New fellowships awarded for research tackling UN Sustainable Development Goal issues

Research to improve the detection of landmines, as well as the way we approach environmental issues, are among the first ever research projects tackling global issues to be awarded funding through a new scheme.

Professors and senior lecturers at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) have secured these Global Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Fellowships, which focus on supporting the UN’s SDGs as adopted by all member states in 2015.


The awards grant funding from the university’s budget to allow research-active academics additional time away from lecturing outside of their work-load allowance hours to focus on this research.

Professor Rusi Jaspal, Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research at DMU, said: “I am delighted that there has been such keen interest in our newly created Global SDG Fellowships and that we have made 12 awards across the institution.

“This is testimony to the vitality, ambition and global character of research at De Montfort University.”

Research by each successful applicant, across all four faculties, will explore issues within at least one of the 17 SDGs set out by the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development which span from eradicating deprivation such as poverty and poor education to strategies tackling climate change.

Earlier this year De Montfort University was chosen by the UN to be a Global Hub for SDG 16, which revolves around creating peaceful and just societies with inclusive, accountable institutions, in recognition of its five-year strategic research plan (2018-2023).

The strategy highlights the university’s ambitions to have more than 60 per cent of academics actively researching, significantly increase the level of research and to rank within the top 400 internationally, by 2023.

In line with this, the new Global SDG Fellowship scheme encourages applicants to include an international element through overseas research or collaboration with a foreign institution to achieve an internationally-leading output.

The scheme will cover the travel and accommodation finances for the overseas research visits, as well as funding replacement lecturers to cover any classes needed.

Successful applicant Alistair Duffy, Professor of Electromagnetics and Associate Dean of Research and Innovation at DMU; is hoping to travel to Ukraine as part of his research into whether the data comparison method he helped develop has advantages over pre-existing landmine detection techniques.

He said: “I have some good colleagues out there working in this domain and Ukraine is a country that suffers badly from landmine injuries; so I am excited to be able to bring these things together and hope that we can contribute to moving the solutions forward.”

Dr Kate Wilkinson Cross, a senior lecturer in law at De Montfort University, is another successful applicants planning an overseas visit - as part of her research into ways of tackling environmental issues without relying on technology.

She said: “A lot of my work is based on ecofeminist theory and this tends to be based in Australia so I want to try and build links over there.

“I am over the moon about being selected – I have been here since 2016 and it’s really heart-warming to feel that my work is being recognised at such a high level at the university.”

Posted on Tuesday 20th August 2019

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