Tag Archives: research

Research Priorities of the Italian Presidency of the EU

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As some of you may already be aware the Italian Presidency of the Council of the EU commenced on 1 July, and as is custom will run for six months until the end of December 2014.

The Presidency have already announced their main priorities for the coming months, which include contributing to the Europe 2020 Strategy review process, reaching a political decision on a new strategic partnership initiative in the Mediterranean Area, and contributing to the strengthening of the European Research Area.

In line with these priorities an number of events have been planned during the Presidency period. In addition to events looking at business and academia collaboration, these events include an event in Bologna looking at Enabling Technologies for Societal Challenges (29 September-1 October) and ICT Proposers day (Florence, 9-10 October 2014) and conferences on Transport Safety (4-5 December 2014, Genoa) and Energy (date and location to be confirmed.)

Details of these events will be published on the Italian Presidency website, or look out for the latest UKRO updates and alerts.

Latest EPSRC Opportunites

epsrc logoEPSRC High Value Manufacturing Catapult fellowships (2nd call)

High Value Manufacturing Catapult fellowships aim to strengthen relations between academics and manufacturers, and accelerate the transition of research from the laboratory to industry.

Closing date: 29 August 2014 at 12:00

Resource allocation panel (RAP): access to ARCHER (summer 2014)

EPSRC offers access to ARCHER through calls for proposals to the Resource Allocation Panel (RAP). Users can request significant amounts (>1,000kAUs) of computing resource over a maximum one-year period. The aim of this call is to provide access to our new national state-of-the-art high performance computing facility for proposals of high scientific quality that would benefit from ARCHER.

Closing date: 15 September 2014 at 16:00

Resource allocation panel (RAP): top-up access to ARCHER (summer 2014)

Access to the national high performance computing resource can be allocated as part of EPSRC grants at the time of award. However, initially only two years of resource are granted at which point, grant holders are invited to apply for a top-up to meet the objectives of their EPSRC grant. Applicants to this call can request ARCHER compute resource only to facilitate the remainder of their existing EPSRC grant.

Closing date: 15 September 2014 at 16:00

The Alan Turing Institute: expression of interest notice

EPSRC invites expressions of interest from UK universities to join a consortium to establish the Alan Turing Institute. Those considering an application to this call must register, by 20 August, to attend an open meeting on 24 September 2014.

Closing date: 24 September 2014 at 16:00

Statements of need for mid-range facilities

EPSRC offers an annual opportunity to submit Statements of Need for Mid-range Facilities in support of excellent Engineering and Physical Sciences research.

Closing date: 15 October 2014 at 17:00

University of Southampton Silicon Photonics for Future Systems programme grant innovation und: first call for research proposals

The EPSRC‐funded Programme Grant “Silicon Photonics for Future Systems (SPFS)” includes an innovation fund to enable the inclusion of additional partners to bring additional value to the programme.

Closing date: 05 September 2014 at 17:00

Next stage digital economy

The Research Councils UK Digital Economy theme is seeking to promote the realisation of impact and enhanced exploitation of the outcomes arising from its investments in the research base.

Closing date: 09 October 2014 at 16:00

Fellowships

Fellowships are available in a number of priority areas

Applications can be submitted at any time and will be processed on a rolling basis – further information on the application and peer review process can be found here: http://www.epsrc.ac.uk/skills/fellows/peerreviewprocess/

Apply now for Breast Cancer Campaign Pilot grants

Breast Cancer Campaign LogoBreast Cancer Campaign are currently inviting applications for their Pilot grants to support breast cancer researchers based anywhere in the UK or Ireland

Breast Cancer Campaign fund the best research, bring together the brightest minds, and share knowledge, to produce better, quicker results to overcome and outlive breast cancer in our lifetime.

Pilot grants with awards of up to £25,000 for one year and can be used to test new hypotheses and generate preliminary data to support a full project grant application.

To find out more and apply for a grant please go to their website.

The deadline for grant applications is Monday 1 September 2014.

Children as young as three recognise ‘cuteness’ in faces of people and animals

Children as young as three are able to recognise the same ‘cute’ infantile facial features in humans and animals which encourage caregiving behaviour in adults, new research has shown.Puppies and kittens with baby schema

A study investigating whether youngsters can identify baby-like characteristics – a set of traits known as the ‘baby schema’ – across different species has revealed for the first time that even pre-school children rate puppies, kittens and babies as cuter than their adult counterparts.

The discovery that young children are influenced by the baby schema – a round face, high forehead, big eyes and a small nose and mouth – is a significant step towards understanding why humans are more attracted to infantile features, the study authors believe.

The baby schema has been proven to engender protective, care-giving behaviour and a decreased likelihood of aggression toward infants from adults.

The research was carried out by PhD student Marta Borgi and Professor Kerstin Meints, members of the Evolution and Development Research Group in the School of Psychology at the University of Lincoln, UK.
Marta said: “This study is important for several reasons. We already knew that adults experience this baby schema effect, finding babies with more infantile features cuter.

“Our results provide the first rigorous demonstration that a visual preference for these traits emerges very early during development. Independently of the species viewed, children in our study spent more time looking at images with a higher degree of these baby-like features.

“Interestingly, while participants gave different cuteness scores to dogs, cats and humans, they all found the images of adult dog faces cuter than both adult cats and human faces.”

The researchers carried out two experiments with children aged between three and six years old: one to track eye movements to see which facial areas the children were drawn to, and a second to assess how cute the children rated animals and humans with infantile traits.

Pictures of human adults and babies, dogs, puppies, cats and kittens were digitally manipulated to appear ‘cuter’ by applying baby schema characteristics. The same source images were also made less cute by giving the subjects more adult-like features: a narrow face, low forehead, small eyes, and large nose and mouth – making this study more rigorous than previous work.

The children rated how cute they thought each image was and their eye movements were analysed using specialist eye-tracking software developed by the University of Lincoln.

The research could also lead to improved education in teaching children about safe behaviour with dogs.
Professor Kerstin Meints, Professor in Developmental Psychology at Lincoln’s School of Psychology, supervised the research.

She said: “We have also demonstrated that children are highly attracted to dogs and puppies, and we now need to find out if that attractiveness may override children’s ability to recognise stress signalling in dogs.”

“This study will also lead to further research with an impact on real life, namely whether the ‘cuteness’ of an animal in rescue centres makes them more or less likely to be adopted.”

This research was published in the scientific journal Frontiers in Psychology.

Source:
Cerri Evans - PR Officer
Cerri Evans - PR Officer
Telephone: 01522 886244

 

£1.5 Million for Innovative Improvements to Health Care Delivery

The health foundation - Inspiring improvementThe Health Foundation has launched a £1.5 million Innovating for Improvement fund to help 20 teams test and develop innovative ideas and approaches to improve health care delivery in the UK.

The health Foundation are looking for projects that aim to improve health care delivery and/or the way people manage their own health care through the redesign of processes, practices and services.

The programme is looking to support clinical teams to develop their innovative ideas and approaches, put them into practice and gather evidence about how their innovation improves quality.

The aims of this programme are to:

  • Encourage health care services to develop innovative approaches and ideas to improve health care quality.
  • Build a portfolio of well-described, real-life examples readily available to other health care organisations.
  • Contribute to the evidence base of what can be done to improve quality.
  • Generate solutions for further testing and demonstration at scale in health care.

Each team will receive up to £75,000 of funding to support the implementation and evaluation of the project. The funding for each project within this programme will run for up to 15 months, including a recommended three month set-up phase beginning in May 2015.

Applications are welcome from any health or health and social care provider organisation in the UK where health care services are delivered free at the point of delivery, and educational bodies are eligible to take part as a partner organisation.

For further information please visit the Health Foundation website.

There is a two stage application process for this programme (see How to apply) and the deadline for the first stage of applications is 12 noon, Tuesday 5 August 2014, with full applications due on 24 November 2014. 

Please note that the Health Foundation reserve the right to close ahead of this deadline date if the programme is oversubscribed.