EPSRC logo

Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/V032992/1
Title: Core Equipment to underpin the National Crystallography Service 2020-
Principal Investigator: Coles, Professor SJ
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Sch of Chemistry
Organisation: University of Southampton
Scheme: Standard Research - NR1
Starts: 14 November 2020 Ends: 13 May 2022 Value (£): 421,230
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Chemical Synthetic Methodology Co-ordination Chemistry
Materials Characterisation
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Pharmaceuticals and Biotechnology
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
29 Sep 2020 Core Equipment Award 2020 - Panel 1 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
The strategy in answering this call is to provide a balanced approach to secure essential replacement equipment with a forward-looking component and this is achieved by bringing together the two strands of 'invest to save' and 'underpinning multi-user equipment'. Coupled with established routes to supporting and enabling ECRs and doctoral students, the National Crystallography Service (NCS) is able to touch on all the Core Equipment call objectives.

The NCS is a world-renowned facility with a large user base and was the first National Research Facility to be established (1981). This NRF is ideally suited to maximising the benefits and beneficiaries of a Core Equipment investment, being an advanced facility with a national reach and an established, coordinated approach to maintaining and expanding its user base. The NRF model provides the access mechanisms, expert support, monitoring, governance and sustainable operating model to ensure that this investment will be fully realised to its maximum potential.

The main equipment item, a new goniometer, has been identified through involving the formal governance and review procedures of the NCS. It is therefore a truly key equipment component that is at risk and its replacement will enable a continued high level of performance and throughput of the NCS. The continued delivery of NCS core business at a high standard will be supported by the introduction of a high-powered microscope which will provide new capability as well as more redundancy and higher throughput. The other two items of equipment, an Intelligent Goniometer Head and a cryostat, will support the technique development aspect of the NCS. The former will provide an entirely new approach to mitigating against sample decay and would be developed with the instrument manufacturer. The latter will complete a £400k equipment loan to underpin an entirely new capability based around the crystal sponge technique. This endeavour is a joint development/impact project partnering with Merck and Rigaku companies, which would enable acquisition of structural data on nanolitres of material or substances that don't readily crystallise. The aim is for this to become a new component of the NCS service provision and with strategic partnerships already in place, it will develop and significantly impact new crystallography user communities in academia and industry.

The unique position and reach of the NCS in the community will enable maximisation of the number of beneficiaries of this equipment investment through its core business, advanced methods and technique development work. The large established user base reaches through to PhD students and ECRs - all of whom would have opportunity for skills training provided with this equipment.

In conclusion, with the ability to continue to sustain the high level of service provision, the NCS can also add significant value to this investment through well-established routes and clearly identified pathways to impact via partnerships with key industry and instrument manufacturers.

Key Findings
This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Potential use in non-academic contexts
This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Description This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Date Materialised
Sectors submitted by the Researcher
This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Project URL:  
Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.soton.ac.uk