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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/X034887/1
Title: Queen's University Belfast Core Equipment Call 2022
Principal Investigator: Johnson, Professor C
Other Investigators:
Doumas, Dr M Newton, Dr AMW Shakeel, Dr H
Woods, Professor RF Riley, Professor D Larraneta, Dr E
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: The Vice Chancellors Office
Organisation: Queen's University of Belfast
Scheme: Standard Research - NR1
Starts: 03 January 2023 Ends: 02 July 2024 Value (£): 871,595
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Human-Computer Interactions Instrumentation Eng. & Dev.
Materials Characterisation
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
No relevance to Underpinning Sectors
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
02 Nov 2022 EPSRC Core Equipment Award - Panel One Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
The Queen's University Belfast strategy 2030 defines our goals to be a global, research-intensive university generating internationally leading research, coupled with outstanding teaching and learning and focused on societal needs, locally and globally. A key strand is to allow our researchers to gain global recognition in line with our academic strengths and high impact research. Central to Northern Ireland and the wider UK's economic development are the research activities undertaken in the EPS Faculty where this equipment grant will be held. A key aspect of the faculty's plan is an ongoing commitment to enhance our facilities, identifying gaps in essential research equipment and thus ensuring appropriate resourcing of the elements of our reshaped research portfolio and capital investment. This investment will also help to support EPSRC's commitment to the Place Agenda and redress the research council lower spend per researcher in Northern Ireland (£5,708) compared to Scotland (£11,402), Wales (£7,955) and the Southeast of England (£24,391).

Queen's supplements its own investments in infrastructure and facilities by acquiring equipment and computational resource through competitive applications to EPSRC. Previous examples include: the £1.8M 'Underpinning Multi-User Equipment' project (EP/P030246/1) to support a new 'Imaging and Patterning Centre'; the £5M Kelvin-2 (EP/T022175/1) proposal to establish a new, high performance computing facility and; the first, £1.1M solid-state, nuclear magnetic resonance instrument in Northern Ireland (EP/W021390/1). Whilst the BRCD deal is focused on providing a capital investment in connected health and manufacturing, this request looks to strength research across the other areas of the EPS Faculty's established and strategically important research portfolio, namely microelectronics, sensors, psychology, civil engineering, physics and materials research.

The equipment has the potential will allow staff to promote and support multidisciplinary opportunities across the University. For example, the 4K Digital Microscope will be used by pharmacists, medical researchers, mechanical and chemical engineers; the Particle Size Analyser across civil engineering, geography, and archaeology; the Xsens motion tracking system by psychologists and electronic engineers; the Scanning Acoustic Microscope by researchers in drug formulations, ceramics and materials science; the ICCD Camera and Spectrometer by physicists and pharmacists. This approach directly aligns with the UKRI strategy 2022 to 2027 under 'secure cutting-edge infrastructures for world-class research and innovation'.

Our aim is to enhance our research capabilities and ambitions to create and sustain a world-class research environment characterised by cutting-edge facilities, linked with high quality training and support. The requests were identified from a detailed exercise with items prioritised on the university's Strategy 2030 research needs, fit to the core equipment call and capability to provide maintenance and sustained operation. If successful, equipment will be accommodated in well-established and managed EPS Faculty laboratories which are supported by well-trained technicians. ECRs and postgraduate students will always be able to avail of these resources as we recognise their importance. Indeed, ECRs were targeted in this exercise and are leading three of the equipment requests (Shakeel, Newton, Larraneta). It is standard that PhD students will be assigned to research groups and will therefore have direct access to these facilities.
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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Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.qub.ac.uk