University academics granted prestigious RSE funding awards

University of Aberdeen academics are among 48 exceptional UK researchers given funding to support a diverse range of projects which seek to benefit individuals, communities and broader society.

The seven academics from the University have received funding through the Royal Society of Edinburgh’s (RSE) latest Research Awards programme, which is granting a total of £836,000 funding to 10 institutions across the country.

With an average grant value of £17,000, various disciplines have been supported, including science, art, humanities, social science and multidisciplinary projects. The Aberdeen researchers will work on a number of different projects, from understanding the role of facial expression and memory in searching for missing people to exploring Scotland’s links to slavery after abolition.

The recipients of RSE Research Awards are:

RSE Research Workshop Grant

  • Dr Justin Borg-Barthet, University of Aberdeen
    Laying the Foundations for a Restatement of Scots Private International Law.

RSE Small Research Grants 

  • Dr Richard Anderson, University of Aberdeen
    Scotland and Slavery After Abolition.
  • Dr Amy Gilligan, University of Aberdeen
    Probing into the Crust Through Eastern Scotland (PICTS).
  • Dr Heidi Mehrkens, University of Aberdeen
    Future Kings and the Political Sphere, 1815-1914. Royal Heirs in France, Great Britain and Prussia-Germany.
  • Dr Katharina Schnitzspahn, University of Aberdeen
    To Smile or Not to Smile? The Role of Facial Expression and Memory in Searching for Wanted and Missing Persons.

Professor Zaheer Khan and Dr Huda Khan of the University’s Business School are also successful co-applicants with Dr Nadia Zahoor of the University of Strathclyde on the project: The Role of Business Incubators and Accelerators in Scaling Up of Women Start-Ups: The Case Study of Pakistan.

Launched in spring 2021, the revised RSE Research Awards programme runs twice a year in spring and autumn. The funding programme aims to support Scotland's academic researchers, nurture promising talent, stimulate research in Scotland and promote international collaboration, which will be of lasting benefit to the individuals and communities concerned and to broader society.

Prof Marion Campbell, Vice Principal Research, at the University of Aberdeen, said: “Our globally excellent and locally relevant research has been generating new insights in medicine, science and engineering, law, social sciences, arts and humanities for centuries and it is testament to the scale of ambition among our researchers that these latest projects have secured grants in this latest round of funding.”

Professor Emerita Anne Anderson OBE FRSE, Chair of the RSE Research Awards Committee, Royal Society of Edinburgh said: "The RSE Research Awards programme is vital for sustaining the knowledge and talent pipeline in our vibrant research and innovation sector across the length and breadth of Scotland.

“Funding enables awardees to deepen their research into significant global challenges, to support career development and to make significant benefits to society and the economy. The RSE sends its congratulations to each of the award winners and wishes them good fortune in the conduct and outcomes of their research."