Leverhulme Trust visit attracts research active staff from region
30 April 2012
Representatives from the Faculties of Science and Arts, Professional and Social Studies, along with many delegates from Liverpool Hope University, Edge Hill and the University of Chester, gathered at LJMU's Art and Design Academy on Tuesday 24 April to welcome a visit from Jean Cater, Assistant Director of The Leverhulme Trust.
The Leverhulme Trust was established in 1925 under the Will of the first Viscount Leverhulme. It is one of the largest all-subject providers of research funding in the UK, distributing funds of some £60 million every year. The event, organised in conjunction with the Research Support Office, was introduced by Professor Andy Young (Director of Research) before Jean Cater took the stand to give an insight into the Trust, providing detailed information about its funding schemes, priorities and initiatives.
Jean highlighted what sets Leverhulme apart and stated that she valued the opportunity to visit and speak in Lord Leverhulme's local area. As the founder of the Lady Lever Art Gallery, Port Sunlight Village and Unilever, the Trust's broad commitment to scholarships for research and education is reflective of Lord Leverhulme’s varied influence and interests. As such, the Trust pride themselves on encouraging fresh, energetic applications that incorporate collaborative and interdisciplinary research. It was interesting to hear that they are happy to support proposals with an element of appropriate risk and useful to know that they are especially keen that applicants give clear justification for their reasons for choosing the Leverhulme Trust.
Lucinda Thompson, Research Assistant for Humanities and Social Science, commented that the advice on specific parts of the application and emphasis on the importance of the peer review process, was greatly appreciated and many delegates welcomed the opportunity to ask questions.
LJMU is fortunate to have benefitted from a number of successful applications for funding from Leverhulme - the most recent example being Dr Hannah O'Regan’s award of £222,780 for her exciting Research Grant Project 'Quantifying the Mosaic: Testing Modern Analogues for African Palaeoenvironment' (http://www.ljmu.ac.uk/NewsUpdate/index_122815.htm)
The afternoon also featured talks from other successful Leverhulme applicants - Dr Laura Bishop and Professor Steve Tombs, who related their experiences of applying to the Trust and running their individual projects thereafter. Dr Bishop's research into Vertebrate Palaeontology was an interdisciplinary project in Behavioural and Earth Sciences. The funding provided some much needed man-power for the fieldwork and analysis and resulted in a number of positive outcomes - developing innovative new methods, facilitating training for Postdoctoral Research Assistants and over 20 published papers.
Professor Tombs spoke of a very different, but equally positive experience of the Trust. He highlighted the user-friendly application process and reiterated Leverhulme's 'fashion-resistant' status which proved a good fit for his research. The funding allows vital teaching and administrative replacements to be put in place to enable Professor Tombs to commit more time to his research. He views this as 'Intellectual Liberation' - a phrase which seemed to perfectly capture the message of a successful afternoon.
Full details of The Leverhulme Trust, including deadlines for their various schemes can be found on their website: http://www.leverhulme.ac.uk/index.cfm and you can also follow them on Twitter www.twitter.com/LeverhulmeTrust
Details of funding events hosted by the Research Support Office will be posted to the website where you may also find contact details for the team: http://ljmu.ac.uk/Research/index.htm
Pictured (left to right): Dr Hannah O'Regan Lecturer in Archaeology, School of Natural Sciences and Psychology; Jean Cater Assistant Director of Leverhulme Trust; Professor Andy Young, Director of Research; Professor Steve Tombs, Professor of Criminology, School of Humanities and Social Science Dr Laura Bishop, Subject Leader and Reader in Hominid Palaeoecology, School of Natural Sciences and Psychology