October 14, 2019, by Rob Ounsworth
Supporting interdisciplinary research: an invitation from new UNICAS director
The new director of a University initiative that nurtures novel interdisciplinary research and brings substantial external investment to Nottingham has welcomed an increase in funding that will double the number of projects it supports.
UNICAS – University of Nottingham Interdisciplinary Centre for Analytical Science – brings together cross-discipline research groups to focus on exciting projects.
It encourages applications for external funding and over the past eight years has funded 56 pump-prime projects, helping to secure £12.5 million of external funding from an internal investment of £472,000. Its funding has increased for the next three years.
UNICAS has also engaged with more than 800 researchers, many at sandpit events, where colleagues from across disciplines and all faculties are encouraged to network, share expertise and experiences, and pool their knowledge to find solutions to specific challenges.
The first event in the next round of UNICAS sandpits takes place on:
Wednesday 16 October, 12.30-5pm, B08 Engineering and Science Learning Centre (ESLC) University Park
Professor Kevin Gough said: “I am delighted to be appointed as the new Director of UNICAS and I am excited about taking forward this successful scheme which promotes interdisciplinary research.
“We are delighted that the success of UNICAS has been rewarded with increased funding, allowing us to support more high-quality projects over the next three years. UNICAS has an excellent track record in underpinning innovative research that is demonstrably successful in leading to external funding.”
Each sandpit delegate will be given the opportunity to present one-slide-in-one-minute to either highlight their expertise, research interest, potential area for collaboration and/or research problem.
Delegates will then be able to apply for funding for an interdisciplinary research project that is formed as a result of the sandpit.
Postgraduate and early career researchers can apply for awards of up to £5,000.
Academic, technical and research staff can apply for up to £15,000.
Dr Rachel Gomes of the Faculty of Engineering said UNICAS sandpit funding supported an interdisciplinary collaboration that went on to contribute to three successful funding applications totalling more than £1.5 million.
“We had the opportunity to undertake research which never would have been possible without the UNICAS sandpit and funding,” she said.