Search Results for: "University of Sheffield"
1) Deliver the UK's ambition to be internationally outstanding in global health research, improving the lives of people in LMIC. 2) Create an environment where world-class global health research, focused on the needs of LMIC can thrive. 3) Translate advances in applied global health research into benefits for patients and the public in LMIC. 4) Focus on priority areas which will have the greatest impact on health in LMIC in the short, medium and long term. 5) Provide high quality research evidence to inform decision-making by public health officials, practitioners and policy makers. 6) Increase the volume and quality of multi-disciplinary global health research from the UK. 7) Develop knowledge and capacity within existing UK institutions which can be translated into global health research practice.
Our objective is to drive a transformative response to antimicrobial resistance (AMR): by creating a vibrant and dynamic hub of research activities, and setting it within an integrated cohort of researchers at all levels, we will enable a step change in discovery, development, and implementation of AMR-targeted interventions. The hub will be durable and cohesive, integrating existing international endeavours and leveraging existing major research investments, in order to create a vehicle for the interchange of ideas and a critical mass of informed interdisciplinary researchers that will make breakthroughs in future healthcare in China, the UK and beyond We will: - Bring together world-class science and policy groups from UK and China, to form a hub of support platforms for fundamental and translational AMR discovery research. - Develop new scientific methods and associated software platforms to achieve high throughput natural product discovery from target to translation, tapping into the validated compound diversity inherent within traditional Chinese medicine to deliver a series of AMR targets highly enabled for translation. - Map capabilities and develop policy positions to influence funding and practice that will develop and strengthen the pipeline of AMR-targeted R&D and implementation in China and the UK. - Enable substantive exchange programs to train and inform, across the wider breadth of disciplines, the next generation of AMR researchers. Our objective and aims will be achieved through a series of integrated platforms, thereby "linking the pipeline": Platform 1: Target Validation and Mechanisms of essential processes, virulence and resistance mechanisms. This will deliver a robust pipeline of targets at all levels of development, drawn from ongoing fundamental research, making targets exploitable in the hub by solving their structures. Platform 2: Assays, fragment screening, natural products, and in silico design. This will deliver: hypersensitive biochemical assays for key targets to allow progressing compounds to potency; a novel approach to screening natural products, HTS affinity crystallography, using the XChem platform alongside fragment screening; design of fragment and natural product hit progression series, streamlined via optimized online tools. Platform 3: Hit to lead chemistry, bacteriology, toxicity and in vivo testing This platform will deliver lead compounds aimed towards commercial development. Platform 4: Policy This will deliver background data on R&D on antimicrobials in China; map key stakeholders, policies, regulations and other mechanisms; and interview stakeholders on factors influencing investment in R&D, and on possible incentive structures and collaboration mechanisms that can increase the quality and quantity of R&D. We will organise high-level workshops for scientists, policy-makers and regulators to discuss the findings and explore policy options. Platform 5: Translation and Industry This will deliver the translation of our nascent pipeline via a network of industrial partners. Platform 6: Knowledge Exchange This will deliver bespoke practical and theory training packages including research that will enhance the delivery of all platforms. It will instill a new multidisciplinary ethos in exchange students and researchers at all levels to drive a borderless response to AMR, enabling discovery to implementation within and beyond the hub.
Using DNA metabarcoding and e-DNA, fine-scale field measurements of biodiversity and ecosystem services, and co-creation of Service Design and Applied Storytelling, this project will the focus on the páramo-cloudforest of Boyacá and Cundinamarca. Our multidisciplinary programme will answer the major, unanswered question of how best to incorporate and optimise the combination of biodiversity, ecosystem service, and cultural values within natural resource management. In doing so, we will transform the role of cultural heritage and human-environmental experiential knowledge within the design of land management and conservation programmes. We will achieve this via a novel trans-disciplinary approach focusing on four specific Objectives, under which we will embed core research activities. These Objectives are: OBJECTIVE 1) Define the impacts of land-use change and habitat disturbance across altitudinal scales on biodiversity, focusing above ground on birds and dung beetles (model taxa that play core functional roles, incl. seed dispersal and nutrient recycling), and below ground on earthworms and soil micro-fauna/flora (foundations of terrestrial food-webs, with core roles in nutrient recycling, soil functioning and soil health). OBJECTIVE 2) Resolve ecosystem service provisioning and their resilience to habitat and biodiversity perturbation over páramo-cloudforest altitudinal transects, focusing specifically on carbon stocking, nutrient recycling, soil nutrient and water retention, and landslide prevention. We will achieve this using both observational and experimental approaches. OBJECTIVE 3) Understand how local communities perceive and attach cultural value to biodiversity and ecosystem services, via a program of storytelling and community co-design workshops along páramo-cloudforest altitudinal transects. OBJECTIVE 4) Integrate environmental and cultural values for co-designed natural resource management, using statistical modelling frameworks not previously applied within the Arts and Humanities to cross numeric cultural values (Objective 3) with biodiversity (Objective 1) and ecosystem service (Objective 2) values, and translate findings via stakeholder engagement. In meeting these Objectives, we will provide the first unified assessment of how above- and below-ground biodiversity links to ecosystem service and cultural values. With direct relevance to the NERC Societal Challenges of 'Managing environmental change' and 'Benefiting from natural resources', this project will meet core strategic aims of the call including (but not limited to): (i) developing a baseline of Colombian biodiversity, structure, and function; (ii) exploring the linkage between biodiversity and function, and the value of that biodiversity; and (iii) achieving a much improved understanding of human/nature relationships and the benefits that community engagement with nature brings to human well-being in the tropics.
Adhesion to host cell membrane microdomains in cornea as an antimicrobial target to prevent corneal ulcerationUK - Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
WP1 ASSESS EFFECTIVENESS OF PEPTIDES AGAINST A RANGE OF CLINICALLY RELEVANT MICROBES For a treatment that would be useful in rural India, we need to demonstrate that peptides are effective against common Indian pathogens and that the target pathogen range is sufficiently broad to support the use of peptide even when diagnosis of the infection is delayed. WP2 INVESTIGATE MECHANISM OF PEPTIDE ACTION We need to understand the mechanism of action of the peptide to ameliorate possible "off-target" effects, facilitate future improvements in targeting and to help consolidate the IP position. We will correlate the peptide concentrations used in the inhibition of bacterial adhesion with those needed to cause measurable changes in biophysical parameters. WP3 EXPLORE INTERACTIONS OF THE PEPTIDES WITH NEUTROPHILS IN A CORNEAL ORGAN CULTURE MODEL It will be important to study the action of peptides on the inflammatory response to infection. None of the existing infection models have immune cells as components and so interaction with normal pathogen clearance mechanisms have not been examined. WP4 EXPLORE EFFECTS OF PEPTIDES ON INNATE IMMUNITY Antimicrobial peptides (AMP) are very important in overcoming eye infections (Ref: Sharma et al., 2018) and cytokines can stimulate excessive inflammation leading to more collateral damage and so it is important to determine if peptide treatment can affect expression. WP5 EXPLORE SYNERGY BETWEEN PEPTIDES AND EXISTING ANTIBIOTICS Lack of new antibiotics is causing problems. We already have supporting data showing a positive interaction between peptide and antibiotic in epithelial cell cultures. Potentiation of the effect of antibiotics holds the promise of resurrecting currently ineffective antibiotics. WP6 INVESTIGATE EFFICACY AND SAFETY OF PEPTIDES IN A LIVE ANIMAL MODEL When testing agents for safety and efficacy, experiments must be conducted in India to satisfy regulators and the peptides must be shown to work safely in an animal model for next step of translation. We must minimise risk of translation into the clinic by demonstrating efficacy in vivo. WP7 ASSESSING EFFECT OF PEPTIDE TREATMENT ON BIOFILMS Pseudomonal keratitis routinely involves biofilms , which are difficult to eradicate and can promote AMR. We aim to determine if the peptides inhibit initial biofilm formation or disrupt established biofilm, helping to establish the stage we should be administering peptides as prophylactic or for established infections. WP8 ASSESS HEALTH ECONOMICS AND FEASIBILITY OF THE USE OF PEPTIDES AS A FIRST LINE TREATMENT IN OF EYE INFECTION Early health economic modelling will be performed to understand the preliminary estimates of the cost-effectiveness and economic impact of the peptide drugs. This model will include the key aspects of the decision problem such as the potential beneficiaries, their clinical outcomes, costs and other key factors (e.g. demographics). This will involve developing the value proposition, quantifying economic impact and feasibility assessment of the use of peptides as a first line treatment of eye infection in India.
CESET is an interdisciplinary research programme for the development of Community Energy Systems (CESs) to facilitate a just sustainable energy transition that will bridge the energy access gap in East Africa. Community Energy Systems (CESs) refer to a range of collective, cooperative or municipally managed systems of energy generation and distribution, such as, for example, small-hydro and wind community projects, or locally-managed micro-grids. Research evidence suggests that CESs provide feasible options to deliver energy access for low-income communities (Tomei and Gent, 2015). CESs promote radical social and technological innovations which are needed to foster a transition to sustainable energy (Hargreaves et al., 2013; Hicks and Ison, 2018; Seyfang and Haxeltine, 2012; Seyfang et al., 2014). Hence, there are heightened hopes that CESs can increase energy access rapidly while also reducing carbon emissions, in line with the aspirations of the Sustainable Development Goals (Alstone et al., 2015). CESET focuses on Ethiopia, Malawi, and Mozambique, three countries in East Africa where significant gaps in access to electricity remain despite national and international efforts to improve rates of energy access. Anecdotal evidence suggests that there is an increasing number of CES projects across the three countries. A review of off-grid projects in Malawi indicates that they are effective to alleviate energy poverty (Dauenhauer and Frame, 2016). However, the potential of CESs to transform energy systems while meeting the needs of communities has not been studied and empirical evidence of the operation and impacts of CESs in East Africa is still lacking. CESET will harness the potential of CESs to foster just and sustainable energy transitions for all in East Africa by addressing three objectives: Objective 1: To develop a theoretical framework to understand the diversity of CESs in East Africa and their role in delivering energy transitions; Objective 2: To deliver a systematic body of empirical evidence on what works for CESs in East Africa, examining the institutional, technological, financial, and socio-political challenges of implementation; and Objective 3: To build research capacity for a long-term, human-centered programme of research on CESs in East Africa. The effectiveness of CESs depends on the fit between specific technological and financial models and the diverse needs of the communities who are supposed to benefit. Such fit requires an ongoing, collective process of infrastructure management whereby communities, governmental institutions, businesses, and non-for-profit organisations negotiate the technologies, institutions, and operational systems that underpin CESs. CESs must also address energy needs alongside intersecting forms of social and political discrimination, obscured by idealistic notions of homogeneous, harmonious, communities. CESET will provide theoretical and empirical evidence of both the technological and material diversity of CESs models, and how community diversity shapes their implementation and impact. CESET will transform current international and national policies for energy access by developing a new conceptualisation of CESs as intersectional and variegated. To do so, CESET will develop novel methodologies to integrate a multi-scalar, interdisciplinary analysis of barriers to energy access (political economy of energy, infrastructure delivery, technological models and engineering, everyday practices of access) with practical lessons from an off-grid pilot project implemented with communities in Mozambique (a Community Energy Lab). CESET will also establish a Regional Energy Learning Alliance (RELA), an interdisciplinary, international network to build research capacity for a human-centered approach to energy access and energy transitions in East Africa.
Achieving optimal efficiency in the post harvest handling and processing of rice is a ubiquitous challenge for China's agrifood sector. Rice is the staple food of the population and China is the world's largest producer, accounting for 145 MT p/a whilst still being a net importer of 2MT p/a. The project objective is to introduce a novel and disruptive AI driven milling technology to achieve significant processing efficiencies with substantial production increases and cost benefits to the Chinese rice processing supply chain. Additionally the project will develop an optimum business model for China with technology dissemination to Chinese mills and a training model for the mill operators in both small and large operations. The main improvement will be a process to significantly increase yield, reduce waste and increase efficiency of the rice milling processes. The 3 main outputs will be (i) a "Smart rice milling chamber" with novel, thermo-detection and vibration technologies to control & maintain an optimum milling environment and increased head rice yield (led by Koolmill, with Cox & Plant & SHU in the UK and Quzhou Koomill, China Grain Wuhan Scientific & JiangNan in China) ; (ii) an AI driven digital software platform to interpret data analytics in the Smart Chamber to inform real time intuitive process decisions - i.e. temperature control, milling plate adjustments, husk separation & process speed (Led by Siemens, with SHU in the UK and Quzhou Koomill, China Grain Wuhan Scientific in China); (iii) A Strategy to include: an optimum business model for China, technology dissemination to the Chinese milling industry; a skill/training model; and UK/global academic dissemination plan (Led by Aston Business School, with Siemens, SHU and New Food Innovation in the UK, and Quzhou Koomill, China Grain Wuhan Scientific & JiangNan in China). The initial end user will be Koolmill, and Siemens will identify additional manufacturing applications for the software decision making platform through their customer network . SHU, Aston Business School, China Grain Wuhan Scientific and JianNan University will present the project achievements in conference and events. SHU and Siemens will develop an education programme on the use of automation and intelligent systems in food manufacturing for large international agricrop processors. The output will be a blueprint (system optimisation, business models and training) for implementation in China. Dissemination is via well-established commercial, academic and national networks in China and the UK.
Harvesting the sun twice: Enhancing livelihoods in East African agricultural communities through innovations in solar energyUK - Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Energy access and security challenges are widespread across East Africa, where 73% of the population lack reliable and affordable supplies of energy. Improved energy infrastructure is crucial to promoting inclusive development and making progress towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals in this region. The overarching aim of this project aims to significantly improve livelihood opportunities associated with increased access to renewable energy in East Africa, through an interdisciplinary programme of shared knowledge which addresses the intersections between sustainable technology, land and other natural resources, and agricultural development in rural communities. We will achieve this by: - Evaluating renewable energy land-use governance challenges - Co-designing, testing and optimising innovative energy systems - Providing participatory technology assessment tools and datasets to facilitate just and efficient energy planning outcomes - Mapping socio-techno-economic and policy scenarios for technology up-scaling and deployment This collective research activity centres upon the assessment and implementation of agrivoltaic (AV) technologies - innovative socio-technical systems that combine solar energy, food production, and improved ecosystem services simultaneously within the same land footprint. Despite improving rural electricity access, the land footprint of renewables (particularly solar voltaics) can exacerbate socio-environmental conflicts over alternative land uses (primarily food production, biodiversity conservation or other ecosystem services). Integrated land-use systems which deliver sustainable energy, food production, livelihood and biodiversity goals simultaneously are urgently needed and it is this energy governance priority this project addresses. We have three key objectives: 1. Generate empirical evidence of the potential benefits of AV systems by assessing: land use governance for renewables deployment; the livelihood enhancement and economic development achievable by developing innovative integrated energy and food systems; assess perceptions and attitudes of rural communities towards these AV systems to facilitate their just development. Through an equitable partnership with local agencies, we will collect and analyse multiple sources of political and socio-techno-economic field data across three East African states in order to: assess land-use governance; optimise outputs from AV systems; model the potential for the expansion of AV on a regional scale. 2. Identify areas that have the highest potential for implementation of AV, based on social, physical, economic, and political dimensions and create an evidence-based decision-support framework to inform and facilitate inclusive and just AV expansion across East Africa. This will inform regional and national policy makers, the energy industry, and community leaders on where the greatest benefits from AV development will be achieved across East Africa. 3. Develop and evaluate capacity building approaches to facilitate the just expansion of co-designed AV innovations. Our multidisciplinary and cross-sectoral team has expertise spanning the energy-food-water nexus, and includes Global North and South research organisations, the energy industry, regional political organisations, and local communities. Our partner organisations specialise in capacity building and translating research into policy-relevant outputs, thus enabling us to have broad-reaching impacts across national and regional energy and agricultural policy networks, and affected rural communities.
A mathematical modeling framework for tuberculosis burden estimation and economic evaluation of pharmaceutical interventionsUK - Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
The aim of this fellowship is to develop an integrated dynamic modelling framework for estimating all aspects of the global burden of TB using all available data. This will be extended to quantify the patterns, trends and drivers of the epidemic of drug-resistant TB, and be used to evaluate the impact and cost-effectiveness of pharmaceutical interventions against TB, accounting for transmission and uncertainty. By undertaking this work, I will consolidate skills in infectious disease model development and estimation; gain experience with hierarchical modelling and understanding of the epidemiology of drug-resistant TB; and learn rigorous economic evaluation in the context of infectious diseases. (The objectives below are listed under main aims in priority order rather than reflecting dependency.) A) Develop an integrated dynamic modelling and inference framework for estimating the global and country burden of TB (including incidence, prevalence, mortality and infection). 1) Use this model to output estimates of TB burden. 2) Assess the relative information gained from different data sources used for TB burden estimation. 3) Formally compare different choices of model and combinations of model in terms of predictive validity and goodness-of-fit. 4) Investigate potential biases in detection and reporting of TB by age, gender, and locale. 5) Expand the child sector of the model and produce estimates of childhood TB burden calibrated to data from surveys of latent tuberculosis infection. 6) Develop a hierarchical estimation framework for calibrating the dynamic model. 7) Systematically review the literature to identify surveys of latent infection that could inform model-based estimates of TB burden. B) Understand the patterns, trends and drivers of the drug-resistant TB pandemic, considering all types of resistance. 1) Identify patterns, trends and determinants of the full spectrum of drug-resistant TB accounting for sample uncertainty, using Bayesian hierarchical multinomial regression techniques. 2) Incorporate the full spectrum of drug-resistant TB into the dynamic transmission model in order to allow causal analysis and assessment of intervention impact. 3) Investigate the computational parallelism of GPUs and use of emulators to accelerate this model. C) Evaluate the budget and health impacts, and cost-effectiveness of pharmaceutical interventions for TB. 1) Apply the calibrated multi-country transmission model of TB by drug-resistance type to evaluate pharmaceutical interventions against TB. 2) Fully Bayesian calibrated approach to uncertainty for dynamic/economic models 3) Develop a hybrid modelling framework and apply to evaluations for TB 4) Identify parameters that most contribute to uncertainty in burden estimates or intervention cost-effectiveness, and locations for maximally informative data collection. 5) Analyse cost data with Bayesian hierarchical models in order to establish correlates of costs and predict costs where data are lacking. 6) Analyse intervention impact by subgroup and consider equity implications. D) Develop my skills, profile and career potential as an independent researcher. 1) Develop skills in health economic evaluation (including systematic review) both by undertaking analyses, and attending relevant short courses. 2) Reinforce and extend my professional and academic networks, leveraging them as a route to dissemination and impact. 3) Develop leadership and management skills through planning and delivering this project, and specific training courses at the University of Sheffield. 4) Develop a framework that can be adapted to answer other scientific and policy question and thus serve as a springboard to further work. 5) Develop skills in hierarchical modelling applied to global health questions with sparse data, both by undertaking analyses and attending relevant short courses 6) Develop strength in the epidemiology and modelling of drug-resistant TB
The project has four overarching objectives: 1) To explore and understand the ongoing conflictividades that represent a disconnect between the formal peace process and daily lived experiences within the three study communities; 2 To utilise participatory methodologies to harness and strengthen local capacities for reconciliation by co-producing opportunities and interventions to facilitate 'improbable dialogues'; 3) To use this process to co-produce a 'toolkit' to provide local, regional and national actors with a set of actions and methodologies that may help promote the consolidation of peace in other settings; 4) To work with communities to co-produce new academic knowledge that contributes to the understanding of Colombia specifically and conflict resolution more generally, including through identifying the limitations of existing research on peace and conflict, seeking new alternatives and possibilities from participatory empirical work. The project will operationalise these aims along three lines of enquiry (territorial development; provision of basic services; media), utilising a phased and iterative research design that allows us to work with communities to: a) Map conflictividades around territory, service provision and media, as well as capture conflicts that do not relate to these themes; b) Prompt improbable dialogues around the particular conflictividades that are prioritised by our partners and participants in the three local communities; c) Identify and exploit opportunities to apply these approaches to other communities in Colombia either directly (e.g. through follow-on projects) or through knowledge sharing with other organisations; d) Generate academic outputs relating to the empirical cases and lines of enquiry being explored as well as the methods and approaches being utilised in this project (see 'Academic Beneficiaries', below).
- Involve young people from developing countries in design and testing of solutions to tackle real-world problems relevant to developing countries - Upskill young people in South Africa in nuclear applications especially medical imaging - Drive forward development of inexpensive position-sensitive plastic scintillator detectors for application to PET and experimental nuclear physics - Leave a significant legacy in two hisotrically disadvantaged universities in South Africa of training, infrastructure and capacity in developing state-of-the-art radiation detectors - Develop a "GEANT4 in the cloud" platform which can be rolled out for use beyond this project for radiation detection applications across the developing world.
Newton Fund: Adaptive Urban Transformation (AUT) - Territorial governance, spatial strategy and urban landscape dynamics in the Pearl River DeltaUK - Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
The overall aim of this research is to develop an integrative and multiscale design and planning approach for adaptive urban transformation in fast urbanizing delta landscapes using the PRD as a case study. To achieve this, the research seeks to better understand the relations between urban landscape dynamics and territorial governance by: (1) developing a portfolio of integrated adaptation measures based on an assessment of ecological capacity and life cycles of buildings, and transformation of urban districts and regions; (2) identifying potential in territorial governance structures, policies and regulations for more integrated approaches and adaptation measures; and (3), developing and testing innovative visualisation techniques that facilitate participatory, multi-stakeholder planning approaches.
The objectives of the proposal are three-fold; 1. to foster the growth of the GW community in India and create strong ties with them by creating a training network to build capacity for interdisciplinary research. This training network will allow PhD students and early career researchers from India to be trained by UK GW experts, taking this knowledge back to India to strengthen capability. The UK consortia has significant experience in developing technology and data analysis tools, whilst at the same time sharing these outputs across international collaborations. A particular highlight was the development of world-leading R&D under the advanced LIGO UK (ALUK) project. Here the Universities of Glasgow, Birmingham, Strathclyde and Rutherford Appleton Laboratory worked collaboratively to deliver the suspension hardware, sensors and electronics necesary to provide the quietest reference frames on earth; the aLIGO mirrors. These 40kg optics move no more than 1/1000th the diameter of a proton at 10Hz and were essential pieces of hardware to enable the first 2 direct detections of gravitational waves (GW150914 and GW151226). We propose a model where staff/postdoc/student exchanges to/from UK and Inda will be an effective method to share knowledge, experience and solve the technological challenges during the development of a new infrastructure in India. The vision is to equip India with the tools necessary to implement the most sensitive of the international gravitational wave detectors, and this represents a fantastic opportunity to further strength UK-India scientific relations. 2 to encourage entrepreneurial activity. The very nature of our field, where we are pushing the boundary of technology and analysis tools, and observing the most extreme astrophysical events in the universe has a numbers of applications which can directly benefit the development of entrepreneurial activity. Specific examples in the UK include data analysis tools for line rejection, analysis of retinal images, development of MEMS-based accelerometers, low power gas sesnors and stem cell differentiation through vibration. We will share best practice with our Indian colleagues by allowing them to engage with the academics and researchers who have been key in developing these spin-offs, to identify how this was performed, the funding routes, and opportunities for follow on funds included taking products to market. In preliminary discussion there already appears to be strong inkages with Indian companies in the areas of machine learning, High Performance Computing, big data, and precision lasers & optics, which we will fully capitalise on. We will engage with companies including Planys Technologies, Helia Photonics, Gas Sensing Solutions, Persistent Systems Limited, Honeywell, Safran, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, UUrmi, Nex Robotics via links through IUCAA and University of the West of Scotland. 3. implementation of a strong and vibrant outreach programme. The UK consortium also has a strong record of public engagement and enthusing the general public and school children about GW astronomy. Again this is an essential component to recruit the next generation of scientists. We propose to work closely with contacts in India to further develop outreach resources (suitable for both Indian/English speaking participants) and utilise the as a teaching tool to generate interest at early stages of schooling, ultimately with the aim of enhancing the provision and retention of STEM based students studying in high school and university. The programme allows the fabrication of outreach exhibits to take into Indian schools and science fairs, developing CPD for teachers by utilsiing cutting edge scientific themes such as Gravitational Waves.We also propose to engage within the Indian science outreach community including the India International Science Festival.
This project will investigate the prospects for one of the radical proposals emerging from these 'Anthropocene conservation' discussions: 'convivial conservation'. Convivial conservation aims to conceptualise and test novel landscape, governance and funding pathways that move beyond the strict separation between humans and other species via protected areas and reliance on market-based instruments common in mainstream conservation. This project will investigate the prospects for one of the radical proposals emerging from these 'Anthropocene conservation' discussions: 'convivial conservation'. Convivial conservation aims to conceptualise and test novel landscape, governance and funding pathways that move beyond the strict separation between humans and other species via protected areas and reliance on market-based instruments common in mainstream conservation. All this translates into four research questions (RQs): 1. How are combined effects of austerity, habitat fragmentation and human-wildlife conflict influencing global conservation debates and policies? 2. How do these dynamics affect the relations between apex predators and people in diverse local contexts? 3. What common patterns and lessons for effective conservation can be learned from comparison across these different sites? 4. What novel landscape, governance and funding mechanisms can be developed or scaled up to address both global and local challenges in pursuit of convivial conservation? In answering these question we will achieve the following objectives. 1.Using our framework of convivial conservation, we aim to develop ground breaking theoretical approaches to understanding human-wildlife interactions under conditions of austerity 2.Generate original empirical material to build fresh approaches in conservation and so influence the broader 'anthropocene conservation' debates 3.Produce novel policy relevant information for stakeholders, both on global levels and on the local level in our four cases in Tanzania, Brazil, Finland and USA. 4. Undertake a programme of publication in academic journals as well as dissemination through blogs and social media of our findings.
Groundwater currently provides drinking water for about half of the world's human population and irrigation water for some forty-two percent of the world's irrigated lands (Burke & Moench 2000). However, rapidly accelerating rates of extraction cause the overexploitation and pollution of aquifers, threatening their sustainability and jeopardizing future water security (Margat 2008). Groundwater depletion is in large part due to irrigation that is increasingly allocated to cash crops for international food trade, thus also posing risks for local food security in vulnerable regions (Dalin et al. 2017). While the need for its equitable socio-ecological governance is increasingly critical, its invisibility makes groundwater notoriously difficult to regulate (Shah 2009). The project begins with the premise that sustainable groundwater governance should be built from 'realities on the ground' (see www.groundwatergovernance.org). This project sets out to: 1. Document instances of spontaneous 'bottom-up' groundwater governance 1 . Develop sound understandings of grounded realities of water governance through a comparative analysis of spontaneous grass-roots initiatives of people organizing around the sharing or protection of groundwater in places where threats of depletion and pollution are particularly acute 2. Create global action-research collaborations around such initiatives, generating new inspirations for thinking about and dealing with interconnections and interdependencies between humans and groundwater.
The project TRANSSITioN will advance the interdisciplinary food system research and approach to capture the ways in which various actors within a food system are currently operating in an Indian context. Leveraging on STFC's advanced technological capabilities from RAL Space, ASTeC, Cryox, data sciences expertise of STFC and IBM Research at Hartree Centre, it would engage an interdisciplinary team of researchers from India and the UK with supply chain and logistics management, food sciences, agriculture and material sciences, international research, policy making, and rural technologies background to create a "Sustainable Cold Food Chain Incubator Hub" (TRANSSITioN Hub) in India. This will focus on enhancing crop productivity and resilience to climate change while reducing food wastage, creating value addition opportunities, connecting farmers to market and improving their livelihoods. The Hub's mission is to build capabilities in analysing the current state of cold food supply chain in India - the experiential objective of Hub's work programme - to evaluate transitions and transformative pathways to sustainable cold food chain systems in India. The Hub will produce an integrated research design and framework to identify, evaluate and assess relevant actors, factors and issues at different levels of the cold supply chain system, which can be considered the points of technological, social and economic interventions to directly or indirectly shape the transformation outcomes. Building upon the Hub's existing strong research network, initial research findings, strong industrial partners' and government support, a vast network of farmers, we will work with multiple stakeholders, to extend and strengthen the existing networks, and meaningfully engage with them to achieve the mission of the Hub. By doing so, we will co-develop innovative technologies, run demonstration projects, identify new thermal materials, develop analytical and evaluating decision support tools to help farmers, processors, logistics service providers, retailers, policy makers and consumers directly address relevant issues and food-related aspects of the UN SDGs and the synergies and trade-offs between them. This would help the Hub to achieve objectives of digitising agriculture production, connecting farmers to supply chain, reducing food loss, managing food surplus, and developing new business and funding models for the transformation of cold food supply chain systems in India. The specific objectives of the project TRANSSITioN are: 1. To co-develop demo-sites (incubator hub) from farm-to-consumptions centres that will test, evaluate and demonstrate the impact of STFC technologies, data science capabilities along with other indigenous technologies and interdisciplinary research for developing sustainable cold chains. 2. To map cold food chain activities, co-identify key leverage points for transformation and co-define data, technologies, partnership needs and reference cases for addressing the leverage points. 3. To develop metrics and tools for measuring socio-economic and environmental impact of the proposed technological interventions which will include a focus on improving the livelihoods of small-scale farmers and marginalised communities. 4. To extend the established network and build new innovative partnerships, propose new business and supply chain finance models that will make the cold chain viable for small-scale farmers, local retailers, rural community along with the big players. 5. Build and strengthen academic research capabilities and learning partnership with the in-country partners to create knowledge repositories, next generation researchers and practitioners in cold food supply chain systems. 6. Use our research framework and Theory of Change to drive, monitor, influence and maximise social impact of our research through two-way learning.
The main objective of this partnership project is to bridge the gap between culinary memory, local heritage and lost agricultural varieties. Bringing food historians, sociologists, literary scholars and plant scientists into dialogue with heritage practitioners, authors, cooks and street vendors, it addresses challenges linked to local communities and food sustainability in India. Specific aims in terms of interdisciplinary knowledge exchange and innovative research collaboration include: (i) Recording culinary memories through oral history in order to chart changing food cultures from the colonial/princely era into independence and beyond. (ii) Analysing historic cookbooks and other literatures relating to food and food cultures to reflect on heritage recipes, diet-related health remedies and culinary memory. (iii) Liaising with popular historians, heritage practitioners, cooks and writers to share historic food cultures and consider how they be employed to benefit local communities, including those of different ages and backgrounds, in the present. (iv) Growing heritage rice varieties referenced in oral histories and historic cookbooks in order to ascertain attractive heritage characteristics that could be incorporated into new drought-resistant and nutrient-rich varieties. Though broad expertise will be marshalled to the aims of the partnership, a particular emphasis will be placed on Muslim communities that have experienced a devastating assault on their food cultures in contemporary India. In terms of achieving tangible development impact in India, the project has the following aims for public engagement: (i) Preparing a pamphlet or small book (in accessible languages, i.e. Hindi, Urdu and English) featuring heritage recipes gathered from cookbooks and oral history to popularise dishes and simple health remedies. (ii) Filming a short documentary that would include oral interviews evoking culinary memories alongside an account of the unique process of growing heritage rice to revive historic recipes. (iii) Commissioning a new anthology of creative writing on South Asian food and foodways to capture memories and ideas relating to such themes as family, domesticity, hospitality and food shortage. (iv) Publishing blogs and short articles that publicise the partnership's unique interdisciplinary approach and rare research materials. (v) Trialling a heritage food event in Rampur in north India that would present menus based on historic recipes using the project's heritage rice - thus allowing public response to be monitored - alongside related cultural activities. The larger, if more intangible, objectives of the project are thus: (i) fostering a productive dialogue between academics in the Arts & Humanities, Social Sciences and Plant Science on the relationship between cultural heritage and food production that may underpin future research - notably, the development of modern rice varieties that are also culturally-appropriate. (ii) initiating an exchange of ideas between heritage practitioners in different parts of India to the benefit of struggling localities, like Rampur. Having trialled a food festival in Rampur, a local cultural organisation may hope to make it an annual event that fosters local cohesion and draws tourism. (iii) employing food linked to India's Muslim heritage to mediate difference and reduce unease between religious communities at a time of communal tension and violence fostered by government policy.
Objectives The overall aim of this project is to contribute to improvements in radio provision with regard to women's rights and empowerment in three DAC-listed countries in the Sahel (Mali, Niger, and Burkina Faso). Radio remains the best way to reach populations marginalised by crisis. It gives a voice to the poorest, including women and young people, and can contribute to their ownership of the very development strategies that are supposed to improve their lives. The project draws on NGO secondary data (radio output; concept notes; related documents; statistics; theories of change; and legal texts) from radio stations in the three countries and investigates and compares perceptions of women's rights and empowerment, how they are shaped and portrayed by radio, and how they impact understandings of, and attitudes towards women and gender equality in the countries, in order to give recommendations, impacting on policy and practices, which will promote gender equality and give women a greater voice in society. The project has the following objectives: 1. Assess, compare, and contrast representations and perceptions of women's rights and empowerment, on a large scale, within the context of three Sahel countries (Niger, Mali, and Burkina Faso) by investigating three strands of radio broadcasting in the three countries: women-related programmes; youth-related programmes; and programmes in the general schedule. This builds on findings from previously-funded stages of the project. 2. Identify cases of good practice and areas for improvement in the programming, thus co-producing substantive, innovative and impactful data (creating two data sets for future re-use) with NGO partners, and recommend changes and improvements to broadcasts through the on-going use of feedback (large-scale listener feedback, CSO and media workshops, and training sessions with journalists). This, in turn, impacts on policy and practices and contributes to the promotion of gender equality in the three countries. 3. Establish innovative methods for large-scale secondary data - in this case, radio analysis - using natural language processing (NLP), which is a form of artificial intelligence, for the secondary data analysis and WhatsApp surveys for the feedback. These methods can be re-used and transferred both to other similar DAC/ODA countries and to other subjects, contributing to the development of radio as principal source of information and promoter of stability and democratic progresses in fragile societies such as these. 4. To encourage the participation of listeners in the design of the radio output and therefore in the process of owning development strategies that are supposed to improve their lives. The project will also be designed to include a wide range of 'users' including radio listeners, CSOs (women-related and general), representatives from the media and regulatory bodies in the three countries, and international organisations and donors.
Data, Accountability and Commercialisation. Working with NGO data to enhance downwards accountability in contexts of livelihood change.UK - Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
This project has four goals. First we seek to use data held by Micaia, an NGO in Mozambique, to explore the impacts of commercialisation of natural resource products on rural livelihoods and natural resource governance. Second we examine how NGO data may be used to strengthen accountability between NGOs and the communities they serve. Third we consider how data collection can be adapted to respond to unforeseen changes that arise in the course of NGO-led development projects. Fourth we seek to integrate data we collect with publicly available datasets to make them more accessible. In pursuit of these goals we have eight objectives. 1. Co-design with local communities and local government data collection procedures and objectives that can most effectively monitor change in rural areas brought about by Micaia's initiatives. 2. Establish protocols for integrating funder-led data requirements into these community-based data collection initiatives. 3. Integrate Micaia data into local government data collection practices in ways which respect the anonymity and ensure the safety of local residents. 4. Use locally derived measures of well-being and prosperity to understand the changes brought on by new natural resource sales. 5. Explore the relationship between these local measures with internationally recognised measures of wellbeing. 6. Examine the unforeseen consequences of changes from commercialisation and explore how data collection and management protocols can respond to them. 7. Explore practices of disseminating and communicating findings locally that respects both customary practice and responds to new trends in rural information sharing including social media. 8. Communicate our findings to national and international audiences within academia and beyond.
Determinants of health in rural Nepal: Utilising PHASE Nepal data to investigate social inequalities in health and healthcare amongst under-5sUK - Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
The overall objective of the project is to rigorously examine the determinants of health inequalities amongst young children in rural Nepal. This will produce new academic knowledge, but can also play an important role in developing policy and practice responses to the continuing problems of health inequality in rural communities. More specifically, the funding will enable us to achieve our objectives in the following areas: 1. Academic knowledge and resources (See also 'Academic Beneficiaries': 1.1 To create new academic knowledge on the relationship between various forms of inequality (gender; caste/ethnicity; geography) and i) nutrition status (a major determinant of health); ii) utilisation of healthcare services; and iii) treatment received. 1.2 To generate an important new dataset of circa 50,000 individual patient-level records drawn from 25 health centres over the last 5 years. This dataset (to be made available through UK Data Services) will enable the research team as well as other researchers to pursue further research questions that are not possible with the currently-available (aggregated) Government of Nepal data. 2. Practice recommendations: 2.1 The data analysis will generate new findings on the diagnosis of malnutrition by health workers (specifically, whether the recognition of malnutrition is affected by age, gender, ethnicity/caste and geography) which could lead to the development of new practice guidelines to reduce such disparities and improve healthcare practices. 2.2 The data analysis will generate new findings on prescribing practices - particularly in relation to antibiotic prescribing - which could again lead to new practice guidelines for health centre staff around a key contemporary healthcare issue (both globally and within Nepal). As described in the Pathways to Impact document, these findings and resultant recommendations will be shared with health centre staff through an intensive training session, and with other health system stakeholders (including the Ministry of Health and Population, other (I)NGOs, and international donors) through a dissemination event to be held in Kathmandu at the conclusion of the project, along with an associated policy and practice brief. 3. Future data collection practices: 3.1 As part of the analysis, data management experts from the University of Sheffield will work with PHASE Nepal colleagues to consider the limitations of the data currently being collected and to develop ways to address those limitations through modifying data collection protocols going forward.
From Stars to Baht: Broadening the economic impact of astronomical data handling techniques in Thailand - Phase IIUK - Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
- To research the data handling and analysis needs of medium-to-large-sized enterprises across Thailand through collaboration with a set of five pre-identified external partners comprising of businesses and research organisations; - Work with Thai students based at Mae Fah Luang University to research how the technologies we have developed to address the data storage and analysis needs of astronomers can be adapted to meet the needs of these five external partners; - In doing so, the students will receive training in high-tech skills that are crucial for the progression of the Thai economy; - Conduct research in collaboration with our external partners to identify the data handling/analysis skills gaps within the Thai workforce; - We will use this knowledge to develop a series of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) aimed at IT professionals and high school students to help close this skills gap; - Run a series of workshops to whereby registrants on the MOOCs can gain hands-on experience of handling and analysing large datasets.