The RSE has announced funding for 93 research projects, across a broad range of sectors

Around half of the recipients will benefit from the RSE Saltire Early Career Fellowship specifically for early career researchers.

The funded research includes efforts to tackle chemotherapy-resistant cancer and exploring the creativity gay men use to negotiate and reflect on HIV.

The Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE) has today announced £1,800,000 in grants, funded by the Scottish Government, through the RSE Saltire Research Awards. With a focus on the next generation of researchers, many awards will be received by ‘early career researchers’ (an individual who is within seven years of the award of their PhD or equivalent professional training), which will bring fresh ideas and new perspectives into the established research arena.

With funding granted averaging £19,000, awardees have been selected from a range of sectors including science, art, humanities, social science and a proportion with a multidisciplinary focus. The research projects also span across a number of countries, supporting Scotland-Europe research collaboration.

Women with long brown hair
Marielle Péré, University of Edinburgh

Marielle Péré from the University of Edinburgh is one of the 19 PhD students to receive an RSE Saltire Early Career Fellowship. Her work on developing artificial intelligence prediction methods will help combat a central challenge in the fight against chemotherapy-resistant cancers. The ability to predict resistance is a missing step in precision cancer diagnosis and treatment. Using a data-driven approach her research will draw on machine learning and modelling methods to contribute to increasing our predictive power when shaping cancer treatments.

Responding to receiving an award Marielle Péré said: “This award is a huge step for my career and a very strong sign of the RSE’s commitment to support multidisciplinary research. In my project I will use cutting edge AI methods to understand why tumours become resistant to chemotherapy, and a step towards a new strategy for personalized cancer therapy that we hope to move into the clinic soon. I am very excited to join Diego Oyarzun and his team at the University of Edinburgh.”

A bald man wearing blue glass
James Garcia Iglesias, University of Edinburgh

James Garcia Iglesias is one of 25 early career researchers to receive an RSE Saltire Early Career Fellowship. His research will be carried out at the University of Edinburgh and in collaboration with the Department of English, French and German in the University of Oviedo in Spain. His research project will examine the way gay men use anonymous online platforms as a creative way to discuss sexual health and HIV. By analysing their use, he hopes to understand the role these spaces play in how the men negotiate, reflect, and share experiences. This research will help inform the ways public health information is shared and create better understanding of men’s sexual health issues.

Responding to receiving an award James Garcia Iglesias: “This grant means I will be able to work with the best academics from Europe exploring how online creativity influences sexual health. It gives me a chance to spend three months gathering evidence to support health promotion and share it internationally. As an early career researcher, this is a unique opportunity to build international research and establish links between Scotland and the world.”

Professor Charles W. J. Withers FBA FRSE FAcSS, Research Awards Convener, Royal Society of Edinburgh said: “The RSE/Scottish Funding Council/Scottish Government Saltire Awards scheme has been tremendously successful. Collaboration across institutions, sectors, and geographical borders is the bedrock of high quality and impactful research. It is highly encouraging to see the diverse range of topics that the RSE Saltire Awards programme is facilitating and the number and range of collaborations between Scottish and EU-based researchers being nurtured. The research will deliver significant benefits in and across Scotland and across Europe: from artificial intelligence prediction to overcoming chemotherapy resistance in cancer to beyond 5G wireless connectivity, and much else besides. Many congratulations to all awardees.”

In addition, the funding awarded has a strong international element with more than 20 countries represented across funded collaborations. The effort helps to maintain the strong exchange of knowledge between Scotland and Europe, with that aim central to the Saltire International Collaboration Award. The collaborations with other countries include Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, France and Germany.

A woman smiling for the camera
Dr Deirdre Harrington, University of Strathclyde

Dr Deirdre Harrington of the University of Strathclyde is one scholar whose research is set to lead the way on child obesity – which affected 39 million children under five globally in 2020. Dr Harrington received the RSE Saltire International Collaboration Award for her project aimed at creating the first globally agreed set of standards to measure school-based prevention of childhood obesity. Such a tool, with the support of a broad consensus, would allow international efforts to be focused on measuring and reporting far more effectively against one single standard.

In response to receiving the award, Dr Harrington said: “Receiving this RSE Saltire International Collaboration Award shows the commitment of the RSE to fostering relationships between Scotland and our colleagues in Europe. As an academic new to Scotland, this means a lot to me professionally and personally.”

Welcoming the funding, Jamie Hepburn MSP, Minister for Higher Education and Further Education, Youth Employment and Training, said: “The scope and quality of the successful projects is truly inspiring. These awards will support early career researchers and provide networking opportunities across all career stages at a time options have been limited.”

“Assisting Scottish and other European researchers to build their partnerships and strengthen their collaboration across all disciplines and will facilitate access to future funding through prestigious programmes such as Horizon Europe.”

The Saltire Research Awards for Scottish and European research are funded by the Scottish Government. The £3 million of funding was announced in June 2021 and delivered by the Scottish Funding Council and the Royal Society of Edinburgh. A portfolio of schemes under the Saltire Research Awards brand supports new and existing activity with 30+ countries (Including EU member states/EEA/EFTA countries).


The full list of 2021 RSE Saltire Research Awards is as follows.

RSE Saltire Early Career Fellowships:

  • María Algueró-Muñiz, University of Glasgow/The Arctic University of Norway (UiT)
    Biomonitoring planktonic threats in salmon aquaculture: eDNA metabarcoding analyses
  • Kristin Bjorg Arnardottir, University of St Andrews/Technical University of Denmark
    Modelling strong matter-light coupling with realistic quantum emitters: Exploring the Polariton-Polaron crossover
  • Rebecca Collins, Edinburgh College of Art/Instituto de Física Teórica
    Parameters for Understanding Uncertainty: Creative Practice and Sonic Detection as Strategies for Scientific Outreach (P4UU)
  • James Devaney, University of Glasgow/Freie Universität Berlin
    Whither the Law of State Succession? Imagining a More Useful Future for International Law
  • Amy Findlay, University of Edinburgh/University of Tuebingen
    Specialised Phenotype training and collaborative project building for myopia research
  • David Fisher, University of Aberdeen/Aarhus University
    Multidimensional responses to parasite and pathogen pressure in social spiders
  • Jaime Garcia Iglesias, University of Edinburgh/University of Oviedo
    Sexual health through online creativity: an interdisciplinary project
  • Benjamin Giblin, University of Edinburgh/la Universitat de Barcelona
    Shining Light in the Dark: Enhancing Insights into the Dark Universe with Gravitational Lensing and Machine Leaning
  • Anastasios Hadjisolomou, University of Strathclyde/Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca
    Exploring customer service and customer abuse in Italian luxury-fashion retail post-pandemic: Informing practice for decent work
  • Hadi Heidari, University of Glasgow/International Nanotechnology Laboratory (INL) Portugal
    MAGMA: MAGnetic bioensing Microsystems for Augmentation
  • Matthew Kerry, University of Stirling/University of Granada
    Sound And The Making Of Mass Politics In Spain, 1898-1923
  • Corentin Loron, University of Liege/University of Edinburgh
    Resolving the cryptic early fossil record of Fungi
  • Fiona Macfarlane, University of St Andrews/Politecnico di Torino
    Multiscale mathematical modelling of spatial eco-evolutionary cancer dynamics
  • Andrew McDiarmid, University of Dundee/University College Dublin
    Urban Development, Temperance, and Funerals: A study of the Tontine in Ireland, 1750-1850
  • Nathan Moynihan, University of Edinburgh/University of Dublin
    Scattering Amplitudes, Gravity and the Celestial Sphere
  • Stephanie O’Rourke, University of St Andrews/University College Cork
    Picturing Landscape Histories, Past and Present
  • Ioannis Pisokas, University of Edinburgh/University of Zurich and ETH Zurich
    Neuromorphic hardware design with local memory for controlling robots
  • Joshua Ratcliffe, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences/University of the Highlands and Islands
    A natural experiment investigating nutrient inputs from fire, volcanic ash and conifer pollen as drivers of peat carbon dynamics
  • Baptiste Ravina, University of Glasgow/CERN laboratory in Geneva, Switzerland – the European Organisation for Nuclear Research
    Observing ttZ spin correlations at the LHC
  • Elsa Richardson, University of Strathclyde/Max Planck Institute
    The Emotional Stomach: A Historical Approach to the Gut-Brain Axis
  • Matias Ruiz, University of Edinburgh/Ecole Nationale Sup´erieure de Techniques Avanc´ees
    Plasmonic resonances in self-similar geometries
  • Giacomo Savani, University College Dublin/University of St Andrews
    Women and the Baths: Ancient Medicine, Pleasure, and The Female Body in Renaissance Italy
  • Craig Smeaton, University of St Andrews/Alfred Wegener Institute
    Transport, Turnover and Storage of Carbon in Fjordic Environments.
  • Andrew Spencer, University of Glasgow/Maastricht University
    Commissioning for the ET Pathfinder cryogenic gravitational wave detector prototype
  • Madalina Toca, KU Leuven/University of Edinburgh
  • Self-Fashioning and Networks in Late-Antique Epistolary Corpora

RSE Saltire Early Career Fellowships (PhD):

  • Mary Abed Al Ahad, University of St Andrews/Max Planck institute
    The spatial-temporal effect of air pollution on hospital admission and GP visits by ethnicity in the UK
  • Callum Adams, University of St Andrews/Max Planck Institute
    Carbon Dots as an Enabling Technology in Sustainable Strategies for Contemporary Photocatalysis
  • Salvador Barranco Cárceles, University of Edinburgh/Institute of Technology of the University of Tartu (TUIT)
    Improving Our Understanding of Thermal Failure Mechanisms in Field Emitter Tips
  • Philipp Boder, University of Glasgow/Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia
    Kidney Organoids as a Model System for Studying the Molecular Mechanisms of Uromodulin Trafficking with Salt Stress in Hypertens
  • Esme Bullock, University of Edinburgh/Università degli Studi di Torino
    STAT3 as a therapeutic target in breast cancer
  • Jennifer Colbourne, University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna/University of St Andrews
    Preparing for the Near Future: Responses to Mutually Exclusive Possibilities in Nonhuman Animals
  • Lina González Gordon, University of Edinburgh/(Laboratoire de Biométrie et Biologie Évolutive, LBBE)
    A Bayesian spatial-temporal analysis of risk factors associated with foot-and-mouth disease outbreaks in Uganda
  • Fatma Ibrahim, Glasgow Caledonian University/Montpellier Business School
    Income Enhancement Services for refugee women in Scotland
  • Ismael Maazaz, University of Edinburgh/CNRS and University of Lyon
    A comparative analysis of water supply schemes in Central African cities
  • Yasmeen Essam Abdrabou Mahmoud, Bundeswehr University Munich/University of Glasgow
    There is more to gaze data than fixations and saccades: Supporting Users in Privacy Decision For Gaze Data
  • Andreas Makris, University of St Andrews/University of Bologna
    Becoming-digital: Logistical media, territorial mutations and the production of information space in the port of Piraeus, Greece
  • Cristina Moreno Lozano, University of Edinburgh/University of Seville
    Optimizing antibiotics: an ethnography of antibiotic optimisation interventions, medical work and resistant microbes in a Spanis
  • Aziz Ozturk, University of Edinburgh/University of Hamburg
    Authority of Company Directors to Adopt Anti-takeover Defences in Turkish Law with a Comparative Analysis of German Takeover Law
  • Marielle Péré, INRIA Sophia-Antipolis Méditerranée 2-IRCAN/University of Edinburgh
    Artificial Intelligence prediction methods for overcoming chemotherapy resistance in cancer
  • Frederika Phipps, University of Edinburgh/The Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias
    Globular Clusters in Cosmological Simulations: Evolution Beyond Formation
  • Vivien Shek, University of Dundee/Leiden University
    Identification of schistosome-derived immunomodulatory proteins.
  • Connor Smieja, University of Edinburgh/ETH Zurich – Swiss Federal Institute of Technology
    Design and synthesis of cyclic peptide inhibitors of c-di-GMP with high affinity and potent antibacterial activity
  • Sharonne Specker, University of St Andrews/Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts
    Creative engagement with place, heritage, and citizenship among folk musicians in Switzerland
  • Benedicta Yi Xin Lin, University of Edinburgh/University of Pau and Pays de I’Adour
    Unlocking the Hydromechanical Properties of Turf Material

RSE Saltire Facilitation Network Awards

  • Alison Beach, University of St Andrews/University of St Andrews
    From Text to Teeth: An Integrative Study of the Nuns of Santa Maria della Stella
  • Anne Bernassau, Heriot Watt University
    Patient centric health and care
  • Richard Blythe, University of Edinburgh
    Statistical mechanical theories of emergence in biological systems
  • Megan Davey, University of Edinburgh
    Edinburgh Gallus Genome and Embryonic Development Workshops (EGGED Workshops)
  • Anne-Maree Farell, University of Edinburgh
    When Borders Change: Public Health, Trade and the Role of Law in the UK and Ireland
  • Catherine Jones, University of St Andrews
    ‘Worse Things Happen at Sea’: The Governance & Security of the Ocean.
  • Christian Keitel, University of Stirling
    The world inside our brain: How rhythmic brain activity reflects perception and representation of the environment
  • K H Aaron Lau, University of Strathclyde
    European Network on Nature-Inspired Materials
  • Malcolm Macleod, University of Edinburgh
    Establishing a European Research Improvement Network to facilitate Horizon Europe funding applications
  • Xuerong Mao, University of Strathclyde
    Stochastic Differential Equations: Theory, Numerics and Applications
  • Simon McCabe, University of Stirling
    Establishing the UK/Irish Behavioural Science Network
  • Phillips O’Brien, University of St Andrews
    Linking Scotland to EU International Relations Think Tanks
  • Edoardo Patelli, University of Strathclyde
    Intelligent computational methods for sustainable and resilient infrastructure
  • Bjorn Ross, University of Edinburgh
    Novel Evaluation Approaches for Abuse Detection
  • Katarina Trimmings, University of Aberdeen
    Protection of international families with links to the European Union post-Brexit: Collaborative Scotland-EU partnership
  • Stefanie Van de Peer, Queen Margaret University
    Feminist Film Heritage: Emancipating the World’s Film Archives
  • Niki Vermeulen, University of Edinburgh
    Geographies of scientific collaboration (GEOCOLLAB)

RSE Saltire Facilitation Workshop Awards:

  • Raphaele Xenidis, University of Edinburgh
    EqualGo: a toolkit to improve the enforcement of EU non-discrimination law
  • Kirstin Anderson, University of the West of Scotland
    Music and Communication for Mothers and Young Children in Prison
  • Maria Grazia De Angelis, University of Edinburgh
    SusMeDia-Engineering membrane adsorbers for sustainable dialysis
  • Rebecca Finkel, Queen Margaret University
    Place-Specific Approaches to Sustainable Prosperity in the Arts & Cultural Sector
  • Michela Massimi, University of Edinburgh
    Scientific knowledge across jurisdictions. Traceability, access and benefit sharing (ABS), scientific policy
  • Melanie Ramdarshan Bold, University of Glasgow
    Inclusive youth literature in Scottish and German primary classrooms: a PAR approach to reading for pleasure
  • Jie Yuan, University of Strathclyde
    UNYFI: multiscale Uncertainty quantification for Nonlinear dYnamic systems with Friction Interfaces

RSE Saltire International Collaboration Awards

  • George Baillie, University of Glasgow
    Investigating the role of PDE4 activation in Alzheimer’s disease
  • S Nara Singh Bondili, University of the West of Scotland
    New investigations of nuclear astrophysics using gamma-ray spectroscopy
  • Jochen Bruckbauer, University of Strathclyde
    Improving resolution and sensitivity for crystallographic analysis in the scanning electron microscope
  • Matteo Ciantia, University of Dundee
    Multiscale modelling of multidirectional cyclic behaviour of ORE anchoring systems
  • Scott Cockroft, University of Edinburgh
    Transmembrane Molecular Pumps
  • Peter Doerner, University of Edinburgh
    Exploiting plant source-sink relations to explore molecular movement in plants
  • Enric Grustan Gutierrez, University of Glasgow
    Polymers Deposition by Electroatomisation for Energy Storage Systems
  • Deirdre Harrington, University of Strathclyde
    Development of a Core Outcome Set for school-based childhood obesity interventions: an international consensus study
  • Jiabin Jia, University of Edinburgh
    Wireless Channel Engineering for beyond-5G wireless connectivity
  • Paul Kier, University of the West of Scotland
    Source code transformation for security and performance
  • Shaun Killen, University of Glasgow
    Effects of multiple anthropogenic stressors on metabolism and settlement choice in juvenile symbiont coral reef fish
  • Dorien Kimenai, University of Edinburgh
    Sex and the diagnosis and treatment of Acute Myocardial Infarction (Sex-AMI)
  • K H Aaron Lau, University of Strathclyde
    An Experimental-CompAn Experimental-Computational Co-Investigation of Peptoid Liquid-Liquid Phase Transition
  • Gail McConnell, University of Strathclyde
    A deep view into the parasite-transmitting tsetse fly
  • Sean McMahon, University of Edinburgh
    Pseudofossils on early Earth and Mars: experimental insights
  • Fabio Nudelman, University of Edinburgh
    Structural and mechanical adaptation of Lingulla anatina shells: from material characterization to application
  • David O’Donnell, University of the West of Scotland
    A Compton-suppression system for the FATIMA gamma-ray detector array at FAIR
  • James Rae, University of St Andrews
    New analytical capabilities for understanding CO2 change and biomineral formation
  • Diego Robledo, University of Edinburgh
    Understanding the role of the olfactory organ in fish reproduction: applications to aquaculture production
  • Andrea Schito, University of Aberdeen
    Modelling dispersed organic matter maturation and degassing during contact metamorphism and implication for the carbon cycle
  • Ulrich Schmiedel, University of Edinburgh
    Welcoming the Stranger: Resources for a European Multi-Faith Ethics of Migration
  • Michael Schweizer, Heriot Watt University
    TOR (target of rapamycin): a link between signalling and PRPP metabolism
  • Lina Stankovic, University of Strathclyde
    Near real-time AI-based spatio-temporal analysis of large seismic data sets for illuminating slope instabilities (SPORAL)
  • Nicole Tausch, University of St Andrews
    Affective polarization in the contexts of the Scottish and Catalan independence movements: A comparative longitudinal study
  • Guangliang Yang, University of Glasgow
    Cosmic ray muon imaging of reinforced concrete structures with a mobile detector