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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/K031643/1
Title: KitBoost: Enabling Early Career Researchers with Small Equipment
Principal Investigator: Weir, Dr A
Other Investigators:
Miller, Professor A Hand, Professor D
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Technology and Research Services
Organisation: Heriot-Watt University
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 November 2012 Ends: 31 March 2013 Value (£): 500,000
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Chemical Synthetic Methodology Mech. & Fluid Power Transmiss.
Quantum Optics & Information
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
Heriot-Watt University has made significant achievements in supporting its Early Career Researchers (ECRs). In 2010, we were amongst the first UK institutions to have been awarded the European Commission 'HR Excellence in Research' accreditation for our implementation of the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for their Recruitment. More recently in September 2012 we have been shortlisted in two categories of the Times Higher Education (THE) 2012 Awards - 'Outstanding Contribution to Leadership Development' and 'Outstanding Support for Early Career Researchers'.

This recognition has been predominantly through the quality of development activities at institutional level available to ECRs and the creation of opportunities to establish cross-disciplinary networks and connections to enhance their research capacity and impact. These always complement School-level initiatives which support ECRs including for example access to dedicated funds for travel and conference/training event attendance, access to Scholarships to assist new lecturers find their first research students.

KitBoost will take these initiatives further by establishing a boost to the start-up facilities that ECRs require in establishing their research careers. The areas of research to supported are varied and include the National Capabilities Themes of Catalysis, Quantum optics, Water Engineering, Microsystems and many others. Cutting across these most of the research programmes also contribute to Challenge Themes, especially 'Manufacturing the Future', 'Energy', 'Digital Economy' and 'Healthcasre Technologies'.

In preparing the proposal, we encouraged as many Early Career Researchers working in areas within EPSRC's remit as possible to explicitly identify specific items of equipment (under £10,000 including VAT) that would make a valuable contribution to their research programmes. We identified nearly 40 academic ECRs in working in research groups with many associated EPSRC-funded Research Associates research students. These in turn identified over 30 research programmes that the additional of a number of items of small equipment items would enable them to overcome current limitations; a list of over 120 separate equipment items and with repetitions this amounted to nearly 250 individual pieces. Within the requested budget of £625,000 (fEC) we would be able to fund just over half of these. We note EPSRC are potentially willing to extend the overall budget for the call after for and therefore have prioritised the list and individuals so that we could respond to funding at a the requested level very rapidly but could also respond positively and quickly to funding at a higher level without detriment to the timescale of delivery.

Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Summary
Date Materialised
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Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.hw.ac.uk