The University of St Andrews in Scotland has received £1.5 million in funding from the Engineering Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to advance its research in the field of photonics. The grant will fund new projects that will coincide with the 2015 International Year of Light, including advanced studies of the mammalian brain, and investigations into the relationship between Antarctic krill and global warming.
The £1.5 million was awarded to members of the University’s Biomedical Science Research Complex, and will be used to demonstrate how photonics can benefit the fields of material sciences and biology.
‘This award is a testament to world-class advances in light beams made by St Andrews scientists over the years and reinforces our position as a truly international centre of excellence in this field,’ said new project leader Professor Kishan Dholakia of the School of Physics and Astronomy.
‘Importantly, this field has exceptional scope for fundamental concepts and will impact upon societal challenges in neuroscience, healthcare and climate change. The award is most timely with UNESCO declaring 2015 the International Year of Light; our award will allow us to play a pivotal role in various activities and initiatives enabled by this opportunity.’
The platform grant runs for five years and is specifically designed to explore not only new and speculative interdisciplinary research, but also provides the means to nurture the research stars of the future. Previous awards have led to research teams establishing successful careers as well as paving the way for major programme grant funding.
‘Light has always inspired fundamental research and enabled practical applications ranging from imaging the microscopic world to observing the cosmos. With this project we will go beyond traditional use of light, for example, by making it spin, twist and go behind corners to see and measure deeper, farther and better,’ explained Fellow St Andrews investigator Tom Brown.