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Two prestigious research grants awarded to University of St Andrews

Two prestigious research grants awarded to University of St Andrews

More than half a million pounds for work in chemistry and Scottish history

Two top research grants worth more than half a million pounds have been awarded to academics at the University of St Andrews by a major national funding body.

Professor Colin Kidd of the School of History and Professor Philip Lightfoot of the School of Chemistry have received the prestigious research grants from the Leverhulme Trust to fund their future work.

Professor Kidd, left, Head of the School of History, has been awarded a research grant of up to £470,556 over 36 months for his research project entitled ‘After the Enlightenment: Scottish Intellectual Life, 1790-1843’.

In addition, Professor Philip Lightfoot, Director of Teaching in the School of Chemistry, has been awarded a grant of up to £118, 374 over 24 months for his work entitled ‘A new family of layered perovskite materials with diverse functionality’.

Perovskites are a diverse class of chemical compounds which display a range of important properties such as electrical conductivity, magnetism and energy storage properties. They are used in a wide range of everyday devices such as mobile phones, computer memories and solar cells.

Professor Lightfoot, left,  said: “Our work seeks to understand the remarkable properties of perovskites by analysing their atomic scale composition and structure. This new grant from the Leverhulme Trust offers exciting opportunities to expand on our previous work in this field and use new chemistry to design and prepare original examples of perovskites with improved properties for a variety of applications.”

Professor Kidd’s project will be a collaborative enterprise with three colleagues in the Institute of Intellectual History at the University: Professors Aileen Fyfe, Knud Haakonssen and Richard Whatmore, and three post-doctoral fellows.

They will focus on three particular strands of post-Enlightenment Scottish life. Professor Fyfe will examine Scottish scientific culture between the French Revolution and the Disruption of 1843, focusing on the career of David Brewster. Professors Haakonssen and Whatmore will investigate Scottish moral philosophy and political economy in an era dominated by Dugald Stewart; and Professor Kidd will look at unbelief, freethinking and the legacy of David Hume in a period normally associated with evangelicalism and denominational rivalries.

The Leverhulme Trust was established by the Will of William Hesketh Lever, the founder of Lever Brothers. Since 1925 the Trust has provided grants and scholarships for research and education. Today, it is one of the largest all-subject providers of research funding in the UK, distributing approximately £80m a year. For more information about the Trust, please visit www.leverhulme.ac.uk