Durham University - EPSRC Capital Award emphasising support for Early Career Researchers

Lead Research Organisation: Durham University
Department Name: Vice Chancellor's Office


World leading research requires well equipped laboratory infrastructure. This funding will enable the latest equipment to be provided at Durham University to the upcoming generation of researchers across the broad spectrum of the EPSRC research remit. Through an internal peer review process, Early Career Researchers (ECRs) will be provided with the latest equipment with which to undertake their research. This will enable them to produce high quality publications, work with industrial contacts through access to the latest equipment, leading them to establish their careers more rapidly. ECRs will write short proposals for the equipment items they require and these will be internally peer reviewed and the applicants interviewed as part of the decision-making progress. This will not only ensure the best research is supported at Durham, but also help stimulate equipment sharing as well as providing the ECRs with the experience of grant writing and a peer review interview.

Overall, the funds will enable an increase in world leading physical and engineering science and help to establish the next generation of world research leaders.

Planned Impact

Overall the broad impact will be in the growth and maintenance of international quality research facilities.

The major specific impact will be through the production of high quality academic publications produced using the new equipment by the rising stars of the research community. Due to the breadth of the EPSRC remit, this could be in a wide range of fields and will help to raise the UK profile at an international level.

An additional impact will be a more rapid rise of ECRs through the academic processes as they will be able to concentrate on their research to obtain high quality results. Thus, the growth of the next generation of researchers will be a long-term impact of the award and potentially in some case the retention of staff, or the attraction of new staff when the investment is visible within the laboratory environment.

The equipment will also add impact with local industry who will have access, where applicable, to state of the art equipment improving their output and also creating new links to the next generation of leading academics.

It is also likely that some of the equipment purchased will be used at some stage in outreach activities thus providing a broader societal impact of the investment.


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