UK-based industry to develop next-generation technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels and ultimately improve the UK's position globally through increased jobs and exports. The Centre will involve over 50 recognised academics in carbon capture & storage (CCS) and cleaner fossil energy to provide comprehensive supervisory capacity across the theme for 70 doctoral students. It will provide an innovative training programme co-created in collaboration with our industrial partners to meet their advanced skills needs. The industrial letters of support demonstrate a strong need for the proposed Centre in terms of research to be conducted and PhDs that will be produced, with 10 new companies willing to join the proposed Centre including EDF Energy, Siemens, BOC Linde and Caterpillar, together with software companies, such as ANSYS, involved with power plant and CCS simulation. We maintain strong support from our current partners that include Doosan Babcock, Alstom Power, Air Products, the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI), Tata Steel, SSE, RWE npower, Johnson Matthey, E.ON, CPL Industries, Clean Coal Ltd and Innospec, together with the Biomass & Fossil Fuels Research Alliance (BF2RA), a grouping of companies across the power sector. Further, we have engaged SMEs, including CMCL Innovation, 2Co Energy, PSE and C-Capture, that have recently received Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC)/Technology Strategy Board (TSB)/ETI/EC support for CCS projects. The active involvement companies have in the research projects, make an IDC the most effective form of CDT to directly contribute to the UK maintaining a strong R&D base across the fossil energy power and allied sectors and to meet the aims of the DECC CCS Roadmap in enabling industry to define projects fitting their R&D priorities. The major technical challenges over the next 10-20 years identified by our industrial partners are: (i) implementing new, more flexible and efficient fossil fuel power plant to meet peak demand as recognised by electricity market reform incentives in the Energy Bill, with efficiency improvements involving materials challenges and maximising biomass use in coal-fired plant; (ii) deploying CCS at commercial scale for near-zero emission power plant and developing cost reduction technologies which involves improving first-generation solvent-based capture processes, developing next-generation capture processes, and understanding the impact of impurities on CO2 transport and storage; (iimaximising the potential of unconventional gas, including shale gas, 'tight' gas and syngas produced from underground coal gasification; and (iii) developing technologies for vastly reduced CO2 emissions in other industrial sectors: iron and steel making, cement, refineries, domestic fuels and small-scale diesel power generatort and These challenges match closely those defined in EPSRC's Priority Area of 'CCS and cleaner fossil energy'. Further, they cover biomass firing in conventional plant defined in the Bioenergy Priority Area, where specific issues concern erosion, corrosion, slagging, fouling and overall supply chain economics.

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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/G015325/1
    Funder Contribution: 313,341 GBP

    The biological membrane is a highly organised structure. Many biologically active compounds interact with the biological membrane and modify its structure and organisation in a very selective manner. Phospholipids form the basic backbone structure of biological membranes. When phospholipid layers are adsorbed on a mercury drop electrode (HMDE) they form monolayers which have a very similar structure and properties to exactly half the phospholipid bilayer of a biological membrane. The reason for this is that the fluid phospholipid layer is directly compatible with the smooth liquid mercury surface. The great advantage of this system is that the structure of the adsorbed phospholipid layer can be very closely interrogated electrochemically since it is supported on a conducting surface. In this way interactions with biologically active compounds which modify the monolayer's structure can be sensed. The disadvantage is that Hg electrodes are fragile, toxic and have no applicability for field use in spite of the sensitivity of the system to biological membrane active species. Another disadvantage is that the Hg surface can only be imaged with extreme difficulty. This project takes the above proven sensing system and modifies it in the following way. A single and an array of platinum (Pt) microelectrode(s) are fabricated on a silicon wafer. On each microelectrode a minute amount of Hg is electrodeposited and on each Hg/Pt electrode a phospholipid monolayer is deposited. The stability of each phospholipid layer will be ensured through the edge effect of the electrode. We will use the silicon wafer array to carry out controlled phospholipid deposition experiments which are not possible on the HMDE. We shall also try out other methods of phospholipid deposition. The project will exploit the fact that the microelectrode array system with deposited phospholipid monolayers is accessible for imaging. AFM studies at Leeds have already been used to image temperature induced phase changes in mica supported phospholipid bilayers showing nucleation and growth processes. The AFM system is eminently suitable therefore to image the potential induced phase changes of the phospholipid monolayers on the individual chip based microelectrodes. It is important to do this because the occurrence of these phase transitions is very sensitive to the interaction of the phospholipid layer with biomembrane active species.In addition the mechanism of the phase changes which are fundamentally the same as those occurring in the electroporation of cells are of immense physical interest and a greater understanding of them can be gained through their imaging. We shall also attempt to image the interaction of the layer with membrane active peptides at different potential values. The AFM system will be developed to image the conformation and state of aggregation of adsorbed anti-microbial peptides on the monolayer in particular as a function of potential change. When biomembrane active compounds interact with phospholipid layers on Hg they alter the fluidity and organisation of the layers. This in turn affects the characteristics of the potential induced phase transitions. This can be very effectively monitored electrochemically by rapid cyclic voltammetry (RCV). Interferences to the analysis will be characterised. Pattern recognition techniques will be developed to characterise the electrochemical response to individual active compounds.The project will deliver a sensor on a silicon wafer which has the potential to detect low levels of biomembrane active organic compounds in natural waters and to assess the biomembrane activity of pharmaceutical compounds. The proven feasibility of cleaning the Hg/Pt electrode and renewing the sensing phospholipid layer will facilitate the incorporation of the device into a flow through system with a full automation and programmable operation.

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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: BB/E011632/1
    Funder Contribution: 379,127 GBP

    The cells that make up every organism are delicate and intricate machines that must carry out many complex tasks to stay alive. The single celled fungus, the budding yeast, although modest in size, shares with our cells many of these intricate mechanisms. Yeast has the huge advantage over humans in scientific research: it is relatively easy and cheap to study. Many of the insights gained into how yeast cells work apply, in one form or another, to other organisms, including ourselves. Among the key tasks shared between yeast and human cells is the ability to grow bigger without bursting. Another is to survive changes in the immediate environment that threaten lysis (bursting), such as changes in temperature or nasty chemicals. Yeast possesses one main system that senses a variety of threats to the cell's integrity and responds so as to maintain that integrity (and thereby keep the cell alive) - the cell wall integrity (CWI) pathway. Many of the components of this system are shared with humans but some are not - these latter may be a fungus' Achilles' heel, to which drugs could be developed that cause fungal cells (many pathogenic) to blow up (die) leaving human cells undisturbed. The CWI pathway is worth understanding. In addition, the CWI pathway presents scientific puzzles that challenge our understanding of how living systems work. Multiple signals feed into this pathway, and the pathway can activate a variety of distinct responses: how can one pathway integrate many inputs and 'decide' to make a sensible response? Key regulators of the CWI pathway are proteins called GEFs. CWI-GEFs appear to come in two distinct flavours that appear to perform distinct roles in activating the pathway. In this proposal, we seek to better understand how these GEFs are regulated, how they differ from each other both structurally and functionally and how information is processed by these GEFs to affect CWI outputs in the appropriate way. We hope to better understand how the complex and important CWI pathway is regulated.

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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/H009612/1
    Funder Contribution: 5,814,410 GBP

    Reducing carbon emissions and securing energy supplies are crucial international goals to which energy demand reduction must make a major contribution. On a national level, demand reduction, deployment of new and renewable energy technologies, and decarbonisation of the energy supply are essential if the UK is to meet its legally binding carbon reduction targets. As a result, this area is an important theme within the EPSRC's strategic plan, but one that suffers from historical underinvestment and a serious shortage of appropriately skilled researchers. Major energy demand reductions are required within the working lifetime of Doctoral Training Centre (DTC) graduates, i.e. by 2050. Students will thus have to be capable of identifying and undertaking research that will have an impact within their 35 year post-doctoral career. The challenges will be exacerbated as our population ages, as climate change advances and as fuel prices rise: successful demand reduction requires both detailed technical knowledge and multi-disciplinary skills. The DTC will therefore span the interfaces between traditional disciplines to develop a training programme that teaches the context and process-bound problems of technology deployment, along with the communication and leadership skills needed to initiate real change within the tight time scale required. It will be jointly operated by University College London (UCL) and Loughborough University (LU); two world-class centres of energy research. Through the cross-faculty Energy Institute at UCL and Sustainability Research School at LU, over 80 academics have been identified who are able and willing to supervise DTC students. These experts span the full range of necessary disciplines from science and engineering to ergonomics and design, psychology and sociology through to economics and politics. The reputation of the universities will enable them to attract the very best students to this research area.The DTC will begin with a 1 year joint MRes programme followed by a 3 year PhD programme including a placement abroad and the opportunity for each DTC student to employ an undergraduate intern to assist them. Students will be trained in communication methods and alternative forms of public engagement. They will thus understand the energy challenges faced by the UK, appreciate the international energy landscape, develop people-management and communication skills, and so acquire the competence to make a tangible impact. An annual colloquium will be the focal point of the DTC year acting as a show-case and major mechanism for connection to the wider stakeholder community.The DTC will be led by internationally eminent academics (Prof Robert Lowe, Director, and Prof Kevin J Lomas, Deputy Director), together they have over 50 years of experience in this sector. They will be supported by a management structure headed by an Advisory Board chaired by Pascal Terrien, Director of the European Centre and Laboratories for Energy Efficiency Research and responsible for the Demand Reduction programme of the UK Energy Technology Institute. This will help secure the international, industrial and UK research linkages of the DTC.Students will receive a stipend that is competitive with other DTCs in the energy arena and, for work in certain areas, further enhancement from industrial sponsors. They will have a personal annual research allowance, an excellent research environment and access to resources. Both Universities are committed to energy research at the highest level, and each has invested over 3.2M in academic appointments, infrastructure development and other support, specifically to the energy demand reduction area. Each university will match the EPSRC funded studentships one-for-one, with funding from other sources. This DTC will therefore train at least 100 students over its 8 year life.

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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/V043811/1
    Funder Contribution: 497,214 GBP

    Coronaviruses are transmitted from an infectious individual through large respiratory droplets generated by coughing, sneezing or speaking. These infectious droplets are then transmitted to the mucosal surfaces of a recipient through inhalation of the aerosol or by contact with contaminated fomites such as surfaces or other objects. In healthcare settings, personal protective equipment (PPE) plays a crucial role in interrupting the transmission of highly communicable diseases such as COVID19 from patients to healthcare workers (HCWs). However, research has shown that PPE can also act as a fomite during the donning and doffing process as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) can survive on these surfaces for up to three days. This creates a need for more effective PPE materials that can provide antiviral protection. In this proposal we aim to develop a dual action antiviral/antifouling coating to lower the risk of transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 to HCWs from COVID19 patients. This project will deliver antiviral/antifouling coatings that can be readily applied to PPE surfaces such as faceshields that are likely to encounter a high level of viral load and would be of great benefit to the health of clinical staff. Furthermore, this project has embedded into its planning a rapid pathway for optimisation, translation, and upscaling of manufacture to deliver a low-cost technology within a short timescale.

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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: NE/V019856/1
    Funder Contribution: 12,298 GBP

    The human mouth contains many different types of microorganisms that are often found attached to oral surfaces in 'sticky' communities called biofilms. These microorganisms are held in close proximity and will therefore likely influence the behaviour of each other. The effects of this could result in increased microbial growth, the displacement of some microorganisms to other sites, the alteration of gene expression and potentially, the enabling of microorganisms to cause infection. A PhD research project being done by Ms Megan Williams at the School of Dentistry, Cardiff University has been exploring how a fungus called Candida albicans can interact both with acrylic surfaces (used to manufacture dentures) and also with bacterial species often found alongside Candida albicans. To date, the work has indicated that colonisation of acrylic coated with different fluids, including those generated from tobacco smoking, may change the way Candida albicans grows. Candida albicans can grow as round cells called yeast, or as filamentous forms called hyphae. It is the hyphal forms that are often considered more damaging to human tissue surfaces during infection. In addition, the research shows that when certain bacteria are grown on acrylic surfaces with Candida albicans, hyphal development is also triggered. This is important, as it may mean that occurrence of infection by Candida albicans is at least in part determined by the community composition of the bacteria present alongside Candida. To date, the methods used to study these effects have included fluorescent microscopy, where the Candida is stained to fluoresce a different colour to bacteria and the surface of attachment. Whilst this approach allows quantification of attachment and imaging of the different growth forms, it cannot determine strength of cell-cell-surface interactions. Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) is a method that provides images through measuring forces acting between a moving probe and a surface. It is possible to attach different molecules and even whole bacteria to the AFM probe, and in doing so, we can measure interactions occurring between bacteria, and either Candida yeast or hyphae serving as the substrate. Dr Laurent Bozec and his team at the University of Toronto are experts in use of AFM, which is not available in the School of dentistry, Cardiff. The exchange therefore offers the PhD student the opportunity to learn a new experimental technique, generate important data for the PhD and benefit from unique networking experiences. The results generated from this proposal will greatly enhance the research output and complement existing findings of the PhD. Ultimately, this could help determine how bacteria physically interact with Candida albicans and trigger the development of hyphal filaments to facilitate infection.

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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: NE/I027282/1
    Funder Contribution: 612,995 GBP

    Methane is a powerful long-lived greenhouse gas that is second only to carbon dioxide in its radiative forcing potential. Understanding the Earth's methane cycle at regional scales is a necessary step for evaluating the effectiveness of methane emission reduction schemes, detecting changes in biological sources and sinks of methane that are influenced by climate, and predicting and perhaps mitigating future methane emissions. The growth rate of atmospheric methane has slowed since the 1990s but it continues to show considerable year-to-year variability that cannot be adequately explained. Some of the variability is caused by the influence of weather on systems in which methane is produced biologically. When an anomalous increase in atmospheric methane is detected in the northern hemisphere that links to warm weather conditions, typically wetlands and peatlands are thought to be the cause. However, small lakes and ponds commonly are overlooked as potential major sources of methane emissions. Lakes historically have been regarded as minor emitters of methane because diffusive fluxes during summer months are negligible. This notion has persisted until recently even though measurements beginning in the 1990s have consistently shown that significant amounts of methane are emitted from northern lakes during spring and autumn. In the winter time the ice cover isolates lake water from the atmosphere and the water column become poor in oxygen and stratified. Methane production increases in bottom sediment and the gas spreads through the water column with some methane-rich bubbles rising upwards and becoming trapped in the ice cover as it thickens downward in late winter. In spring when the ice melts the gas is released. Through changes in temperature and the influence of wind the lake water column mixes and deeper accumulations of methane are lost to the atmosphere. In summer the water column stratifies again and methane accumulates once more in the bottom sediments. When the water column become thermally unstable in the autumn and eventually overturns the deep methane is once again released although a greater proportion of it appears to be consumed by bacteria in the autumn. Lakes differ in the chemistry of their water as well as the geometry of their basins. Thus it is difficult to be certain that all lakes will behave in this way but for many it seems likely. The proposed study will measure the build-up of methane in lakes during spring and autumn across a range of ecological zones in North America. The focus will be on spring build-up and emissions because that gas is the least likely to be influenced by methane-consuming bacteria. However, detailed measurements of methane emissions will also be made in the autumn at a subset of lakes. The measurements will then be scaled to a regional level using remote sensing data providing a 'bottom-up' estimate of spring and autumn methane fluxes. Those results will be compared to a 'top-down' estimate determined using a Met Office dispersion model that back-calculates the path of air masses for which the concentration of atmospheric methane has been measured at global monitoring stations in order to determine how much methane had to be added to the air during its passage through a region. Comparing estimates by these two approaches will provide independent assessments of the potential impact of seasonal methane fluxes from northern lakes. In addition measurements of the light and heavy versions of carbon and hydrogen atoms in methane (C, H) and water (H) will be measured to evaluate their potential use as tracer for uniquely identifying methane released by lakes at different latitudes. If successful the proposed study has the potential to yield a step-change in our perception of the methane cycle by demonstrating conclusively that a second major weather-sensitive source of biological methane contributes to year-to-year shifts in the growth rate of atmospheric methane.

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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: AH/K000764/1
    Funder Contribution: 96,159 GBP

    This proposal builds on - and extends to new audiences and user communities - our NDA funded research project (2009-2012) entitled Ages and Stages: The Place of Theatre in Representations and Recollections of Ageing. It aims to develop some of the activities and research-led learning from that project and, in so doing, reach out to - and bring together - user communities who may not traditionally have worked with drama in the ways proposed here. This will be achieved through the following connected programme of drama-related activities: 1) The formation of an intergenerational theatre company at the New Vic Theatre. Through a regular series of workshops, the company will bring older and younger people together in creative, drama-based activities to enhance understanding between the generations and support the continued social engagement of both groups. 2) A touring performance. The IG company will create a touring piece(s) which can be taken out to audiences within, and beyond, North Staffordshire. We anticipate that these audiences might include local councils; primary as well as secondary schools; residential homes/housing developments for older people; community groups and higher education institutions providing professional training courses (for teachers, social workers and doctors/nurses). 3) An inter-professional training course and training materials/resources, which will aim to develop practice capabilities and age awareness amongst teachers, health and social care professionals, arts practitioners and others interested in learning about and including intergenerational theatre/drama in their practice. The IG company will act as an important resource by contributing to the development and delivery of the training sessions and providing feedback to participants. 4) A scoping exercise for a wider 'Creative Age Festival', which could leave a concrete community legacy from Ages & Stages. The project will continue to be overseen by the existing 'Ages and Stages' Advisory Group, which includes experts in drama, intergenerational practice, policy and gerontology. The group will also be refreshed by new members, including younger members of the intergenerational theatre company (aged 16-18) . The activities we propose are timely for the following reasons. First, there is a notable groundswell of interest in the arts in general and theatre/drama in particular, not simply as a cultural activity but as one which has the potential to impact positively on the well-being of older and younger people. Second, in times of scarce resources, it is important to capitalise on activities which bring people together rather than those which might pit the generations against each other. Third, there is a role for practitioners in facilitating and enabling these kinds of activities but rarely, to our knowledge, have there been opportunities for professionals from differing arenas to work together as is proposed here. Finally, it is important to make best use of existing knowledge - not just that generated from our own work but also that of colleagues. We will be drawing strongly from our collaborators, including our linked Canadian project (about the impact of theatre on health ageing, which runs until 2013), and will also remain part of the New Dynamics of Ageing programme and will benefit from the knowledge exchanges this offers.

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