Dr Leslie Mabon, in the School of Applied Social Studies has been awarded funding from the UK CCS Research Centre to assess stakeholder and citizen responses to carbon dioxide capture and storage (CCS) in Japan. CCS is a technology that has the potential to help mitigate climate change by capturing carbon dioxide emissions from coal- and gas-burning power stations and industrial sources, and injecting this carbon dioxide into geological structures deep underground.
Whilst there is good scientific consensus that CCS can be undertaken safely, understanding how communities adjacent to projects and those with a legitimate interest in the environment feel about large-scale environmental projects like this is of the utmost importance. This is especially true in Japan, where there is high awareness of the risks seismic activity can pose to energy infrastructure.
During 2016 Leslie will be interviewing stakeholders and community members in and around the Tomakomai project in Hokkaido, north Japan – one of the world’s first large-scale demonstrations of CCS ‘in action’.
Leslie is working with the CO2 Storage Research Group at the Research Institute of Innovative Technology for the Earth (RITE) in Kyoto, Japan. RITE are a government-funded research institution with extensive research experience in assessing technologies with the potential to mitigate climate change, and are one of the leading Japanese research institutions when it comes to CCS. Dr Jun Kita is a co-investigator in the project – and is a senior researcher within the group who has been involved in work of this nature in both Japan and Scotland.
As CCS is at the demonstration and early deployment stage, there are very few opportunities worldwide to study how communities and stakeholders will react to real world large-scale projects – hence this is a very rare and unique chance to generate social data from CCS deployment. Furthermore, Japanese society is well aware of the risks that can arise when seismic activity, energy and the sea come together, so there is potential to learn a lot of lessons about how to deploy a piece of environmental infrastructure potentially perceived as ‘risky’ in a challenging social context. This research will build on similar work undertaken by Leslie in Scotland over the last few years, and the hope is that this will be of interest to policymakers, developers and environmental organisations currently grappling with the question of how – if at all – to deploy CCS in Europe.
Leslie says, ” Virtually all of the CO2 Storage Research Group members are physical scientists, so I’m very much looking forward to teaching them about social science research and also deepening my own understanding of the ‘science’ behind my research.”
While Leslie is in northern Japan he will also be running a three-day workshop that brings together Japan and Scotland-based social scientists working on environmental issues. The workshop is funded by the GB Sasakawa Foundation and will be run in collaboration with researchers at Hokkaido University led by Prof Taisuke Miyauchi. This will give Leslie an opportunity to present the first findings from his fieldwork. Fellow School of Applied Social Sciences researcher Dr Natascha Mueller-Hirth will also travel to Japan to join Leslie for the workshop. Follow Leslie on twitter @ljmabon and his blog
The ESRC is now receiving applications for new project funding as part of their Secondary Data Analysis Initiative. Funding is provided for up to 18 months with an overall limit of £200,000 (100 per cent fEC) per grant. Proposals will be considered by a new Grants Assessment Panel (GAP) that will meet for the first time in July 2016. Funding will be available for around 20 proposals a year.
The call specification is open for the secondary analysis of key ESRC-funded data resources and infrastructure, either in conjunction with other datasets or on their own and that administrative data is one of the eligible ESRC-funded data resources. If you would like further advice on administrative data that might be available then please do not hesitate to contact myself or the Administrative Data Service (www.adrn.ac.uk).
Further information on the call
The next round of the Distinguished Visiting Fellowships scheme is now open for applications. The deadline is 4pm on 18th April 2016. The aim of the scheme is to help UK universities to build capacity and promote collaborations by facilitating visits by distinguished international experts. It provides funding to enable an academic engineering department in a UK university to be a host for up to a month to a Distinguished Visiting Fellow from an overseas academic centre of excellence. Details here. This will be the only call for the DVF scheme for visits taking place in the 2016/17 financial year. The subsequent round will open in February 2017.
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7766 0654 Web: www.raeng.org.uk
As you might expect from this group of information professionals, 100% of academic staff in the Department of Information Management have registered for an ORCID @ORCID_Org
Dr Kyari Yates will be working on bioaccumulation of persistent organic pollutants and trace metals in Scottish marine food webs. Kyari will be supervising Alethea Madgett and the project will explore and build on a previous study by Marine Scotland Science (MSS) on both predator and possible prey species found in the deep waters to the west of Scotland. This study had looked at the relationships between diet (via fatty acid profiles), trophic level (stable isotope analysis) and the concentration of some persistent organic pollutants and trace metals. This will involve looking at a wider range of species at different stages of Scottish marine food webs in support of the implementation of biota Environmental Quality Standards (EQS) for some contaminants in fish under the European Union the Water Framework Directive (WFD, 2000/60/EC). In addition, trophic levels will be determined and trophic magnification factors (TMFs) calculated and applied to contaminant concentrations to investigate the effect this has on the assessment of the data against the EQS. The study is expected to improve the MSS’ statutory monitoring activities of the Scottish marine environment.
This is a jointly funded studentship by the MSS and Robert Gordon University, in which the student is working with Prof Colin Moffat (Head of Science at MSS), Dr Lynda Webster (Marine Environment Assessment Group Leader at the MSS) and Dr Craig McKenzie
Fantastic meeting our new PhD and DPP candidates this week, participating with colleagues in our “Developing Research: Principles and Practice” module. Coincidentally, on the HEFCE Blog Robin Mellors-Bourne has written an interesting reflective post “Professional doctorates – the shape of things to come?” about the current position and future prospects for the professional doctorate in the UK. In it he considers how professional doctorate programmes have proliferated, driven by candidates who are often funding themselves and managing their commitment in their own time, without employer support. Cohorts tend to be small and programme delivery usually online, both factors influencing the sustainability of candidates’ commitment but leading to new approaches such as “meta-cohorts” involving multiple institutions.
A webinar for anyone who wants to know more about the longitudinal datasets available from the UK Data Service. The UK Data Service provides access to a range of longitudinal data including the Birth Cohort Studies (e.g. the National Child Development Study 1958 and The Millennium Cohort Study), Understanding Society and the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing. Most of these studies can be downloaded after a short registration. They can be used for research or for teaching.
Further details and booking: https://www.ukdataservice.ac.uk/news-and-events/eventsitem/?id=4255
Webinar: Key data: Longitudinal data
22 March 2016
Online, 10.30 – 11.30 GMT
Dr Yang Liu will be working on the control of multistable dynamical systems in the Oil & Gas industry. Yang will be supervising Boying Liu who has been awarded a Carnegie Caledonian PhD Scholarship. Control of multistable dynamical systems is a major challenge for power intensive industries to utilize renewable energy in order to ensure long-term sustainable economic growth; strategies for engineering systems to reduce their energy consumptions are to become compulsory. This project will develop new control strategies for general engineering systems with a special attention to the applications in oil and gas industry to maintain their performance within a satisfactory level by using the minimum control energy.
The UK Research Partnership Investment Fund is designed to support investment in higher education research facilities. The deadline for submitting expressions of interest is 15 April 2016.
To apply for the fund, please read the guidance and submission documents. Then email email@example.com by 15 April 2016 to indicate your intention to apply and for further details on how to submit a bid.
The fund has four main objectives. These are to:
- enhance the research facilities of higher education institutions (HEIs) undertaking world-leading research
- encourage strategic partnerships between HEIs and other organisations active in research
- stimulate additional investment in HE research
- strengthen the contribution of the research base to economic growth.
The fund supports large-scale projects that can also attract private investment.
The next round of the Distinguished Visiting Fellowships scheme is now open for applications. The deadline is 4pm on 18th April 2016. The aim of the scheme is to help UK universities to build capacity and promote collaborations by facilitating visits by distinguished international experts. It provides funding to enable an academic engineering department in a UK university to be a host for up to a month to a Distinguished Visiting Fellow from an overseas academic centre of excellence. Details Here. This will be the only call for the DVF scheme for visits taking place in the 2016/17 financial year. The subsequent round will open in February 2017.