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The Laidlaw Research and Leadership Programme

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Choose a Research Project

There are two routes of entry to become a Laidlaw scholar: proposing your own summer research project or choosing a project from the list.

Students who do not wish to propose their own project will need to choose a project from the list below.  You can choose any project you find interesting - it does not have to relate to your undergraduate degree.  When you have chosen which project you wish to apply for, make sure you read it thoroughly and think about the issues involved.

Remember that you MUST demonstrate how you meet the Essential Skills listed in the project description when you complete your application form. This is an essential part of your application. 

You must also ensure that an academic reference is supplied on behalf of your application.

Drop In Session for Applicants

A drop in session will take place on Tuesday 8th January 2019 between 12.30pm - 2pm in Room 642 IOE Building (20 Bedford Way).  This is for you to speak to the supervisor of the project you are interested in, to hear more about the Laidlaw programme from current Laidlaw Scholars, and to ask any questions.  We hope to see you there!

 

Projects available for Summer 2019

The Laidlaw Research and Leadership Programme

Main research project: Included for your reference.  This is an outline of the main research project to which the Laidlaw scholar's project will contribute.

Scholar's research project: Outlines the project the Laidlaw scholar will be undertaking.

Standard research period:  The standard research period is from Monday 17th June - Friday 26th July 2019.  However, we aim to be flexible about this and other time periods are usually acceptable if agreed by both the student and supervisor. 

Project 1: Radar research (Engineering)

Project 2: Textual work on fragments of Cato (Arts and Humanities)

Project 3: Analysing brain tumours (Population Health Sciences)

Project 4: Surprise indices (Population Health Sciences)

Project 5: Community-learning and knowledge production in random networks (Social and Historical Sciences)

Project 6: Parental support for millennials in the housing market (Social and Historical Sciences)

Project 7: Disease diagnosis in mitochondrial disease patients (Brain Sciences)

Project 8: Evaluating the multi-agency stalking intervention programme (Engineering)

Project 9: The legal foundations of US states of exception (Social and Historical Sciences)

Project 10: The impact of Brexit on UK-EU data flows (Social and Historical Sciences)

Project 11: The economics of Bitcoin (Social and Historical Sciences)

Project 12: Improving performance in communication systems modelling (Engineering)

Project 13: Imaging solutions for objects in UCL Special Collections (Engineering)

Project 14: Understanding contrast in English (Arts and Humanities)

Project 15: Understanding Thames Water Flow (Engineering)

Project 16: Feeding babies: views and experiences of new mothers (Life Sciences / Arts & Humanities)

Project 17: Conflict management in the Clinton emails (Arts & Humanities)

Project 18: Does rhythm affect how we learn? (Brain Sciences)

Project 19: Political attitudes and psychological attributional styles (Brain Sciences)

Project 20: Predicting why many new doctors leave within 5 years (Population Health Sciences)

Project 21: Political Economy and the Mass Media (Social and Historical Sciences)

Project 22: Nail fungal infections – anti-onychomycotic medicines (Life Sciences)

Project 23: Nail fungal infections – medicinal patches (Life Sciences)

Project 24: Evaluating urban design governance (Bartlett)

Project 25: Creating a teaching collection for History of Art (Social and Historical Sciences)

Project 26: Exoplanets (Mathematics and Physical Sciences)

Project 27: Technology-driven Business Model Innovation (Bartlett)

Project 28: Developing an Ecosystem Strategy Framework (Bartlett)

Project 29: Cannabis Research Image Database (Brain Sciences)

Project 30: Northern Ireland, the Crisis of European Jewry, and Refugee Relief (Arts & Humanities)

 

 

Project Number: 1

Establishing DopplerNET the first Radar Micro-Doppler data repository

Main Research Project: Radar Micro-Doppler Research

Summary of Main Research Project: Radar has been used for many year to detect an objects location and velocity. Recently through the development of very compact Radio Frequency (RF) sensors there has been a big growth in using these sensors for applications such as measuring a person’s movement and gestures. Google has developed a small sensor named Soli that looks to recognise a person’s hand movements and varying gestures in order to interact with a smart phone or watch. The UCL Radar group has multiple small RF sensors that have been used to record databases of people walking or making gestures and this data is suitable to test and train a machine learning algorithm to classify what action is occurring. The applications for this work include new ways to interact with computers/machines, diagnosis of medical conditions or security.  In the domain of image recognition the ImageNET scheme, developed by Princeton University, has revolutionised how images are recognized by computer algorithms. UCL is in a fantastic position to start the first Radar repository equivalent to help share data with the wider international community and help push the ability to recognize full body walking analysis or hand gesture analysis.

Title of Scholar’s Project: Establishing DopplerNET the first Radar Micro-Doppler data repository

Summary of Scholar’s Project: The Laidlaw scholar student would work with the Radio Frequency sensors we have to build new measurements of gestures in the radar lab. This data along with archieved data will be processed and organised into a format that is usable by researchers. Then the focus will be on how to use signal processing techniques to recognise what gestures or walking pattern is occurring with a high degree of accuracy (potentially looking at real time solutions). Finally the data will be organised into a repository that can be shared with the wider community with instructions on how to use the data.

Outputs expected from the Scholar:

Gather new radar data

Generate a database of gestures/walking movements that is searchable and easily accessible Produce a GUI for analysis and characterisation of the data

Establish an online repository that external future researchers can use to baseline new machine learning techniques against UCL Radar data. 

Output a report explaining what has been achieved, how to use the database/website and future potential work

Presentation poster

Will it run over the standard six weeks?  If not, give reasons: Yes

Three essential skills scholars need: - Matlab or equivalent signal processing  - Manipulation of data sets   - Critical thinking

Details of supervision arrangements: I will work closely with the student on this project aiming to meet weekly to support the progress that is made. We also have a set of PhDs and Postdocs in the Radar group that will be able to provide technical advice to the student during his scholarship.

Supervisor Name: Matthew Ritchie

Supervisor Department: Electronic and Electrical Engineering                    

Email Address: m.ritchie@ucl.ac.uk

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Project Number: 2

Textual work on the fragments of Cato

Main Research Project: Edition and translation of the fragments of M. Porcius Cato

Summary of Main Research Project: This project aims to produce a new edition of the fragments transmitted for the important early Roman writer M. Porcius Cato, which includes an accurate Latin text and a modern English translation. As a first step, the transmitted Latin texts and its variations need to be established by checking a number of critical editions. On this basis the English translation and some explanatory notes on the fragments can be developed.

Title of Scholar’s Project: Textual work on the fragments of Cato

Summary of Scholar’s Project: The scholar will be given a preliminary Latin text of the fragments of Cato, compiled from various unverified sources, and will then check these Latin texts against the standard critical editions of the relevant ancient authors to be found in local libraries; this will enable the scholar to correct the texts given and note variations in the textual transmission and the ways in which previous editors have dealt with them. Thus the scholar will gain insight into the principles of textual transmission, a key element of research in Classics, and be able to apply them by evaluating the differences between different editions and by providing arguments for the adoption of specific readings. Thus, the scholar will be contributing to the preparation of the final edition.

Outputs expected from the Scholar: digital versions of accurate Latin texts relating to the fragments transmitted of the works of Cato, noting and assessing the differences between the existing standard editions

Will it run over the standard six weeks?  If not, give reasons: Yes

Three essential skills scholars need: knowledge of Latin at least to GCSE standard or equivalent

Details of supervision arrangements: regular formal meetings and conversation via email for the duration of the project

Supervisor Name: Gesine Manuwald

Supervisor Department: Greek and Latin

Supervisor Faculty: Arts and Humanities

Email Address: g.manuwald@ucl.ac.uk

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Project Number: 3

Analysing Mouse Models of Paediatric Low Grade Glioma

Supervisor Name: Juan Pedro Martinez-Barbera

Supervisor Department: UCL GOS Institute of Child Health                            

Supervisor Faculty: Population Health Sciences

Email Address: j.martinez-barbera@ucl.ac.uk

Main Research Project: Understanding the role of senescence in paediatric brain tumours

Summary of Main Research Project: The supervisor is currently the Head of the Developmental Biology and Cancer Research Programme at Great Ormond Street ICH. His research aims to reveal the mechanisms underlying normal development and the pathology associated to the forebrain and pituitary gland in mice and humans with the ultimate goal of improving treatment and management of patients (e.g. Haston et al., Development 2017; Carreno et al., Development 2017). His more recent research has focused on childhood brain tumours, in particular paediatric craniopharyngioma (Gaston et al., PNAS 2011; Andoniadou et al., Acta Neuropathol. 2012; Andoniadou et al., Cell Stem Cell 2013). He leads the Childhood Craniopharyngioma Research Consortium, which has brought together a group of basic researchers and clinicians working on these tumours. Combining murine and human studies his research has advanced the understanding of the biology of these aggressive tumours and identified cellular senescence as a tumour-inducing mechanism (Apps et al., Acta Neuropathol Commun. 2016; Boult et al., Brain Pathol. 2017; Gonzalez-Meljem et al., Nat. Commun. 2017). Recent studies from his lab have provided a molecular rationale for the histological similarities between craniopharyngioma and tooth development, resulting in the identification of novel potential targetable pathways (Apps et al., Acta Neuropathol. 2018). Currently, these basic findings are being tested in small clinical studies in the patients.

Title of Scholar’s Project: Analysing Mouse Models of Paediatric Low Grade Glioma

Summary of Scholar’s Project: Paediatric Low Grade Glioma (PLGG) is the most common brain tumour of childhood, comprising a range of histological subtypes. The prognosis for PLGG is good with a 90% survival rate after complete resection; however the outcome is less favourable for inaccessible or recurrent tumours. Genetic analysis has established PLGG to be a single pathway disease – the most common somatic mutations are activating rearrangements/mutations of BRaf, followed by FGFR1 and other genes, all of which result in an over-activation of the Mitogen Activated Protein Kinase (MAPK) pathway. This leads initially to proliferation and tumour formation, before initiation of oncogene induced senescence whereby cells exit the cell cycle as a protective mechanism. There are currently no animal models available to both i) study the etiology of PLGG and ii) test novel therapeutics. The need for these models has been highlighted by the initiation of a phase II clinical trial using BRaf inhibitors which resulted in paradoxical activation of the MAPK pathway, progression of tumours and premature termination of the trial.    In the lab, we have generated a mouse model that show lesions in the brain that are similar to those observed in human tumours. The student will help analyse these lesions in the mouse model by using numerous techniques including: histological techniques, immunohistochemistry (single and double, fluorescent), qRT-PCR, embryological techniques and cell culture.  The Laidlaw scholar will learn these techniques from a PhD student in the laboratory and initially will be undertaking them in parallel with them.  It is anticipated the scholar will undertake numerous experiements in parallel once the techniques have been learned.

Outputs expected from the Scholar: This project will provide the student with a good theoretical knowledge on LGG as well as other childhood brain tumours and a useful toolbox of laboratory techniques.

Will it run over the standard six weeks?  If not, give reasons: The project will be run over 6 weeks

Three essential skills scholars need: 1. Good understanding of basic cell biology and cancer biology  2. Good eye-hand coordination to perform histological processing.  3. Able to work in a team.

Details of supervision arrangements: The supervisor operates on "an open door" policy. The student will meet with the supervisors and other members of the lab on a daily basis.  The student will be taught laboratory techniques by a PhD student or similar.

Additional information: Good knowledge of English is essential to ensure the student's safety and progress.

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Project Number: 4

Surprise indices

Overarching Research Project: Surprise indices

Summary of Overarching Research Project: The purpose of this project is to study the surprise index defined for probability distributions by Weaver (1948) and its generalisations proposed by Good (1956). Despite the age of these papers, there are very few examples in the scientific literature of surprise indices formulae.     This research project's objectives are: (i) to analyse mathematical definitions of surprise; (ii) to propose formulae for surprise indices across families of discrete and continuous probability distributions; (iii) to write an R library implementing the surprise indices’ equations.

References    Good IJ (1956) The surprise index for the multivariate normal distribution. The Annals of Mathematical Statistics, 27, 1130-1135.    Weaver, W. (1948). Probability, Rarity, Interest, and Surprise. The Scientific Monthly, 67:390–392.

Title of Scholar’s Project: Surprise indices

Summary of Scholar’s Project: The Scholar will understand the concepts in the papers by Weaver and Good and, using symbolic algebra, find expressions for surprise indices for specific discrete and continuous probability distributions. Further, they will systematise their findings into an R library.

Outputs expected from the Scholar:

An R library to be submitted to the Comprehensive R Archive Network.  

A short report

A presentation poster

Will it run over the standard six weeks?  If not, give reasons: Six weeks, full time, are fine.

Three essential skills scholars need:

Enthusiasm for probability and applied statistics

Some knowledge of Mathematica or another symbolic algebra language

Some knowledge of programming in R or a willingness to learn

Details of supervision arrangements: I would work closely with the student with formal meetings every week.  It may be possible to offer them a desk to work at the UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health.

Supervisor Name: Mario Cortina Borja

Supervisor Department: UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health                          

Email Address: m.cortina@ucl.ac.uk

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Project Number: 5

Community-learning and knowledge production in random networks

Supervisor Name: Dr Frank Witte

Supervisor Department: Economics                        

Supervisor Faculty: SHS

Email Address: f.witte@ucl.ac.uk

Main Research Project: The econophysics of community-learning

Summary of Main Research Project: In this project we try to analyse and model the learning processes that occur in communities of learners. The work will consist of several stages. Firstly there will be a modelling and simulation stage where a class of network-models is designed and subsequently simulated. Secondly there will be an analysis of how such models can be empirically tested. Thirdly and finally, empirical tests for such models will be designed and executed.

Title of Scholar’s Project: Community-learning and knowledge production in random networks

Summary of Scholar’s Project: The scholar acquaints herself/himself with the basic theory behind a class of network-models (which requires some basic first-year mathematical methods knowledge) of community-learning (1 week). Then the scholar spends around 3 to 4 weeks on simulation-work which also includes analysis and interpretation of the data generated in the simulations. Based on detailed notes made during the first 4 to 5 weeks the scholar then has 1 to 2 weeks to produce a report. During the entire period the scholar will have scheduled weekly meetings with the supervisor, who will also be available for support and advice outside of those meetings.

Outputs expected from the Scholar: A report explaining and detailing the simulations performed, the expected outcomes and the analysis and interpretation of the actual simulation results.

Will it run over the standard six weeks?  If not, give reasons: Yes, although the scholar would be asked to do some preparatory reading before the project starts. The supervisor will be flexible to accommodate later starts as well. It will be possible to do a lot of the project work also from other locations (campus presence not necessarily required) and to have one or more of the weekly meetings through Skype.

Three essential skills scholars need: The scholar should have the following essential skills:  1) A good skill in first-year undergraduate mathematical methods such as obtained by first-year students in Economics, Statistics, Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Engineering or BASc (Science & Economics pathway) or students with a comparable 1 to 2 units worth of module choices in year 1;    2) A good skill of thinking in terms of modelling mathematical modelling and an awareness of the limitations of such an approach;  3) A good skill in thinking about and analysing human behaviour and experience s a student with learning in groups or communities.    The following skill would be recommended:  4) Some familiarity preferably with software packages such as Mathematica, MATLAB or Maple, or alternatively with programming languages such as Python or C++.

Details of supervision arrangements: In principle the supervisor would see the scholar every week during the project and at least once prior to the start of the project. One or more of these meetings could also be conducted via Skype.

Additional information: The project is an exciting possibility for the scholar to gain some knowledge of ideas and methods that are also of wide application in areas of artificial intelligence, machine-learning, smart networks and areas of network economics.

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Project Number: 6

Parental support for millennials in the housing market

Supervisor Name: Rory Coulter

Supervisor Department: Geography                       

Supervisor Faculty: Social and Historical Sciences

Email Address: r.coulter@ucl.ac.uk

Main Research Project: How are parents helping young people in the housing market?

Summary of Main Research Project: Across the Global North, young people are finding it increasingly difficult to enter home-ownership or find affordable, secure and high quality rented accommodation. Growing problems of housing access and affordability - combined with student debts and the difficulty of finding secure, well-paid work - mean that many millennials now rely on parental housing support provided by the 'Bank of Mum and Dad'. This assistance comes in many forms, ranging from letting children live cheaply at home through to providing loans, gifts or financial transfers for mortgage deposits or to offset living costs.    Although debates about Generation Rent often hit the headlines, surprisingly little is known about (1) which young people get housing support from their parents, (2) what form this help takes, and (3) how it changes young people's housing circumstances in ways that could reduce social mobility and deepen social inequalities. Much of our knowledge currently comes from small qualitative studies or market research conducted with small, non-representative samples.    The Laidlaw scholar will play an key role in a collaborative UCL-UCLA research project that aims to tackle this knowledge gap. The scholar will contribute to the project by using data from a unique longitudinal US survey that has (1) tracked millennials through the housing market since the early 2000s and (2) recorded their housing circumstances and the help they have received from their parents.    The project offers the successful applicant an exciting opportunity to (i) shape the direction of this research project and (ii) prepare and analyse a rich survey dataset under the close supervision of the project team. The long-term goal is for the scholar's research work to feed into an academic publication.

Title of Scholar’s Project: Parental support for millennials in the housing market

Summary of Scholar’s Project: The supervisory team have already conducted an initial literature review and some preliminary data preparation and analysis work was conducted during a prior ESRC-funded research project. The Laidlaw scholar will build on this foundation to:    a) Prepare the Panel Survey of Income Dynamics datasets that are needed to answer the research questions (3 weeks work). Close supervision from the UCL supervisor will be provided during this research phase to help the student develop their data processing and coding skills (primarily using R).    b) Conduct initial descriptive analysis and statistical modelling of the prepared survey dataset (2 weeks work).     c) Read around the topic and develop the team's existing literature review documents (1 week's work, probably distributed across the duration of the scholarship).    Fulfilling these tasks will (i) boost the scholar's transferable skills in software coding and data manipulation, (ii) improve their knowledge of statistical methods, (iii) improve their written work and (iv) provide valuable experience of project design. The scholar will have plenty of opportunity to shape the project to fit their own interests as the research evolves over the summer.

Outputs expected from the Scholar: 1) A prepared survey dataset suitable for further analysis. This is to be achieved by the end of the third week of the project.    2) Results of descriptive numerical analysis and statistical modelling that can be developed further by the team or used directly in a research publication. The student will be invited to be a co-author on any publications that arise from their work.    3) A poster presentation for display and potentially oral presentation to the department.

Will it run over the standard six weeks?  If not, give reasons: The project will run from 17th June to 26th July 2019.

Three essential skills scholars need: Some prior experience of manipulating large datasets and running basic statistical analyses is essential (only to the level expected of first year undergraduates - the supervision team will provide additional on-the-job guidance). More importantly, applicants should also be willing to learn more about quantitative methods and data analysis.    Good written and oral communications skills.    Enthusiasm for the topic and collaborative research work.

Details of supervision arrangements: The supervisor will hold a formal supervision meeting with the scholar at the start of the project. An activities plan with milestones will be devised at this meeting.     Weekly supervisions will then be held throughout the project (potentially with one gap of a fortnight to accommodate annual leave). At each meeting the supervisor and student will agree on outputs to be delivered and discussed at the next meeting. Final outputs will be delivered by the student at the last meeting.    The supervisor will also be available by email and working in UCL during the project period. Time will be allocated to make sure the supervisor can engage more intensively with the student as required (especially during the initial phase of the project in June 2019).

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Project Number: 7

Disease diagnosis in mitochondrial disease patients

Supervisor Names: Drs Stuart Bennett and Amanda Lam

Supervisor Departments: ION Neurodegenerative Diseases (SB) / ION Neuromuscular Diseases (AL)                            

Supervisor Faculty: Brain Sciences

Email Address: stuart.bennett5@nhs.net /a.lam@ucl.ac.uk

Overarching Research Project: How can we improve the biochemical diagnosis of inherited mitochondrial disease?

Summary of Overarching Research Project: Mitochondria are the ‘energy powerhouse’ of each cell within our body that produces ATP the currency of energy within the cell.  ATP production requires five enzyme complexes within each mitochondrion to generate potential energy which is harnessed for ATP synthesis.  In patients with inherited mitochondrial disease (e.g., mitochondrial depletion syndrome) one or more of these enzymes are defective, and ATP synthesis is disrupted. This leads to dysfunction of many organs and physical, developmental and cognitive disabilities. Measurement of mitochondrial enzyme activity is used to identify defective enzymes and together with clinical and genetic investigations forms a key part of the diagnostic pathway in this patient group. Understanding how the enzymes are arranged in the mitochondrial inner membrane may help with understanding the pathology of this disease. We are currently working on a project to identify (1) whether patients with specific mitochondrial diseases have differences in the arrangement of mitochondrial enzyme complexes; (2) whether this may be a useful biochemical test for disease diagnosis.

Title of Scholar’s Project: Disease diagnosis in mitochondrial disease patients: measuring differences in the arrangement of mitochondrial enzyme complexes.

Summary of Scholar’s Project: The selected scholar will work at the Neurometabolic Unit; an NHS England commissioned laboratory service for inherited primary mitochondrial disease.     The scholar will contribute to the project by undertaking the following tasks:  •      Adapt (with supervision) an existing Blue Native PolyAcrylamide Gel Electrophoresis  method to visualise different mitochondrial enzyme structural entities.  Blue Native PolyAcrylamide Gel Electrophoresis is often abbreviated to BNPAGE

Currently our laboratory performs this method  to visual and quantify mitochondrial respiratory chain enzyme complexes and also performs an in gel enzyme activity stain to quantify the activity of one of the complex bands.  See figure 1.

Blue Native PolyAcrylamide Gel Electrophoresis
Figure 1.  Upper box:  Example image of a Blue Native PolyAcrylamide Gel Electrophoresis used to visual mitochondrial enzyme complex I, complex V, complex III and complex IV.  Lower box:  Example of a complex V in gel activity stain.

 

Gel electrophoresis in the name Blue Native PolyAcrylamide Gel Electrophoresis is a laboratory technique that is used to separate proteins through a gel layer made of polyacrylamide.  Enzymes are proteins that can catalyse a chemical reaction so this technique is suitable for examining respiratory chain enzymes.  The term native in Blue Native PolyAcrylamide Gel Electrophoresis means that the shape of the proteins doesn’t change when it  travels through the gel.  This allows the protein to retain it’s function after it has passed through the gel.  This also allows us to measure the enzyme activity in the gel.  The term Blue in Blue Native PolyAcrylamide Gel Electrophoresis refers to the colour of the Coomassie Blue dye that is used to visualise each enzyme complex after separation through the gel.

When mitochondrial respiratory chain enzyme complexes are linked together in different combinations, they are known as supercomplexes.  BNPAGE has been described in the scientific literature as a way to visualising and quantifying mitochondrial supercomplexes.

Description of activities each week of the 6 week scholarship:

Week 1:

  • Literature review of mitochondrial respiratory chain supercomplexes.
  • Introduction to safe working in a scientific laboratory.

Week 2:

  • Learning to make up reagents required for BNPAGE
  • Learning how to prepare samples to run for BNPAGE
  • Learning how to run samples on BNPAGE
  • Learning how to perform the in gel complex V enzyme activity staining to confirm that the enzymes have retained their activities.

Weeks 3 - 6:

Develop the current BNPAGE method to visualise the mitochondrial supercomplexes.  The changes that will be made include:

  • Varying the ways to prepare mitochondria (week 3)
  • Varying the amounts of samples to load onto the gel (week 4)
  • Varying the amount of electrical current to run through the gel (week 5)
  • Varying how long to apply the electrical current to the gel (week 6)

Analysis and write up of findings will be performed at the end of each week after each method change experiment.

Outputs expected from the Scholar: (1) Produce document (report/spreadsheet) summarising review of literature; (2) write up of experimental data in laboratory book and; (3) a poster for presentation.

Will it run over the standard six weeks?  If not, give reasons: The project will run over the standard six week period.

Three essential skills scholars need:

• An interest in biochemistry 

• Confident in taking accurate records, organising data in Excel and producing charts. 

• Ability to write clear and succinct summary of what is found in data.

Details of supervision arrangements: Day to day supervision of the scholar will be shared between Drs Stuart Bennett and Amanda Lam. Dr Stuart Bennett will oversee literature review and write up of report. Three review meetings during week 1, 3 and 6 will be arranged.

Additional information: You will have an honorary contract at University College London Hospitals (UCLH) in order to complete the project within a NHS diagnostic laboratory.

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Project Number: 8

Assessing victim satisfaction with the MASIP project

Supervisor Name: Lisa Tompson

Supervisor Department: Security & Crime Science                            

Supervisor Faculty: Engineering

Email Address: l.tompson@ucl.ac.uk

Main Research Project: Evaluating the Multi-Agency Stalking Intervention Programme in three police forces

Summary of Main Research Project: The Multi-Agency Stalking Intervention Programme (hereafter, MASIP), overseen by the Suzy Lamplugh Trust (SLT), is supporting three countrywide pilots using risk assessment and, in some cases, delivering rehabilitative treatment for stalkers, with the intended effect of enhancing victim/survivor safety. This research project aims to provide a dynamic evaluation framework to adequately capture and optimise the learning from each site. The EMMIE framework, devised by two of our research team in support of the UK ‘What Works Centre for Crime Reduction’, is being used for this evaluation study of preventative stalking interventions. This framework was created from a ‘Realist Evaluation’ perspective, so that it focuses not just on whether an intervention ‘works’ but how and why it works (or not), under what conditions, and for whom. Just as importantly, it also focuses on ways in which some interventions may inadvertently backfire for some under particular conditions. It is specifically designed to disentangle the many components of a complex intervention to generate insight into the features that support its success (or otherwise).    Effectiveness of the MASIP can be conceived of in a variety of ways, including the reduction of reoffending rates, an increase in victim safety and satisfaction rates with agencies in the Criminal Justice System and successful multi-agency partnership working. The EMMIE framework is especially relevant to the MASIP evaluation due to its multi-method focus which combines process and outcome evaluation traditions. It offers a dynamic, holistic means of conducting a process evaluation, whereby qualitative data is collected from representatives of those involved in each of the three sites. This helps to elicit programme theory, and tease out contextual variation, which is likely across the three sites being evaluated here. The process evaluation will also focus heavily on implementation which refers to the MASIP team (i.e. the composition and resources of the multi-agency) and the process of the intervention itself (i.e. the risk assessment and management process, the logistics, the legalities, cross-border working protocols etc.). Quantitative baseline indicators and cost data will be collected from the study sites and comparable control sites to service the outcome and economic aspects of the evaluation.

Title of Scholar’s Project: Assessing victim satisfaction with the MASIP project

Summary of Scholar’s Project: The scholar will undertake quantitative and qualitative analysis of the victim satisfaction surveys completed to date for this project, and examine trends across:  a) the three sites that are operating under this project;  b) victim gender;  c) victim age;  d) victim ethnicity;  e) the nature of the stalking (i.e. online/offline, relationship with stalker);  f) the routine activities that have been disrupted as a consequence of the stalking;  g) the measures taken by the victim to feel safer; and  h) the nature of the communication between the MASIP local team and the victim.    The scholar will also be required to explore other victim satisfaction surveys with the criminal justice system (both in the UK and comparable countries) as benchmarks with which to compare the data collected for this project to.

Outputs expected from the Scholar: A report presenting and discussing the trends in the data, and how these compare to other metrics of victim satisfaction.  A presentation poster.

Will it run over the standard six weeks?  If not, give reasons: Yes.

Three essential skills scholars need: Qualitative research methods skills.   Quantitative research methods skills (for descriptive statistics).  Writing skills for a non-academic audience.

Details of supervision arrangements: Initially, the scholar will be invited to a project team meeting to familiarise themselves with the wider project. The project lead (Dr Lisa Tompson) will meet with the scholar at the beginning of their time on the placement. The project Research Assistant will provide supervisory support for the remainder of the time on placement.

Additional information: This project is highly sensitive and may require a disclosure and barring service check should the scholar want to accompany the project team to any meetings off-campus. For this reason, we cannot accept international students.

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Project Number: 9

The legal foundations of US states of exception

Supervisor Name: Nadia Hilliard

Supervisor Department: Institute of the Americas                            

Supervisor Faculty: Social and Historical Sciences

Email Address: n.hilliard@ucl.ac.uk

Main Research Project: States of Exception: US State-building through its Exceptional Geographies

Summary of Main Research Project: Using the metaphor of the “state of exception,” this project explores the ways the US state has developed capacity by excluding specific groups of people while simultaneously exercising sovereignty over them.  The project hopes to develop the concept of the state of exception by looking at four empirical cases: the “Immigrant exception”; the “African American exception”; the “Native American exception”; and the “Insular exceptions (Puerto Rico, Guam, Cuba).” In each case, the state has exercised power over non-citizen subjects, using geographical or legal exceptions to avoid the rule of law.  The project will examine how the state developed specific capacities to maintain separate and exceptional conditions, including definitional capacities, coercive capacities (e.g., border control), and “remote control” capacities (e.g., deportation regimes and guest-worker programs).

Title of Scholar’s Project: Researching the legal foundations of US states of exception

Summary of Scholar’s Project: The scholar(s) will contribute to the project by researching the legal framework that has upheld these four exceptions.  This will include creating timelines of legal developments, compiling a list of references, and providing summaries of Supreme Court rulings and other legal cases.  In conjunction with the supervisor, the scholar will choose one of the exceptions, according to his/her interests and prior knowledge.

Outputs expected from the Scholar: Produce an analytic report outlining the major laws that have defined one of these geographies or states of exception.  Produce a presentation poster.  Potentially contribute to workshops associated with the project later in the academic year.

Will it run over the standard six weeks?  If not, give reasons: It should fit into the standard six week period.

Three essential skills scholars need: •     Excellent English writing skills  • Familiarity with US history and political institutions  •     An ability to understand and summarise legal cases

Details of supervision arrangements: The supervisor will be on hand for the duration of the six week period, and will meet with the scholar(s) at least once per week.  She will also be available to answer questions via email or phone throughout the summer.

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Project Number: 10

The Impact of Brexit on UK-EU Data Flows

Supervisor Name: Oliver Patel

Supervisor Department: UCL European Institute               

Supervisor Faculty: Faculty of Social and Historical Sciences

Email Address: oliver.patel@ucl.ac.uk

Overarching Research Project: The Impact of Brexit on UK-EU Data Flows: Will the Big Data Tap Be Switched Off?

Summary of Overarching Research Project: International data flows underpin the modern, networked economy. Virtually every industry – from banking to social networks – relies upon the ability to transfer and receive data from entities in other jurisdictions. This is integral to the everyday functioning of business and trade. The UK, which is predominantly a services economy, is especially reliant on seamless international data flows. UK-EU data flows support and facilitate trade worth hundreds of billions of pounds per annum to the UK.

Post-Brexit, there is a serious risk that UK-EU data flows – which are currently completely seamless – could be disrupted. This would have a major impact on the UK's economy, and could potentially be far more economically disruptive than checks and controls on goods at the border. Disruptions to UK-EU data flows could significantly increase the cost of doing business for UK firms – and not just in tech. Any organisation which transfers data to entities in an EU country would be affected, which is virtually every multinational firm in the UK, as well as every UK firm which trades with, and sells to, entities and individuals in the EU. It is hard to imagine the implications of the UK-EU 'data tap' being turned off, because it has never happened.   

Despite the importance of this issue, it has not been covered extensively in the Brexit negotiations thus far. Much negotiation on data flows will occur during the transitional period, which means that the issue is very much 'up in the air'. The EU insists that post-Brexit, the UK must be treated as any other non-EU country. This means that the only way that data can flow freely between the UK and the EU is if the EU recognises the UK's data protection regime as 'adequate'. If the EU grants the UK an 'adequacy decision', then the data will keep flowing, and the economy will be unaffected in this respect.    

However, there are two problems. First, the UK wants more than an adequacy decision. It wants to be treated differently from other non-EU countries, and wants to continue participating in the influential EU bodies which determine how data protection policies are implemented and enforced. Secondly, and more importantly, there is no guarantee that the UK would be successful in getting an adequacy decision from the EU, let alone negotiating something more substantial. This is because some of the UK's practices with regards to national security, policing, immigration and data retention might be viewed unfavourably by the EU, particularly the European Court of Justice, which considers privacy and data protection as a fundamental human right. As such, there is a real risk that post-Brexit, UK-EU data flows could be significantly disrupted.

This project explores the following questions:   What would happen if the UK-EU data tap was suddenly switched off?

How would this affect the UK and EU economies, as well as specific sectors?   

Is it plausible that the EU would not grant the UK an 'adequacy decision' and allow such a cliff-edge scenario to happen? Is 21 months enough time to finalise an 'adequacy decision'?   

What are the importance of national security, policing and privacy-related concerns, and what can the EU-US Privacy Shield Agreement tell us about the future UK-EU data relationship?

Title of Scholar’s Project: The Impact of Brexit on UK-EU Data Flows: Will the Big Data Tap Be Switched Off?

Summary of Scholar’s Project: The Scholar will primarily undertake academic and policy research to support all aspects of the research project. The most important work will be the organisation and conducting of high-level interviews with key stakeholders. The Scholar will play a key role in sourcing interviewees, drafting questions, and conducting full research interviews. A key part of the project will be a research trip to Brussels, during which the Scholar and supervisor will conduct interviews and attend events/meetings with key EU stakeholders. The Scholar will play a key role in coordinating this trip.    

The Scholar will also undertake desk-based research and literature reviews. This will require the Scholar to read extensively on the topic, and produce briefings and documents which succinctly summarise the core research findings. The Scholar can expect to develop significant academic, writing and research-based skills, especially with regards to qualitative research.   

Finally, the Scholar will contribute strategically to the direction of the project. The project will be designed to ensure that the Scholar can shape its direction as much as possible, and the Scholar will play a role in drafting the final research report.

Outputs expected from the Scholar: Outputs will include conducting interviews, transcribing interviews, producing literature reviews, producing research briefings and summaries, and writing blogs and case studies for the report. The Scholar will have an opportunity to publish written work on the UCL Brexit Blog and UCL Brexit Hub.  A presentation poster will be produced.

Will it run over the standard six weeks?  If not, give reasons: Yes, the project will run over the standard six week period.

Three essential skills scholars need: High levels of fluency in written and spoken English are essential.    Some knowledge of Brexit and EU politics/policy is essential. Important to note that specific knowledge in data and technology policy is not necessary at all.    Ability to work flexibly, remotely and travel occasionally.

Details of supervision arrangements: The Scholar would be welcome to work in the European Institute office in the SSEES Building full time. However, the European Institute is a relatively remote team, which means we work very flexibly. The supervisor would be in the office at least three times per week, which means that the supervisor and Scholar would catch up at least once a week, but in practice they would be constantly working together and communicating. We want the Scholar to feel like it's a proper full time job and that they're part of the team, and we would provide a detailed 'feedback review' at the end of the project.

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Project Number: 11

The economics of Bitcoin

Supervisor Name: Silvia Dal Bianco

Supervisor Department: Economics                        

Supervisor Faculty: Faculty of Social and Historical Sciences

Email Address: s.dalbianco@ucl.ac.uk

Main Research Project: Bitcoin, Cryptocurrencies and Blockchains through the lens of economics

Summary of Main Research Project: The terms Bitcoin, Cryptocurrencies and Blockchains hit the headlines for the past year and they have become very popular since the Bitcoin launch in 2008. As according to Google trends, in 2017 “how to buy bitcoin” was the second most asked “how to” question in the UK. In the US, the search term “bitcoin” surpassed “Trump” in December, when the price of bitcoin skyrocketed.   Descriptive evidence shows that the market for virtual currencies has grown extraordinarily, in terms of number of currencies, users and volume of transactions. Blockchain technology, also known as “distributed ledger”, has gained steam among commercial firms, bankers and financial institutions as well as central banks. A recent study by the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance documents that the number of startups making use of distributed ledgers has trebled since 2014 (from 37 to at least 115); that banking and finance account for 30 per cent of publicly reported blockchain technologies use cases and that 67 per cent of central banks and 86 per cent of other public sector institutions surveyed are directly experimenting with blockchain protocols.    Despite the notoriety and apparent economic relevance of bitcoin, crytocurrencies and blockchains, there has been little economic research in this field. As a matter of facts, EconLit lists only 230 works published in last 10 years containing either the term “Bitcoin” or “Cryptocurrency(ies)” or “Blockchain”; while the same database lists 770 entries with “Artificial Intelligence” or “Big Data” and 690 works with the term “Quantitative Easing” during the same period.     The objective of the current research project is to develop a deeper understanding of the economics of distributed ledgers and cryptocurrencies, and bitcoin especially. In particular, I am interested in applying standard economics’ frameworks to investigate and provide an answer to the following questions. Is Bitcoin a medium of exchange or an asset? What determines the price of cryptocurrencies? Can factors that are specific to digital currencies explain prices’ formation or their formation resembles the Keynesian “beauty context”? Are distributed ledgers innovative and fees-free payment systems or are they “nothing more than glorified spreadsheets”? Would commercial banks reshape their payment systems employing distributed ledger technologies? What are the implications of cryptocurrencies for Central Banks? Should they issue their own cryptocurrency (central bank cryptocurrencies, CBCCs)?  Will the monetary policy transmission mechanism be affected by CBCCs?     The project is relevant from both the scholarly and teaching perspective. With the latter respect, in the spirit of the Connected Curriculum framework, such research findings can be employed for informing the teaching of cryptocurrencies and distributed ledger technologies in Economics departments’ modules, such as for example my final year “Economics of Money and Banking”. This appears quite challenging, as it requires weighting the relative importance of technical IT aspects with the understanding and delivery of core economic concepts and mechanisms.

Title of Scholar’s Project: The economics of Bitcoin: lessons from the literature

Summary of Scholar’s Project: The work of the scholar(s) will be mainly focused on Bitcoin, which is the most well established and most researched cryptocurrency to date. In particular, the present Laidlaw project will tackle the following questions.     First: is Bitcoin a medium of exchange or an asset? Second: what are the determinants of Bitcoin’s price? Third: what are the differences between the Bitcoin Ecosystem and a fiat money payment system? Fourth: what are the implications of Bitcoins for Central Banks?    Ideally I will be assigned 2 scholars, each working on 2 out of the 4 questions of interest.    The aim of the present project is to provide new insights into the questions listed above by drawing lessons from the literature. Hence, the scholar(s) will be asked to review the literature. More in details, the work will be organised as follows.   i.           Initial reading lists and summary of the readings. I will provide the scholar(s) with an initial list of readings, divided into 4 areas as according to the 4 research questions listed before. Each list will contain 5 to 7 readings. As mentioned before, one scholar can work only on 2 research questions. The scholar will produce a summary for each one of the initial readings. The aim of this activity is to identify the lessons that can be drawn from each paper.  ii.   Reorganising the summaries: the scholar will start organising the summaries along the specific research question of interest. This activity is targeted at making the scholar appreciating two things. First: that the very same research question can be provided with different answers and second: that any answer is grounded in economic arguments.   iii.    Theme-based review. This part of the work consists in the so-called “theme-based” writing of the “re-organised summaries”. This means that the scholar will organise her discourse around specific arguments or, more generally, themes. In other words, the scholar is asked to identify the arguments that support or undermine one specific thesis. The result of this activity will be an “idea-driven” review of literature results, as opposed to the ones at points i. and ii. that were “paper/author-driven”.   iv.  Broadening the literature context. In order to ensure that the work of the scholar is framed within the appropriate context, the scholar should enrich the “theme-review” based on the initial reading list. As for this activity, the scholar will consider initial readings’ references.   v.  Drawing lessons from the literature. This is the final step and the scholar is asked to draw her own conclusions on what the literature has said. Typically, the scholar should be able to appreciate whether one definition, idea or model has received more support than others and why.

Outputs expected from the Scholar: Outputs will include:    a)      A blog entry.  b) A poster. I intend this as an intermediate output that should be produced while doing activity iii and iv., i.e. “theme-based review and broadening the literature context”. This should enable scholars to visually appreciate the richness of the literature.   c)             A 4,000 words literature review. This is the final output of the project. Hence, this will happen during activity v., “drawing lessons from the literature”.

Will it run over the standard six weeks?  If not, give reasons: The project will run in the standard six weeks.  There is some degree of flexibility if needed.

Three essential skills scholars need: 1.    Researching the ideas of others, that is: distilling into notes the main messages from assigned technical economics readings; organising notes in a logic manner and ability to identify articles from reputable economics journals. The latter implies that the scholar should be familiar with finding, accessing and downloading articles using the UCL-library website and databases as well as Google-scholar.    2.                Analytical and critical thinking skills. The most important ones being: the ability to interpret graphs and descriptive statistics as well as the ability to understand equations and basic economic models. Further, the scholar should be able to check, at a level that is appropriate for a first year student, whether the arguments made really support the conclusions reached.       3.  Writing skills, such as: delivering key messages with clarity in correct English; producing fluent pieces of written work as well as citing information sources correctly.

Details of supervision arrangements: There will be three formal meetings at the start, middle and end of the project.   One-hour not compulsory weekly office hour will be offered for providing in-progress advice and timely guidance.  E-mail availability for quick questions will be ensured for the whole duration of the project.  The supervision activities will be shared between myself and a Ph.D. candidate from the Economics department.

Additional information: As part of their research experience, the scholar (s) will be inducted on how to produce a poster and on how to tackle a poster session.

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Project Number: 12

Communication Systems Modelling

Main Research Project: Capacity enhancement of 5G and beyond communications.

Summary of Main Research Project: One of the key research themes of the Communications and Information Systems group is the increase in system capacity of current (4G), forthcoming (5G) and future (beyond 5G) wireless and mobile communications. A specific area of interest within this theme is the design and development of novel waveform techniques aimed at improving spectrum efficiency while reducing adjacent channel interference with respect to existing solutions.

Title of Scholar’s Project: Accelerating and improving simulation performance in communication systems modelling through parallel computing and clustering.

Summary of Scholar’s Project: The aim of the project is to improve the execution speed of current scripts we run in MATLAB. These scripts carry out Monte Carlo simulation to estimate the bit error rate (BER) of communication systems modelled in MATLAB. Currently, the scripts run on single-cluster, single-core machines and hence some simulation tasks may take a significant long time (for example, days) to complete. MATLAB offers a function called "parfor" which allows parallel computing to take place on multi-core machines. While simple in nature, this function actually requires the MATLAB script to be formatted in a specific way in order to run properly. To-date, we have not had enough time to explore this function in more detail. Hence, the objective for the scholar is to investigate the use of this function in detail and subsequently, adapt our current scripts to make use of this function in order to obtain orders of magnitude improvement in execution speed. If the scholar is able to complete this objective in less than six weeks, the follow-up task after parallel computing (single-cluster, multi-core) is to explore the use of distributed computing (multi-cluster, multi-core) to improve execution speed even further.

The following timetable of work is anticipated:

- Week 1: Learn how to use the parfor function in MATLAB fluently through the documentation and built-in examples provided in MATLAB.

- Week 2: Explore our current scripts to understand the communication systems modelling we carry out in MATLAB. Identify how our scripts can be divided into smaller, individual, standalone subscripts that will allow the parfor function to be applied to them.

- Weeks 3 and 4: Apply the parfor function to code snippets until eventually new scripts are developed that have the same functionality and generate the same results as our current scripts but make use of the parfor function to obtain significant improvements in execution speed.

- Week 5: Evaluate the performance of the old and new scripts in terms of execution speed.

- Week 6: Write up the project work including: a) A brief tutorial/user guide on how to use the function parfor properly and efficiently, b) Analysing and discussing the results obtained from the performance evaluation.

Outputs expected from the Scholar: It is anticipated that the successful scholar will generate the following outputs:

Documentation demonstrating the use of the parallel computing and clustering toolboxes available in MATLAB within communication system models.

Results comparing and contrasting the simulation performance of parallel computing implementations versus conventional (non-parallel) implementations. 

Software (either automated or with manual intervention) that will allow existing (conventional, single-cluster, single-core) simulation designs to be converted into designs that make use of parallel computing and clustering features.

Presentation poster

Will it run over the standard six weeks?  If not, give reasons: I confirm that the project will run over the standard six week period. A number of PhD students and PostDocs who work in the same research group will also be available during this time to help with the project supervision if necessary.

Three essential skills scholars need: 1) Enthusiasm and ideally experience in computer programming (MATLAB is desired, however, experience in any programming language would be beneficial).  2) Strong mathematical background, ideally in linear algebra.

Additional information: The Communications and Information Systems group with which the project supervisor (Ryan Grammmenos) is affiliated, is itself part of a larger entity called the Institute of Communications and Connected Systems (ICCS). Hence, the successful Laidlaw Scholar will benefit from engaging with multiple researchers working in a dynamic, cross-disciplinary environment.

Supervisor Name: Ryan C Grammenos

Supervisor Department: Electronic and Electrical Engineering                     

Email Address: r.grammenos@ucl.ac.uk

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Project Number: 13

Imaging Solutions for UCL Special Collections

Supervisor Name: Prof Adam Gibson

Supervisor Department: Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering                      

Supervisor Faculty: Engineering Sciences

Email Address: adam.gibson@ucl.ac.uk

Main Research Project: Developing imaging solutions to answer questions posed by objects in UCL Special Collections

Summary of Main Research Project: We are developing a collaboration between UCL digitisation suite and UCL Special Collections. The digitisation suite hosts advanced imaging methods such as multispectral imaging, reflection transform imaging and photogrammetry. We also have access to other tools including various types of x-ray imaging, microscopy and optical coherence tomography. The digitisation suite is now co-located with UCL Special Collections which is one of the foremost university collections of manuscripts, archives and rare books in the UK.    This highly multidisciplinary collaboration between imaging scientists and rare book specialists provides a research opportunity to develop and apply existing and novel imaging solutions to questions of real historic interest. Uniquely, we have imaging facilities co-located with a University collection with staff who are equally committed to research to develop both the imaging challenges and understanding of the collection.    The main project is made up of a collection of research challenges, posed by either imaging specialists or librarians and conservators. For example, to image underneath pop-up illustrations in a 16th century anatomical text book, we borrowed and adapted a small diameter  endoscope that was intended for foetal surgery.  The first application of a newly purchased optical coherence tomography system was used to image the surface shape of the first printed edition of Euclid's Elements in order to better understand the printing process used to print mathematical diagrams for the first time.

Title of Scholar’s Project: Developing imaging solutions to answer questions posed by objects in UCL Special Collections

Summary of Scholar’s Project: In the first week, the Scholar will meet with supervisors and other members of the team to identify their particular research interests and specific objects that curators in Special Collections are interested in.     By the end of the first week, the Scholar will have generated a list of objects that have questions associated with them that may be answered using imaging. This list will be prioritised by Scholar and supervisors according to the historical importance and urgency, as well as to the Scholar's own research interests. For example, a Scholar who is an experimental physicist might choose to build practical imaging solutions while a computer scientist might prefer to develop analysis software.    For the remaining time, the Scholar will be supported in their development of bespoke imaging solutions to the questions that have been posed. They will be based in the digitisation suite and in Special Collections and receive training in the use of the equipment there. They will learn how to choose appropriate imaging solutions, how to carry out controlled imaging experiments and how to interpret the images obtained.

Outputs expected from the Scholar: A curated list of objects in UCL Special Collections that pose interesting imaging challenges    Expertise in developing and applying bespoke imaging solutions    Reports on at least four imaging studies using different imaging approaches on different objects that can be posted to a website that we are in the process of developing to highlight our new collaboration    Seminars to UCL Special Collections staff and the Summer Rare Books Club on the results obtained.  A presentation poster.

Will it run over the standard six weeks?  If not, give reasons: The project will run in the standard 6 week period

Three essential skills scholars need: Curiosity and a willingness to tackle multidisciplinary problems  An understanding of aspects of imaging science  Experience of safe working in a laboratory environment

Details of supervision arrangements: Supervision will be shared by Prof Adam Gibson and Dr Tabitha Tuckett, Rare Books Librarian at UCL Special Collections. The Scholar will meet with both supervisors at the start. Dr Tuckett will provide day-to-day supervision while the student generates a list of potential objects for imaging, and Prof Gibson will supervise the imaging experiments. Dr Tuckett or other staff from Special Collections will be responsible for safe handling of the objects. Both supervisors will meet with the Scholar weekly and will be available for other meetings as necessary.

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Project Number: 14

Contrast in English

Supervisor Name: Karen Dwyer

Supervisor Department: English Language and Literature                              

Supervisor Faculty: Arts and Humanities

Email Address: k.dwyer@ucl.ac.uk

Main Research Project: Empirical Testing as a Way to Better Understand Contrast

Summary of Main Research Project: Our project is designed to advance the understanding of human grammar via the experimental testing of linguistic theories. The last twenty years of linguistic research have brought about a realization that the shape and intonation of linguistic expressions uttered within a conversation are heavily affected by the linguistic expressions previously occurred within the same conversation. One central notion in this respect is that of ‘contrast’, which is considered to play a crucial role in triggering specific linguistic constructions. One such construction is ‘focus fronting’, exemplified in dialogue (1) below where speaker B corrects speaker A’s statement by heavily stressing the object ‘MARY’ and moving it to the front of the sentence. Linguistic scholars maintain that the contrast between ‘Mary’ and ‘John’ is the trigger for the fronting of ‘Mary’.     (1)  A: You met John.  B: No. MARY, I met.     While we all intuitively understand that ‘Mary’ is indeed contrasted against ‘John’ in (1B), providing a precise semantic definition of the notion of ‘contrast’ that correctly predicts when fronting is possible across all possible sentences and conversations has proven difficult. In our project, we will experimentally test two major theories of contrast respectively proposed in Krifka (2008), and Neeleman and Vermeulen (2012). The main difference between these theories concerns what is contrast enacted against. Greatly simplifying, Krifka maintains that contrast occurs against all propositions in the common ground, i.e. all items introduced in previous sentences within the same conversation. Neeleman and Vermeulen, instead, allow for contrast to occur against denied items that are evoked by the fronting sentence but have not necessarily been already discussed in previous sentences. In a nutshell, for Krifka ‘Mary’ in (1) can only contrast with ‘John’, for Neeleman and Vermeulen it may even contrast with a third person that A knows and speaker B successfully evoke when uttering (1B).    Unfortunately, corrective conversations like (1) cannot tell apart the two. In our experiment, however, we identify several two-sentence conversations where Krifka’s and Neeleman and Vermeulen’s theories make opposite predictions with regard to the presence of contrast. We then check whether fronting may occur. If it does, the test supports the theory that predicted contrast to be present and refutes the theory that predicted contrast to be absent. If it does not, the opposite holds. In other words, the experiment is designed so as to yield informative results whether fronting occurs or not, which is a highly desirable property in any experimental investigation.

Title of Scholar’s Project: Empirical Testing as a Way to Better Understand Contrast in English

Summary of Scholar’s Project: This is an interdisciplinary project addressing a theoretical linguistics question via employment of a psycholinguistics paradigm. In order to test two opposing theories of linguistic contrast, the study will involve an experimental approach of native speakers’ judgments of contrast occurring (i) against all propositions in the common ground and (ii) against denied items that are evoked by the fronting sentence but are absent in the preceding discourse. The first stage of this project is to examine a subset of items in English. Later branches of this project will explore this phenomenon in other languages. The experiment will involve a computerised task requiring participants to make judgments about the sentences, which will be presented on screen. The scholar will be involved in advertising the study, and in recruitment and testing of participants. They will also be involved in the initial data analysis of the findings. Close supervision will be given on these aspects of experimental research, in particular data collection and data analysis.

Outputs expected from the Scholar: The scholar will be asked to carry out data collection from the experimental task and to carry out data entry using SPSS. Additionally, they be asked to run some initial analyses and to produce visual representations of the findings along with output of statistical analyses. Consistent with the Laidlaw scholarship, the scholar will also be asked to produce a short report and a presentation poster.

Will it run over the standard six weeks?  If not, give reasons: Yes. it is anticipated that the project will run for the 6 week period.

Three essential skills scholars need: Knowledge of data entry using SPSS   Experience with data collection (preferable)   Good communication and organisational skills

Details of supervision arrangements: Karen Dwyer (Supervisor) and Vieri Samak-Lodovici (Project lead) will both be involved in the supervision of the scholar. We envision this taking place on a weekly basis with either one or both of us. Additionally, there will be training in statistical analysis and report writing.

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Project Number: 15

Understanding Thames water flow

Supervisor Name: Dr Helen Czerski

Supervisor Department: Department of Mechanical Engineering               

Supervisor Faculty: Engineering

Email Address: h.czerski@ucl.ac.uk

Main Research Project: Thames Monitoring Project

Summary of Main Research Project: UCL's Knowledge Exchange and Innovation Fund is supporting a seed project to develop comprehensive monitoring stations along the Thames estuary, with the ultimate aim of providing Londoners with open and easily-accessible data about their river.  The seed project is based around the wave monitoring, but we are working with citizen groups and a wide variety of academics and environmental agencies to extend the range and usefulness of the data provided.  The seed project has two parallel strands: (i) wave measurement & the collection of other demonstration data and (ii) building a network of citizens and partners as the foundation for the future monitoring network.

Title of Scholar’s Project: Understanding Thames water flow: connecting physical measurements with potential users

Summary of Scholar’s Project: The Scholar would undertake a task which is complementary to the main project, and which would otherwise not happen. This task has three parts:    (i)  With the help of the main project researchers, the Scholar will deploy a current measurement device at various locations along the Thames, and collect and curate the data from it.    (ii) The Scholar will develop an attractive way of displaying the data that is easily understandable to a non-expert.  (iii) The Scholar will (with appropriate help from the supervisor) talk to potential users of this data, for example, the London Wetlands Centre, ecologists at the Zoological Society of London, Thames21 and citizen groups.  On the basis of these conversations, a summary document will be produced on how open data on currents from various locations along the Thames could be used by various groups, with specific examples.  This will feed into the set of case studies that are being produced as part of the larger project, to demonstrate the potential uses and importance of open data on the Thames.

Outputs expected from the Scholar: i) Data collection at 1-3 places along the Thames (depending on the available sites), with the assistance of the project researchers.  ii) Perform basic analysis of this data, with plots showing how current speed and direction vary with time at the various sites.  iii) Produce an attractive mini-poster showing the sites and the data, and experiment with the best graphical ways to display the data for non-experts.     iv) To attend meetings with the various partners listed above (accompanying the supervisor), to present the collected data, and to take notes on the possible uses of this data to benefit citizens, the environment, the river ecology and the boat users of the river.      v) To combine the data, the notes and any other auxiliary research to produce a final short document describing the benefits of making Thames current data openly available, and the potential offered by future long-term measurement.

Will it run over the standard six weeks?  If not, give reasons: Yes.

Three essential skills scholars need: i) The mathematical ability to deal with simple current data, and the willingness to learn enough Matlab or Python to experiment with data display.  ii) The ability to communicate in a clear and friendly way to a wide variety of people, in order to listen to citizens/community groups and to work with them to explore potential uses of this data.  iii) Genuine enthusiasm for connecting the outputs of academic research to the local community, and the creativity to see and explore a wide range of potential uses for this data.

Details of supervision arrangements: The Scholar will work with the project team closely.  There will be meetings with the supervisor once a week, and also time spent with other project researchers while collecting and analysing data.

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Project Number: 16

Feeding babies

Supervisor Name: Emily Emmott

Supervisor Department: Biological Anthropology                              

Supervisor Faculty: Life Sciences / Arts & Humanities

Email Address: emily.emmott@ucl.ac.uk

Main Research Project: Social Support and Feeding Your Baby

Summary of Main Research Project: Despite health benefits, breastfeeding rates in the UK are amongst the lowest in the world. Previous studies have shown that support mothers receive is an important predictor of breastfeeding initiation and duration, and much of the public health literature conclude that greater levels of support is associated with greater levels of breastfeeding. However, recent studies have begun to reveal a more complex picture around support and breastfeeding: Some studies have suggested that different types of support may impact breastfeeding differently, with some types of support associated with a reduction in breastfeeding. The sources of support seem to matter, by different family members and healthcare professionals. Subjective experience of support is also important – with some behaviours classed as support by professionals not necessarily viewed as supportive by the mother, and vice versa. However, studies addressing social support more broadly are still rare. Most studies have focused on emotional/information support from healthcare professionals, fathers and peers, overlooking other types of support from different family members.    Building on the recent findings highlighting the nuances around social support and breastfeeding, this study extends the investigation by focusing on the different types of social support and the different sources of social support. Further, we explore the importance of context: If and how the mother’s experiences and situation influences the associations between support and breastfeeding outcomes.     With colleagues from UCL Anthropology and LSHTM, we have conducted an online survey on antenatal/postnatal support and breastfeeding experiences and outcomes. We have 700 eligible responses, with a proportion of these women providing further context to their responses in open-text questions.

Title of Scholar’s Project: Feeding babies: Understanding the views and experiences of new mothers in the UK

Summary of Scholar’s Project: The Laidlaw scholar will conduct template analysis (a form of thematic analysis) on open-text data from our survey, to complement our quantitative analyses on social support and breastfeeding duration. You will be required to:    1.      Familiarise yourself with the project and existing literature on social support and infant feeding by conducting a short literature review. You will be required to read key papers on infant caregiving from a biological anthropological perspective.    2.             With supervision, develop the template for analysis of open-text data. This will involve reading through the responses, theoretical discussions with the supervisor, and coming up with an initial analysis template. No experience necessary, as training will be given.    3.   Conduct a template analysis of open-text data. This will involve coding the qualitative data using NVivo and thematically analysing it, guided by the template. You will be given guidance on how to use NVivo. The themes in the template can be revised as we go along, creating new themes and hierarchical relationships. This will involve collaborative discussions of ideas and themes emerging from the analysis process.    4. Write up your findings as a short report, and informally present your findings to the project collaborators. Depending on the Laidlaw scholar’s interests and skill set, there is also scope to drafting research communications for the public.

Outputs expected from the Scholar: One report on the findings from the template analysis. Informal presentation of the findings to project collaborators. If interested, a brief communication piece about the findings for the public/survey participants.

Will it run over the standard six weeks?  If not, give reasons: The project will run from Friday 12th July to Friday 23rd August as I will be away from UCL on a research trip before then. 

Three essential skills scholars need: 1. You must have the ability to work independently. With support from your project supervisor, you will be expected to take ownership of the research project and manage your time. You will also be required to develop new skills through self-learning after initial training (learn how to conduct template analysis & use NVivo).    2. You must be able to work collaboratively with other people. You will be required to discuss ideas throughout your project, so must be open to different perspectives with an ability to challenge constructively and critique ideas.     3. You must have some interest and understanding of issues around infant care-giving/feeding (ideally from a biological anthropological perspective, but not essential). This could be experiential or theoretical.

Details of supervision arrangements: You will have three formal meetings to discuss project progress, supplemented by discussions and communications throughout the project.

Additional information: The research project is based at the Human Evolutionary Ecology Group at UCL Biological Anthropology. The scholar will be encouraged to attend our weekly reading and research group.

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Project Number: 17

The Clinton emails

Supervisor Name: Dr Rachele De Felice

Supervisor Department: English Language and Literature                              

Supervisor Faculty: Arts & Humanities

Email Address: r.defelice@ucl.ac.uk

Main Research Project: Conflict management in the Hillary Clinton emails

Summary of Main Research Project: This project looks at how problematic and conflictual events are discussed in the database of the Hillary Clinton administration emails. It asks both what kinds of people, events, and institutions are featured in these events, and how those involved manage the tensions and problems that arise from such instances.

Title of Scholar’s Project: Key players in conflict management in the Clinton emails

Summary of Scholar’s Project:

The student will produce an analysis of the linguistic patterns of interaction between key actors in the Clinton administration, with specific focus on episodes involving conflict or disagreement. This analysis will be incorporated into the broader research project on conflict management that I am currently carrying out with the support of UCL Global Engagement funds. The student's work on identifying types of conflict management can inform future work on a wider range of interlocutors. Of course the student's contribution will be credited in any future publications. 

 

Critical thinking skills will be required in various ways; a key aspect of the project is being able to identify what is salient and what is marginal to the research question at hand. 

More specifically, the project will allow the student to demonstrate the ability to understand nuance in language, and how speakers might choose to express the same idea using different forms of language. Furthermore, in assessing the severity of the incidents that give rise to the conflictual events, the student will develop the capability to bring together information from different sources to determine this and understand how the severity does or does not correlate with the participants' reactions to the event. 

 

For this project, you will be asked to identify three individuals who play a key role in conflict management within the Clinton US State Department. You will analyse both their incoming and outgoing emails and use linguistic clues to determine their typical patterns of behaviour in a time of crisis - are they peacemakers or do they generate further conflict? What language do they use at these times?  Training in how to use simple text analysis programs will be provided.

Outputs expected from the Scholar: Expected outputs:  A database of linguistic expressions typical of individuals studied (spreadsheet format)  A brief written report on the main trends observed.  A presentation poster.

Will it run over the standard six weeks?  If not, give reasons: Yes

Three essential skills scholars need: High level of English comprehension  Ability to research information from news and professional websites    Familiarity with, or willingness to learn, basic text analysis

Details of supervision arrangements: I will meet with the scholar at least three times over the summer, and will arrange for additional meetings with my research assistant.

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Project Number: 18

Does Rhythm Affect How We Learn?

Supervisor Name: Sophie Scott

Supervisor Department: Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience                       

Supervisor Faculty: Brain Sciences

Email Address: sophie.scott@ucl.ac.uk

Main Research Project: Rhythm and Procedural Knowledge

Summary of Main Research Project: Procedural learning refers to the often unconscious or indescribable ways by which we acquire physical skills and applied knowledge, such as using a tool or following the grammatical rules of our first language. Although timing appears to be important, the role of rhythm in procedural learning remains mysterious. This project uses the serial reaction time test (SRTT), a sequential key-pressing task, to investigate how rhythm may shape learning, even when rhythm is seemingly irrelevant to the goal at hand. In addition to performing the SRTT, experimental participants are also tested for rhythmic ability, and asked to provide details about their musical background. Preliminary results suggest that metre, or how a rhythm is organised, affects how attention is allocated in time, thereby influencing procedural learning. Moreover, rhythmic ability predicts how well participants perform on the SRTT, including the extent to which they learn a hidden pattern in the task. These data have implications not only for healthy music and language development, but also a variety of disorders and diseases that are associated with deficient procedural learning.

Title of Scholar’s Project: Does Rhythm Affect How We Learn?

Summary of Scholar’s Project: Making use of existing experimental infrastructure and data processing procedure, the Scholar will help to collect, analyse, and interpret a new dataset of a behavioural psychology experiment. Depending on time, there may be opportunity to help research and develop the next experiment in this project, including learning the uses and application of electrophysiological techniques such as electroencephalography (EEG).

Outputs expected from the Scholar: The Scholar's primary responsibility is, together with a postgraduate student, to collect behavioural data. This involves using computers, explaining the task to experimental participants, making recordings during the experiment, debriefing experiments once they have finished the task, and working with other lab members to keep participants' data safe and secure. The Scholar will also be encouraged to participate in fine-tuning the experimental design, processing and statistically analysing the data, and interpreting the results.  A short report and presentation poster will be produced.

Will it run over the standard six weeks?  If not, give reasons: The project is not expected to run over-time.

Three essential skills scholars need: The Scholar must be conscientious, reliable, and able to engage with people using a professional and friendly tone.

Details of supervision arrangements: In addition to supervisions with Professor Sophie Scott, the Scholar will receive training and mentorship from the PhD student who is leading this phase of the project.

Additional information: Existing computer programming skills are not required, but this project entails using computers and could easily also include some basic training in MATLAB or python. Applicants who haven't tried coding before, but are interested, are warmly encouraged to apply.

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Project Number: 19

Political attitudes and different psychological attributional styles

Supervisor Name: Lee de-Wit

Supervisor Department: Language and Cognition                              

Supervisor Faculty: Brain Sciences

Email Address: l.de-wit@ucl.ac.uk

Main Research Project: Are different political attitudes caused by different psychological attributional styles?

Summary of Main Research Project: There is evidence in UK and US politics that people on the left or the right of the political spectrum differ in their attribution for the cause of poverty or wealth. People on the left are more likely to attribute differences in wealth or poverty to systemic or contextual issues, whereas people on the right are more likely to attribute differences in wealth or poverty to the actions of individuals (being more or less hard working, etc.). This project will seek to test whether this difference in (what psychologists call) 'attributional style' also applies to less politically charged topics. Ultimately this project seeks to answer whether people on the left or the right of politics have a more general cognitive bias to explain behaviour in terms of more individual or systemic causes.

Title of Scholar’s Project: Political attitudes and different psychological attributional styles

Summary of Scholar’s Project: The scholar for this project will first need to review the literature on attributional style in political psychology (guided by the supervisor). The scholar will then set about designing tests of attributional style for tasks and contexts that are not overtly or obviously political. After these tests have been designed the scholar will work on the collection of a sample of UK participants, that is as representative of the UK population as possible. Finally the student will analyse the data collected, and write a brief report on the methods and results.

Outputs expected from the Scholar: Design measures of attribution style.     Write an R script to analyse the data.     Write a report on the methods and results for this project.  A presentation poster.

Will it run over the standard six weeks?  If not, give reasons: yes

Three essential skills scholars need: Competence with statistical analysis (ideally using R, but training can be provided for this).   Creativity in designing 'non-political' tests of attributional style.   Rigour and attention to detail in designing and writing up the methods.

Details of supervision arrangements: Weekly meetings between the scholar and supervisor, and additional statistics training if required.

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Project Number: 20

Review of Student Failure to Maintain Clinical Practice

Supervisor Name: Dr Melvyn Jones & Dr Surinder Singh

Supervisor Department: The Research Department of Primary Care and Population Health            

Supervisor Faculty: UCL Faculty of Population Health Sciences

Email Address: melvyn.jones@ucl.ac.uk

Main Research Project: Medical school factors that predict student failure to maintain clinical practice within 5 years of graduating.

Summary of Main Research Project: Up to 40% of doctors temporarily or permanently leave the NHS workforce at the end of the Foundation years and large numbers stop clinical medicine within 5 years. It is estimated that each graduating clinical student cost the UK £¼ of million to train. There are also substantial recruitment issues into NHS junior doctor posts, especially at the “front end” of the NHS in A&E, and general practice, which is directly impacting on patient care. It is unclear what causes this rapid exit from one of the most vocational of degrees. We need to understand if there are factors in the selection and training of medical students that may be leading to graduates choosing not to practise medicine.

Title of Scholar’s Project: Scoping a Realist review for the medical school factors that predict student failure to maintain clinical practice within 5 years of graduating

Summary of Scholar’s Project: Scoping review for this research question. 

Developing study search strategy with Librarian/ Informaticists.

(learning how to do a formal literature search in biomedical and educational databases)  [week 1]

Identify and extract data.  

(learning how to identify and extract data from research papers) (week 2-3]

Synthesise preliminary data

(learning how to used extracted data and synthesise these data) [week 4-6]

Aim to develop grant proposal for a substantive project.

(learn how to start to shape pilot data into a format to apply for a research grant) [This may stretch beyond the summer if the student is interested and become a year 2 project]  

Outputs expected from the Scholar:

Experience of developing data search strategy/ develop search strategy skills. 

Develop expertise in critical appraisal and data extraction. Develop the ability to critique study methodology, critique and modify data extraction tools, develop improved confidence in understanding and interpreting biomedical and educational research methodologies. 

Draft report on findings- develop skills in synthesising, summarising and presenting data in a concise format.  

Possible future input to developing a grant proposal for substantive funding.

Production of a presentation poster.

Will it run over the standard six weeks?  If not, give reasons: Mid June 2019   Meet student(s)  Outline project and tasks  Meet librarian- develop search strategy  End of June    Run searches/ Obtain full text of studies  End of June 2019 Interim supervisor meeting/ project review  Extract & synthesise data  Mid July 2019 Draft analysis and produce draft report

Three essential skills scholars need: Report writing skills;  Basic understanding / critical appraisal skills for quantitative and qualitative study methodologies;  Highly self-reliant and able to work to a tight deadline.

Details of supervision arrangements: MJ will be available 3 days per week until the 19/7/19. SS is available during the scholarship period.  We would aim for the project to be completed by the 19/7/19. If the project overruns the final steps will be completed by SS and with MJ by email.

Additional information: While a medical student may have some familiarity with this subject we would welcome applicants from a range of disciplines.

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Project Number: 21

Political Economy and the Mass Media

Supervisor Name: Tim Hicks, Lucy Barnes, and Tom O'Grady

Supervisor Department: Political Science                              

Supervisor Faculty: Social & Historical Sciences

Email Address: t.hicks@ucl.ac.uk

Main Research Project: Political Economy and the Mass Media in the UK

Summary of Main Research Project: This project seeks to advance our understanding of how developments in the British economy and welfare system are reported and framed by the mass media. Our interest is in the reporting (or not) of abstract phenomena such as “economic growth”, “welfare dependency”, “austerity” and “economic inequality”, but also of more concrete economic events such as tax and spending cuts, the introduction of Universal Credit, and other policy changes. The project will include using some qualitative and/or quantitative methods of content analysis.

Title of Scholar’s Project: Data Analysis for Political Economy and the Mass Media in the UK

Summary of Scholar’s Project: We wish to recruit a Laidlaw scholar to help us with a set of inter-related projects that each of the three supervisors is currently running. The tasks assigned to the scholar will include:    (a) Scholarly literature searches and summaries covering the relationship between the (British) news media and economic reporting.  (b) Collecting and processing news media content relating to taxation, government spending, inequality and welfare policy. The latter set of tasks will require the use of R (and/or Python) coding, such that the scholar will produce documented computer code that processes texts such as newspaper articles into a format that can be used for quantitative content analysis.   (c) Some quantitative and/or qualitative analysis of the media content.

Outputs expected from the Scholar: (a) A scholarly literature review on the relationship between (British) economic developments and media reporting in this area.  (b) Cleaned and documented datasets of news media content of economic issues for sample periods defined by the supervisors.  (c) Documented R (or Python) scripts that produce these cleaned analysis data sets from raw data that the scholar has downloaded.  (d) Initial results from quantitative and/or qualitative analysis of the media content. (e) Short report and presentation poster.

Will it run over the standard six weeks?  If not, give reasons: The project will run for the standard six week period.

Three essential skills scholars need: (1) Some proficiency with R (and/or Python) programming for data cleaning and analysis - and an eagerness to further develop this skill set while working as a Laidlaw Scholar.  (2) Some knowledge of basic statistics.  (3) Interest in studying debates in political economy and economic/social policy such as the causes and consequences of top income/wealth inequality, partisan policy-making, welfare policy, tax policy – especially in the context of the British case.

Details of supervision arrangements: This Scholarship project will be jointly supervised by Dr Lucy Barnes, Dr Tim Hicks, and Dr Tom O'Grady, as the Scholar provide research support for a set of research projects by these academics within the Department of Political Science. The three faculty members will co-ordinate the allocation of tasks for the scholar, with the intention being that skills and knowledge acquired by the scholar are directly relevant to each of the research projects. The joint supervision structure ensures a high level of contact with the Scholar be maintained throughout the Scholarship period. All three supervisors will meet with the scholar together at the outset of the six-week period to discuss and agree the overall programme of. Specific units will then be supervised by one of the supervisors, as appropriate. The scholar should expect to have meetings with one or more supervisor at least once per week, and up to several times per week, to discuss progress and difficulties.

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Project Number: 22

Anti-onychomycotic Medicines

Supervisor Name: Sudaxshina Murdan and Li Wei

Supervisor Department: UCL School of Pharmacy                              

Supervisor Faculty: Life Sciences

Email Address: s.murdan@ucl.ac.uk

Overarching Research Project: Treatment of nail fungal infections using medicines that are applied on the nail itself

Summary of Overarching Research Project: Fungal diseases are common, and have high morbidity and mortality.  It is estimated that, globally, over 300 million people suffer from a serious fungal infection, and that over one million people die as a result every year.  Meanwhile, the field of medical mycology is neglected, with a paucity of efficient drugs and diagnostic tests, emerging drug resistance, no vaccines and limited global surveillance of fungal infections.  In this project, we focus on the fungal infection of the nail i.e. onychomycosis.      Onychomycosis is common, affecting  14-18 % of the general population, 20% of people aged over 60 years, up to 50% of people aged over 70 years, up to one-third of diabetics and a significant proportion of the immunosuppressed. The infection is long-lasting, causes pain, low self-esteem, mental health problems and many lost working days. Treatment is very important, evidenced by the size of the global market which is forecast to grow to $2-3 billion by 2022 .  However, current therapies are not ideal.  Oral anti-fungal drugs cause adverse effects (such as gastro-intestinal and taste disturbances, liver and kidney toxicity) and cannot be given to many patients, such as children, pregnant women and people on certain medications or with kidney or liver problems.  Medicines that are topically applied to the nail avoid such problems, but are not very effective, with cure rates being under 20% for the two newest medicines (Jublia® and Kerydin®) approved by the FDA in 2014.    In the overarching research project, our aim is to understand why the current medicines have such low success rates, and how to improve treatment, for example, by understanding the disease and by developing new medicines.

Title of Scholar’s Project: Understanding the use of anti-onychomycotic medicines in the UK

Summary of Scholar’s Project: As mentioned in the summary of the overarching research project, medical mycology (i.e. the scientific study of fungi) is a neglected field.  Little is known about the scale of the problem of fungal diseases in the UK.  Similarly, little is known about the UK-wide incidence of onychomycosis (fungal infection of the nail), the extent of its treatment, and whether treatment is successful or not.    The aim of this project is to address this lack of knowledge and generate information about the use of anti-onychomycotic medicines in the UK.  This will be conducted by examining and analysing records of GP Prescribing Data and other databases (available online and in Excel format).  The tasks to be undertaken by the Scholar are as follows:

1.  Create a UK-wide map of onychomycosis incidence from database on diagnoses, using GIS (Geographic Information System Mapping)

2.  Create a UK-wide map of oral and topical anti-onychomycotic drug use, using GIS

3.  Compare maps in 1 and 2.  A correlation is expected.  A lack of correlation would identify issues, such as, regions where diagnosis is not performed to a sufficient extent, for example.

4.  Compare maps 1 and 2 with maps of specific populations (e.g. older people, diabetics, HIV/AIDS).  Theoretically, the maps are expected to correlate given the known higher incidence of onychomycosis in older people, diabetics and the immunosuppressed). 

5.  Determine the co-morbidities suffered by patients on anti-onychomycotic therapy or/and with diagnosis of onychomycosis.  While, our findings are expected to reflect what is already known about onychomycosis, for example, greater incidence in diabetics and the immunosuppressed, unknown co-morbidities might be revealed.

6.  Determine the timescale of anti-onychomycotic drug use by patients, for example, how many terbinafine tablets or amorolfine nail lacquer bottles are dispensed to a particular patient.  From this, we will infer patient compliance and patient motivation for cure.  For example, a patient who was only prescribed amorolfine lacquer for one month would be unlikely to have high motivation and the one month treatment is also unlikely to cure the disease, given that therapy is recommended for 6 months for fingernails and 12-18 months for toenails.

7. Estimate the drug costs related to onychomycosis treatment.  In addition, estimate the costs of drugs that are ‘wasted’ for example, when poor compliance is observed, for example, when treatment is of much shorter duration than clinically recommended and needed for cure.

Expected timescale: 

Week 1: Scholar will familiarise themselves with the various databases and learn how to use GIS.

Week 2:  Task 1 above

Week 3: Tasks 2 and 3 above

Week 4: Tasks 4 and 5 above

Week 5: Tasks 6 and 7 above

Week 6:  Write the report

Outputs expected from the Scholar: The student will produce spreadsheets, graphs, tables, maps, a powerpoint presentation of their results as well as a written report and presentation poster.

Will it run over the standard six weeks?  If not, give reasons: yes

Three essential skills scholars need: Ability to use Excel  Ability to analyse data; a love of spreadsheets and large amounts of data  A high level of written fluency in English

Details of supervision arrangements: The student will meet with the supervisor(s) once a week for the project duration to discuss their findings, and to discuss  their follow-on work.

Additional information: We expect to publish the results of the project.  We also expect to offer a continuation of the project for the second year of the programme.

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Project Number: 23

Patch Adhesion

Supervisor Name: Sudaxshina Murdan (UCL) and Maria Charalambides (Imperial College London)

Supervisor Department: UCL School of Pharmacy                              

Supervisor Faculty: Life Sciences

Email Address: s.murdan@ucl.ac.uk

Overarching Research Project: Medicinal patches applied to the nail for the local treatment of fungal nail infections

Summary of Overarching Research Project: Onychomycosis (fungal infection of the nail) is common, affecting 14-18 % of the general population, 20% of people aged over 60 years, up to 50% of people aged over 70 years, up to one-third of diabetics and a significant proportion of the  immunosuppressed. The infection is longlasting, causes pain, low self-esteem, mental health problems and many lost working days. Treatment is very important, evidenced by the size of the global market which is forecast to grow to $2-3 billion by 2022 . However, current therapies are not ideal. Oral anti-fungal drugs cause adverse effects (such as gastro-intestinal and taste disturbances, liver and kidney toxicity) and cannot be given to many patients, such as children, pregnant women and people on  certain medications or with kidney or liver problems. Medicines that are topically applied to the nail avoid such problems, but are not very  effective, with cure rates being under 20% for the two newest medicines  (Jublia® and Kerydin®) approved by the FDA in 2014.      In the overarching research project, our aim is to improve treatment, for example, by developing new medicines.  In particular, we have been developing medical patches that can be applied to the nail to treat the fungal infection at the site of disease.

Title of Scholar’s Project: How should we measure patch adhesion to the nail in the laboratory, to better reflect the situation in practice?

Summary of Scholar’s Project: For a medicinal patch to be effective, the patch must remain adhered to the desired site (in this case, the nail) for a long duration, until the patient wishes to remove it.  Before patches can be brought to the market, patch adhesion to the nail is tested in the laboratory during research and development.  However, the laboratory tests do not accurately reflect the in vivo situation where the patch would be applied to the nail.    A similar problem occurs with skin patches e.g. nicotine patches.  Once again, the laboratory tests do not reflect the in vivo situation.  As a result, many patches which pass laboratory tests fail in patients.  Failure of adhesion in patients means that the medicine does not work and can lead to recall of the product from the market.    In this project, the Scholar will propose how the laboratory adhesion tests can be improved to mimic the in vivo situation, so that patches that pass the laboratory tests of adhesion also pass when used by people.     To do this, the Scholar will examine the research literature on skin, nail, adhesion and patches and the guidance provided by regulatory authorities such as the US FDA.  The Scholar will also determine what skin and nail substitutes are used in other medical/cosmetic fields and whether and how these could be adapted for use with patches.  

The Scholar will apply their critical thinking skills when collecting the literature articles, classifying the various methods and manuscripts into those recommended by the regulators, and those used in different ways in different laboratories, comparing the different experimental methods, assessing their suitability and relevance to the situation in practice when patches are used by people, comparing the various skin and nail substitutes used in other medical/cosmetic fields and those that are commercially available to researchers, including their relevance and costs.  Finally, the Scholar will distill all the various information and propose the tissues, substrates and tests that, in their opinion, are the most suitable.

Note, this is a literature-based project.  The Scholar will not work in the laboratory.

Outputs expected from the Scholar: Tables, diagrams, comparisons and contrasts of different methods and fields  Powerpoint presentation  A written report.

Will it run over the standard six weeks?  If not, give reasons: yes

Three essential skills scholars need: ability to conduct a thorough literature search  ability to understand medical and engineering terms related to adhesion   high level of written fluency in English

Details of supervision arrangements: The student will meet with the supervisor(s) once a week for the project duration to discuss their findings, and to discuss their follow-on work.

Additional information: The student will work with supervisors in UCL and Imperial College London, in a multidisciplinary team.

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Project Number: 24

Designing for Place Quality

Supervisor Name: Valentina Giordano

Supervisor Department: Bartlett School of Planning                         

Supervisor Faculty: Bartlett

Email Address: v.giordano@ucl.ac.uk

Main Research Project: Design Leadership – Evaluating the design resources and skills of Local Authorities in England

Summary of Main Research Project: This project fits within a larger body of work that is systematically evaluating the aspirations, resources and potential of local planning authorities to more positively shape the design of development.  Previously the project has investigated urban design skills within local planning authorities and this was followed in 2017/18 with a study of local councillors roles within the process of design decision-making for new development.  The aim is now to extend the project further with an in-depth examination of two of the key design governance tools local authorities and local communities have at their disposal to influence design locally.  These are design policies in local plans (at the local planning authority-wide scale) and design policies within neighbourhood plans (at the neighbourhood scale).  Both are component parts of the development plan and therefore have an important statutory role within the planning process, yet design policies in local plans have not been systematically examined since the early 1990s, and design policies in neighbourhood plans have never been systematically evaluated.  The project will ask:   •  What is the role, content and coverage of design policies within local and neighbourhood plans  •              How do design policies across the different planning tiers relate to each other  •           How effective are they likely to be in establishing and driving forward a clear local design vision

Title of Scholar’s Project: Designing for Place Quality - Evaluating two tiers of urban design governance: Design policies in Local and Neighbourhood Plans

Summary of Scholar’s Project: There are 365 local planning authorities in England, almost all of whom are required by statute to make a Local Plan.  The right of communities to make a neighbourhood plan is more recent dating back to the 2011 Localism Act, and so far around 500 communities have held a referendum on a plan.  Whilst Local plans cover most of the country, neighbourhood plans still only cover a small proportion.  Nevertheless, to cope with the huge volumes of material that are available, a sampling technique will be devised with the objective of analysing 10% of local plans in England and at least 5% of neighbourhoods plans.  The research will involve  •     Background desktop research to understand the national policy context and to identify relevant previous studies  •     The establishment of an analytical framework, based on background research, through which to analyse the plans  •    Building up a plans from across the country that are representative of the different political / socio-economic / urbanisation contexts of England, focusing on those that have been through the whole process and are fully adopted and recent (last five years)  •               The content analysis of the identified plans in order to systematically analyse the content of plans against a framework that looks for key words and phrases   •       Data analysis using NVivo software (or similar)  •                Possible follow up with a selected number of interviews with policy authors in local planning authorities and neighbourhood forums  •             Graphical representation of survey results  •       Set up and write the draft research report

Students will be exercising critical thinking in the following activities:

  • Undertaking background desktop research to understand the national policy context and to identify relevant previous studies 
  • The establishment of an analytical framework, based on background research, through which to analyse the plans 
  • Building up a selection plans from across the country that are representative of the different political / socio-economic / urbanisation contexts of England, focusing on those that have been through the whole process and are fully adopted and recent.

Students will be fully involved with establishing an analytical framework for analysing the plans based on a review of a broad range of literature. The methodology for analysing their content will then need to be devised, trialled and refined, before the study is conduced. Students will synthesis the data and relate it back to the literation review, all the time using their critical thinking skills to ensure that the study is rigorous and robust in its analysis.

Outputs expected from the Scholar:

Analytical framework for the analysis of design policies

A database of Local Plans and Neighbourhood plans from across the country that are representative of the different political / socio-economic / urbanisation contexts of England

Poster with results 

Short research report

Will it run over the standard six weeks?  If not, give reasons: We will try to keep to the standard six-weeks period, but it might be necessary to adjust the dates to allow for interviews.

Three essential skills scholars need: •     Good English  • Good analytical skills  •  Excellent graphic skills 

Details of supervision arrangements: Weekly meetings during the running of project

Additional information: The applicant will be working together with last year scholar, now in her second year of the Laidlaw Programme. The second-year student responsibilities will include a supervisory role of the new applicant.

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Project Number: 25

Obsolete Media

Supervisor Name: Hanna Hölling

Supervisor Department: History of Art                   

Supervisor Faculty: Social and Historical Sciences

Email Address: h.holling@ucl.ac.uk

Main Research Project: Cabinet of Obsolete Technologies: Creating a Teaching and Research Collection for History of Art (HoA) and History of Art and Material Studies (HAMS)

Summary of Main Research Project: 

This project aims to continue develop the media reference collection at the UCL Department of History of Art where I work as Lecturer and co-convene the History of Art and Material Studies Programme (HAMS). Titled The Cabinet of Obsolete Technologies, the collection has been conceived as a research and teaching collection with its (current and future) utilisation in modules and research projects in mind. The themes of these modules and research relate but are not necessarily constrained to, the questions of historic and recent technologies—their functionality, changeability, and aesthetics. While the concept of the collection reflects one of the intellectual aspects of the HAMS programme (the studies of materiality in relation to photography, film, video and source code-based media), the collection has also been utilised in other undergraduate and graduate Art History modules.

    The HAMS programme maintains its own Material Studies Laboratory that offers undergraduate and graduate students, PhD researchers, and post-doctoral scholars an opportunity to study materials across different times, genres, media and properties. As the focus on material analysis has grown over the past years and became reflected in a variety of samples of binding media, pigments, plastics and organic and inorganic materials reflecting the teaching needs of the members of staff, this assemblage of materials has served as a teaching aid for several cohorts of students. However, until recently, media and materials related to photography, film, television, video, and electronic technologies remained absent. We decided to fill this gap. Our wish was facilitated by the curricular amendments to the HAMS programme which initiated the work on the media collection in the spring/summer of 2018. The collection offers the students an opportunity to engage with the hands-on problems of particular technologies and close observation of their storage and display mechanics. An engagement with the objects in this collection aligns with the idea of experiential and object-based learning that allows students to learn differently and differs from linguistic communication. The kinds of interactions students have with three-dimensional materials help them understand their subject and develop academic, analytical and transferable skills.

    The collection focuses on media and technologies no longer applied in the contemporary world due to their obsolesce. These media can be encountered in artistic projects and material culture. The knowledge about the aesthetics of these objects, their functionality and inner workings but also their decay and disrepair is relevant for the study of the intricate materiality of human-made things. 

Title of Scholar’s Project: Researching, Archiving and Cataloging Obsolete Media

Summary of Scholar’s Project:

The scholar(s) will be responsible for cataloguing, developing, and managing The Cabinet of Obsolete Technologies under the supervision of a tutor. Moreover, the scholar(s) will be asked to conduct research to identify teaching collections with similar characteristics, affordances, and contents within UCL and externally. The scholar(s) will contribute to UCL’s research in general, and to research taking place at the Department of History of Art in particular, working with academic staff on a variety of aspects related to the collection. Not only will the scholar(s) profit from the supervision and interaction with a high profile academic Department, but also the research environment will benefit from the outcomes of the scholar’s work. The scholar(s) will be able to develop and practice leadership skills by conducting supervised research and put his or her skills into practice, which might contribute to their success in the future career.

 

The specific tasks that the scholar(s) will be expected to undertake will include:

1. Basic description and cataloguing of the objects in the collection, supervised by a mentor. The objects in this collection include, among others, devices to record, project and “move” images (various cameras, films, videotapes, thaumatrope, magic lantern, patheorama, slide viewers and projectors, view-masters) and more recent storage media such as computer punch cards, compact discs, and laser discs.

2. Photographic recording of the objects in the collection.

3. Populating a pre-designed, online database structure with the above records.

4. Identifying gaps and needs in the collection (in discussions with mentor).

5. Identifying and researching similar collections comprising diverse media formats which have been used for teaching across UCL.

6. Presentation of a poster that will represent the scholar’s research and, additionally, either A) engage with some theoretical aspect of the use of reference collections in teaching or B) propose several technologies and media used in artistic practice past and present that could be added to The Cabinet of Obsolete Technologies.

7. Attendance of meetings with the mentor (preparatory, midterm, and final meetings).

 

Break down of the tasks to be performed by the Laidlaw scholar, week by week

Week 1: Preliminary meeting with a mentor, and potentially another representative of the Department; discussion of the tasks and planning; assignment of the workspace; organisation and beginning of work.

Week2: Begin cataloguing, describing, and photographing the collection. Meeting with mentor toward the end of this week to assess progress and make necessary amendments.

Week 3: Assessment of the progress; discussion regarding potential improvements and amendments to the database

Week 4: Research into teaching collections held by other departments at UCL and externally. The fellow will be asked to keep a field notes diary and report the result of his/her research.

Week 5: Final cataloguing and photographic recording of the media; creating an online database; meeting with mentor and discussion of the potential needs and gaps in the collection; budget planning for future acquisitions; discussion considering the maintenance of the collection.

Week 6: Research and preparation of the poster presentation, final touches on the catalogue.

Outputs expected from the Scholar: The scholar will provide tangible outcomes from the project, such as a database containing all media items and their short descriptions as well as a list of teaching collections with comparable contents (dependent on the available time, the scholar will also engage with external collections). The tangible results of the scholar’s work will be presented as a research poster at the end of the scholarship.

Will it run over the standard six weeks?  If not, give reasons: Yes

Three essential skills scholars need: 1. Ability to conduct supervised research  2. Independent, creative, and structured thinking  3. Social competence, resilence, and teamwork

Details of supervision arrangements: A formal meeting between the scholar(s) and myself and another representative from the Department will be organised at the beginning of the scholarship. As the work of the scholar(s) develop, we will plan regular meetings.

Additional information: We are open to a diversity of profiles and backgrounds. The scholar should bring a dedication to and passion for the subject matter. 

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Project Number: 26

Detection and characterization of exo-planets

Supervisors Name: Dr. Giorgio Savini, Dr. Steve Fossey

Supervisor Department: Physics & Astronomy, UCL Observatory

Email Address: g.savini@ucl.ac.uk

s.fossey@ucl.ac.uk

Title of Main Research Project: Statistical algorithms for the characterization of exoplanets.

Summary of Main Project: Transit photometry of exoplanets is now a well-established technique which consists of telescope observations of a given star and measuring its light as the time passes and comparing to that of all the other nearby stars.

If the orbit alignment is favourable, the passage of the planet belonging to that star in front its own Sun, will dim the light we receive producing a small variation in the detected signal. The duration of that dimming, the period between each dimming and the shape (the progressive nature of that dimming) when combined with information related to the host star, allows us to make many conclusions on the size of the planet, of its distance from the parent star and thus recover additional information such as mass and density.

Title of Scholar’s Project: Detection and characterization of exo-planets

Summary of Scholar’s work: The selected Scholar will work at the University College London Observatory at Mill Hill within the Physics and Astronomy department and in collaboration with the Astrophysics Group academic and teaching staff. During this project the student will learn about transit photometry techniques and all the ancillary operations performed to the data in order to extract the light-curve used to detect and infer the nature of an exoplanet.

Existing software will be made available for the analysis, but potentially additional code will be developed together with the student (pre-existing knowledge of any of Python, Matlab, C, C++ or IDL are considered an advantage but are not a requirement).

The Student Scholar will be able to make a significant impact by focussing the analysis on one specific exo-planetary system, collating all existing publicly available data on the object of interest and learn the statistical tools to be used for the inference of the system’s characteristics. This is a challenging task in a relatively contained timeframe.

This experience will allow the Student to perform research at an early stage of their academic career and take a leadership role on a particular planetary system.

The following tasks are foreseen for the Student Scholar:

• Acquisition of the background of exo-planetary systems and understanding of basic features of transit photometry.

• Basic training in astronomical observations and data collection and manipulation.

• Familiarization of exo-planet databases, query structure and data cataloguing for rapid access.

• Lead and perform data collection from public archives

• Analyse experimental data, and report results.

Outputs expected from the Scholar: 

By the end of the project the student will be expected to have :

• Good understanding of exoplanet detection techniques (especially in regards to transit photometry).

 • Familiarity with existing databases on exoplanets and their access.

• Proven ability of managing the statistical tools used for the analysis of the exoplanet light curves.

• Gain experience on the reporting of a collaborative research activity.

• Perform data collection that is of high quality and relevant for the project. The results at the end of this project will form the basis for future student activities in the undergraduate course.

• Report of the experimental results to the researchers in the astrophysics group

• Write a short report stating the work done, the impact towards the overarching project, and benefits for the Scholar of having undertaking this project

• Produce a presentation poster

The research and teaching team will provide support to the Student Scholar who should be able to complete these tasks within the allocated time.

Will it run over the standard six weeks: Yes

Three essential skills scholars need:

Familiarity with a programming language.

Good knowledge of statistical tools and data analysis methods.

Ability to work to high standards with good organizational skills.

Details of supervision arrangements: The scholar will receive regular supervision, and will work alongside a Laidlaw scholar in the year above who is returning to the Observatory for a second summer.

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Project Number: 27

Business Model Innovation

Supervisor Name: Dr Stefano Miraglia
Supervisor Department: School of Construction and Project Management     
Supervisor Faculty: The Bartlett
Email Address: s.miraglia@ucl.ac.uk
Main Research Project: Business Models for the 21st Century
Summary of Main Research Project: The research seeks to investigate the factors that enable successful technology-driven business model innovation as a tool of strategic management.
Title of Scholar’s Project: Investigating the Secrets of Successful Technology-driven Business Model Innovation
Summary of Scholar’s Project:  The scholar will analyse textual data contained in a series of research reports. The analysis will involve the use qualitative research methods that are typical of multiple-case-study research designs. Critical thinking will be needed in order to meaningfully select, reduce and organise the analysed data, and to extract valuable information for managerial decisions.

  Detail of tasks Mode of work
Week 1Set up the project, its detailed objectives, and overall approach.With supervisor
 Gain access to relevant literature identified by the supervisor    With supervisor
 Become familiar with the literature. Independent
 Become familiar with the data and documentation. Independent
 Define and test first versions of data analysis tools and protocol. With supervisor
Week 2Analyse a first batch of reportsIndependent
 Review the literature to guide analysis and maintain relevanceIndependent 
 Discuss findings emerging from initial batchWith supervisor
 Revise the data analysis tools and protocol as neededWith supervisor
Week 3 Analyse a second, larger batch of reportsIndependent
 Continue to review the literature to guide analysis Independent
 Discuss new findings emerging from the second batchWith supervisor
 Identify emerging patterns and configuration of findingsWith supervisor
Week 4Analyse the third and last batch of reportsIndependent
 Finalise consolidated models or configurations of findingsIndependent
 Discuss emerging findings and modelsWith supervisor
 Define the overall structure of the project reportWith supervisor
Week 5Write up the project reportIndependent
 Discuss a first draft of the project report With supervisor
Week 6Complete the project reportIndependent
 Discuss final draft of the project report and make final changesWith supervisor

Outputs expected from the Scholar: The main output of the project is the Project Report, a written document that might become part of a research prublication. The document will comprise two main sections, which illustrate respectively: (1) the method of analysis of the qualitative data; and (2) the findings emerged from the analysis. The style of illustration is that of typical research report that is essetially made of text and tables.  In addition, the scholar will produce a presentation poster.

Will it run over the standard six weeks?  If not, give reasons: Yes

Three essential skills scholars need:

  • High level of proficiency in written English  
  • Critical and analytical thinking  
  • Ability to reduce/summarise/synthesise large amounts of information

Details of supervision arrangements: I will commit to frequent interaction and step-by-step supervision, well beyond the minimum requirement set for the scholarship.

Additional information: I expect that, by taking part in this project, the Laidlaw Scholar will acquire advanced skills and competences in the analysis of qualitative data, as well as an increased familiarity with techniques of reduction, synthesis, and representation of complex datasets.

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Project Number: 28

Ecosystem Strategy Framework


Supervisor Name: Dr Stefano Miraglia
Supervisor Department: School of Construction and Project Management        
Supervisor Faculty: The Bartlett
Email Address: s.miraglia@ucl.ac.uk
Title of Main Research Project: Strategy in Technology-driven Business Ecosystems
Summary of Main Research Project: The research seeks to develop an analytical decision-making framework that helps large firms to formulate and implement innovative corporate strategies within technology-driven business ecosystems.
Title of Scholar’s Project: Developing an Ecosystem Strategy Framework
Summary of Scholar’s work:  The scholar will analyse textual data contained in a series of research reports. The analysis will involve the use qualitative research methods that are typical of multiple-case-study research designs. Critical thinking will be needed in order to meaningfully select, reduce and organise the analysed data, and to extract valuable information for managerial decisions.

  Detail of tasks Mode of work
Week 1Set up the project, its detailed objectives, and overall approach.With supervisor
 Gain access to relevant literature identified by the supervisor    With supervisor
 Become familiar with the literature. Independent
 Become familiar with the data and documentation. Independent
 Define and test first versions of data analysis tools and protocol. With supervisor
Week 2Analyse a first batch of reportsIndependent
 Review the literature to guide analysis and maintain relevanceIndependent 
 Discuss findings emerging from initial batchWith supervisor
 Revise the data analysis tools and protocol as neededWith supervisor
Week 3 Analyse a second, larger batch of reportsIndependent
 Continue to review the literature to guide analysis Independent
 Discuss new findings emerging from the second batchWith supervisor
 Identify emerging patterns and configuration of findingsWith supervisor
Week 4Analyse the third and last batch of reportsIndependent
 Finalise consolidated models or configurations of findingsIndependent
 Discuss emerging findings and modelsWith supervisor
 Define the overall structure of the project reportWith supervisor
Week 5Write up the project reportIndependent
 Discuss a first draft of the project report With supervisor
Week 6Complete the project reportIndependent
 Discuss final draft of the project report and make final changesWith supervisor

Outputs expected from the Scholar: The main output of the project is the Project Report, a written document that might become part of a research prublication. The document will comprise two main sections, which illustrate respectively: (1) the method of analysis of the qualitative data; and (2) the findings emerged from the analysis. The style of illustration is that of typical research report that is essetially made of text and tables.  In addition, the scholar will produce a presentation poster.
Will it run over the standard six weeks?  If not, give reasons: Yes
Three essential skills scholars need:

  • High level of proficiency in written English  
  • Critical and analytical thinking  
  • Ability to reduce/summarise/synthesise large amounts of information

Details of supervision arrangements: I will commit to frequent interaction and step-by-step supervision, well beyond the minimum requirement set for the scholarship.
Additional information: I expect that, by taking part in this project, the Laidlaw Scholar will acquire advanced skills and competences in the analysis of qualitative data, as well as an increased familiarity with techniques of reduction, synthesis, and representation of complex datasets.

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Project Number: 29

Developing validated tools in cannabis research

Supervisor Name: Dr Chandni Hindocha

Supervisor Department: Translational Psychiatry Research Group and Clinical, Educational and Health Psychology.                                

Supervisor Faculty: Brain Sciences

Email Address: c.hindocha@ucl.ac.uk and m.bloomfield@ucl.ac.uk

Main Research Project: The Cannabis Research Image Database (CRESIDA): a novel, validated stimulus set for cannabis research.

Summary of Main Research Project: On November 1st 2018, cannabis was legalised for medicinal use in the UK. However, non-medical cannabis use is still illegal, and can cause addiction related problems in people’s lives. Studying addiction is complicated, however, it is known that cannabis users’ attention is caught by cannabis cues (images) in the environment. One of the obstacles for the design of rigorous, reproducible studies in cannabis research is the lack of suitable and validated image database. Such a database would allow for studies to be better compared and aggregated by removing inter-lab variation. Another obstacle to cannabis research and to the creation of standardised cannabis research material, is that access to cannabis products for research purposes is restricted in many international jurisdictions and requires time-consuming and difficult-to approve home office licenses. This database will provide international researchers with ready access to already developed, high-quality pictures of cannabis and matched neutral stimuli. We foresee such a database being utilized in neuroimaging and behavioural research relevant to cannabis e.g. cue reactivity, attentional bias and cue-induced craving.

Title of Scholar’s Project: Developing validated tools in cannabis research

Summary of Scholar’s Project: You will work on a defined study in the field of cannabinoid research. We are an exciting new interdisciplinary research group with a track record of bringing out the best from our students. You will be able to participate in the wider group activities. Your role will be to validate a set of images related to cannabis consumption (both routes and different types) and matched control images in cannabis users across distinct countries, including the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Australia.

Week 1 - Familiarize yourself with the department and the project at hand. We will take you through the use of qualtrics and what it can do. Read through the ethics applications and write a summary of the planned project is the vein of the Open Science Framework (www.osf.io).

Week 2 – Develop any additional stimuli that we require for the CRESIDA database. Lead a skype meeting with the heads of the project (UK, NL, Australia). Start to build the qualtrics survey.

Week 3 – Set the survey to run online and monitor its progress. Advertise the study on social media and deal with any inquiries and problems sent to the helpline email address.

Week 4 – Start to develop statistical analysis scripts – takes a lot of logical thinking about each step.

Week 5 + 6 – You will analyse the data that has been collected and write up the results of the study, make graphs and inferences from the data analysis.

Outputs expected from the Scholar: Acquiring experimental data, analysing results and writing up the study.

Will it run over the standard six weeks?  If not, give reasons: Yes

Three essential skills scholars need: Basic statistics, good interpersonal skills and a curious mind. You will also need some skills with online survey tools, in particular, we will be using qualtrics, which is very user friendly.

Details of supervision arrangements: In addition to the minimum supervision arrangements you will participate in regular group supervision

Additional information: As we work on a range of studies and we are a dynamic group, we sometimes need to change project priorities at short notice. If this were to happen you would still gain appropriate experience in a similar area of applied neuroscience research.

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Project Number: 30

Northern Ireland, the crisis of European Jewry, and refugee relief

Supervisor Name: Professor Michael Berkowitz

Supervisor Department: Hebrew & Jewish Studies                           

Supervisor Faculty: Arts & Humanities

Email Address: m.berkowitz@ucl.ac.uk

Overarching Research Project: Refugee assistance in Northern Ireland, 1933-1948

Summary of Overarching Research Project: The main aim of this research is to explore the efforts of J. Ernest Davey (1890-1960) and his relationship with the Jewish community of Northern Ireland, as well as his engagement with European Jewry in crisis, from the period of the Nazi takeover in Germany (1933) to the aftermath of World War II (roughly 1948).   Davey was a Northern Irish Presbyterian minister, who also was interested in history and theology.  His outlook was unusually 'ecumenical' for his time.  To the extent that he has been discussed in journalism, religious studies, and cultural history, the evaluation of Davey extends between that of "hero" and "heretic" (Chapman, 2016).  Northern Ireland is hardly ever addressed in more general histories of European refugee affairs.

Title of Scholar’s Project: Northern Ireland, the crisis of European Jewry, and refugee relief

Summary of Scholar’s Project: The work to be undertaken by the scholar is primarily research in the papers of J.E. Davey in the library of Union Theological College in Belfast, focusing on his relationship with Rabbi Jacob Schchter.  The scholar will have to figure out the pieces of correspondence that are most relevant to the task.  The scholar will be expected to undertake a study period in Belfast for around three weeks and will need to arrange this accommodation.  The supervisor will arrange all necessary permissions for the scholar to access the relevant documents.

Outputs expected from the Scholar: It is expected that the scholar would produce a paper of at least 7000 words, which might be appropriate for, or adapted to work in a scholarly journal.  My aim is that this might be published in the journal I edit, Jewish Historical Studies: Transactions of the Jewish Historical Society of English, in a new section dealing with public history.   The objective is that critical thinking concerning the topic generally and the selected documents comprise a major part of the challenge for the scholar.  The scholar will produce a presentation poster.

Will it run over the standard six weeks?  If not, give reasons: Yes

Three essential skills scholars need: The scholar must have

  • an interest in the objectives of the project;
  • some historical grounding in the period and problems concerned; and
  • the ability to write an informed and coherent piece about the research.

Details of supervision arrangements: I myself would closely supervise the work of the scholar.  He/she may also get advice from other scholars (especially in Ireland and Northern Ireland, with whom I am in contact), and Lord Alderdice.  It was Lord Alderdice who originally suggested this topic.

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