Small Items of Research Equipment at the University of Manchester

Lead Research Organisation: University of Manchester
Department Name: Electrical and Electronic Engineering


The University of Manchester has an explicit strategy to recruit and develop excellent young researchers and to steward research resources accordingly. Since 1st August 2008, we have recruited 96 new academic staff into EPS Faculty. EPS presently targets 11 major multi-disciplinary / multi-school research themes for particular investment focus, all of which are relevant to the EPSRC portfolio, and we promote and invest in 23 world-leading research areas that are largely centred on single Schools, the great majority of which are within the remit of EPSRC.
In EPS, we nurture the careers of ECRs staff in various ways, including allowing them access, with all other staff, to an investment of approximately £1m per annum for small research projects/equipment. The present Call for Proposals, being focused on small items of equipment for ECR staff, is very welcome.

Our internal call for applications resulted in 102 submissions, showing the high level of demand. These have been grouped into 14 research areas, all of which are well aligned with the research priorities of EPSRC.

The overwhelming majority of any funds awarded would be deployed to enhance the research of ECR staff or PhD students. In general, funding of this proposal would greatly facilitate our ECR staff in growing their independent research programmes.

Planned Impact

The impact will be derived from the research enabled by use of the equipment. In terms of the Knowledge Economy, the research topics to which the purchased items will be applied promise many new results which will fuel a large number of conference and journal papers. The funds would directly facilitate the work of a large number (50+) of PhD students. Regarding manufacturing, the existing strategic relationships that we enjoy with companies (e.g. BP, Syngenta, etc.) offer readily available paths for the translation of new knowledge of the type discussed here. The new manufacturing opportunities that are inherent in our research programme, and the enhancement of the early career effectiveness of our ECR academic staff working in those fields, hold great potential for manufacturing industry. In the training dimension, a large number of studentships will be supported by the equipment bought under this proposal. Societal impact will follow, e.g. through greater assurance of safe storage of nuclear waste material, and the eventual adoption of new knowledge and methods by the healthcare industry.


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Tabatabaei Dakhili SY (2017) Recombinant silicateins as model biocatalysts in organosiloxane chemistry. in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America