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Research

Global Research Initiator scheme

The Global Initiator Scheme offers support to develop joint international research or education-related activities with an international dimension that are at an early stage of development. The Global Research Initiator Scheme replace the earlier WUN Research Mobility Programme, Global Partnerships Award and Santander Latin America Fund

Early career researchers (PGRs, postdocs and junior faculty members) will have the opportunity to visit one of the international partners to establish and cultivate research links at an institutional and individual level. Academic staff will also have the opportunity to lead workshops between Southampton and priority partner colleagues to develop research, teaching or capacity building projects.

 In both cases, priority given to proposals that are interdisciplinary and  multilateral partnerships committed to excellence.

 More information on the scheme is available here.

Incoming faculty and student visitors from other Worldwide Universities Network (WUN) institutions

The University of Southampton is pleased to host incoming Worldwide Universities Network (WUN) visiting research students and faculty members under the Research Mobility Programme.

If you are a student or a researcher at a WUN member institution and are interested in visiting Southampton, you may be able apply to WUN at your home institution for research mobility support. In addition, you would need to:

 Find a University of Southampton host and obtain a letter of invitation.

Current funded projects

Global Partnerships Awards

Research Mobility Programme

Santander UoS Latin America Fund Projects

View the current projects below

Dr Chiara Dall'Ora - Innovation and Leadership in Health Sciences

The impact of shift work on nurses' quality of care.

Partners: Karolinska Institutet, Sweden.

Key words: Shift work; Workforce; Work hours; Quality of care; Nursing

The aim is of this project is to draw on expertise around shift work and identify the relationship between nurses' shift work characteristics and quality of care, and to explore potential interventions around work hours to improve quality of care.

Dr Jack Denny - Bioengineering

Interdisciplinary Research of Blast Injury Mechanisms using Soft Tissue Simulants

Partners: University of Cape Town, South Africa

Key words: Blast injury; lower extremity; blast experiments; soft tissue; load characterisation. 

Explosive blast injuries resulting from landmines and terrorist attacks are an enduring global issue affecting both military and vulnerable civil populations. I will collaborate with the University of Cape Town’s Blast Impact and Survivability Research Unit (BISRU) to perform highly-specialist explosive experiments, extending an active programme of interdisciplinary, collaborative research at the University of Southampton.

Dr Giulia Felappi - Philosophy

Understanding and making effective use of differences in the judgements and conceptualisations of Asian and Western cultures.

Partners: Zhejiang University, China

Key words: Understanding cultures; Experimental philosophy; Intuitions; Cross-cultural conceptualisation; Normative concepts.

Recent experimental studies suggest the existence of cultural differences in the judgements and conceptualisation of Asian and Western cultures on some central notions such as knowledge, morality and rationality. The project aims at a novel, cross-cultural, inter-disciplinary analysis of these variations to understand, first, whether they affect the academic theorising of difference communities and, second, how we can make effective use of such variations in sharpening such central notions.

Dr Lisa Gould - Nursing, Midwifery and Health

Improving Person Centred Care for People with Dementia in Hospitals

Partners:  University of New South Wales Sydney, Australia

Key words: Dementia; Hospitals; Care; Intervention; Development

Care for people with dementia (PWD) is a priority in research, as up to one quarter of hospital beds are occupied by PWD. PWD have a poor experience when in hospital.  Evidence shows that patients in hospital feel well supported if they receive a type of care known as Person Centred Care (PCC). There are few interventions to improve PCC for PWD in hospital, and none that have been rigorously tested. This is an application to collaborate with one of the only groups worldwide who have developed a tested PCC intervention, and adapt it from its current use in care homes to use in hospitals.

Dr Michael Head- Clinical Informatics Research Unit

Research priorities for high-burden infectious diseases in Kenya and Ghana: a two-day workshop

Partners: University of Ghana, and University of Nairobi

Key words: Pneumonia; policy; Kenya; Ghana; priority-setting 

Infectious diseases such as HIV, diarrhoea and pneumonia causes thousands of deaths in Kenya and Ghana every year. This proposal will arrange a two-day workshop in Nairobi, Kenya, to discuss research priorities in these disease areas that will generate greatest health benefits in the local health system and best inform health policy. This collaboration brings together individuals with different skills and knowledge (such as health policy, social sciences, epidemiology) from the Universities of Southampton, Nairobi and Ghana. Workshop findings will be published and disseminated to key stakeholders such as the WHO, Wellcome Trust and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Dr Marcela Hernandez Garcia- Clinical Informatics Research Unit

Development of research cooperation to study the impact of re-flooding on active microorganisms in Chinese paddy soils

Partners: Zhejiang University

Key words: methanotrophs, methanogens, rice paddy soils, 16S rRNA gene, hightroughput sequencing

China accounts for one third of the world's rice harvest. Rice is cultivated in flooded soils, which become predominantly anoxic, leading to methane (CH4) formation. Atmospheric CH4 levels are of interest due to its impact on climate change, as it is one of the most important greenhouse gases in Earth’s atmosphere. Slightly over half of the total emission is due to human activity. Rice agriculture currently accounts for an estimated 6-8% of CH4 produced globally. In the present project, we aim to investigate the role of re-flooding on the microbial communities responsible of methane production and consumption.

Dr Jianghui Li - Institute of Sound and Vibration Research

Integrated Leakage Monitoring of Marine Carbon Storage (ILM-MCS)

Partners: Zhejiang University and Xiamen University, China

Key words: Integrated; leakage monitoring; marine; greenhouse gas 

This workshop will discuss the best integrated way for monitoring the flux of greenhouse gases through the seafloor into the ocean. These gases can be carbon dioxide (CO2) from marine carbon capture and storage facilities, methane from abandoned hydrocarbon reservoirs, or natural hydrocarbon seeps.  In particular, the development of such monitoring technologies will be considered for monitoring of existing abandoned wells in the South China Sea and form an important component for future Marine Carbon Capture and Storage in China. The University of Southampton has developed technologies for such monitoring systems for a variety of applications and is currently focused on their use in the North Sea. The workshop will aim to share experiences gained in that environment with colleagues in China and to explore more effective monitoring schemes based on inter-connected networks of sensors.

Dr Sergio Maldonado - CMEES

Development of Techniques for Site Selection and Adaptation for Marine
Energy Converters’ Optimal Performance

Partners: National Autonomous University of Mexico, and University College Dublin (UCD)

Key words: Marine energy; Energy conversion; Power matrices; Energy focusing; Site adaptation

Feasibility of marine energy exploitation depends primarily on two factors – the available power and the device intended to exploit the source with. Most of the ongoing research and development worldwide is focused on creating and improving devices in order to achieve the highest possible efficiency. This project looks forward in the other direction; namely, defining criteria to select the most suitable places for marine energy harvesting and developing techniques to modify the area in order to drive the energy forcing (waves or currents) to the device in a way that it enhances its performance.

Mr Ramon Masachs - Mathematical Sciences

Nonlinear and out-of-equilibrium Holography and Black Holes

Partners: University of British Columbia, Canada

Key words: Black holes; Numerical evolution; Instabilities 

Black holes are theoretical objects predicted by Einstein’s General Relativity and whose astrophysical existence was confirmed by the discovery of Gravitational Waves in 2016. Due to their strong gravitational force, they are the best objects to study quantum mechanical effects in general relativity. In this project we will study the formation of black holes from collapsing matter and the impact that different kinds of matter have in the final black hole. This evolution will be studied using numerical techniques pioneered and developed by Dr Matthew Choptuik (British Columbia) who was the first to ever complete such kind of simulation.

Mr Ali Mosayyebi

Expanded understanding of the mechanism of encrustation and biofilm formation in stented ureters: in-situ and in-vivo

Partners: University of British Columbia

Key words: Ureteral stents; Encrustation; Biofilm formation; Microfluidic

Ureteral stents are used for easing urine drainage in the case of kidney stones or bladder/prostatic tumours. However, >80% of these stents fail due to infection caused by Encrustation and Biofilm formation (EF). Upon stent failure, antibiotics need to be prescribed and patients need to go through replacement or early removal procedures. I have developed a miniaturised platform to investigate the mechanism of EF in stents, and used it to invent a new stent prototype. This collaborative project will allow me to further the capability of the platform, and also to perform an in-vivo study on the invented stent.

Professor Robert Raja - Chemistry

Developing Research Partnerships with Indian Institute of Technology Madras

Partners: Indian Institute of Technology, Madras

 

Dr Alison Rowsell - Cancer Survivorship and End of Life Care Group

Exploring decision support in hard to reach groups: A collaborative review of evidence to inform decision support for men with Prostate cancer and other long term conditions.

Partners: University of Sydney, Australia

Key words: Hard to reach groups; accessibility; decision support; decision aids; health literacy; review

Patients with Long Term Conditions (LTCs), including those with prostate cancer (PCa), face complex decisions surrounding treatment.  Research has shown potential for patient decision aids in supporting informed consent to treatment. However, certain groups of patients experience particular problems in finding accessible information, understanding treatment decision information and applying this information.  The proposed project would entail an International collaborative systematic review of evidence around decision support for hard to reach groups (including those with lower health literacy (HL)) to inform decisions support in LTCs (including in PCa).  Collaborating partners would include experts in HL at the Sydney School of Public Health.

Professor Jayanta Sahu - Optoelectronics Research Centre

Novel Optical Fibres and fibre components for sensing, imaging and laser applications

Partners: National Autonomous University of Mexico, and Tecnologico de Monterry

Key words: Polymer; Optical materials; Terahertz; Sensing;  Imaging

A workshop to address the challenges in manufacturing novel geometry polymer optical fibres for sensing and imaging applications. The polymer preforms will be fabricated at Southampton by additive manufacturing process. The 30 printed polymer preforms will be drawn into optical fibres at UNAM for potential applications in the terahertz frequency domain. This project aims to bring together the expertise in additive manufacturing, and polymer materials suitable for terahertz applications, fibre design and fabrication

Ms Beatrice Sankah - Centre for Innovation and Leadership in Health Sciences

Applicability of Hand Assessment Technologies in the Rehabilitation of Neuromusculoskeletal Conditions in Ghana: A Patient Public Involvement Engagement

Partners: University of Chana and Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, Ghana; University of Birmingham and Arthritis Research Centre, UK

Key words: Hand Assessments; rehabilitation; hand osteoarthritis; Stroke; Patient Public Involvement; Ghana

Osteoarthritis and stroke are common disorders that can severely limit functional ability and quality of life. Recognized as global health concerns, research into their assessment and effective management is recommended.  This Global Research Initiator project aims to explore the potential application of  emerging non-invasive and cost-effective hand assessment technologies in the rehabilitation of these disorders in Ghana. Consultation through Patient Public Involvement using informal interviews and an interdisciplinary workshop will be used to generate ideas and develop collaborative research proposals. Education collaboration will also be developed between the Universities of Southampton and Ghana

Mr Andrew Smith - Physics and Astronomy

Multilateral knowledge transfer between Mercury, Earth and Saturn’s magnetospheres

Partners: University of California, Berkeley

Key words: Magnetic reconnection; solar-terrestrial physics; planetary magnetospheres

The solar wind, a stream of charged particles ejected from the Sun, greatly influences planetary environments. At Earth, and other planets e.g. Mercury and Saturn, the planetary magnetic field protects the surface from the solar wind’s extremes. However, the magnetic field carried by the solar wind can interact with planetary magnetic fields (called magnetospheres) through a process known as magnetic reconnection. Southampton’s Space Environment Physics group and University of California Berkeley’s Space Sciences Laboratory are world-leading in research into these phenomena.

Dr Debbie Thackray - Health Professions

Refining simulation-based methods to facilitate the development of occupational therapy and physiotherapy students’ clinical reasoning

Partners: University of Sydney

Key words: Clinical Reasoning; simulation-based education

Clinical reasoning is an essential skill for work in complex and fast-paced healthcare environments . It is a skill that is best developed through experience, and simulation-based education methods can provide consistently high-quality and appropriately-scaffolded experiences for students. In this project we will establish an international partnership in occupational therapy and physiotherapy, synthesise research and exchange practice to refine a model of clinical reasoning development, and identify appropriate measures to evaluate quality and student learning. This will enable an ongoing stream of educational research,benchmarking, and quality improvement to enhance the international reputation of the institutions and early career researchers involved.

Dr Heini Väisänen - Social Statistics and Demography

Women’s health study in Accra

Partners: University of Ghana, Ghana.

Key words: Reproductive health; population health; Ghana; induced abortion; survey data; global health

Ghana is undergoing rapid demographic change. Fertility in Accra has declined to 2.8 per woman and many postpone childbearing. The reasons are poorly understood. Since only 19% of sexually active women use modern contraceptives, it is likely that abortion is widely used. Ghana also hosts an increasing population of older adults, many in good health. The reasons for their resilience are poorly understood. Finally, poor populations living in informal settlements continue suffering from poor health. We aim to collect a third wave of a longitudinal survey examining women’s health in Accra to study these topics to understand the mechanisms underlying these health patterns.

View the current projects below

Miss Peipei Chen - 'Creative practitioners' relocation to rural areas in Zhejiang province, China.'

Key words: rural-urban migration, creative practices, and decline.

This research aims to explore how culture-related rural regeneration policies have evolved and to what extent they are attracting creative practitioners; to examine creative practitioners’ motivations and their creative practices in villages; to assess the economic, social and cultural impacts of creative practices on long-term residents.

Dr Michael Head - 'Identifying the key factors influencing risk factors for pneumonia in Ghana'

Key words: vulnerable populations, pneumonia, and high mortality.

Pneumonia is a high-burden disease. I will collaborate with the University of Ghana, associated teaching hospitals and a rural health centre to review patient notes to identify local risk factors for pneumonia-associated morbidity and mortality. Findings will be made available to the Ministry of Health for review of their clinical guidance.

Mr Alistar Monteath - 'Using volcanic ash to investigate palaeoclimate in Atlantic Canada'

Keywords: palaeoclimate, cryptotephra and environmental

In Atlantic Canada cryptotephra deposits (volcanic ash) from volcanoes in the Pacific north-west provide a means to synchronize palaeoclimate records. However, to robustly correlate cryptotephras issues of instrumental variability must be removed. We aim to geochemically characterise cryptotephra deposits from Atlantic Canada, alongside reference samples, to provide robust regional isochrons.

Miss Shibei Ni - 'From One-child to Two-child: The Once-child Generation’s Choice?'

Keywords: population policy, fertility and one-child.

This project will apply mixed-methods to investigate the factors influencing fertility decision processes of China's one child generation cohort, within the context of recently introduced two-child policy.  The results will generate new evidence of young adults' response to China's new population strategy and will inform future policy decisions and programme interventions.

Dr Milan Milosevic - 'Quantifying and predicting variance in linkage disequilibrium mapping for the detection of genomic selection'

Keywords: genetic linkage disequilibrium, genome and LD mapping.

Linkage disequilibrium is a signature in a population’s genome which allows us to investigate evolutionary pressures which have acted upon the population. We plan to optimise tools for this, and test them on several agricultural species. Detection of selection is an invaluable method on medical and agricultural genetic research.

Dr Faisal Rezwan - 'Effect of paternal smoking on offspring methylation and its long-term effect on offspring health'

Keywords: DNA, Methylation and smoking pregnancy.

Mothers’ smoking during pregnancy increases asthma risk in their offspring. Intriguingly, there is evidence that fathers’ smoking before conception may influence their offspring’s health through transmittable epigenetic changes. We will assess fathers’ smoking is associated with changes in their offspring’s epigenome and health outcomes of the child.

Dr Eleanor Wilkinson - 'Single life and couple culture: An interdisciplinary study'

Keywords: single, coupledom, culture and policy.

This project builds upon previously collected interview-based data into the lives of those who are single. The central question this project seeks to address is whether coupledom is still upheld as an unquestionable good in both popular culture and policy. The research will result in two new chapters for a sole-authored monograph.

Dr David Cleary - 'Application of phylogenomic analyses to understand the epidemiology of Haemophilus influenzae in Hong Kong'

Key words: genomics, infection and epidemiology.

Respiratory tract infections from Haemophilus influenzae remain a significant global burden for morbidity and mortality. Increasing antimicrobial resistance renders this challenge even greater. This project aims to utilise extant collections of this exclusively human bacterial pathogen, isolated from cases of chronic lung disease, in order to comparatively determine its genomic epidemiology in South-East Asia from both a regional and global context.

Dr Nathaniel Lewis - 'Contextual determinants of LGBT wellbeing: a cross-atlantic perspective'

Keywords: wellbeing, LGBT and secondary data analysis.

This project investigates contextual determinants of wellbeing for LGBT people in the UK and USA, using secondary data from comparable health and social surveys. The analyses will account for both LGBT-heterosexual wellbeing disparities and area-level correlates of LGBT wellbeing outcomes, focusing on three key areas of comparison: wage and employment, mental health and wellbeing and HIV/sexual health.

Mr Kyle Mayers - 'Molecular characterisation of ciliate grazing'

Keywords: genomics, ciliates and grazing.

Ciliates are single-celled microzooplankton which play key top-down (grazer) and bottom up (prey) roles in the marine microbial food web and global carbon cycle. We will use molecular tools to characterise prey selectivity of ciliates on different phytoplankton species to gain further insights into their ecological and biogeochemical roles.

Funding from Santander Universities has facilitated the development of new or existing collaborations between the University of Southampton and partner organisations in Latin American countries.  The aim of the fund is to develop or enhance partnership, recruitment, mobility and collaboration opportunities with Latin American institutions or organisations.

View the current projects below

Ms Aiste Djiokaite

Identification of protein vaccine candidates from Neisseria gonorrhoeae using immuno-proteomics

Partners: Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil

Key words: Neisseria gonorrhoeae, vaccine, immuno-proteomics, 2D-gel, mass spectrometry

Dr Yu Gong

Project- Collaborative research: joined data analysis comparing the recycling chain between Brazil and China

Collaborative Partner- Fundacao Getulio Bargas (FGV)

Dr Corey Schultz

Project- 'Theorising Art Cinemas: International Perspectives on Affect, Aesthetics and Chinese Film’ which was part of the first conference on Chinese Film held in Brazil. An opportunity to develop collaborative exchange agreements for staff/postgraduate students in film.

Collaborative Partner- Universidade de Sao Paulo

Professor Atul Bhaskar

Project- Development of collaborative research projects and facilitate the publication of results from ongoing research in advanced manufacturing

Collaborative Partner - Tecnologico de Monterrey in Mexico

Dr Rob Ewing

Project - Development of collaborative research projects and a training opportunity for a PhD student

Collaborative Partner - University of Sao Paulo

Dr Luis-Daniel Ibanez

Project - Strengthen a research collaboration on the development of centrality measures for solving practical problems arising from semantic data management

Collaborative Partner - Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile (PUC)

Dr Marije Schaafsma

analyisisProject - Exploration of new collaborative opportunities, development of a new project proposal and academic links and knowledge exchange with local students

Collaborative Partner - Instituto Politécnico Nacional (IPN) CIIDIR Durango

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