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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/K031317/1
Title: Small Items of Research Equipment at the University of Surrey
Principal Investigator: Williamson, Professor S
Other Investigators:
Seville, Professor JP Kirkby, Professor KJ
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: DVC (Research and Innovation)
Organisation: University of Surrey
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 November 2012 Ends: 31 March 2013 Value (£): 498,112
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Fuel Cell Technologies Materials Synthesis & Growth
Optical Devices & Subsystems
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
This application for small scale equipment was developed from responses elicited from ECRs, defined as EPSRC funded postgraduate researchers and postdoctoral researchers, fellows (funded as independent researchers through a range of fellowship grants) and new members of staff (recruited at lecturer grade within the past academic year) and EPSRC first grant holders. The internal process involved emails and briefing meetings for ECRs, culminating in the submission of a one page proposal for the small scale equipment item(s) they had identified. The result was overwhelming, with approximately £2m of eligible applications submitted for this call. This proposal has been constructed using the top quartile of these applications, with funding allocated to defined areas of research excellence which are largely, but not exclusively, in proportion to the current EPSRC funding portfolio of the University of Surrey.

This proposal seeks to demonstrate how our proposed small scale equipment allocation maps on to the EPSRC shaping capability exercise and addresses the grand challenges facing the economy and society as a whole. In constructing this proposal we have used the input from ECRs and have indicated how the investment supports their research and career development. We have used mini case studies to demonstrate the depth and breadth of activities planned, how the funding will be used and which ECRs it will benefit. These case studies also show, where possible, how the funds will be used innovatively to achieve a greater value from the equipment base. Examples include, developing national capability through funding for an EPSRC national centre and medium scale facility, developing characterisation capability for EPSRC Research Engineers in an EPSRC Industrial Doctoral Centre and improving equipment sharing across the University.

The purchase of equipments will not only enhance the research capacity of the ECRs directly involved but further encourage the whole research community at the University to work collaboratively across research groups and centres to utilise the new equipment and enhance capabilities.

To further support the ECRs, the University of Surrey will provide training tailored to the development needs of the individual including workshops in leadership development, bid writing and research impact. The effectiveness of the training will be seen as all supported ECR will produce a mini case study to demonstrate the impact of the purchased equipment on them as researchers, their associated research group and the wider community. These case studies will be sent to EPSRC in the autumn of 2013.

To ensure maximum benefit to ECRs, all of the £622k (£498k requested from EPSRC as an 80% contribution) will be used to finance small "equipment" with the University bearing the FEC costs associated with technician and academic time to run the grant and install and maintain the small "equipment" and train and develop those who will use it being borne by the University (this accounts for an additional £86k of added value).

We believe that we have strong project management and financial controls in place to ensure that the majority of the funding will be spent within 3 months of the start of the grant, with all items having been delivered by 31st March 2013.

Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
Sectors submitted by the Researcher
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Project URL:  
Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.surrey.ac.uk