Issue date: 13 June 2006
The University of the West of England has been successful with seven applications for PhD studentships under the £14m Great Western Research (GWR) programme. GWR is funded by the South West Regional Development Agency (SWRDA) and the Higher Education Funding Council for England and funds projects that bring together universities with partners from the private and public sector within the region. Projects focus on areas of strategic importance to the south-west, such as advanced materials, applied mathematics, sustainability, psychology and the creative arts.
According to Professor Colin Fudge, UWE's Pro-Vice Chancellor, “GWR studentships aim to promote collaborations between the highest quality research groups in the South West in order to attract international interest and to support regional economic growth. The success of these applications is evidence of both the excellence and relevance of UWE research.”
The schemes offer funding for postgraduate students to conduct research that meets specific business and regional needs. The projects involve collaboration between higher education institutions in the South West and are funded from industry, the South West Regional Development Agency and the universities themselves.
UWE's successful applications in the first round ranged from projects on urban renewal, climate change and sustainable transport to research into a robot humanoid hand and the latest in laser technology.
Dr David Billington, Executive Director of Great Western Research commented:
“If you want to meet your business and customers' needs through focused, bespoke collaboration with a team of world-class academics, this scheme can provide you with the contacts, advice, support and financial backing to achieve this.”
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1. UWE's successful studentships are:
• Art Heritage and urban renewal – Claire Doherty, Bristol School of Art Media and Design, with Bristol Alliance
• Robot humanoid hand - Chris Melhuish, Faculty of Computing, Engineering and Mathematical Sciences, with Elumotion Limited
• Laser transparent ceramics - Alan Jocelyn, Faculty of Computing, Engineering and Mathematical Sciences, with LisTechnology Ltd
• Leisure cycling and sustainable transport - Graham Parkhurst, with First Great Western Ltd and the Countryside Agency
• A sustainable atlas for the South West - Peter Wyatt, Faculty of the Built Environment, with Geofutures
• Strategic environmental assessment in the South West - Laurence Carmichael, Faculty of the Built Environment, with Bevan Brittan LLP and Strategic Impact Ltd
• Climate change and air quality management in the South West (subject to agreement) - Jim Longhurst from the Faculty of Applied Sciences
2. Applications for a second round of studentships are now welcome. Postgraduates interested in applying for research studentships or research fellowships should contact firstname.lastname@example.org
3. For more information on UWE's research visit http://www.uwe.ac.uk/research
4. The GWR initiative is designed to help businesses access the expertise of South West Universities. It can help them to focus on developing new products or provide support on a project of strategic importance to their business, leading to an increase in efficiency and profitability. Further information on GWR is available on their website http://www.greatwesternresearch.ac.uk