The University of Strathclyde has recorded a triple success in a round of funding designed to support adventurous, high-risk research.

Three projects submitted by Strathclyde have been selected for funding from the New Horizons call by EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council).

“They are among 126 projects sharing a total of nearly £25.5 million and were among a total of 44 Strathclyde submissions – 40 as lead institution and four as partners. “

EPSRC sought the submission of proposals for “projects within the Physical and Mathematical Sciences themes, which will help grow the portfolio of new, transformative research ideas.”

The call also introduced a new, streamlined application process and a review process focused on the transformational potential of the research.

The successful submissions are:

  • What do membranes really look like? New approaches to 3D multiplexed imaging of the cell surface (Principal Investigator: Dr Sebastian van de Linde, Physics)
  • Intracellular Controlled Radical Polymerizations (PI: Professor Nico Bruns, Pure and Applied Chemistry)
  • Unravelling anomalous mass and heat transport in miscible liquids (PI: Dr Javier Cardona Amengual, Chemical and process Engineering).

UK Science Minister Amanda Solloway said: “It is critical we give the UK’s best researchers the resources to drive forward their revolutionary ideas so they can focus on identifying solutions to some of the world’s greatest challenges, such as climate change.

“This government funding will allow some of our brightest mathematicians and physicists to channel all their creative ingenuity into achieving potentially life-changing scientific breakthroughs – from mathematics informing how we save our rainforests to robotics that will help track cancer faster.”

Applications were invited up to a value of £200,000, for a duration of two years, without costing being required in the application.

The proposal paperwork submission consisted of an anonymous four-page case for support, with a further two pages outlining the team’s ability to deliver, with the successful projects providing detailed costings after a decision was made.

EPSRC Executive Chair Professor Dame Lynn Gladden said: “New Horizons reflects EPSRC’s commitment to funding creative, transformative and ambitious new ideas across our portfolio. In this pilot, we have funded more than 100 projects in the mathematical and physical sciences.

“The scheme also piloted a new, simplified applications process designed to minimise the administrative burden of submitting grant applications, thereby enabling researchers to focus on developing their research ideas.

“The call for proposals attracted a very positive response in terms of both the number and quality of applications and we look forward to exploring how to include the approaches taken through New Horizons in further areas of our portfolio.”