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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/S01358X/1
Title: A World-Leading National Network for NMR in the Physical and Life Science: Very-High Field Infrastructure at Sheffield
Principal Investigator: Williamson, Professor M
Other Investigators:
Waltho, Professor J
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Molecular Biology and Biotechnology
Organisation: University of Sheffield
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 May 2018 Ends: 30 September 2019 Value (£): 844,525
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Catalysis & Applied Catalysis Chemical Biology
Chemical Synthetic Methodology Materials Characterisation
Structural biology
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Manufacturing Chemicals
Pharmaceuticals and Biotechnology
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
29 Nov 2017 High-Field NMR for Physical and Life Sciences Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
We will deliver access to state-of-the-art very high field NMR capabilities to the UK NMR and wider research community across the physical and life sciences through the upgrading of the NMR Facility at the University of Sheffield. This will comprise an existing 800 MHz system that will be upgraded with a modern cryoprobe and console and focus on solution NMR applications, especially those requiring elevated pressure. The Sheffield NMR Facility will be run by existing staff to provide expertise in solution NMR to non-NMR specialist users, and will be one component of a UK hub and spoke network of NMR instrumentation to be run for the benefit of the whole UK research community. NMR spectroscopy is the most versatile of all the analytical tools; it provides insights into molecular structure, dynamics, and interactions. The higher sensitivity and resolution delivered with ultra- and very-high field NMR are transformative, providing information not accessible at lower field strength.

The new capabilities of the Sheffield NMR Facility will support, extend and enhance research activities, both in the north and in the UK as a whole (see Academic Beneficiaries); enable and expand research in advanced chemical- and bio-materials, therapeutics, biotechnology and renewable energy; and catalyse new academic-industrial collaborations, focusing on and exploiting areas where there is excellence in the N8 and UK-wide. Examples include:

(1) Structure determination of biological and chemical molecules and supra-molecular aggregates in solution;

(2) Folding of linear polypeptides into complex biologically-active 3D structures, and the ways in which these processes can be altered or subverted in neurodegenerative diseases and cancer;

(3) Catalytic processes, and the detailed analysis of the structure and dynamics of complex materials;

(4) Metabolism within intact cells and organisms.

UK research support targets that strengthen the UK's competitive position in key priority areas. By providing ready access to state-of-the-art instrumentation and expertise, the proposed Sheffield NMR Facility will enable UK research communities to continue to make major contributions across the range of research challenges aligned with national agendas and strategic priorities, and to respond rapidly and flexibly to initiatives such as the Industrial Strategy Challenge and the Global Challenges Research Funds.

We will deliver on this major investment in NMR by:

(1) Progressing a challenging scientific agenda based on national priorities such as advanced materials, renewable energy, industrial biotechnology and synthetic biology, and core health challenges;

(2) Ensuring that the UK is at the forefront of NMR technique development in the solution state, by capitalising on our collective knowledge and experience, and providing training to the community through courses and summer schools;

(3) Attracting industrial support, partnerships and engagement, founded upon a strong collective track record of using our scientific capabilities and assets to support economic growth;

(4) Maximising the effective use of capital assets to ensure efficient provision of NMR access, building on our pioneering experience in equipment sharing, and operating and managing national facilities, within a long-term sustainability plan;

(5) Aligning with the core individual and collective institutional strategies in the N8;

(6) Developing annual reporting systems and symposia to disseminate findings and open new research strategies, and monitoring performance using defined Key Performance Indicators.

Key Findings
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Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.shef.ac.uk