Research Division Briefing

Welcome to the Research Division e-Briefing

LSE campusThe Research Division e-Briefing is produced by the Research Division| and the Press and Information Office|.

This month's edition features details of the ESRC impact toolkit, latest news on the HEIF5 Bid Fund, and the final call for the Santander Travel Fund.

Also this month, LSE professor John Hills published the final report of his independent review of fuel poverty. The review confirms that fuel poverty is a serious national problem and shows that it is set to rise rapidly.

Plus don't miss the Research Division's first ever bake-off on Tuesday 3 April, in aid of Sport Relief.


March 2012



ESRCESRC impact toolkit

The ESRC Pathways to Impact Toolkit| gives you everything you need to achieve the maximum impact for your work.

The toolkit includes information on developing an impact strategy, promoting knowledge exchange, public engagement and communicating effectively with your key stakeholders. A new section, 'Talking to government' to the Impact Toolkit', has recently been added to help you find out more about getting your research into policy.

The School’s knowledge exchange manager has also developed a toolkit to help generate ideas on how to strategise to create the right conditions for stronger impact. For more information, contact Tina Basi on ext 1172 or at|.

StudentsExcellence with impact

Research Councils UK (RCUK) has recently highlighted their Principles for Funding Multi-Institutional Collaboration in Innovation and Research.

The fourteen point Framework relates to funding for collaborative, multi-institutional research and related research activities, such as capital investment, doctoral training, innovation, knowledge exchange, and public engagement. Collaborations may include both public or private sector research organisations. More|

StudentsEPSRC - Preparing new proposals to include national importance

Any members of staff thinking of applying to the EPSRC should note that 'National Importance' has been added as an assessment criterion.

Applicants will now need to clearly identify the national importance of their proposed research project in their case for support. For more information about what 'National Importance' is, visit the FAQ website|.

LSE campusResearch Committee Seed Fund update

Three seed fund awards were recently made by the Research Committee. Dr Sharad Chari, Geography, received an award to research: Indian Ocean Ports and the Promise of Infrastructure-Led Development. Dr Chari will be conducting ethnographic investigations into the ever-changing globalising developments of ports in India and South Africa.

Additionally, Dr Andrea Vedolin and Dr Philippe Mueller, Finance, have received an award for the following research: Hedging Activity in Fixed Income Markets.

Finally, the Research Committee made an award to Dr Jose-Luis Fernandez and Dr Derek King, to undertake research into Assessing data from the Improving Access to Psychological Therapy Programme. In their research they hope to develop an understanding of groups of patients who would gain from interventions that improve equitable access to psychological therapies.

Research Committee Seed Fund applications should be submitted before the next deadline of 1 June 2012. Anyone interested in the Fund contact Daniel Fisher at| to discuss their application and to develop a strong proposal.

StudentsOpen Access update

Free and open access to publicly-funded research offers significant social and economic benefits. Findings are not only valuable to other researchers, but have potential use to business, charities, public sector bodies and the public in general.

The ESRC Open Access Policy requires award holders of any ESRC grant awarded as a result of applications submitted from October 2006, to deposit a copy of any resultant articles or conference proceedings in the ESRC research catalogue.

On a wider note, the Research Council UK Research Outcomes System (ROS), is a relatively new initiative that requires grant holders from AHRC, BBSRC, EPSRC and ESRC to report the research outcomes resulting from those grants. More|

ESRCESRC 2012 Festival

The call for applications to run events for the tenth annual ESRC's Festival of Social Science is now open.

The ESRC welcomes event applications targeting a non-academic audience including young people, third sector, the public, business or government. This year the festival will run from 3-10 November. The application forms are available to download from the festival website.

The closing date for supported applications is 4 May 2012, whilst non-funded applications have a deadline of 11 May 2012. More|

LSE campusERC Advanced Investigator Grants and School closure dates

The deadline for European Research Council Advanced Grants in the domain of social sciences and humanities is Wednesday 11 April. Funding of €2.5 million per grant up to five years is available to established research leaders pursuing ground-breaking projects that open new directions in their fields or other domains.

A number of academics have already contacted the Research Division to confirm their intention to apply for a grant this year. However, please note that the School will be closed from 5-11 April. Applicants need to ensure that institutional approval has been obtained before the Easter break.

For advice and assistance with the bid, applicants are asked to contact either Michael Oliver at| or Maribel Glogowski at| in the Research Division.

CupcakeHave your cake and eat it

The Research Division is holding its first ever bake-off on Tuesday 3 April, in aid of Sport Relief.

Judges will be awarding prizes in a number of different categories including best savoury bake, best Sport Relief-themed bake and ‘tastes better than it looks’ (for those who aren’t quite at Jane Asher’s level).

Cakes and savoury bakes will be on sale from 11am on the seventh floor of Tower One. All proceeds will go towards helping Sport Relief change lives in the UK and across the world’s poorest countries. So please come along, eat cake and do some good at the same time.



Funding opportunities

Candidates interested in applying for any of the opportunities below should contact Michael Oliver in the Research Division at| or call ext 7962 (unless otherwise stated).

FlyingSantander Travel Fund: final call

Around £5,000 remains available in the Santander Travel Fund. The fund supports visits by LSE academics and PhD students to universities and other organisations in the Santander Universidades Network. The objective is to forge contacts for the purpose of exchange of knowledge and to participate in projects of benefit to the School and other organisations.

For guidance and information, Click Here|. If you wish to apply for the Santander Travel Fund, contact Daniel Fisher in the first instance -| or ext 3727.

StudentsESRC retail research master's dissertation opportunities

Deadline: two deadlines have already passed - the third and final deadline is scheduled for 27 April 2012
The ESRC is increasing its engagement with the retail sector, and one element of this is the opportunity for academics and master's students to work with major companies such as Barclays, Boots, Co-operative, Dixons, John Lewis, Nationwide, Tesco, and Whitbread on projects which are important to the retail industry.

The initiative also provides a great way for both students and their supervisors to build links with major retail companies. Working during the spring and summer, students will be eligible for a £500 award (for ESRC funded students in their master's year of a 1+3) or entry for a £1,000 prize competition for the best dissertation (for non-ESRC funded students). Additional similar contributions are available from some of the participating retailers. For more information, click here|.

This initiative is part of a wider programme by the ESRC to facilitate communication between the social science research base and retail businesses, promoting knowledge exchange and encouraging greater collaboration. More|

HEIF 5The HEIF5 Bid Fund: summer term call for bids

Deadline: 14 May 2012
LSE has invested £2 million of its HEIF5 allocation into the 'HEIF5 Bid Fund', a competitive source of funding to support LSE’s efforts in knowledge exchange in the social sciences.

In the first call, which received 12 bids, four awards were made totalling £550K. The Lent term call has now closed with 14 bids received. Successful bids will be announced after Easter.

If you are interested in applying, contact Tina Basi, knowledge exchange manager, at| or on ext 1172, for application forms and guidance.



LSE campusRecent awards

Professor Cathy Campbell, Social Psychology, has been awarded £404,280 from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), for the following research - AIDS Competent Schools in Rural Zimbabwe: how can schools help African children cope with the impact of disease and poverty.

In Africa, poverty and disease (especially HIV), have created a generation of children who are excluded and unsupported, dramatically reducing their future prospects as educated, economically functional and socially integrated citizens. This research proposes to investigate the pathways through which Zimbabwean schools have succeeded - despite economic and political instability - in including and supporting children, taking particular account of gender differences.

Professor Richard Layard, Centre for Economic Performance, has recently received £24,688 from the National Institute for Health. The funds will allow extra specialist consultancy to contribute to the current Subjective Well-being Advances in Measurement.

Professor Jane Lewis, Social Policy, received £84,911 from the Leverhulme Trust. She will explore the changing nature of parental support and the process of negotiating the young adult/parent relationship.

The overall objectives are to explore, using qualitative methods, the changing nature of parental support, the attitudes of parents and children towards it, and the process of negotiating the young adult/parental relationship. In light of the increase in those over 21 with higher education qualifications living at home, and the increase in young people participating in higher education, the research plans to investigate two groups of middle class, university educated parents and their children.

Ms Chantal Morel, LSE Health and Social Care, has been awarded £96,312 from the Pew Trust. The research will focus on the role that diagnostics play in the development of new life-saving antibiotics.

Professor Martha Mundy, Anthropology, has received funding for a secondment to Humboldt University in Berlin.

Professor Anne Power, LSE Housing, has been awarded £58,601 from the Orbit Housing Association to evaluate their role in the ‘Big Society’.




AutismAutism costs in UK and US escalating, finds LSE research

Autism costs the UK more than £34 billion a year, and has more than tripled in the US to $126 billion, according to new LSE research.

The cost of providing care for each person with autism affected by intellectual disability through his or her lifespan are £1.5 million in the UK and $2.3 million in the US. The lifetime costs of caring for individuals who are not impacted by intellectual disability are £917,000 in the UK and $1.4 million in the US.

The research, funded by Autism Speaks, the world’s largest autism advocacy group, was conducted by Professor Martin Knapp of LSE, and Dr David Mandell of the University of Pennsylvania. It will be presented at the international conference 'Investing in our Future: the economic costs of autism', on 31 March in Hong Kong. More|

StudentsRising fees deterring students from poorer backgrounds from continuing to postgraduate study

Students from poorer backgrounds are under-represented in postgraduate study. High tuition fees, which have risen by an average of 31 per cent between 2003-04 and 2009-10, are also deterring many from making the jump from undergraduate to graduate courses.

These are among the findings of a report by Philip Wales, a PhD student at LSE, presented at the Royal Economic Society conference this week.

In order to examine progression rates from undergraduate to postgraduate study, Philip Wales obtained data from over 150 universities in the UK to develop the first substantial dataset of postgraduate fees by subject and university in the UK. Student level data has been taken from the Destination of Leavers from Higher Education dataset provided by HESA.

He found that postgraduate fees increased by an average of 31.8 per cent between 2003-04 and 2008-09, from £3,232 to just over £4,261. This largely unreported increase is substantially above the rate of inflation. More|

Hills Fuel Poverty ReviewIndependent review projects fuel poverty to worsen and calls for reinvigorated strategy

Professor John Hills, director of the Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion (CASE) at LSE, today published the final report of his independent review of fuel poverty.

The review confirms that fuel poverty is a serious national problem and shows that it is set to rise rapidly. It affects people with low incomes and energy costs above typical levels.

It proposes a new way of measuring the problem, focused both on the number of people affected and the severity of the problem they face. More|

HappinessA measure of happiness

Recommendations in a new academic paper by Professor Paul Dolan about what questions should be asked in large-scale surveys of happiness are being used by the Office of National Statistics and are being considered by the OECD.

The paper focuses on how to measure ‘subjective well being’ (SWB) at a time when governments around the world are beginning to seriously consider using SWB to inform and evaluate public policy.

Professor Dolan and his co-author, Robert Metcalfe from the University of Oxford, suggest measuring the three different components of Subjective Well Being - life satisfaction, momentary mood and purpose - separately and recommend the level of detail at which each should be collected.

Professor Dolan says: 'Having SWB on large surveys will allow us to test the possibility of improving people’s levels of happiness and the important objective circumstances that allow people to have higher levels of happiness'.

The full paper can be seen at the Journal of Social Policy|.

Grace LordanDiscrimination makes me sick!

The attitudes of the general British population towards Muslims changed post 2001, and this change led to a significant increase in anti-Muslim discrimination.

In a recently published paper, Dr Grace Lordan (pictured), lecturer in health economics at LSE, uses this attitude change to estimate the causal impact of increased discrimination on a range of objective and subjective health outcomes.

Dr Lordan and her co-author, David W Johnston from Monash University, Australia, also investigate the pathways through which discrimination impacts upon health, and find that discrimination has a negative effect on employment, perceived social support, and health-producing behaviours.

The paper, Discrimination makes me sick! An examination of the discrimination-health relationship, can be found here|.

India: the next superpower?India is not a superpower (and may never be), concludes new LSE study

India is not a superpower and will not become one in the foreseeable future, suggests a special report published by LSE.

The authors argue that despite India’s rising power and wealth it remains shackled by weaknesses which include corruption and poor leadership, extreme social divisions, internal security threats and religious extremism. The report, India: the next superpower?, features essays by nine experts which examine the nation’s economy, defence, government, culture, environment and society.

While they acknowledge the country’s formidable achievements in fostering democracy, growth and cultural dynamism, they generally agree that its structural weaknesses mean that it cannot yet call itself a superpower or be considered a full counterweight to the influence of China (as some in the West have hoped).

Some of the report’s authors believe that India should not even aspire to be a superpower while it has so many internal problems unresolved. Among them is Ramachandra Guha, chair in history and international affairs at LSE IDEAS, the research centre which produced the report. More|

AnorexiaAnorexia study backs government ban on underweight models

Anorexia is a socially transmitted disease and appears to be more prevalent in countries such as France where women are thinner than average, according to new research from LSE.

This first ever economic analysis of anorexia, using a sample of nearly 3,000 young women across Europe, concludes that peer group pressure is the most significant influence on self-image and the development of anorexia. The findings endorse government intervention to compensate for social pressure on women, regulating against the use of underweight models in the fashion industry and in women's magazines, for example.

The research, by LSE economist Dr Joan Costa-Font and Professor Mireia Jofre-Bonet of City University, is due to be published in the academic journal Economica later this year. More|




To find out more about research opportunities, contact Research Division, Seventh Floor, Tower One. Tel: +44 (0)20 7955 7962. Email Michael Oliver|.

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