Chancellor (Platform) Fellowships

31 applications were received for the Chancellor (Platform) Fellowships 2018-19 Fund which had a deadline of 15 October 2018.  Short summaries of the fellowship projects of successful applicant are provided below (in alphabetical order of surname).

Nicola Aberdein

Lecturer in Anatomy and Physiology

At least 60% of our aging population will have at some point been, or currently still are, overweight/obese. The effect of increased body weight and circulating obesity hormones have been shown to impact bone health.  However, the mechanisms involved are still poorly understood.  This project will investigate the effects of the obesity hormone, leptin, on bone health.  The data collected will test the hypothesis that leptin, independent of bodyweight, is important for increasing bone volume and thickness and that these structural changes are due to the activity of the main bone remodelling cells: osteoblasts and osteoclasts.

Lise Autogena

Professor of Cross-Disciplinary Art

Lise Autogena is a Professor of Cross-Disciplinary Art at the Cultural Communication and Computing Research Institute (C3RI) at Sheffield Hallam University. She is a Fellow of The Arts Foundation and The National Endowment of Science, Technology and The Arts in the UK, and her work was recently nominated for the international COAL Art and Environment Prize 2018.  She is currently working with the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre on a series of collaborations exploring ways in which artists might impact new ideas on the European Commission’s science and policy work.

Alessandro Di Nuovo

Reader in Computational Intelligence and Robotics

This Fellowship combines Artificial Intelligence and Socially Assistive Robotics research to enhance healthcare and wellbeing services. It will develop two smart robotic applications for supporting doctors in the screening of cognitive disorders (e.g. dementia) and caregivers in personalising the activities of elderly people.  The objective is to demonstrate an innovative system that can assist both in mental and physical health, therefore accelerating the economic feasibility and improving the social impact.  Partners from academia (University of Manchester, Loughborough University, Nottingham Trent University), industry (IBM UK Ltd, NTH Ltd) and a charity (AgeUK Nottingham) will actively collaborate to the research and development.

Antonio Feteira

In order to meet an 80% reduction of CO2 emissions by 2050, it will be necessary to move away from the use of fossil fuels in transportation and in the generation of electricity. Electrification of transportation and electricity generation from clean renewable sources demand new multifunctional materials and devices able to efficiently harvest and store energy.  The research programme of this Chancellor’s Fellowship will be devoted to the fabrication of energy storage devices used in pulse power applications and to the investigation of materials able to continuously and simultaneously harvest multiple types of energy from the environment (vibrations, temperature gradients, etc).

Sarah Forbes

Lecturer in Biomedical Sciences

Catheter-associated urinary tract infections contribute considerably to patient morbidity and mortality and pose a substantial economic burden to the NHS. With an increasing prevalence of antibiotic resistance in the bacteria responsible for such infections, there has been significant interest in the development of anti-infective catheter coatings that avoid incorporating antibiotics.  One strategy is to use broad-spectrum antimicrobial biocides.  However, the long-term impact of biocide exposure in these bacteria is not understood.  This project aims to unravel the biological mechanisms that underpin how bacteria respond to biocide treatment, facilitating the development of a long-lasting anti-infective catheter coating to help prevent infection.

Simona Francese

Professor of Forensic and Bioanalytical Mass Spectrometry

Molecular fingerprinting, pioneered in Professor Francese, is based on the use of Mass Spectrometry to profile a suspect through the molecules detected in their fingerprints. Additionally, these revealing molecules can be visualised to reconstruct the fingerprint pattern for suspect identification.  Since 2016, the technology is being implemented in police casework.  This Fellowship will advance capabilities to increase the confidence and amount of information about a suspect that can be obtained as well as collaborating with the Home Office to update their recommendations to Crime Scene Investigators and crime labs on the operational use of the technology.

Andrew Johnston

Reader in the Economics of Innovation and Entrepreneurship

My research examines collaborative links between business and universities, in particular the factors that promote their development. In particular, my recent work has examined how the distance between partners may affect the formation of a collaborative link, as well as how small firms may judge the credibility of a university partner when entering into a partnership.  This Fellowship will allow me to consolidate this work through writing a monograph on collaborations between entrepreneurial firms with universities, particularly their formation, function and outcomes.

Thomas Ostler

Lecturer in Physics and Admissions Tutor for Physics

Magnetic materials are crucial elements in many technological devices and applications due to the fact that a robust magnetic order persists (a bar magnet doesn’t require energy to keep it magnetic). However, the magnet often has to be reversed, which is traditionally very slow and energy inefficient.  Electromagnetic radiation in the THz regime has the possibility to overcome these deficiencies and realise ultra-low-energy control of magnetic order, many orders of magnitudes faster than current methods.  This Fellowship will work with experimental partners to understand the physics of THz-induced magnetization dynamics with the ambitious aim of realising (almost) dissipation-less magnetic control.

Jake Phillips

Reader in Criminology

I am currently undertaking research on the important, but neglected, issue of people who die whilst under probation supervision. I focus on raising awareness of these deaths and working out ways of investigating them so that probation providers and other services can work to reduce them.  I also research the emotional labour of probation work to explore what probation is all about, how it affects probation practitioners in terms of burnout and stress and to develop policies which support probationers more effectively.  Finally, I am conducting research that explores the impact of inspection on probation policy and practice and how providers are governed and held to account.

Chris Sammon

Professor of Polymer Science

Sol-gel processing is a method for making solid materials, typically ceramics, from liquids. We have been working on a class of injectable soft materials, called hydrogels, for applications in regenerative medicine.  The hydrogels set at body temperature creating an ideal environment for cells to thrive and repair a range of tissue types.  This project aims to make use of a number of sol-gel manufacturing methods, such as 3D printing, to make hard scaffolds that will support our soft hydrogels for bone repair.  The final products could be used in a range of applications from gunshot trauma treatment to maxillofacial repair.

Katie Shearn


‘Whole –system’ approaches to support aspects of wellbeing involve different initiatives with the public, staff and organisational processes, towards the same goal. These approaches vary in their size and complexity.  There is currently no method supporting the systematic accumulation of knowledge about how, why and whether they work.  During this Fellowship, Katie will further develop an existing realist model of how change happens within ‘whole-system’ approaches. Katie will apply the model to three diverse case studies to test its underlying assumptions.  The refined model can be used to design and evaluate future efforts to support wellbeing via ‘whole-system’ approaches.

Kejun Wu

Lecturer in Chemical Engineering

Global demand for lithium, used in batteries for mobile phones and cars, is expected to triple in the next decade. Therefore, the commercialisation of low-cost and robust technology for lithium recovery, especially from seawater, is of vital importance to the UK’s Clean Growth Strategy.  The emergence of 3DP technologies enables creation of new types of units which can be imagined and combined and allows the users to transform and tweak units more easily and cost-effectively.  In the proposed research, lithium seawater recovery will be based on advanced sorbent materials and encapsulating extractants.  We will demonstrate that 3D printed millifluidic systems can be utilized with fluidic control and networked in a scalable manner to meet high throughout requirements.


Copy of the application form for reference purposes only

Due to receiving a number of valid questions we’ve set up an FAQs page relating to the Creating Knowledge Prospectus, the Internal Funding available and the application and approval process.

The 2018-2019 Creating Knowledge Implementation Plan – Research Investment Prospectus presents an overview of all the internal funding opportunities, including the Chancellor (Platform) Fellowships.