Environental, economic and social research projects supported by RSE Awards

Environental, economic and social research projects supported by RSE Awards

Three projects from the University of Aberdeen have been awarded funding in the latest RSE Research Awards programme.

One of 10 Scottish higher education institutions to receive a share of a £689,723 funding pot, the programme aims to support the country’s research sector by nurturing promising talent, stimulating research in Scotland and promoting international collaboration.

A research network grant was awarded to Professor Abbe Brown, Professor in Intellectual Property at the School of Law, and Professor Marcel Jaspars, Chair in Chemistry at the School of Natural and Computing Sciences, along with Professor Michela Massimi from the University of Edinburgh, for their project ‘Ocean and us: Intersecting scientific knowledge and local knowledge for a more equitable and just ocean policy’.

Bringing together an exceptional array of global and cross-disciplinary experts in law, philosophy of science and marine science with a focus on building a fair and equitable ocean policy, the network seeks to engage with local coastal communities, their rich cultures and present local knowledge so as to better articulate problems and prospects for an equitable ocean policy in the access to and use of marine resources for biotechnological innovations.

Working with local communities, from Scotland to South America and Australia, and a number of key policy stakeholders, it aims to contribute to ongoing UN policy efforts towards the Ocean Biodiversity Treaty in the respect of marine biodiversity and local knowledge.

Two small research grants were also awarded to colleagues at the University.

Dr Lynn Bennie, Reader at the School of Social Science, received one for ‘Defenders of Local Democracy: Councillors in the North-East of Scotland’, a piece of work which seeks to understand the lived experiences of politicians at a local level, given the pivotal role councillors play in connecting politics with local communities. The project will examine the backgrounds, routes into politics, experiences and narratives of local representatives in two councils in the region. 

Dr Iraklis Giannakis, Lecturer at the School of Geosciences, also received funding for his research into developing a state of the art, open-source and user-friendly clutter simulator for planetary radar. His project also hopes to use machine learning in order to decrease the computational time, making it possible to generate large volumes of cluttergrams in an efficient manner, with the development of open-source tools enabling more planetary scientists to engage with radar data, accelerating new discoveries in planetary exploration. 

Professor Charles W. J. Withers FBA FRSE, Research Awards Convener, Royal Society of Edinburgh, said: the Research Awards Programme is vital to support the outstanding talent in Scotland’s vibrant research community: “The innovative work of these awardees in advancing knowledge, tackling global challenges and providing new ways of thinking will provide significant benefits to society and to our economy,” he added.

“On behalf of the RSE, I offer my congratulations to each and every recipient, and wish them success in their research.”