The Carnegie Trust for Universities in Scotland has awarded Carnegie Research Incentive Grants to eight early career researchers at the University of the West of Scotland (UWS). These grants support diverse research areas, including the use of artificial intelligence in therapy, the role of oral health in Alzheimer’s disease, and the impact of social media on learning.

The funded projects are:

  • Rachel Kimble, Interactions of oral health, the oral microbiome and nitric oxide bioavailability in Alzheimer’s disease. Will study oral health, the oral microbiome, and nitric oxide levels in individuals with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease, comparing them to healthy peers of the same age and BMI. The research objectives include identifying differences between those with and without Alzheimer’s disease, investigating variations with disease severity, and understanding the connections between oral health, oral bacteria, and nitric oxide in Alzheimer’s disease. This research may provide insights into the relationship between oral health and Alzheimer’s, potentially opening new avenues for prevention and treatment strategies.
  • Rong Li, Consumers and artificial intelligence: Exploring users’ adoption of AI-powered mental health therapists. Will explore the use of AI in mental healthcare, consumers’ attitudes towards AI-powered mental health therapists, how willing consumers are to use an AI-powered therapist compared to a human therapist, and the potential barriers to use of AI-powered therapists.
  • Danielle Kelly, Source Credibility and Cognitive Regulation: Effects of technological mediums on metacognitive calibration and learning performance. Examining examines the effect of using online sources on students’ ability to monitor and regulate their learning. Specifically, the project will examine how both the format and branding of social media platforms can influence how students retain statistical information. this study aims to identify how technology and social media should be used to support students as successful learners.
  • Beric Gilbert, Host-parasite ecology of an intertidal mollusc in relation to the accumulation of microplastics and associated metals contaminants. Assessing the accumulation of microplastics and metals in the common periwinkle and its parasites as an indication of marine pollution. The study will be conducted over two seasons in a single year where microplastics and metals in water, snails and endoparasites will be compared to account for seasonal changes in microplastics and metals. The study will take place at six locations along the Firth of Clyde, including Largs, Millport, Gourock and Greenock. Data from the study will be submitted to organisations such as SEPA, the UN, FAO and WHO to aid policy development about plastic pollution.
  • Ullah Mehran, Impact of trade-in Price on Closed-Loop Supply Chain Pricing Strategies and New Demand Creation. Exploring how trade-in prices (the amount offered to customers for their used items) can impact finished product prices, demand, and overall sustainability. The primary focus is on investigating the connection between trade-in programs and their influence on customer demand, profitability, and environmental benefits. By analysing various supply chain structures and pricing strategies, the research provides insights into both economic and environmental sustainability.
  • Emma Bolger, Gaelic Medium Education: a career advantage for school leavers in Scotland. Exploring senior phase (S4-S6) pupils’ perception of the career benefits of Gaelic Medium Education and the impact of this education on early career decisions of school leavers aged 17-25.
  • Ngozi Amaeze, Are dry biofilms one of the drivers of virulence in the hospitals? Studying microorganisms implicated in healthcare-associated infections, such as Staphylococcus aureus, which can remain on surfaces in the healthcare environment as biofilms for long periods of time despite routine cleaning and disinfection. Preliminary data suggests that the adverse conditions faced in the dry environment might be driving virulence and this project will research this further.
  • Nishant Gokhale, Scots in Company India: Plural Visions of Life and Law through Legal Biography. Focusing on Scotland’s part in the British Empire and its legacies of slavery and colonialism. This research explores the lives of three Scottish men at various levels of East India Company hierarchy, examining how they developed and deployed law through the practices of office in governing Company India.

The grants allow early career researchers to carry out their line of research, either as a stand-alone piece or in the form of an initial study that could lead to a more extensive project.

Professor James Miller, Principal and Vice-Chancellor at UWS said:

“I am very proud that the Carnegie Trust has recognised our early career researchers and on behalf of the whole UWS community I want to congratulate them on their success. The Carnegie Research Incentive Grants provide vital support to academics who are just beginning their careers in independent research. These projects have been recognised for the potential to inform future practise and policy in their respective fields, while also contributing towards addressing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.”