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Choosing a project: listed research projects

If you do not wish to propose your own project, you will need to choose a project from the list below.

UCL Projects

The listed projects usually form part of a larger research project supervisors are running at UCL, working at the forefront of their disciplines to push forward the boundaries of knowledge. 

You can apply for any project which interests you from this list.  It does not have to relate to your current studies.  The projects listed are partly formulated.  If you are successful in your application, you will be expected to work with your Laidlaw supervisor to produce a full project plan before you start work in Summer 2021.

You will need to demonstrate that you meet the Essential Criteria listed for each project on the online form.

When you have chosen which project you wish to apply for, make sure you read it thoroughly and think about the issues involved.  This will help you to complete your application.

Laidlaw Foundation Projects

Please read the application details for these projects carefully as they may be different from those for the UCL listed projects.  These projects may be more competitive, as you will be competing not just with UCL applicants but also with applicants from across all the universities which run the Laidlaw programme.

Essentials for your application

  • You must demonstrate how you meet the Essential Skills listed in the project description when you complete your application form. 
  • You must also ensure that an academic reference is supplied on behalf of your application.

See Applying for more information.

Notes:

(1) The standard six week period for summer 2021 is Monday 14 June to Friday 23 July 2021.  These dates can usually be changed by agreement with the supervisor, but you should check this with them before applying.

(2) Project outputs must be completed by the end of the summer 2021.  Failure to do so could jeopardise your place on the scheme.

Project List: Summer 2021

Projects Listed by Faculty

Apply for any topic that interests you regardless of your degree subject.

Arts and Humanities Faculty
1. Previously unstudied Latin poetry in early modern England
2. Baroque Latin items in UCL Special Collections
3. The rendering of terminology in the King James Bible
Bartlett Faculty
4. Design and engagement skills in English planning authorities
Brain Sciences Faculty
5. Semantic Factors in Reasoning with Conditional and Quantified Statements  
6. Investigating Psychosis in Adults following Childhood Trauma (IMPACT)
Engineering
7. Economic feasibility of waste water treatment
8. Using natural language processing to analyse social media data
9. Open Radar Initiative
10. Human gaze inspired networking algorithms
11. Multi-sensor environment on-line monitoring system
UCL Institute of Education
12. Longitudinal case study of young people on STEM trajectories
13. In their own words: Britons describe their Coronavirus experiences
14. Assessing the pandemic's impact on young people’s future optimism
15. The Redress of the Past: Historical Pageants in Britain 1905-2016
16. University Responses to Black Lives Matter
17. The World Academy for the Future of Women
Laws Faculty
18. The Law of Frustrated Contracts in the Pandemic
19. Historical Contractual Incapacity of Married Women
20. The crisis of krisis: Brexit, decision-making and democracy (with Social and Historical Sciences)
Life Sciences Faculty
21. Response of ecosystem services providers to land use change globally
22. Measuring the adhesion of microbial biofilms to surfaces
23. Printing films containing anti-fungal drugs onto nails
24. Preparation and characterisation of electrospun fibres
25. Influence of ultrasound on Candida auris biofilms
Mathematical and Physical Sciences Faculty
26. Hierarchical Cupric Oxides Nanostructures
27. Characterisation of metallic thin films
Population Health Faculty
28. Mental health outcomes for children with epilepsy
Social and Historical Sciences Faculty
20. The crisis of krisis: Brexit, decision-making and democracy (with Laws)
29. Territoriality in Wild Chimpanzees in western Tanzania
30. Online education: effects on academic outcomes
31. The value and impact of group work
32. COVID-19 as a catalyst for the use of technology in teaching Economics
33. Mapping the state of art of CBDCs
34. Historical evolution of health visiting services
35. How to give engaging economic presentations
36. Severity of air pollution in Africa
37. Subaltern house-building in early 20th century Simla
38. Deindustrialisation and gender in London, c. 1945 to the present
39. Medical Adverts in 17th century London
40. Destruction, Transition, and the Production of Archaeological Knowledge
41. Open Educational Resources in Ancient Middle Eastern texts
42. What does heritage do for Iraq?
43. Redistribution in unequal countries after COVID-19
44. Patterns of political representation at times of crises
45. Foreign language education in Europe
Laidlaw Foundation
46. Maggie's Centre
47. Multi Academy Trusts
48. Biteback 2030
49. Change the Code (Self-Proposed Project)

UCL Projects

Arts and Humanities Faculty

1: Previously unstudied Latin poetry in early modern England

Supervisor: Victoria Moul
Department: Greek & Latin
Email: v.moul@ucl.ac.uk
Main Project Title: Neo-Latin poetry in English  manuscript sources, c. 1550-1700
Main Project Summary: Early modern England was a bilingual literary culture, with  large quantities of verse read and written in two languages  above all: English and Latin. The Latin dimension has  however been almost entirely forgotten, and 'written out' of  literary history. This large research project funded by the  Leverhulme Trust over four years (2017-2021) is surveying  for the first time the tens of thousands of examples of neo-  Latin (that is post-medieval) verse preserved in English  manuscript sources and attempting to put 'back' the Latin  dimension into our understanding of the literary culture of  this period. This work has very significant implications for  our understanding not only of neo-Latin but also of English  literature in the crucial period between the mid-sixteenth to  the early eighteenth century - in English literature terms,  the period from Wyatt and Shakespeare through to Dryden  and Pope.
Scholar Project Title: Previously unstudied Latin poetry in early modern England
Scholar Project Summary: The project has identified, photographed and briefly  described c. 26,000 items of Latin verse - ranging from  single lines to epic poems - from around 1500 manuscripts  and has a large database. The range of this material is  enormous - extending from political satire and libels to lyric  poetry; scriptural verse paraphrase to epic verse; intensely  personal material, such as prison verse and elegies on the  death of family members, to presentation volumes of  poetry offered to the monarch; we also have a large  number of examples of school and university exercises.  The scholar will be free to choose an area of research which  relates best to their interests: for instance, an historian  might wish to look at poems on a particular historical  event, such as the Armada, Gunpowder Plot, or the  execution of Charles I; a classicist with an interest in a  particular classical poet (such as Ovid or Lucan) might wish  to focus on imitations of and response to that author in the  original poetry of this period; a scholar from English could  focus on the Latin translations of a given English poet or  poem. The material is so varied and extensive that it is  possible to tailor this project to suit almost any set of  interests.
Scholar Expected Outputs: This will depend on the specific project, but any project would probably begin by assembling a database of the  poems surveyed which relate to the chosen theme, and then annotating this database and producing a final report  summarising the findings. A scholar with a particular  interest in the presentation and analysis of statistical data could focus on this; equally a scholar with primarily literary interests could produce an edition and/or commentary of verse that has not been edited before. This may lead in due course to being incorporated in a scholarly publication, with  published credit.  A presentation poster and a short report will also be required.
Essential Skills:
1. Reasonably good Latin (Good A-Level standard minimum).
Timing: Standard Period
Additional Information: This is an unusual opportunity to be involved with an arts  and humanities project which is surveying a very large  quantity of material for the first time; the scholar(s) are  guaranteed the chance to work on material which has never been studied formally before.
The  scholar does not need to be a classicist - indeed, this  project would suit well a scholar with early modern literature or history interests - the great majority  of the project's texts have not been recorded before, and  have not been translated. Team members have  backgrounds in history and English literature as well as classics, and scholars from these departments are all  welcome; equally, scholars interested in the relationship between poetry in Latin and early modern poetry in French, Dutch or Italian would also find plenty of relevant material.

2: Baroque Latin items in UCL Special Collections

Supervisor: Gesine Manuwald
Department: Greek & Latin
Email: g.manuwald@ucl.ac.uk
Main Project Title: Baroque Latinity
Main Project Summary: This project aims to discover what might be ‘baroque’ about Latin literature written in the 17th century and make key examples of Latin literature of this period available to the general public.
Scholar Project Title: Baroque Latin items in UCL Special Collections
Scholar Project Summary: With advice from the supervisor the scholar will identify a representative sample of Baroque Latin books from UCL Special Collections. They will investigate what is distinctive about these books in terms of the intellectual culture of their period and produce brief written descriptions of them. On this basis they will then create a new section of the overall project’s website, which will feature links to the digitized versions of these items as well as the descriptions of them the scholar has produced, in some cases supplemented by further comment from other members of the overall project.
Scholar Expected Outputs: Section of project website including links to relevant digitized items from UCL Special Collections and descriptions of each item. A presentation poster and a short report will also be required.
Essential Skills:
1. An interest in classical and early modern intellectual life and book culture
2. A high level of written fluency in English
3. An interest in Latin language and texts in Latin.
Timing: Standard Period

3: The rendering of biblical Hebrew magical and divinatory terminology in the King James version.

Supervisor: Alinda Damsma
Department: Hebrew & Jewish Studies
Email: a.damsma@ucl.ac.uk
Main Project Title: Disenchanted Scripture — The perception of magic, divination and witchcraft  in the English Bible in the late medieval and early modern period.
Main Project Summary: This research project focuses on the King James Version (KJV) and its rendering of scriptural passages that deal with sorcery, spirit possession, divination and other types of malefic witchcraft—or at least what the translators interpreted as belonging to the dark arts. A famous example is KJV’s rendering of Exodus 22 verse 18, the often quoted ‘Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live’. It is commonly held that the use of the word ‘witch’ is unsupported by the Hebrew source text, but that it served to propagate King James I’s anti-witch agenda. This project offers a systematic and in-depth analysis of this verse and other representative passages in the KJV. To what extent may the translators have been dependent on King James I’s own work Daemonologie? Did they indeed adopt a royally sanctioned anti-witchcraft strategy that led to subtle perversions of the original meaning? What about the source text: which manuscripts were used by the translators and do they illumine the possible deviations in the KJV? What about the predecessors of the KJV: did earlier translations have different renderings? What was the impact of the KJV and its predecessors on the witch-hunts that festered on the British Isles and beyond? The project will also discuss the extent to which the early modern sceptics of the reality of witchcraft subjected the KJV and its predecessors to a critical examination of their rendering of these key scriptural passages.
Scholar Project Title: The rendering of biblical Hebrew magical and divinatory terminology in the King James version.
Scholar Project Summary: The Hebrew Bible/Old Testament contains a rich vocabulary of magical and divinatory terms. The vast catalogue of biblical Hebrew terms that relate to magic, divination and witchcraft has been the subject of several studies (most notably A. Jeffers, Magic and Divination in Ancient Palestine and Syria, 1996), but in this project the scholar will examine the translation of these biblical Hebrew terms in the King James Version. Have these terms been rendered consistently throughout the King James Version?
Scholar Expected Outputs: The scholar will compile an overview of each Hebrew key term and its rendering throughout the King James Version. Translational deviations will be highlighted in the overview. A presentation poster and a short report will also be required.
Essential Skills:
1. Successful completion of the Beginners Biblical Hebrew assessments or similar level of knowledge.
2. A good understanding of English history and literature.
3. A precise and detail-oriented approach.
Timing: Standard Period

The Bartlett Faculty of the Built Environment

4: Design and engagement skills in English planning authorities

Supervisor: Valentina Giordano
Department: Bartlett School of Planning
Email: v.giordano@ucl.ac.uk
Main Project Title: Design Leadership and culture change in planning
Main Project Summary: In 2020 the Government’s Planning White Paper proposed a radical re-shaping of the planning system. This will require a major re-skilling of planning departments in England, with a much stronger emphasis on creative design skills in order to deliver the new more proactive and ‘front-loaded’ forms of planning and community engagement that are envisaged. Yet it is not clear that these skills currently exist within English planning authorities, nor the scale of the re-skilling that will be required.     Through a national freedom of information survey of the 365 Local Planning Authorities in England, and subsequent interviews with planners on the front line, this project will seek to uncover whether the envisaged changes to planning are practical, feasible and deliverable, and what might be necessary to make them so.
Scholar Project Title: Design and engagement skills in English planning authorities
Scholar Project Summary: What is the capacity of local planning authorities to deliver the changes envisaged in the Planning White Paper?   How will local planning authorities fill the gaps in design skills nationally?   Are the envisaged changes to planning are practical, feasible and deliverable?
Scholar Expected Outputs: 1. Completed analysis of freedom of information survey data (to be gathered prior to the project starting)   2. An interview proforma   3. Analysis of interview materials  4. Creation of a draft report, including necessary graphics, which will be published on a dedicated page on the Place Alliance wesbite 5. A presentation poster.
Essential Skills:
1. Excellent analytical skills including the ability to manipulate an Excel spreadsheet
2. Excellent English language skills, both written and verbal
3. Some experience of the Adobe Creative Suite software, in particular InDesign and Illustrator (the supervisors will help the student develop their graphics skills throughout the project).
Timing: There may need to be some flexibility depending on the needs of the larger project and availability of supervisors. Any scholar would be fully involved in determining the programme.
Additional Information: Both our previous Laidlaw researches been presented at two Place Alliance conferences - the Big Meet - to an audience of around 200 built environment professionals, including representatives from RIBA, RTPI, GLA, MHCLG, TCPA. Last year's research, a National Housing Audit for England, was shortlisted for the RTPI Research Excellence award 2020. You can find more info on the Place Alliance and the research we conduct here: http://placealliance.org.uk/  Our previous Laidlaw students, Fola Olaleye and Anastassia Gusseinova have been Awarded the UCL Faculty Undergraduate Scholarships for Excellence and Faculty Medal Prize. See https://www.ucl.ac.uk/bartlett/planning/news/2020/nov/ug-students-awarde...

Faculty of Brain Sciences

5: Semantic Factors in Reasoning with Conditional and Quantified Statements

Supervisor: Yasutada Sudo
Department: Linguistics
Email: y.sudo@ucl.ac.uk
Main Project Title: Semantic Factors in Reasoning with Conditional and Quantified Statements
Main Project Summary: This project aims at understanding semantic factors in reasoning involving conditional and quantified statements. Previous psychological research on reasoning shows that understanding conditional and universally quantified statements poses difficulty in specific respects: subjects easily identify what verifies them, but not what makes them false. It seems that the difficulty arises due to linguistic-semantic properties of these statements, rather than due to apprehension of the meaning per se. Several further factors are known to show facilitation effects, but it is not well understood where the difficulty comes from to begin with. The present project tackles this issue by taking an interdisciplinary approach, bringing in perspectives offered by linguistics, logic, and psycholinguistics. In particular, we hypothesize that certain semantic properties of natural language expressions correlate with particular verification strategies, and we will test this hypothesis by systematically comparing statements with different semantic properties. This is a joint project between Dr Nathan Klinedinst and Dr Yasutada Sudo in the Department of Linguistics.
Scholar Project Title: Semantic Factors in Reasoning with Conditional and Quantified Statements
Scholar Project Summary: In this project we will conduct a series of online verification/falsification experiments to discover semantic factors in reasoning with conditional and quantified statements. Previous research, including research done in the psychology department of UCL in the 1970s-90s, shows that there are specific difficulties associated with sentences like "If a card has a vowel, it has an even number" and "Every card that has a vowel has an even number". We will investigate this phenomenon further by interdisciplinary approach, bringing in perspectives offered by linguistics, logic, and psycholinguistics. In particular, we test the working hypothesis that the logical/semantic property of "intersectivity" is a relevant factor in the present phenomenon, by systematically comparing different connectives and quantifiers.
Scholar Expected Outputs: The main output will be the results of the experiment, if they turn out to be successful. Towards the end of the project we will start writing a research paper and eventually try to publish it. We might also give a conference presentation. The scholar is expected to take part in both writing the paper and the conference presentation, in which case they will be listed as a co-author.  A presentation poster and a short report will also be required.
Essential Skills:
1. An interest in linguistics and/or logic and have some basic knowledge of these areas
2. A willingness to learn experimental methods, especially how to implement online experiments using Gorilla (or another similar platform). No specific prior knowledge is required.
Timing: The project itself will be done within the standard period, but we would like the scholar to take part in the dissemination of the research results.

6: Investigating the Mechanisms Underlying Psychosis in Adults following Childhood Trauma (IMPACT)

Supervisor: Michael Bloomfield
Department: Psychiatry
Email: m.bloomfield@ucl.ac.uk
Main Project Title: Investigating the Mechanisms Underlying Psychosis in Adults following Childhood Trauma (IMPACT)
Main Project Summary: Psychological trauma during childhood and adolescence induces vulnerability to psychosis, which is a potentially serious and debilitating mental illness.  However, we currently lack a precise mechanistic understanding of how childhood trauma alters neurocognitive function to give rise to psychosis. Understanding is critical to the developmental of improved treatments for this population. This is important because this population are at increased risk of a range of poor prognostic outcomes including poor response to existing treatments, re-hospitalization and mortality. The research programme seeks to understand the neurocognitive mecha
Scholar Project Title: Investigating the Mechanisms Underlying Psychosis in Adults following Childhood Trauma (IMPACT)
Scholar Project Summary: The scholar will support the research activities of the Translational Psychiatry Research Group.  The kind of projects could include 1) recruiting research participants, 2) conducting clinical research, 3) analyzing research data including behavioural, computational and imaging data 4) writing work up for publication, 5) helping coordinate research network activities.
Scholar Expected Outputs: The scholar will be supported in contributing to research publications and conference presentations.  A presentation poster and a short report will also be required.
Essential Skills:
1. Excellent interpersonal and team working skills.  
2. Good working knowledge of statistics.  
3. A scientific background in medicine, psychology, the neurosciences or other related field.
Timing: The scholar will be welcome to continue to participate in research group activities by mutual agreement with the head of the research group.

Engineering Faculty

7.  Economic feasibility of a large scale bio-electrochemical system for the treatment of organic matter in waste water.

Supervisor: Luiza C. Campos
Department: Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering
Email: l.campos@ucl.ac.uk
Main Project Title: Developing bioelectric systems for the treatment of wastewater and the production of electricity
Main Project Summary: The project will develop a feasibility study for the application of a modular bioelectrical system for the treatment of wastewater and the production of electricity. It will (1) assess the cost of different components and identify the cost per kwh of electricity produced; (b) develop a life cycle analysis of the system and compare it with other renewable sources of energy.
Scholar Project Title: Economic feasibility of a large scale bio-electrochemical system for the treatment of organic matter in waste water.
Scholar Project Summary: The scholar will work towards answering two main research questions: 1: What is the economic feasibility of bio-electrochemical systems to deliver electricity from wastewater? 2: What is the environmental footprint of bio-electrochemical compared to other technologies?
Scholar Expected Outputs: The main outputs are:  (1) a feasibility study including a cost benefit analysis of a bio-electrochemical system for the treatment of waste water and the production of electricity.     (2) a life cycle analysis of a bio-electrochemical system and a comparison with other renewables.  (3) a short report and poster.
Essential Skills: 1. Numerical skills 2. Knowledge in life cycle assessment 3. Good writing skills
Timing: Standard Period

8: Using natural language processing to analyse social media data: Investigating student perceptions of engineering teaching at universities

Supervisor: Andrew Gillen
Department: Civil, Environmental, and Geomatic Engineering
Email: andrew.gillen@ucl.ac.uk
Main Project Title: How can we use machine learning and large public data sets to improve engineering teaching at universities?
Main Project Summary: Collecting information on student perceptions of teaching is an important part of internal evaluation of teaching practice at institutions around the world. There are several known issues with the current mechanisms for collecting perception data from students (e.g. low response rates in end-of-term questionnaires). Using publicly available social media data to supplement our understanding has the potential to add valuable information missing to complete the picture of student perceptions. Emerging methods at the intersection of social and computer science such as natural language processing can help us expedite the process of analysis for both social media and large institutional data sets. The overarching goal of the main project is to explore the usage of machine learning techniques such as natural language processing (e.g. sentiment analysis, topic modelling) on social media data and develop implications for improving teaching and learning in engineering education.
Scholar Project Title: Using natural language processing to analyse social media data: Investigating student perceptions of engineering teaching at universities
Scholar Project Summary: Using machine learning and social media data, how do students perceive engineering teaching in particular universities or programmes? What is the current state of the literature on using natural language processing techniques to analyse large amounts of social media data (e.g. specific approaches, ethics, limitations, etc)?
Scholar Expected Outputs: Suggested outputs include: (1) Literature review on relevant machine learning and engineering education topics  (2) Preliminary findings from the analysis of public social media data  (3) Development towards a co-authored work-in-progress conference paper for the American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE).  A presentation poster and a short report will also be required.
Essential Skills:
1. Familiarly with or willingness to learn the basics of the Python programming language and packages relevant to the project.
2. Ability to summarise and synthesize key information from academic sources
3. Organisational and analytical skills
Timing: Ideally the project will run within the 6-week period 14 June – 23 July but may run until 30 July depending on the student’s comfort-level and background in computer programming.
Additional Information: There is room to scope the project to the applicant’s particular interests.

9: Open Radar Initiative

Supervisor: Matthew Ritchie
Department: Electronic and Electrical Engineering
Email: m.ritchie@ucl.ac.uk
Main Project Title: Open Radar Initiative - An open source hardware setup of a radar and data capture method
Main Project Summary: This project looks to use some commercially available radar chips to make a "open source" radar system which other universities can replicate and gather data with. The equipment is based around a Texas Instrument radar board. This will be the first project to propose a shared use radar template and data capture method. It will involved hardware, software and experiments.
Scholar Project Title: Open Radar Initiative
Scholar Project Summary: The project will look to setup a Texas instruments development board with some available open source code so that the radar system can measure a variety of targets. This will include people walking, hand gestures and even drones. The objectives will be: 1) Setup hardware to operate as a basic radar  2) Plan measurements of people walking/hand gestures/mini indoor drones  3) Capture data on targets and show how the radar performs  4) Archive data on an online database for other researchers to also use   

Under potential COVID restrictions the work can be completed under a mix of face to face or remote. The equipment is very small and can be connected to a laptop via USB to run.
Scholar Expected Outputs: A working compact open source radar. Datasets of moving targets measured by the radar system. Archiving of data via the proposed "Open Radar Initiative" website. A presentation poster and a short report will also be required.
Essential Skills:
1. Some knowledge of Linux OS / Matlab / Python. Although base code will be shared as a starting point.
2. The ability to rapidly learn new concepts.
3. The ability to be organised, set objectives, make project plans and communicate frequently on work outputs
Timing: Standard Period

10: Human gaze inspired networking algorithms

Supervisor: Alejandra Beghelli
Department: Electronic and Electrical Engineering
Email: alejandra.beghelli@ucl.ac.uk
Main Project Title: Human gaze inspired networking algorithms
Main Project Summary: Day-to-day observation shows that humans can find the shortest route between 2 points in a graph easily, quickly and with good results, even in very large graphs. In fact, before the emergence of Google Maps or Waze, people found their way across cities and countries by just reading maps. The performance of humans in path searching tasks has been already studied in several works aiming to know: a) what scanning strategies humans use to find a path and b) what is the best way of presenting visual information (graphs or maps) to make the path-finding task easier. However, no previous studies have focused on how to translate these findings into the actual operation of a network (i.e. code a human gaze inspired algorithm and evaluate its performance in a simulated network environment) neither they have studied how the human visual ability can be applied to other networking problems, as sub-graph mapping or multicast routing. In this project the human visual ability to solve classical graph problem (e.g. shortest path, sub-graph mapping, multicast trees)  will be studied to be then coded to evaluate their performance in simulated environments.
Scholar Project Title: Human gaze inspired networking algorithms
Scholar Project Summary: How humans find the shortest path between 2 points in a graph? How can this 'human algorithm' be coded and evaluated in a simulated environment? How humans solve the problem of sub-graph mapping? The multicast communication problem? Can we detect this mechanism (using an eye tracking system) by recording how the gaze of a person moves along a graph while solving these problems? Can we code these findings?
Scholar Expected Outputs: (*) The code of an algorithm that emulates the way humans solve one of the above mentioned networking problems (or any other similar problem in graphs)  (*) Simulation results on the performance of the human gaze inspired algorithm compared to the performance of a classical algorithm in a dynamic network environment  (*) Documentation including a presentation poster and a short report.
Essential Skills:
1. Programming skills in either Python or C
2. Some knowledge of the NetworkX library (Python) or willingness to learn this
3. Good academic writing skills
Timing: Standard Period
Additional Information: In normal times, the project would involve learning how to set up an eye-tracking system. If this is not possible by the pandemic, that part of the project will not be carried out and the student will work with existing data (which constraints the type of problem that can be tackled, as at the moment, there is only data for the problem of finding the shortest path between 2 points in a graph).

11. Multi-sensor environment on-line monitoring system.

Supervisor: Marco Endrizzi
Department: Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering
Email: m.endrizzi@ucl.ac.uk
Main Project Title: X-ray CT National Research Facility
Main Project Summary: A new National Research Facility (NRF) in Lab-based X-ray Computed Tomography is set to launch in November this year. The NRF will provide access and support for both academia and industry, embracing both first time users and more experienced researchers running cutting-edge 3D imaging experiments.   Starting on 1st November 2020, the X-ray CT NRF represents a £10m investment over 5 years from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), will bring together the capability of existing facilities from the University of Manchester, University of Southampton, University College London (UCL), University of Warwick, and Diamond Light Source. Together, these five partners provide a unique and diverse shared capability to the UK.    X-ray Computed Tomography produces 3D images, non-destructively showing internal features at incredible detail. It depicts the structure of materials during and as a result of processing, aiding design and manufacture of products for both research and industrial sectors. In-situ testing shows how components perform under a range of real-life conditions so we can understand material properties, damage, degradation and how failure occurs. XCT supports a huge range of industrial and academic sectors including - life sciences, energy, manufacturing, geology, paleontology,  civil, food, and arts and culture. By bringing together the strengths of 4 of the UK’s leading X-ray CT facilities, the NRF will position itself as a world leader for 3D imaging. This National Facility will provide access to a suite of unique imaging capabilities, in situ environments and the resources needed for visualisation and analysis of the data. The NRF will also train the next generation of scientists and engineers, creating a skilled pipeline of personnel who will be able to exploit this technology and its insight in future academic and industrial careers. UCL has been one of the key catalysts for this project, thanks to the leadership role undertook on the EPSRC X-ray Tomography roadmap exercise. Researchers at UCL have been pioneering phase contrast X-ray imaging for more than a decade, and the NRF now offers the exciting opportunity to make this technology available outside synchrotrons to a wide community for the first time.
Scholar Project Title: Multi-sensor environment on-line monitoring system.
Scholar Project Summary: In the context of the NRF we will be developing a suite of custom-built X-ray microscopes. This project aims at establishing the common framework under which the parameters, ensuring the stability of the environment during data acquisition, will be monitored and integrated in the datasets for subsequent analysis. It will entail a wide spectrum of hands-on laboratory activity, like sensor interfacing, data collection and storage, system monitoring and quantitative data analysis.
Scholar Expected Outputs: 1. Conceptual design and understanding of the network of sensors required to ensure environmental stability (including temperature changes, humidity levels etc) 2. Implementation of data collection and monitoring through sensor and distributed computing units such as arduinos  3. Data collection and analysis demonstrating the monitoring system's capabilities, its sensitivity and tolerances. The above point will expose the scholar to a wide range of activities, from conceptual design to implementation of a monitoring system, including some data analysis to enable the interpretation of the numbers in support of decision-making.  A presentation poster and a short report will also be required.
Essential Skills:
1. Demonstrable problem-solving skills
2. Good self-organisation
3. A willingness to learn other skills as needed
Timing: Standard Period

Faculty: Institute of Education

12. Longitudinal case study analyses of young people following STEM trajectories

Supervisor: Louise Archer
Department: Education, Practice and Society
Email: l.archer@ucl.ac.uk
Main Project Title: The ASPIRES3 Study: Young people's science and career aspirations age 10-23
Main Project Summary: ASPIRES3 is the third phase of the longitudinal ASPIRES research, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council. The study has been following the lives of a cohort of young people from age 10 to 23 through national surveys and through repeated in-depth interviews with young people and their parents. ASPIRES 3 tracks the cohort from age 20-23, and addresses the following questions, both generally and in relation to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM):    - How do 20 to 23 year olds make education and career choices, and how do these change, over time?   - How do early aspirations and factors, at age 10 and 16, relate to later outcomes?   - What factors relate most closely to different education and employment trajectories?  - How are aspirations and outcomes shaped by gender, class and ethnic identities?  - Who participates in formal and informal STEM learning at age 20-23, in what way, and what influences these patterns?
Scholar Project Title: Longitudinal case study analyses of young people following STEM trajectories
Scholar Project Summary: - Are there distinctive features of the trajectories of young people following particular disciplinary STEM pathways (e.g. chemistry routes)?  - What factors make a difference to young people staying or leaving particular STEM trajectories?
Scholar Expected Outputs: - Case study summaries of young people on particular STEM trajectories  - A blog (based on the student's experience) for the ASPIRES website. A presentation poster and a short report will also be required.
Essential Skills:
1. High level of written English fluency in reading and writing
2. Familiarity with qualitative research
3. A good understanding of issues pertaining to research ethics (and confidentiality of data)
4. A commitment to equity and social justice
Timing: Standard Period

13. In their own words: Five generations of Britons describe their experiences of the Coronavirus pandemic. Findings from the COVID-19 Survey in five national longitudinal studies

Supervisor: JD Carpentieri
Department: Education, Practice and Society
Email: j.carpentieri@ucl.ac.uk
Main Project Title: Findings from the COVID-19 Survey in Five National Longitudinal Studies
Main Project Summary: The Centre for Longitudinal Studies' (CLS) Covid-19 survey is a longitudinal study of five British cohorts' experiences of the Covid-19 pandemic. These five cohorts are aged (as of November 2020) 19, 30, 50, 62 and 74. The Covid-19 survey, which is conducted in partnership with the MRC Unit of Lifelong Health and Ageing at UCL, is designed to help researchers understand the economic, health and social impacts of the coronavirus pandemic on these five cohorts. As of January 2021, the survey will have collected three waves of longitudinal data (May 2020, October 2020, January 2021) from tens of thousands of study members. Importantly, these cohorts have all been studied since birth, so in addition to the data collected during the Covid-19 pandemic, we have extensive data from earlier in study members' lives. In addition to collecting quantitative data through ‘closed’ survey questions, two waves of the Covid-19 survey have included an open-ended question, in which respondents were asked to describe experiences of the Covid-19 pandemic in their own words. The thousands of responses to this open-ended question are the centrepiece of our project's ongoing qualitative and mixed methods analyses of cohort members' experiences of and perspectives on the pandemic. The Laidlaw Scholar will focus in particular on the responses from members of the Millennium Cohort Study (MCS), who were born in 2000-2002. In the May 2020 wave of our survey, more than 1500 members of this cohort provided open text responses describing their experiences of the first months of of the pandemic. In the January 2021 wave of the survey, we expect a similar response rate.
Scholar Project Title: In their own words: Five generations of Britons describe their experiences of the Coronavirus pandemic. Findings from the COVID-19 Survey in five national longitudinal studies
Scholar Project Summary: The Laidlaw Scholar will explore the Millennium Cohort's experiences of and perspectives on the Covid-19 pandemic, analysing responses from two points in time: May 2020 and January 2021. As these responses cover a broad range of topics and domains, the Scholar will (in consultation with project's Principal Investigator) have a degree of freedom in developing appropriate research questions and in choosing appropriate methods to investigate those questions. Potential questions include:  1. How has the Covid-19 pandemic affected cohort members' experiences of and perspectives on higher education, and how have these experiences and perspectives changed over the life of the pandemic? (Qualitative study)  2. How has the Covid-19 pandemic impacted on cohort members' wellbeing, and what are the processes and pathways through which those impacts have been realised? (Mixed methods study)
Scholar Expected Outputs: The Scholar will produce a briefing paper of approximately 12 pages. This paper will be modelled on other Covid-19 briefing papers published by CLS, and will be written to appeal to a broad range of audiences, including policymakers, academics and the general public.  A presentation poster will also be required.
Essential Skills:
1. Excellent English language skills, particularly with regard to the ability to recognise meaningful nuances and subtleties when reading informal English.
2. Strong writing skills are also required.  
3. Interest in and willingness to learn qualitative analysis of text responses. The student does not need to have formal qualitative methods training, but must be committed to the value of qualitative analysis.
Timing: Standard Period
Additional Information: The birth cohort studies managed by UCL are a globally unique research resource, and have been referred to as the "jewel in the crown" of the UK research landscape. The Covid-19-related data collected from these five cohorts is particularly valuable, as it builds on decades of prior data collection across an extensive range of domains. As these cohorts will continue to be followed throughout the entirety of their lives, the Covid-19-specific data will continue to be incorporated into analyses for decades to come. The Laidlaw Scholar thus has the opportunity to make a genuinely important contribution, not just to current research but to future analysts' work.

14. Assessing the pandemic's impact on young people’s future optimism

Supervisor: Golo Henseke
Department: Education, Practice and Society
Email: g.henseke@ucl.ac.uk
Main Project Title: COVID-19 youth economic activity and health monitor (YEAH)
Main Project Summary: Young people's employment prospects are hit hard by the pandemic's unfolding economic consequences. Workers aged 16-24 were more than twice as likely to work in 'lockdown' industries, and about three times more likely to be in potentially precarious employment than workers above 25. Prolonged and repeated unemployment and situations of not in education, employment, or training (NEET) can 'scar' youth's future career prospects and earnings. But education, work-related skills training, future planning and active employment support can help to insulate against scarring effects. This research illuminates what works to help young people maintain employment, get back to work, and develop productive skills. It addresses social inequalities in the pandemic’s impact and assess varying prospects for recovery among socio-economic groups and jobs. Using existing and new quantitative and qualitative data, this project:  
-    examines successful transitions from school into jobs and post-18 education
 -   investigate the relationship of future optimism and career planning with youth wellbeing  
-    analyses the consequences of the pandemic on internship provision and training  
-    track local employment support provision and careers education initiatives.  
To address our research questions, we will field a survey of young adults in Britain, conduct interviews with local labour market stakeholders and young people, and analyse a range of secondary quantitative data sources.  The project runs for 18 months from 5 November 2020 until 4 May 2022.
Scholar Project Title: Assessing the pandemic's impact on young people’s future optimism.
Scholar Project Summary: In this placement, you will contribute to our ongoing research. Specifically, you will help us to answer   1. How will the crisis influence young peoples' ability to keep the jobs they have or find employment after full-time education or periods of worklessness?  2. What is the impact of the crisis on post-18 education aspirations and career planning?
Scholar Expected Outputs: As part of the placement, you are expected to: - Review of some of the key literature of the long-term effects from recession on young people’s careers and lifetime earning (i.e. scarring effects)  - Conduct simple quantitative analysis of anonymised data from the project’s youth survey. - Co-author a blog post.  A presentation poster and a short report will also be required.
Essential Skills:
1. Advanced English language skills
2. Good mathematical skills with an understanding of applied statistics
3. Grounding in social science theories
Timing: We anticipate a 6 week period in which the scholar familiarises themselves with the literature, research data and contributes towards one of the monthly blog posts that are part of the project.
Additional Information: It's an excellent opportunity for highly motivated, aspiring scholars in the social sciences to contribute urgent evidence to help address the pandemic's social and economic consequences for young people. The placement has the potential to lead to a co-authored blog post on the LLAKES centre's website.

15. The Redress of the Past: Historical Pageants in Britain 1905-2016

Supervisor: Mark Freeman
Department: Education, Practice and Society
Email: M.Freeman@ucl.ac.uk
Main Project Title: The Redress of the Past: Historical Pageants in Britain 1905-2016
Main Project Summary: Historical pageants were large-scale dramatic representations of the past, and were one of the most significant means of popular engagement with history for much of the twentieth century. This research project, funded by the Arts & Humanities Research Council, investigates the phenomenon of historical pageants, asking which aspects of the past they showcased and why, how they impacted the communities and institutions that staged them, and what they can tell us about the changing ways in which British people have understood and communicated their histories. The centrepiece of the project is the website and pageants database (www.historicalpageants.ac.uk), to which the Laidlaw Scholar will contribute.
Scholar Project Title: The Redress of the Past: Historical Pageants in Britain 1905-2016
Scholar Project Summary: The Laidlaw Scholar will work with the project team to create up to 10 new entries for the pageants database and interactive map (www.historicalpageants.ac.uk/pageants). They will use archival material, local newspapers and publications to investigate who staged and wrote the pageants, which episodes were performed and how, what music was chosen, how many people participated in and attended the pageants, and how the relevant local communities were impacted by them. The amount of information available varies: in some cases, it is very extensive, in others only skeletal. The geographical focus will be on Hertfordshire, where there were a number of pageants that do not already appear in the database. There will also be an opportunity to write two or three blog posts for the 'Redress of the Past' website, and to present the findings at an academic conference in the autumn.
Scholar Expected Outputs: Database entries (up to 10) for the pageants database and interactive map. Up to 3 blog posts for the 'Redress of the Past' website. A paper and for an academic conference, prepared in association with the project team. The Laidlaw Scholar will be identified as the author of all the website material, and the co-author of the academic paper.
Essential Skills:
1. An interest in modern historical research.  
2. An understanding of British history and historical research methods.  
3. Fluency and clarity in written presentation.
Timing: The project will run during the summer, but there will also be the opportunity to attend the History of Education Society annual conference in autumn 2021, and to present a paper or poster there.
Additional Information: There may be an opportunity to attend one or more of the public engagement events staged by the project. These are currently suspended due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

16. University Responses to Black Lives Matter: How to Improve the Experiences of our Black Students and Colleagues

Supervisor: Zachary Walker
Department: Psychology and Human Development
Email: zachary.walker@ucl.ac.uk
Main Project Title: Improving the Experience of our Black Students and Colleagues
Main Project Summary: This project will explore the reactions of university  students in their individual and collective response to Black Lives Matter (BLM). While 2020 has been dominated by Covid-19 and BLM, it appears that attention is more heavily, if not completely, focused on responses to Covid as opposed to the equally important matters of social justice and racial equality brought to the forefront by the BLM movement. We will incorporate the voices of university students in our department and at IOE so we can better understand how universities are responding, what works, what needs to be improved, and what issues need to be addressed in moving forward.
Scholar Project Title: University Responses to Black Lives Matter: How to Improve the Experiences of our Black Students and Colleagues
Scholar Project Summary: What are the factors impacting student admission/retention/success of black students at the IOE and within Psychology and Human Development? What are the factors impacting the recruitment/retention/success of black colleagues at the IOE and within Psychology and Human Development?
Scholar Expected Outputs: The scholar will be expected to create a literature review and analyse survey and focus group data as part of their project.  This project is flexible but the scholar will be part of a department wide effort to improve the experience of black students and faculty.  A presentation poster and a short report will also be required.
Essential Skills:
1. Self-Motivated  
2. Problem-Solver  
3. Meets Deadlines
Timing: The dates of work are flexible based on scholar needs but six weeks starting in June will be ideal.
Additional Information: We welcome individuals from diverse backgrounds, with disabilities, or from  areas not related to psychology or teaching. We will provide a structured,  enjoyable environment with specific outcomes that are ambitious but achievable.

17. The World Academy for the Future of Women Evaluation Project

Supervisor: Zachary Walker
Department: Psychology and Human Development
Email: zachary.walker@ucl.ac.uk
Main Project Title: Global Engagement Challenge: the World Academy for the Future of Women
Main Project Summary: The World Academy for the Future of Women (WAFW) is a leadership programme for young women in rural China, Nepal, and Bangladesh. I have worked with the WAFW before and believe WAFW is a perfect opportunity to reach ambitious, smart, and high-achieving women who will become 21st and 22nd Century leaders.  The goal of the research would be to evaluate current practices of the WAFW so that is can continue to grow and reach more young women. The WAFW is focused on developing young women for leadership roles that will address and achieve the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals (UN-MDGs) and UN Sustainable Development Goals. Beginning on the campus of Sias International University in 2009, WAFW grew from a one-year program at SIAS for 100 women to a multi-level three-year program for high-achieving applicants in China, Bangladesh, and Nepal.
Scholar Project Title: The World Academy for the Future of Women Evaluation Project
Scholar Project Summary: How does the WAFW evaluate its existing programmes to best reach and serve young women in Nepal, Bangladesh, and China?
Scholar Expected Outputs: The outputs of the scholar will include:   1- Producing a literature review around educational programme evaluation  2- Organizing existing data collected by researchers.  A presentation poster and a short report will also be required.
Essential Skills:
1. Time and personal management skills   
2. Good academic writing skills
3. Research and literature review skills
Timing: Standard Period
Additional Information: We welcome individuals from diverse backgrounds, with disabilities, or from areas not related to psychology or teaching. We will provide a structured, enjoyable environment with specific outcomes that are ambitious but achievable.

Faculty: Laws

18. The Law of Frustrated Contracts in the Current Pandemic

Supervisor: Niamh Connolly
Department: Laws
Email: n.connolly@ucl.ac.uk
Main Project Title: Contract Frustration in a Pandemic
Main Project Summary: A journal article on how the law of frustration measures up in the current pandemic. To what extent does it permit the allocation of losses in a fair way? Does it require reform? This research can also inform teaching on the Year 1 contract law module and possible public dissemination.
Scholar Project Title: The Law of Frustrated Contracts in the Current Pandemic
Scholar Project Summary: Overall research question: Consider whether the law on frustration and its remedial consequences is fit for purpose in the covid pandemic. Proposed method: Identify from the media and legal databases a selection of problems and disputes that have arisen because the pandemic has made it difficult or impossible to perform contractual obligations. Identify the interests and concerns of the people affected.  Analyse these disputes from a legal perspective. Based on the information available, determine (i) whether the circumstances meet the legal threshold for frustration and, if so, (ii) the likely remedial consequences under the Law Reform (Frustrated Contracts) Act 1943. Reflect on whether the likely legal solution represents a fair outcome. Consider the interests of the parties involved and wider societal implications of possible solutions. Reflect on whether the contracts involved should be deemed to have allocated the risk of performance becoming unduly difficult due to the pandemic. Consider whether any changes to the law might improve outcomes.
Scholar Expected Outputs: Written materials summarising the disputes identified. A written essay/article analysing the application of the law to these disputes, critically evaluating the law's solutions, and considering possible reforms.  A presentation poster.
Essential Skills:
1. Research skill (online news sources and legal databases)  
2. Legal analysis (application of statutory and common law rules to real-world scenarios)  
3. Effective written communication (clear, precise and logically-structured writing).
Timing: Standard Period
Additional Information: I welcome scholars from a foreign university, but they will need to learn the English law of frustration in order to do this project. It will be easier if they come from a common law jurisdiction.

19. The Historical Contractual Incapacity of Married Women

Supervisor: Niamh Connolly
Department: Laws
Email: n.connolly@ucl.ac.uk
Main Project Title: Contractual Incapacity and its Remedial Consequences
Main Project Summary: I am writing an article on contractual incapacity and its remedial consequences. My goal is to examine whether the law should generally grant restitution of unjust enrichment when a person performs a contract that is invalid for lack of capacity. One approach to this question is to focus on the policies that underlie the different forms of incapacity found in contract law. These include children, corporations and people deemed incapable for intellectual or psychological reasons. Historically, married women were also deemed to lack contractual capacity. Examining the case of married women can help us better to understand the policies behind the different incapacities, with a view to asking whether a common response is appropriate for different incapacities. It will also be helpful to see how the rules were applied and how they affected outsiders when an invalid contract had been performed.
Scholar Project Title: The Historical Contractual Incapacity of Married Women
Scholar Project Summary: Research questions: (1 What policies underlay historical restrictions on married women’s capacity to contract? (2) How did these rules affect others when invalid contracts had been performed?    Suggested method:  Outline the system of rules governing married women’s property ownership and contractual incapacity prior to nineteenth century reform. This will require research into legal literature and historical case law (on online legal databases). Map how the rules operated when a married woman made a contract with a supplier of goods or services. When would the contract be deemed valid? What would happen if the contract was invalid? Would suppliers be paid for the benefits they conferred to perform the contract? What was the justification or aim of these rules? Were they seen as protective in a way analogous to infants’ incapacity? Did the courts seek to protect outsiders from being adversely affected by them?
Scholar Expected Outputs: Construct a database representing the case law identified. Write an essay/article explaining the operation of the rules, analysing their justification and the policies behind them, and examining how they affected third parties when invalid contracts were performed. A short report and presentation poster will also be required.
Essential Skills:
1. Ability to undertake searches using legal databases, or willingness to learn this skill
2. Ability to analyse case law to identify legal reasons and other considerations that the judges consider relevant (including understanding  judgments using common law method).  
3. Ability to write clearly, precisely and concisely.
Timing: Standard Period

20. The crisis of krisis: Brexit, decision-making and democracy

Supervisor: Uta Staiger
Department: European Institute
Email: u.staiger@ucl.ac.uk
Main Project Title: The crisis of krisis: Brexit, decision-making and democracy
Main Project Summary: These days, we tend to define “crisis” as a period of unsettling, protracted instability – even, perhaps, as a more or less permanent state of affairs. Recent events in Britain, from the financial crisis to Brexit or COVID-19, have been no exception to this. Crisis management mode is seemingly the never-ending order of the day. Etymologically, however, crisis used to be defined rather differently. The ancient Greek physician Hippocrates, for example, used krisis to mean “that turning point in a disease which indicates either recovery or death”. Crisis in this sense not only refers to a decisive moment at which uncertainty tips over into certainty: right or wrong, life or death, salvation or damnation. It also marks the activity of assessing, reaching a verdict. Originally, crisis involved the notion of a decision: a judgment, a choice, an action. The drawn-out political crisis that accompanied Britain’s exit from the European Union for a period of several years, however, has been characterised by the noticeable absence of turning points or decisiveness of any kind. From the referendum until today, the Brexit crisis seems rooted precisely in the inability of our political class – and society – to come to any decision on Europe at all. In this sense, it is a crisis of krisis. This research project investigates what such indecisiveness might tell us about the kind of crisis we are experiencing. In the years since the referendum, deliberative contestation has frequently been portrayed not as sustaining democracy, but bringing it into disrepute. How might this shape or justify public and political demands for decisiveness? Could it have constitutional repercussions, as we argue over the scope of executive action, parliamentary scrutiny, and judicial review? Where does the power to take political decisions ultimately – and legitimately – reside? The project has several aspects. First, it revisits several authors in the history of political thought, including Reinhart Koselleck, Hannah Arendt and Carl Schmitt, to define the relationship of crisis and politics. Secondly, it reviews UK polls and parliamentary voting records between 2017 and 2020, in order to establish the extent of frozen conflict in British decision-making on Brexit. Thirdly, it will review press reporting of different high points in the parliamentary stand-off. Fourthly, it will gather the views of political actors in Westminster and possibly Brussels, via qualitative interviews, in order to critically assess the trends and developments as well as their consequences for democratic standards.
Scholar Project Title: The crisis of krisis: Brexit, decision-making and democracy
Scholar Project Summary: Research questions include (and can be selected depending on the scholar’s disciplinary background and interest):    - How have political thinkers assessed the relationship between crisis, politics and modernity over time?  - What shifts in electoral behaviour/social and political attitudes to Brexit, if any, can we observe (using polling data) between 2016 and 2020?   - What can we learn from vote results in the UK Houses of Parliament in this period; can we identify patterns and shifts over time?  - How has indecision over Brexit scenarios been represented in the press?  - How do political actors (Ministers, MPs, MEPs, clerks, advisors) view the fraught decision-making process over the past years?  - What might the constitutional repercussions be?  - What kind of crisis concepts were mobilised in this period by political actors to further their interests?
Scholar Expected Outputs: The scholar (depending on disciplinary background and interest) will be expected to:  
- Research and summarise polling data  
- Research and summarise voting results in the UK Houses of Parliament  
- Where appropriate, conduct academic literature reviews  
- With the PI, prepare and conduct research interviews with politicians, lawyers and policy professionals in London and Brussels  
- Where possible, contribute to public presentations of the research  
- Write one or more blog posts on the topic, to be published across UCL channels  
- Contribute as appropriate to other outputs (podcasts, etc.)
A presentation poster and short report will also be required.
Essential Skills:
1. Excellent organisational and project management skills.  
2. High level of written and oral fluency in English.  
3. Some knowledge of or interest in political thought, UK politics OR Brexit.
Timing: Standard Period
Additional Information: We have had four Scholars thus far, and they all gained great experience in conducting research interviews with high-level stakeholders and writing reports/blogs!

Faculty: Life Sciences

21. Determining the response of ecosystem services providers to land use change globally

Supervisor: Tim Newbold
Department: Genetics, Evolution and the Environment
Email: t.newbold@ucl.ac.uk
Main Project Title: BIOTA - Biodiversity Interactions and Trade-offs with Agriculture
Main Project Summary: In order to effectively progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals, it is necessary to understand the interactions between biodiversity changes and human food security. Agricultural land use and land-use change are some of the largest pressures on biodiversity. However, biodiversity changes may also impact food production as many different species provide important ecosystem services that support agriculture.  In this project, we aim to advance biodiversity models to explain the interactions between biodiversity change and food production at a global scale.  We will also investigate how global trade in agricultural products is linked to biodiversity change, to identify where food consumption has particularly strong biodiversity impacts.  Finally, we will make future predictions to identify the pathways of development in human societies and how these interact with biodiversity.    See the project website for more: https://biota-ucl.org/
Scholar Project Title: Determining the response of ecosystem services providers to land use change globally.
Scholar Project Summary: This project would aim to broadly classify species within the PREDICTS database into groups of known ecosystem service providers (such as pollinators, pest controllers, etc) to determine how biodiversity within these groups differs across land uses. This could include the following research questions:  1. What is the data availability for known service providers and where are the gaps?  2. How do groups of known ecosystem service providers respond to land use change and how do responses differ between groups?  3. Which services are most at risk from land use change and what could be the potential impacts of this risk?
Scholar Expected Outputs:
A list of species in the PREDICTS database and their broad classification as a service provider.
Modelled outputs showing the group responses to land use.     
Potential to aid in the write up of these results for a scientific journal.
A presentation poster and short report are also required.
Essential Skills:
1. Ability to use R for data organisation, analysis and visualisation.    
2. Ability to work independently, but with guidance via regular meetings with supervisor and others in the lab group.   3. Willingness to carry out literature searching and reading to establish connection between species and the possible services they provide.
Timing: Standard Period

22. Measuring the adhesion of microbial biofilms to surfaces

Supervisor: Sudaxshina Murdan
Department: School of Pharmacy
Email: s.murdan@ucl.ac.uk
Main Project Title: Mechanical properties of microbial biofilms
Main Project Summary: A microbial biofilm is a community of microbial cells adhering to host tissues or to abiotic surfaces, such as catheters. The properties of the biofilm-associated microbial cells are distinctly different to those of free-floating planktonic cells, and it is believed that, for many microorganisms, the biofilm state is probably a more ‘natural’ state compared to the planktonic state. The National Institutes of Health of the USA estimates that over 80% of all human microbial infections are associated with biofilms; these are intrinsically resistant to conventional antimicrobial drugs, host immune responses and hostile environmental stresses [1, 2]. While there is much research on the susceptibility of biofilms to drugs, there is little research on the mechanical properties of biofilms, e.g. adhesion forces of biofilms onto surfaces such as skin, hospital surfaces. In this project, the aim is to study the various mechanical properties of biofilms of bacteria, fungi and mixed bacterial and fungal species.
Scholar Project Title: Measuring the adhesion of microbial biofilms to surfaces
Scholar Project Summary: Literature-based  1. What is currently known about adhesion of biofilms on surfaces.  2. Using the wider literature on adhesion, can we predict what factors would influence the adhesion of biofilms onto surfaces?  3. Using the wider literature on the measurement of adhesion, what apparatus(es) / experimental set-ups can be used to measure the adhesion of biofilms? Laboratory-based  1. Develop an experimental set-up to measure the adhesion of biofilms.  2. Measure the adhesion of biofilms composed of different microbes, e.g. of the fungus Candida auris, which is akin to a superbug and whose biofilms on hospital surfaces allow transmission.
Scholar Expected Outputs: A detailed report that answers the questions above. A presentation poster.
Essential Skills:
1. Life and medical sciences scientific background, e.g. microbiology, biology, pharmacy, medicine.
2. Written fluency in English.
Timing: Standard Period
Additional Information: This is an exciting and new area of research that is under-studied.

23. Printing films containing anti-fungal drugs onto nails

Supervisor: Sudaxshina Murdan
Department: School of Pharmacy
Email: s.murdan@ucl.ac.uk
Main Project Title: Printing Nail Medicines
Main Project Summary: In this project, we are developing the direct printing of nail films onto nails, in order to produce medicines to treat nail fungal infections.
Scholar Project Title: Printing films containing anti-fungal drugs onto nails
Scholar Project Summary: 1. What experimental parameters enable an optimal film to be printed onto nails?  2. What are the physico-chemical and microbiological properties (e.g. adhesion, residence on nails, anti-fungal activities) of films printed on nails?
Scholar Expected Outputs: A detailed report of the work conducted.  A presentation poster.
Essential Skills:
1. Life and medical sciences scientific background, e.g. microbiology, biology, pharmacy, medicine.
2. Written fluency in English
Timing: Standard Period
Additional Information: Printing nail medicines directly onto a patient's is novel; so far there is no literature on this.  Nail diseases affect many people, who seek treatment. Current medicines have low efficacy, and therefore there is a great need to develop new medicines.

24. Preparation and characterisation of electrospun fibres based on poly(vinylpyrrolidone), loaded with the antifungal drugs terbinafine and itraconazole.

Supervisor: Sudaxshina Murdan and Gareth Williams
Department: School of Pharmacy
Email: s.murdan@ucl.ac.uk
Main Project Title: Electrospun nanofibre films for the treatment of topical fungal infections
Main Project Summary: Fungal infections of the skin, hair and nail affect 20-25% of the world’s population, causing considerable morbidity.  Meanwhile currently-available topical medicines are not very effective, especially for nail and hair infections, and patients are reluctant to use oral medicines which have considerable adverse effects.  Consequently, there is a great need for new and more effective topical therapies. To address this need, we will evaluate the potential of electrospun nanofiber films – a novel and unique class of antimicrobial agents - for the topical treatment of such external mycoses. Electrospinning is a facile technique involving the use of an electric field to produce one-dimensional polymer nanofibres with functional components embedded. The resultant fibre meshes/films have a range of properties rendering them suitable for the treatment of topical infections, and electrospun fibres have been widely explored for antibacterial wound dressings. However, to date, anti-fungal applications have received almost no attention. In this project, we seek to redress this deficit by focusing on anti-fungal applications.
Scholar Project Title: Preparation and characterisation of electrospun fibres based on poly(vinylpyrrolidone), loaded with the antifungal drugs terbinafine and itraconazole.
Scholar Project Summary: 1. What experimental set-up is needed for the preparation of drug-loaded electrospun fibres?    2. Do drug-loaded electrospun fibres show antifungal activity, and how can I measure it?    3. What are the properties of drug-loaded electrospun fibres and how can these be measured?
Scholar Expected Outputs: Detailed report of work conducted.  A presentation poster.
Essential Skills:
1. Life and medical sciences scientific background, e.g. microbiology, biology, pharmacy, medicine.
2. Fluent written English
Timing: Standard Period
Additional Information: Fungal diseases are neglected, with few effective medicines, no vaccines and few diagnostics.  This field is under-researched, despite the great burden posed by fungal infections globally.

25. The influence of ultrasound on the integrity of Candida auris biofilms.

Supervisor: Sudaxshina Murdan and Dario Carugo
Department: School of Pharmacy
Email: s.murdan@ucl.ac.uk
Main Project Title: Influence of ultrasound on fungal biofilms
Main Project Summary: A microbial biofilm is a community of microbial cells adhering to host tissues or to abiotic surfaces, such as catheters. The properties of the biofilm-associated microbial cells are distinctly different to those of free-floating planktonic cells, and it is believed that, for many microorganisms, the biofilm state is probably a more ‘natural’ state compared to the planktonic state. The National Institutes of Health of the USA estimates that over 80% of all human microbial infections are associated with biofilms; these are intrinsically resistant to conventional antimicrobial drugs, host immune responses and hostile environmental stresses. Ultrasound damages and/or kills microbes and microbial biofilms. In this project, we will investigate whether ultrasound could therefore be used to treat fungal infections of the skin, nail or wounds, or fungal contamination of hospital surfaces.
Scholar Project Title: The influence of ultrasound on the integrity of Candida auris biofilms.
Scholar Project Summary: 1. What is the current knowledge about the influence of ultrasound on microbes?    2. Much of the published work is focussed on bacteria.  How can this be applied to fungi?  3. What experimental set-up(s) should I use to measure the influence of ultrasound on fungi?
Scholar Expected Outputs: Detailed written report and presentation poster
Essential Skills:
1. Life and medical sciences scientific background, e.g. microbiology, biology, pharmacy, medicine.
2. Fluent written English
Timing: Standard Period
Additional Information: Candida auris – an emerging fungal pathogen akin to a superbug – is categorized a public health threat due to its rapid spread, ability to colonise the skin and hospital surfaces and to cause invasive disease with a high (60%) mortality rate and multi-drug resistance. New treatment and disinfection agents are urgently needed.

Faculty: Mathematical and Physical Sciences

26. Hierarchical Cupric Oxides Nanostructures Synthesised by Chemical Dealloying

Supervisor: Anna Regoutz
Department: Chemistry
Email: a.regoutz@ucl.ac.uk
Main Project Title: Copper Oxides Nanostructures for Non-Enzymatic Glucose Sensors
Main Project Summary: Recent years have witnessed a significant increase in the proportion of people with diabetes, in particular in the younger generations. As diabetes has a significant impact on quality of life and can trigger many other kinds of diseases, early detection is essential. Commonly, testing of physiological glucose levels is used as evidence to judge whether a person is developing or already has diabetes or not. Traditionally, biosensors based on enzymes are used most widely. However, limited by the sensitivity of enzymes to temperature and storage conditions as well as their cost, enzymatic sensors cannot completely cater for the demands of the market. Thus, it is essential to develop an alternative way to diagnose diabetes at low cost. Non-enzymatic sensors are the newest generation under investigation, having inherent advantages of stability, reproducibility and sensitivity.
Scholar Project Title: Hierarchical Cupric Oxides Nanostructures Synthesised by Chemical Dealloying
Scholar Project Summary: Copper and its oxides are very important materials for non-enzymatic glucose sensors. In general, to improve the performance of the sensors, cupric oxide nanostructures can be synthesised with large aspect ratios, which can provide more active sites to stimulate the reaction. Nanoparticles, nanosheets, nanowires, and even some special shapes nanostructures are being synthesised to realise this target. Dealloying is a relatively simple way to get copper products with nanoporous structures. Immersed in a solution of copper and another kind of metal cation (e.g. nickel, cobalt or palladium), the electrode (substrate) will first be coated with a layer of compact alloy by electrochemical deposition. After that, based on the difference between copper and the other metal, the electrode is subjected to a dealloying process and the copper left on the substrate has a hierarchical structure. This project aims to compare the influence of different metals on the copper nanostructures. Resulting products will be annealed and then, characterised using SEM, XRD, XPS and electrochemical testing to identify the relationship between assisting elements and hierarchical cupric oxide nanostructures.
Scholar Expected Outputs: The scholar will be expected to complete a detailed laboratory notebook throughout and prepare digital synthesis recipes that can be shared with future project students. A comprehensive dataset of the characterisation results, including SEM, XRD, XPS and electrochemical characterisation, will be collected. Finally, a short scientific report is expected and the scholar will be asked to present their findings in the form of a presentation in our weekly group meetings.  A presentation poster.
Essential Skills:
1. Basic knowledge of electrochemistry and inorganic chemistry  
2. Practical chemical laboratory skills

Timing: Standard Period

27. Characterisation of metallic thin films using a combined experiment and theory approach

Supervisor: Anna Regoutz
Department: Chemistry
Email: a.regoutz@ucl.ac.uk
Main Project Title: A systematic study of metallic compounds using a combination of X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS) and Density Functional Theory (DFT)
Main Project Summary: The wider project involves the characterisation of technologically important metallic systems used in a range of industries from semiconductors to enzymatic biological sensors. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) is a valuable and powerful technique used for the surface characterisation of the chemical state and electronic structure of a material. However, the information presented by XPS and its interpretation requires assistance from theory, in particular density functional theory (DFT). The main aim of the project is to combine both experiments and theory to better characterise and understand the nature of these crucial metallic systems.
Scholar Project Title: Characterisation of metallic thin films using a combined experiment and theory approach
Scholar Project Summary: The main research question is whether our understanding of core level spectra from X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS)  can be improved with the aid of density functional theory (DFT). In particular, the accuracy of the theoretical approach will be explored and direct comparison to experiment will help determine whether this approach is appropriate and expands our understanding of metallic systems.
Scholar Expected Outputs: The scholar is expected to analyse and summarise the key findings from both theory and experiment. Within the six-week period the student is expected to be trained and able to conduct DFT simulations on Myriad. The scholar is expected to produce a short report as part of the reporting requirements of the scheme. By the end of the project, the scholar should have an improved understanding of XPS and DFT but also have gained an insight into applied research. Finally, a short scientific report is expected and the scholar will be asked to present their findings in the form of a presentation in our weekly group meetings.
Essential Skills:
1. A high level of written fluency in English, mathematical skills or specific knowledge in solid state chemistry.
2. The ability to conduct research independently
3. A high level of motivation.
Timing: Standard Period

Faculty: Population Health Sciences

28. Does parental confidence and self-belief impact weekly reported mental health outcomes for children with epilepsy who have received a programme of cognitive behavioural therapy?

Supervisor: Amy Lewins and Tyler Hughes
Department: Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health
Email: amy.lewins.18@ucl.ac.uk and t.hughes.17@ucl.ac.uk
Main Project Title: Mental Health Intervention for Children with Epilepsy (MICE) – Randomised Controlled Trial running at Great Ormond Street Hospital and UCL.
Main Project Summary: At least half of children with epilepsy also have mental health problems like depression, anxiety and behaviour problems. These mental health problems have a significant impact on all areas of life including family, friendships and education. As such, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence recommends that the psychological needs of children with epilepsy should always be considered. However, existing epilepsy services are separate from mental health services, so mental health problems often go overlooked. There is an exciting new psychological treatment for childhood anxiety, depression and behavioural problems. This Modular Approach to Treatment for Children – Anxiety, Depression, Trauma or Conduct (MATCH-ADTC) can be delivered within epilepsy services, by staff without special mental health training and over the phone/Skype, which many families prefer and which reduces costs to the NHS so more children can be treated nationwide. The treatment is flexible so can be delivered with the parents and/or the child according to age and type of problem. The purpose of the first stage of the research programme was to develop a new epilepsy-specific module to include in MATCH-ADTC and to integrate epilepsy-relevant content throughout MATCH-ADTC, so that MATCH-ADTC meets the special mental health needs of children with epilepsy. The purpose of the second stage was to work with staff and patients in epilepsy services to integrate the personalised, modular psychological intervention developed in stage one within existing service models so that it can be delivered with competence, fidelity and flexibility in a sustainable manner. The project is currently in its third stage or “work package”. The aim of the third stage is to evaluate the clinical and cost-effectiveness of MATCH-ADTC delivered by the therapists trained in stage two in addition to standard care, compared to standard care, for children with common mental health disorders and epilepsy.
Scholar Project Title: Does parental confidence and self-belief impact weekly reported mental health outcomes for children with epilepsy who have received a programme of cognitive behavioural therapy?
Scholar Project Summary: 1.Do session-by-session parental efficacy ratings impact outcomes for children with epilepsy and mental health difficulties? 2.Does having a child with a diagnosis of ASD/intellectual disability impact parental efficacy? And does this impact their scores on weekly reported mental health outcome measures?
Scholar Expected Outputs: •Literature search and development of research aims/hypotheses/methods   •Existing data set will be provided, scholar would need to develop their methods and statistical analysis protocol  •Use SPSS to analyse data  •Creation of a poster reporting their findings to present to our monthly clinical and research team meeting   •A short report. Possibility of the findings turned into a paper in the future
Essential Skills:
1. Interest in child and adolescent mental health   
2. Experience with using Excel/SPPS and understanding of basic statistical tests/methods   
3. Some experience with presentations.
Timing: Standard Period

 

Faculty: Social and Historical Sciences

29. Territoriality in Wild Chimpanzees in western Tanzania

Supervisor: Alex Piel
Department: Anthropology
Email: a.piel@ucl.ac.uk
Main Project Title: Friends and Foes at Blurred Boundaries: Territoriality in Wild Chimpanzees in western Tanzania
Main Project Summary: Chimpanzees are known to be highly xenophobic, aggressively defending territories from neighbouring individuals and also making incursions into rivals’ territories that sometimes result in fatal interactions. In the Issa valley, western Tanzania, however, camera trap footage reveals large areas of community overlap, with individuals from different communities using the same areas. The current project will use camera trap footage over seven years to identify spatiotemporal patterns of this overlap. Which individuals, in which areas, and at what times of year do boundaries get blurred and individuals overlap? Answers to these first questions will ultimately lead us to later address the most fundamental one…why is there this overlap in an otherwise highly territorial species?
Scholar Project Title: Territoriality in Wild Chimpanzees in western Tanzania
Scholar Project Summary: Are there spatial patterns associated with individual overlap in chimpanzee ranging?  Are there temporal patterns associated with individual overlap in chimpanzee ranging?  Are there individual patterns associated with individual overlap in chimpanzee ranging?
Scholar Expected Outputs: Whilst six weeks is not sufficient to produce a publication, analyses of these data will ultimately lead to a more comprehensive study of chimpanzee ranging and territoriality. The Scholar will be expected to learn chimpanzee identities based on facial markings, code camera trap footage, and produce summary figures that describe patterns of chimpanzee usage of different areas.  A short report and a presentation poster are also required.
Essential Skills:
1. Attention to detail, especially facial details
2. Good organisation including competence with MS Excel
3. Interest in animal behaviour
Timing: Standard Period
Additional Information: There are only a few places in Africa to study wild chimpanzees, and while this opportunity can't provide support to bring a Scholar to Tanzania, we can do our best to bring Tanzania to the Scholar, and answer interesting questions about chimpanzee behaviour and, by implication, human evolution.

30. Online education: effects on academic outcomes and how these vary by student characteristics

Supervisor: Parama Chaudhury and Michela Tincani
Department: Economics
Email: p.chaudhury@ucl.ac.uk
Main Project Title: Higher Education at the time of COVID: Evaluating the effectiveness of online instruction
Main Project Summary: The COVID crisis has forced many higher education institutions (HEI) to move to online instruction. Hundreds of thousands of students enrolled in HEI institutions around the country at this very moment are taking classes remotely. But how effective is online instruction compared to traditional, face to face, instruction? An answer to this question is urgently needed, as critics question whether online teaching can guarantee the same level of quality as traditional methods. In this project, we approach this question from an empirical point of view using quantitative and qualitative data and modern econometric methods to establish causality and tease out the specific effects of different teaching and learning methods on students with different characteristics.
Scholar Project Title: Online education: effects on academic outcomes and how these vary by student characteristics
Scholar Project Summary: How does online learning affect student behavior and outcomes, and how these effects vary by student characteristics?
Scholar Expected Outputs:
Empirical report on observational and experimental data
Literature survey on effects of different modes of learning on academic outcomes
A presentation poster
Essential Skills:
1. Experience in MS Excel (or other spreadsheet programme) and preferably some experience with Stata or other econometric software.
2. Ability to write clearly and professionally, and to communicate closely with supervisors and others
3. Ability to self-motivate and carry out independent research e.g. on literature survey
Timing: Standard Period
Additional Information: This project is an opportunity for the scholar to get experience in the cutting edge of economic research. Prof Chaudhury is a well-regarded scholar in economics education and Dr Tincani is considered a rising star in the economics of education having carried out several evaluations of education interventions in different countries, including working with national governments. This project provides an opportunity for scholars to get involved in a topic that is very close to their own lived experience as well as being a hot topic in education research.

31. Do students appreciate the value of group work and what does the literature say is the impact of group work on student learning?

Supervisor: Cloda Jenkins
Department: Economics
Email: cloda.jenkins@ucl.ac.uk
Main Project Title: Impact of group working on student learning and skill development
Main Project Summary: In this project a team of researchers at UCL's Centre for Teaching and Learning Economics (CTaLE) are evaluating the impact of a range of different approaches to group working in undergradate module. We want to understand whether and how group work improves student employability skills and whether and how it may impact on student performance in the module and the degree more widely. We want to evaluate group work in our modules when they were held on campus and our move to group work in an online environment in 2020/21.
Scholar Project Title: Do students appreciate the value of group work and what does the literature say is the impact of group work on student learning?
Scholar Project Summary: 1. What does the education literature say is the value of using group work in Higher Education, both for assessed and non-assessed work and is there any distinction made between online and on campus group work?  2. Do UCL Economics students value group work in their modules? Using information in module-specific and wider surveys such as NSS, SES and New to UCL.  3. What marks do students receive in modules with group work elements and how do they compare to average marks in other modules?
Scholar Expected Outputs: The Laidlaw scholar would be asked to produce one short report for each of the three questions, time permitting.The priority order of the outputs, if there is a time constraint, would be to start with Q1 and work down the list.  A presentation poster is also required.
Essential Skills:
1. Confident reviewing academic articles and summarising main messages from them  
2. Ability to work with and summarise qualitative and quantitative data in useful tables and charts using a software package such as Excel or R  
3. Independent worker, knowing when to ask for support and when to adapt and move forward with the work.
Timing: Happy for the project to run over the standard six week period, or an alternative six week period that works for the scholar so long as the work is completed by mid-August 2021.
Additional Information: The project is an important element of UCL's agenda to improve student learning and employability skills and will inform both our research and practice.

32. COVID-19 as a catalyst for the use of technology in teaching Economics. What do we know and need to know?

Supervisor: Dunli Li
Department: Economics
Email: dunli.li@ucl.ac.uk
Main Project Title: COVID-19 as a catalyst for the use of technology in teaching Economics. What do we know and need to know?
Main Project Summary: The COVID-19 pandemic forced universities worldwide to develop solutions for the delivery of online teaching under high pressure. Economics was not isolated. After some time has passed, it is time to take stock of the new knowledge that has been created as a result of this. At the same time, the project seeks to identify areas that could be targeted by future research. The aims of the project are two-fold. First, the project takes stock of the outcomes of these changes, with focus on Economics (looking backward). Second, based on these evaluations of existing tools, practices and methods, innovations are developed (looking forward).
Scholar Project Title: COVID-19 as a catalyst for the use of technology in teaching Economics. What do we know and need to know?
Scholar Project Summary: The overall research question is as follows: What do we know and need to know about how recent developments (such as advances in teaching technologies, more and more courses being offered in remote mode and the requirement to rapidly move ‘traditional’ on-campus programmes online due to the COVID-19 pandemic) affect the use of technology in teaching Economics?     Mirroring the two aims of the project, first question is backward-looking, investigating the outcomes of changes spurred by developments. The second research question is forward-looking asking what innovations (in terms of tools, practices and methods) could be developed.
Scholar Expected Outputs:
Systematic literature review on the use of technology in delivering Economics programmes  
Developing an analytical framework and categorising extant material
Identifying ‘blank spots’ based on categorisation of existing material
Developing avenues for further research and scholarship from the ‘blank spots’
A short report and presentation poster.
Essential Skills:
1. Good literature searching and review skill. The scholar should be able to find reliable literature sources effectively and efficiently, and summarize the main findings clearly and concisely.
2. Excellent oral and written communication skills.
Timing: Standard Period
Additional Information: The projects provides two opportunities: First, skills for developing systematic literature reviews are developed through evaluating the literature in Economics education on the use of technology in the teaching delivery. Second, this project seeks to start a conversation about important issues that are under-represented in the literature. Critical thinking skills are developed through reflecting on gaps in the existing literature and pointing to ‘blank spots’. From this areas for further investigation are developed.

33. Mapping the state of art of CBDCs

Supervisor: Silvia Dal Bianco
Department: Economics
Email: s.dalbianco@ucl.ac.uk
Main Project Title: Central Banks Digital Currencies: aim, design and macroeconomic implications
Main Project Summary: According to the Bank of International Settlements, at least 40 central banks around the world are currently, or soon will be, researching and experimenting with Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs), Barontini and Holden (2019). Moreover, the COVID-19 crisis has possibly accelerated such process.  CBDC can have different attributes, such as for example being enabled by Distributed Ledger Technlogy (DLT), being wholesale or general purpose. However, CBDCs can be generally defined as some form of central bank money handled through electronic means and accessible to the broad public, Bindseil (2020). To some extent, CBDCs might resemble the functions and characteristics of cash. Hence, they might act as an anonymous legal tender that allow fast inter-temporal and international transactions at virtually zero cost, without the need of third trust parties, such as banks. Thus, it is apparent that CBDCs can have huge impact on the banking industry and on the economy as a whole.  The aim of this project is to shed light on the aims, working mechanisms and likely macroeconomic impact of CBDC.
Scholar Project Title: Mapping the state of art of CBDCs.
Scholar Project Summary: 1) What are the types of CBDCs known to date?   2) What are the purposes of CBDCs at question 1?  3) How do they work? Do they use Distributed Ledger Technologies or not?   4) Which are the Central Banks that have already started experimenting with CBDCs? What are the results they have obtained if any?
Scholar Expected Outputs:
a) A short report of the project.  
b) A literature review in which the scholar will have the opportunity to offer new insights on the project's research questions, employing the established literature to back their arguments.
c) One or more interactive maps that will summarise the main findings of the research through visual analysis. See this example for some ideas on the output https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=953fwQ9mYR8&ab_channel=Miltos%40AchieveP...
d) A poster. The poster should enable the scholar to appreciate all the steps of their research journey. Moreover, having the possibility to showcase the poster in public the scholar would start appreciating the fundamental importance of outreaching activities for research dissemination at all levels of scholarship.

Essential Skills:
1. Excellent researching and writing skills.
2. Analytical and critical thinking skills, including the ability to interpret graphs and descriptive statistics, to understand equations and basic economic models.
3. Digital skills (e.g. PowerPoint) and the ability/willingness to learn other software as required (e.g. interactive maps).

Timing: Standard Period. Please note that there is some flexibility with the dates from my part.
Additional Information: References    Barontini, Christian and Henry Holden (2019): Proceeding with caution - a survey on central bank digital currency, BIS Paper 101; available at: https://www.bis.org/publ/bppdf/bispap101.pdf      Bindseil, Ulrich (2020). "Tiered CBDC and the financial system," Working Paper Series 2351, European Central Bank. Available at: https://www.ecb.europa.eu/pub/pdf/scpwps/ecb.wp2351~c8c18bbd60.en.pdf

34. The historical evolution of the health visiting services in England

Supervisor: Gabriella Conti
Department: Economics
Email: gabriella.conti@ucl.ac.uk
Main Project Title: Health Visiting in the United Kingdom
Main Project Summary: Health visitors are qualified nurses or midwives with additional community public health training; they provide parents information and support to give children the best start in life. Home health visiting exists to some extent in all the north-western European countries, since the years surrounding WWII. Existing evaluations are scarce and show long-term health impacts of Scandinavian programmes rolled out before WWII. The English system is the oldest, established in the mid-1850s as a public health service focusing on problems of sanitation and epidemics, but it has never been evaluated. It has undergone several changes since last century, and both increases and cuts to the numbers of health visitors have occurred more recently due to reforms in public health funding. The overarching research project aims at evaluating health visiting in the United Kingdom.
Scholar Project Title: The historical evolution of the health visiting services in England
Scholar Project Summary: The scholar will be responsible for studying the evolution of the health visiting services in England over a certain historical period, to be agreed upon at the time of proposal development.   The practical research activities will involve collecting data on health visitors from archival sources, and documenting their evolution over time and across local authorities for the period under investigation.
Scholar Expected Outputs: The output will be: (i) a dataset with information on the number of health visitors over time for a set of local authorities (ii) a short report documenting the evolution of health visiting services over that period (iii) a presentation poster.
Essential Skills:
1. Good attention to detail.  
2. Interest in history of the UK, and in maternal and child health.
Timing: Standard Period but there is flexibility.

35. Collecting examples of engaging economic presentations

Supervisor: Ramin Nassehi
Department: Economics
Email: r.nassehi@ucl.ac.uk
Main Project Title: A short guidebook for giving engaging economic presentations
Main Project Summary: There are many general books written on how to give exciting and engaging presentations, but when it comes to giving economic presentations these books are not very effective as they naturally offer no hints on how to communicate complex and mathematical economic research to a broad audience in an accessible manner. To fill this gap, I am gathering material to write a specialised guidebook for giving engaging economic presentations that goes beyond the general principles of giving good presentations and focus specifically on the challenges of communicating complex statistical and mathematical economics research to non-experts, by providing examples from star economic presenters.
The guidebook will cover the following points:
-How to excite the audience about your technical economic question.
-How to present a literature review on a technical economic subject in an engaging manner.
-How to talk about your mathematical or statistical model by showing minimum equations.
-How to summarise your econometric results in a short and accessible way.
-How to make sure the audience remembers your statistical findings.
To provide a list of hints for each of the above points. I have been gathering examples from star economic presenters like Hans Rosling, Tim Harford and Ha Joon Chang for the past two years. As part of this project, the LaidLaw scholar will help me collect more “role model” presentation examples from YouTube during the summer to serve as the primary material for writing the guidebook. To facilitate this search, the scholar will be introduced to various popular academic sources on YouTube like Ted Talks, VoxEU, EconFilms and Gapminder.
Scholar Project Title: Collecting examples of engaging economic presentations
Scholar Project Summary: This project will make a major contribution to the main project areas listed above.
Scholar Expected Outputs: (a) A list of hints on "how to give an engaging economic presentation". Each hint will be accompanied by a video example from a famous academic presenter or a journalist. The supervisor will help the scholar in constructing this hint list. (b) A blogpost by the LaidLaw scholar, in which the scholar reflects on the manner in which searching for role model presentations changed his/her view of communicating economics to non-experts. (c) A presentation poster.  (d) A short report.
Essential Skills:
1. Familiarity with popular economic video channels and podcasts on social media.  
2. Very basic video editing skills or ability to acquire these skills.
3. Preferably the candidates should have attended all the workshops (Skills Labs) held by Dr Ramin Nassehi on giving presentations.
Timing: Standard Period
Additional Information: So far, I have held several workshops on giving economic presentations for UG economics students and, as part of this process, I have been compiling a long list of hints, accompanied by video examples, for giving engaging economic presentations. My medium-term goal is to use this material to write a very short specialised guidebook on giving economic presentations and publish this guidebook on the Economics Network website. As explained above, this Laidlaw project is aligned with this broader goal.
 

36. Severity of air pollution in Africa determined with measurements from US Diplomatic facilities

Supervisor: Eloise Marais
Department: Geography
Email: e.marais@ucl.ac.uk
Main Project Title: Environmental and health effects of air pollution in Africa
Main Project Summary: Urban centres in Africa are amongst the fastest growing cities in the world, due to rapid population growth and urbanisation. Absence of effective environmental policies suggests that this development will lead to severe degradation in air quality and have adverse effects on health and the environment. In this project, we use data from air quality models, instruments onboard space-based platforms, and instruments at US Diplomatic facilities in Africa to determine air pollution levels, the variability of air pollution in space and time, and the impact of air pollution exposure on the health of citizens and the environment.
Scholar Project Title: Severity of air pollution in Africa determined with measurements from US Diplomatic facilities
Scholar Project Summary: What are the air pollution (PM2.5) concentrations at US Diplomatic sites across Africa?  How does PM2.5 vary in time (seasonal, hourly) and space at these sites?  Do the data show any influence of covid-19 lockdown measures?  How frequently do these sites exceed World Health Organization (WHO) air pollution guidelines?  How do the measurements compare to PM2.5 calculated with a model that represents our best understanding of air pollution?
Scholar Expected Outputs: Data files of processed results. Computer code used to analyse the data.  Laboratory-style report documenting the methods and results. An end-of-project presentation to share results from the project at our routine group meetings (https://maraisresearchgroup.co.uk/meetings.html). Possible contribution to a peer-reviewed publication that incorporates results from this project. A short report and presentation poster.
Essential Skills:
1. Quantitative skills  
2. Written fluency in English  
3. Willingness to learn or advance skills in a computer programming language such as python
Timing: Standard Period
Additional Information: Prospective scholars can find out more about research underway in the UCL Atmospheric Chemistry and Air Quality research group here: https://maraisresearchgroup.co.uk/.

37. History of the future city: Subaltern house-building in early 20th century Simla

Supervisor: Ayona Datta
Department: Geography
Email: a.datta@ucl.ac.uk
Main Project Title: Learning from Small Cities
Main Project Summary: The project will learn from three small cities which are all undergoing city-wide retrofitting and area-based improvements in smart technologies and infrastructures as part of India's national 100 Smart Cities programme. Using interdisciplinary approaches from urban studies, social and cultural geography, sociology and planning, it will contribute to evidence-based policy related to Sustainable Development Goal #11: Sustainable Cities and Communities.
Scholar Project Title: History of the future city: Subaltern house-building in Imperial early 20th cent. Simla, India
Scholar Project Summary: The summer project will be involved in analysing a body of archival material on house-building applications in the late 19th and early 20th century Simla, the British summer capital in India. It will also involve further archival research in the British Library, London to find documents, maps, and reports on Simla during this period. The aim will be to capture the history of Simla’s urban future, by examining the technological innovations in ordinary housebuilding during the twilight of the British Empire.  Research questions:  - How did subaltern house-building in the late 19th-early 20th cent Simla shape its current trajectory?  - What do the planning applications for incremental house-building by subaltern citizens (low-castes, migrants and minority religions) tell us about the ways that colonial governance shaped India's urban futures?  - How do these subaltern house biographies challenge top-down urban development initiatives as well as the hegemony of seeing the city through Google maps?
Scholar Expected Outputs: - Database of house-building applications from late 19th-early 20th century Simla with categorisation, annotation and geographically tagged onto the map of Simla  - Annotated database of British Library documents related to this period in Simla  - Selected house-biographies showing timeline of construction and change.  - A short report and presentation poster.
Essential Skills:
1. Skills in conducting archival research or willingness to learn these
2. Ability to read and understand planning applications, maps and drawings of buildings.
3. Basic skills in using GIS and visualisation software such as Prezi, Photoshop or Powerpoint.
Timing: Standard Period
Additional Information:  It may be possible for the student to travel to Simla to undertake part of this research project.  More information can be obtained about the wider project where this summer project fits in is here : https://www.smartsmallcity.com

38. Deindustrialisation and gender in London, c. 1945 to the present

Supervisor: Florence Sutcliffe-Braithwaite
Department: History
Email: f.sutcliffe-braithwaite@ucl.ac.uk
Main Project Title: Gender and deindustrialisation in Britain, c. 1945 to the present
Main Project Summary: The Laidlaw scholar’s project would fit into a larger research project I am conducting on deindustrialisation in twentieth-century Britain, and particularly its impact on gender roles. This research will be in part funded by a Leverhulme Prize which I will be taking up in 2021. The work the Laidlaw Scholar would undertake would also dovetail with collaborative research I have been undertaking with colleagues in the Bartlett School of Planning (John Tomaney and Lucy Natarajan) examining the historical and contemporary challenges of an ex-mining area of County Durham, entitled the ‘Deep Place’ project and funded by UCL Grand Challenges.
Scholar Project Title: Deindustrialisation and gender in London, c. 1945 to the present
Scholar Project Summary: This project would fit into my broader project on deindustrialisation and its impact on work, family, community and gender roles in Britain. This work builds on the oral history project I led as PI on the AHRC-funded project ‘Women in the miners’ strike: charting changing gender roles in working-class communities in postwar Britain’. This project gathered major new collections of oral histories in coalfield communities across England, Scotland and Wales; the next stage of the project will expand the case studies to include inner-city areas, and particularly more ethnically diverse areas. The scholar will focus on experiences of deindustrialisation in London, via conducting new oral histories, re-studying archived oral histories, or a combination of both.     The scholar would be undertaking the following activities (dependent on how the scholar chooses to shape the project): organising oral history interviews, conducing them, and transcribing interviews; identifying relevant archived oral history collections from London, and compiling an archive report on these; and producing a short report and poster on the research findings.
Scholar Expected Outputs: Audio recordings and transcripts of a body of new oral histories (4-8 interviews); and/or archival notes from a body of archived oral histories. A 2,000 word report on the research findings from the archival work and/or oral histories focused on one area of London. A poster setting out findings from the research.
Essential Skills:
1. Excellent written and spoken English
Timing: Standard Period

39. Wonder Drugs and Tooth Drawers: Medical Adverts in 17th century London

Supervisor: Elaine Leong
Department: History
Email: e.leong@ucl.ac.uk
Main Project Title: Reading Early Medicine (https://reademed.mpiwg-berlin.mpg.de/)
Main Project Summary: In 17th century England, the shelves of London booksellers were filled with a wide array of vernacular medical books. Readers could pick and choose from an assortment of herbals, pharmacopeias, general medical compendia, first aid guides, surgical handbooks, midwifery manuals, regimens, and medical recipe books. Reading Early Medicine is designed to help students, teachers, and researchers access and interpret early writings on health and healing. It consists of a bibliographic database listing all works on health and healing published in English from the dawn of print until 1700, a suite of data visualization tools to foster new research questions, and teaching materials such as introductory essays, course syllabi and classroom exercises.
Scholar Project Title: Wonder Drugs and Tooth Drawers: Medical Adverts in 17th century London
Scholar Project Summary: Advertisement of wonder drugs, worm powders and the expert services of tooth drawers were staple features in early modern English medical print. You will assemble and analyze a digital collection of health-related adverts, generating data on the kinds of drugs and medical services sold and ailments addressed. What were the most popular cure-alls in 17th century England? And what were the marketing strategies used to promote cures? Where can one find a reliable dentist or oculist? Additionally, as many of these adverts include addresses, you will have the opportunity to map medical practices and health services in early modern London. We hope that you will be able identify localized areas of activity, e.g. neighbourhoods known for particular types of health services such as specialists curing venereal disease or perhaps the 17th century equivalent of modern day “Harley Street”.
Scholar Expected Outputs: The Reading Early Medicine features short (c. 350 words) book and author biographies and we have published entries written by second and third-year UCL History students in the past. We envision the Laidlaw Scholar to produce a handful of these biographies (on health practitioners and medical adverts of their choosing) for our website. Additionally, there will be opportunities to create a digital exhibition of medical adverts using Padlet or a similar platform. A short report and presentation poster are also required.
Essential Skills:
1. Good academic writing skills  
2. Basic research skills
3. Interest in learning about and working with digital tools (databases, mapping programmes, Padlet)
Timing: Standard Period

40. Destruction, Transition, and the Production of Archaeological Knowledge

Supervisor: Yağmur Heffron
Department: History
Email: y.heffron@ucl.ac.uk
Main Project Title: Bronze Age Excavations at Çadır Höyük, Turkey
Main Project Summary: The overarching research project is an ongoing archaeological excavation at the multi-period site of Çadır Höyük in central Turkey. Çadır Höyük is an ancient mound formed by the superimposed remains of some 6,000 years of human settlement from the Middle Chalcolithic era (6th millennium B.C.) to the Byzantine period (A.D 12th century). The Çadır Höyük Archaeological Project, ongoing since 1994, is a research excavation into the long settlement history of a small town on a major East-West trade route. The project proposed for the Laidlaw scheme represents the Bronze Age (2nd millennium BC) investigations at Çadır Höyük, focusing especially on periods of transition relating to wider issues of long-distance contact, historical periodisation, state formation, collapse, and the notion of ‘dark ages.’ Çadır Höyük is also lively land rigorous earning environment in which trainee student assistants are a regular and vital component of the excavation team. By participating in an active research project, students at Çadır Höyük work as part of an international community of university researchers and are trained in a diverse skill set for field archaeology including excavation, recording, and finds analyses. Undergraduate students from UCL History have been participating in the project since 2017.
Scholar Project Title: Destruction, Transition, and the Production of Archaeological Knowledge
Scholar Project Summary: As part of the Bronze Age team at Çadır Höyük, the Laidlaw Scholar would be assigned to a specific excavation as a trench assistant on the West Slope. The Scholar would be aiding in the exposure, recording, and analysis of a previously identified layer of architectural collapse and fire debris. In the first instance, this work would be reconstructing an episode of destruction at the site; the more specific research questions to be developed would be addressing the broader historical context of a regional breakdown of political systems. If the fieldwork component is not possible, the scholar would instead formulate a research question from pre-existing excavation records, examining similar historical questions of collapse and/or with a more prominent focus on the production and consumption of archaeological knowledge through the analyses of excavated remains.
Scholar Expected Outputs: The principal output would be an archaeological field report detailing the excavation strategies and resulting discoveries, and associated interpretations. This report would be accompanied by context sheets for recording individual units of excavation, associated field drawings, and photographs to enter the formal project archives. During the course of fieldwork, the Scholar would be keeping an excavation diary, which would form the basis of their final report. If the fieldwork component is not possible, the Scholar would instead be asked to keep a research diary. Either way, the Scholar’s final output would be included in the joint publication in a peer-reviewed academic journal, in which annual/bi-annual preliminary excavation results are regularly published by the members of the Çadır Höyük project. The Scholar would be fully credited for their contributions towards this publication.  A presentation poster.
Essential Skills:
1. Excellent written fluency in English
2. Good analytical and interpretative skills
The scholar must be able to demonstrate a high level of written fluency in English which will be essential in producing clear descriptions of spatially and visually complex data. Also essential are good analytical and interpretative skills for synthesising a diverse range of primary data into coherent narratives, e.g. by being able to spot and evaluate correspondences and correlations, as well as divergences and variance in the physical qualities and spatial distribution of finds. As the scholar will be working alongside researchers in real time, they will receive the necessary guidance and background knowledge relevant to ongoing excavation and/or data analysis. Therefore, prior knowledge of field archaeology in general, or the time period under study in particular, are not essential; being able to respond analytically to new data is what is required. The scholar should also possess good personal and communication skills essential for working productively as part of an international team comprising a range of specialists all relying on one another.
Timing: The project would fit perfectly into six weeks as this is the standard length of time an undergraduate trainee assistant would normally spend on excavation in a given season. However, the six-week window for the project would most likely need to be scheduled from mid-July to late August given the fixed nature of the excavation permit for the main project. If fieldwork is not possible due to the ongoing health pandemic, then the Laidlaw Project can easily be carried out between the specified dates (i.e. 14 June - 23 July 2021) in a wholly online format.
Additional Information: If the fieldwork component is viable, the Laidlaw Scholar would be participating in an international research project which takes place among a host community in Turkey. The Çadır Höyük excavation house is located in the small village of Peyniryemez which is walking distance to the archaeological mound. Seasonally hired workers who carry out the bulk of the earth removal come from here and other surrounding villages, contributing to a diverse working and living environment. This particular aspect of archaeological field projects are especially significant in exposing researchers to new opportunities of cross-cultural contact beyond the immediate concerns of their research questions.

41. Open Educational Resources in Ancient Middle Eastern texts: researching an online supplement to introductory textbooks

Supervisor: Eleanor Robson
Department: History
Email: e.robson@ucl.ac.uk
Main Project Title: Oracc.org: the Open Richly Annotated Corpus
Main Project Summary: Oracc.org is an open-access collaborative platform that hosts translations, editions, and discussions of cuneiform writings from the ancient Middle East, produced by a consortium of researchers from across the world
Scholar Project Title: Open Educational Resources in Ancient Middle Eastern texts: researching an online supplement to introductory textbooks
Scholar Project Summary: Many school and college systems worldwide teach some history of the ancient Middle East – the cultures of Sumer, Assyria and Babylon — as part of a broad syllabus in world history or world civilisation. Teachers of these courses are necessarily non-experts, and often reliant on very general textbooks. Meanwhile, Oracc.org hosts a wealth of relevant historical sources but isn't well known outside the specialist research community. In this project the Laidlaw scholar would work with Professor Robson and other members of Oracc.org's international steering committee to research instructors' needs in the USA and/or Middle East, and develop a strategy for adapting, developing and publicising appropriate open educational resources, for launch ahead of academic year 2021/22.
Scholar Expected Outputs: A list of ancient Middle Eastern texts used in national curricula and/or major textbooks in the chosen countries of study, mapped onto existing Oracc.org resources. Input into the design of a simple website, hosted on Oracc.org, to present and contextualise translations in relevant languages (supplied by members of the Oracc consortium). A report recommending social media and other publicity strategies for the Oracc team to adopt to promote the website to targeted users. A short report outlining activities and conclusions, and a presentation poster.
Essential Skills: 
1. Good English-language communication skills
2. Basic knowledge of, or willingness to learn, the outlines of ancient Middle Eastern history
3. Familiarity with social media    
Timing: Standard Period
Additional Information:
DESIRABLE but non-essential skills:
Knowledge of a modern Middle Eastern language  and/or some basic knowledge of HTML    
NOT NEEDED  Any familiarity with any ancient Middle Eastern language!

42. What does heritage do for Iraq? Evaluating and communicating the Nahrein Network's locally-led research

Supervisor: Eleanor Robson
Department: History
Email: e.robson@ucl.ac.uk
Main Project Title: The Nahrein Network
Main Project Summary: The AHRC-GCRF-funded Nahrein Network supports locally-led research on the role of heritage, history and the humanities in fostering sustainable social and economic growth in post-conflict Iraq and its neighbours, and helps Middle Eastern researchers contribute to local and international policy development on the role of cultural heritage in peace and statebuilding.
Scholar Project Title: What does heritage do for Iraq? Evaluating and communicating the Nahrein Network's locally-led research
Scholar Project Summary: By the summer of 2021, the Nahrein Network's two-dozen small research projects in Iraq, Turkey and Lebanon will all have finished or be close to finishing. The Laidlaw scholar will work with the Network's core team to identify a small group of related projects to evaluate, and to identify common lessons learned, both positive and negative, planned and unexpected, for future researchers and funders in post-conflict heritage .
Scholar Expected Outputs: Data collection (e.g., quantitative or qualitative, written or spoken word) from one or more of the Nahrein Network's projects.Contributions to the Nahrein Network's final report. A short video, podcast or blogpost highlighting the work of one or more of the Nahrein Network's projects, for an international English-speaking audience. A short written report and presentation poster.
Essential Skills:
1. Experience of data collection, survey, and/or oral history work  
2. Some understanding of recent Middle Eastern history and/or heritage  
3. Excellent English-language communication skills    
Timing: Standard Period
Additional Information:
Desirable but not essential:  Some social media and/or video editing skills  Some knowledge of spoken Arabic, Kurdish or Turkish

43. Attitudes towards redistribution in highly unequal countries after the COVID-19 pandemic

Supervisor: Nestor Castaneda
Department: Institute of the Americas
Email: n.castaneda@ucl.ac.uk
Main Project Title: Political economy of fiscal responses to the COVID-19 pandemic in developing countries
Main Project Summary: This project seeks to understand the link between the factors that shape different fiscal and public health responses to the pandemic in Latin America and their policy consequences. We hypothesise that the success of long-term policy responses to the pandemic in Latin America will depend on the countries’ pre-existing economic health, their social protection capacity, and the nature of citizens’ response to government action. First, we want to understand how do pre-existing conditions of financial strength and social protection coverage predetermines the countries’ effective response to the crisis. Second, we want to systematically analyse how adopted fiscal and social policy measures in times of crisis, could signal a shift from procyclical to countercyclical fiscal management, moving from more regressive towards progressive tax structures, or transforming health and social protection systems towards more universalistic models. Third, we want to evaluate the perceptions and expectations of people affected by or at risk of COVID-19 infection regarding government action and the unprecedented challenges for social protection systems in unequal societies. In the long run, we want to understand whether the adopted responses to the pandemic will result in more progressive and more universal social protection systems in developing countries.
Scholar Project Title: Attitudes towards redistribution in highly unequal countries after the COVID-19 pandemic
Scholar Project Summary: This part of study seeks to understand how government's response to the pandemic could change people's preferences towards redistribution. In particular, we want to evaluate how information about government policies and the impact of the pandemic on the economy shapes individual preferences about the introduction of new taxes (e.g. wealth tax) or the creation of new social protection programmes (e.g. universal basic income).
Scholar Expected Outputs: Database of recent public opinion polls in developing countries.  Short report.  Presentation poster.
Essential Skills:
1. Data collection skills
2. Basic statistical analysis skills   
3. Spanish/Portuguese reading skills
Timing: It would be great to run this part of the project between May and June 2021

44. Out with the old, in with the new? Assessing patterns of political representation at times of crises

Supervisor: Malu A. C. Gatto
Department: Institute of the Americas
Email: m.gatto@ucl.ac.uk
Main Project Title: Political representation at times of crisis: the case of Brazil
Main Project Summary: Since the protests of June 2013, social scientists have turned to understand the "crisis of representation" in Brazil. First, scholars turned to understand the core factors underpinning voters' disillusionment with the political class. More recently, researchers have begun assessing the consequences of voters' low levels of trust in elites and traditional parties to "politics as we know it." The rise of non-partisan political movements and electoral success of new parties and contenders in the 2018 elections provides further insights into emerging political dynamics. In a series of papers, this project seeks to better understand whether and how this crisis has impacted the representation of women, black and LGBTQI+ candidates---groups that have historically been excluded from formal politics.
Scholar Project Title: Out with the old, in with the new? Assessing patterns of political representation at times of crises
Scholar Project Summary: How do demographic population changes affect patterns of electoral behavior? Does low trust in traditional elites create political opportunities for historically marginalised groups? Can skepticism towards formal politics trigger greater (and different) forms of engagement with government institutions? And can new technologies compensate for lack of material resources in underfunded electoral campaigns?---In sum, focusing on the case of Brazil, this project asks: in what ways may critical junctures impact patterns of political representation? And what are the obstacles and opportunities that crises of representation pose to the political access of traditionally marginalised groups?
Scholar Expected Outputs: 1) Compile/clean datasets/spreadsheets  2) Annotated bibliography  3) Assist with design and piloting of survey (TBC)  4) A short report and presentation poster.
Essential Skills:
1. Knowledge of Excel (R or Stata is desirable, but not required)
2. An ability to understand and summarise academic scholarship   
3. A high level of written fluency in English
Timing: Standard Period

45. Foreign language education in Europe

Supervisor: Roland Kappe
Department: Political Science
Email: r.kappe@ucl.ac.uk
Main Project Title: The political effects of foreign language education reforms in Europe.
Main Project Summary: This ongoing project looks at the impact of foreign language education – and especially foreign language education reforms – on people’s attitudes and political opinion.   Theory suggests that speaking foreign languages reduces perceptions of cultural distance and contributes to the formation of transnational identities (Benet-Martinez and Haritatos 2005, Kuhn 2011). Recent research also shows a link between foreign language skills and European identity (Kuhn 2015, Díez -Medrano 2017). The project however goes beyond just correlational work and seeks to identify the causal effect of foreign language learning on a variety of social and political attitudes, national and European identity, and political behaviour. Education reforms provide plausibly exogenous variation in individual foreign language learning. The project has resulted in a working paper using education reforms in the United Kingdom, and the next step is to expand this theoretical and empirical framework to other national contexts.
Scholar Project Title: Foreign language education in Europe.
Scholar Project Summary: How is foreign language education structured in a specific European country or a small number of countries? What are the key education reforms that affected language education? What were the effects of these reforms?
Scholar Expected Outputs: For a small number of European countries (to be agreed – taking into account the Laidlaw scholar’s background, interests and ideally language skills):  - Provide a systematic overview of current foreign language education policy.   - Identify key reforms that affected foreign language education in these countries.  - Produce a (or perhaps a number of) “country reports” that   a) provides a systematic overview of current foreign language education policy.  b) identifies and describes key reforms that affected foreign language education and includes a ‘timeline’ of foreign language education policy reforms.  A short report outlining activities and conclusions, and a presentation poster are also required.
Essential Skills:
1. Good proficiency, especially reading comprehension, in at least one European language (*other than* English, German, or Italian).
2. Good written proficiency in English
3. Good academic writing skills (conscientious referencing etc.).
Timing: Standard Period
Additional Information: One of the 2020 Laidlaw scholars worked on the project, and she completed an excellent country case study on Italy. Applicants may want to get in touch with her if that’s practical and she is willing to share her experience.

Laidlaw Foundation Projects

These opportunities have been identified by the Laidlaw Foundation.  If you are interested in one of these, you should apply using the UCL application form.  Your application will be judged in the usual way, but PLEASE NOTE the following:
1. You may be competing for a place against Laidlaw scholars from other universities which run the Laidlaw programme
2. You may be required to undertake additional application stages - including providing additional information and/or an interview before your scholarship is confirmed
3. Some opportunities are for two summers.

46. Maggie's Centre - Two Summers

This is a two summer opportunity with a first year research placement and second year Leadership in Action placement.  Each will last for six weeks.  Exact dates to be agreed with the Maggie's Centre.
There is one place available at each of Maggie's Leeds, Maggie's Dundee and a Maggie's centre within London (www.maggies.org) for six weeks during Summer 2021 and 2022.  
The role will be to work as an integrated member of the centre multidisciplinary teams contributing to the provision of our holistic programme of cancer support with supervision from the Centre Head and their team. Maggie's offers all four levels of psychological care (NICE Guidance on Oncology and Palliative Care, 2004), and the student will contribute at level one and where appropriate level two (e.g. helping to facilitate our Where Now? course,). They will also each be asked, using a systematic review protocol, to review and refresh the evidence base for one aspect of our psychosocial cancer support programme (e.g. Nutrition course, Managing Stress Course). The initial year placement will be continued the following year with the focus on the evaluation of one aspect of the Maggie's programme, or another aspect of the Maggie's unique cancer care model, and the provision of a summary report.
The placement will suit anyone studying a social sciences, psychology, allied health profession, nursing or medical degree.
Essential Skills:
1.  A commitment to the aims of Maggie's Centre, with evidence of further research about the Centre.
2.  A relevant academic background
Outputs:  A report, and a presentation poster.  Other outputs to be agreed with Maggie's.
Additional Information:
You should be willing to work in any location as required by Maggie's (Leeds, Dundee or London).
Please note: you will be competing against Laidlaw scholars from other universities within the scheme, and therefore these places are likely to be more competitive than other research options.  You will also be required to submit further information, and may be required to undertake an interview as part of an additional application process run by Maggie's.

47. Multi Academy Trusts (Durham University) - Two Summers

Supervisor: Chris Brown
Department: School of Education, Durham
Email: chris.brown@durham.ac.uk
Main Project Summary:
Professor Brown has been asked by the Laidlaw Foundation to run a series of research projects looking at different aspects of Multi Academy Trusts (MATs), with particular relevance to their MATs in the North East.
This is a two year project bringing together Laidlaw scholars from different universities.
Essential Skills:
1. Good attention to detail
2. An ability to motivate yourself without daily supervision

Scholar Project:
There are a number of topic areas in this project, and up to ten Laidlaw scholars from different universities will be working on different questions within the topic.
Details are given below of potential topic areas, and relevant questions.
You should concentrate on one topic area in your application, although please be aware that successful candidates will need to be flexible about which exact topic area they will research.
 

Topic area 1: Achieving effective home school relationships

Subtopic 1: home schooling
Year 1 question: What does it take to make home schooling effective?
Year 1 or Year 2 question: What support is required to help families engage in home learning effectively?
Year 2 question: Which strategies are most effective at enlisting parents to support literacy

Subtopic 2: connecting with hard to reach parents
Year 1 question: What are hard to reach parent’s views on school and schooling?
Year 2 question: How can we engage more effectively with hard to reach parents (including the role of peers/peer groups and communities)?
Year 2 question: what are the social networks of hard to reach parents – who are the opinion formers?

Subtopic 3: building effective networks that can aid learning
Year 1 question: What are the cultural and social capital networks of children and parents in disadvantaged households?
Year 2 question: What are the barriers and enablers to building broader cultural and social capital networks that can lead to improved family and student outcomes?

Subtopic 4: transition
Year 1 question: How can parents help with effective primary to secondary transition?

Topic area 2: MATs and the wider community

Subtopic 1: Area-based (and multi-service) approaches to enhancing children’s outcomes
Year 1 question: What are the needs of the wider communities (being served by Laidlaw Foundation MATs)? Which agencies do or might potentially address these needs?
Year 1 question: How can the MAT catalyse wider community service providers to support children improve their educational outcomes (barriers and enablers to working together effectively)?
Year 2 question: What is the role of other service-provider leaders in ensuring area based approaches can operate, sustain and deliver change?

Topic area 3: MAT networks, leadership and approaches to improvement

Subtopic 1: Network based approaches to school improvement
Year 1 question: How might Professional Learning Networks (PLNs) be used to improve teaching and learning across MAT schools?
Year 1 question: What is the role of school leadership in ensuring PLNS can operate, sustain and deliver change?
Year 2 question: What is the role of teachers as change agents in their schools?
Year 2 question: How do social networks operate within schools and which teachers are most influential?

Subtopic 2: Evidence-informed school improvement
Year 1 question: What is the view of MAT leaders and teachers on using research and data to improve teaching and learning? What are the barriers and what are the enablers?
Year 1 question: To what extent should MAT’s embrace a consistent approach to T&L and a standardised curriculum through their schools?
Year 2 question: How might approaches such as lesson study and joint practice development be used to generate continuous and evidence-informed approaches improvements in teaching and learning?
Year 2 question: How can we ascertain impact most effectively and use impact tools to ensure MAT schools are employing the most effective practices?

Topic area: 4: Digital Learning

Subtopic 1: Learning from home
Year 1 question: What are the digital lives of students? How might we use social media, and video games as a way of enhancing teaching and learning?
Year 1 question: How do we create a seamless blend of in-class and at-home learning?
Year 1 question: The relative merits of synchronous and asynchronous teaching

Subtopic 2: Digital Pedagogy
Year 1 question: How can the gamification of learning produce behaviour change?
Year 1 question:  What is the impact of AI on learning acquisition, differentiation and retention?
Year 1 question: Whose content delivers the best results? How do schools choose from third party content providers and teacher produced lessons?

Other topic areas for students to propose research on:

Mental health and well-being
Aspiration and careers
Values based assessment
Sport and nutrition

Additional Information:
You may be subject to additional applications tests or an interview by Durham if you are shortlisted by UCL.  You will be competing against applicants from the other universities which run the Laidlaw scheme for a place on this project so this project may be more competitive than UCL-based options.

Professor Brown's University Profile can be found here: https://www.dur.ac.uk/education/staff/profile/?id=18516

48. Biteback 2030 Charity

Biteback 2030 is a charity for young people who want to know the truth about how the food system is designed; how we can redesign it to put young people’s health first; and build a powerful alliance that will help make that redesign a reality.

At the heart of Bite Back 2030 is our Youth Board - a team of passionate teenage activists from across the UK who are campaigning for more opportunities to be healthy. 

The charity has a number of research opportunities.  For details of how to apply, please see below.  If you need an alternative format, please contact the UCL Laidlaw Programme.

Biteback contact: Sara Zarkovic
Email: sara.zarkovic@biteback2030.com

Application Procedure for Biteback Projects
  1. Read the attached information document (Word or PDF) located below.
  2. Submit your research proposal to Biteback, following the instructions in the document.
  3. If approved by Biteback, you will need to find a UCL supervisor who agrees to supervise this research project on behalf of UCL.
  4. Submit your UCL application form online before the deadline.  You may re-use information from your Biteback proposal document as appropriate.  You must state the name of your UCL supervisor within your UCL application form.
  5. Find an academic referee to submit a reference for you using the online reference form.
Project Information Documents
 

Project information (Word):

 


Project information (PDF):

 

49. Change the Code: Self Propose a Project

This organisation was set up with the aim of bridging the gender gap in STEM subjects.  More information is available in the document attached below.

Contact (for specific questions about Change the Code): changethecodehku@gmail.com

Application procedure for Change the Code Projects

1. Read the attached document (below) and decide on a research topic - using the proposed questions under the heading "How can the scholar assist" as a guide.
2. Find a UCL academic who agrees to supervise you on this project.
3. Complete the online application choosing the SELF-PROPOSED (not the Listed Project) option
4. You should state clearly in your application that the project relates to Change the Code.

As with all other projects, a separate academic reference must still be submitted.

Project Document