Leverhulme grants for four academics

Thursday 16 June 2022
Dr Kate Cowcher, Dr Oliver Hazzard and Professor Allan Watson

Four research grants have been awarded to academics at the University of St Andrews by a major national funding body.

Dr Kate Cowcher, School of Art History; Dr Oliver Hazzard, School of English; Dr van der Lugt, School of Philosophical, Anthropological and Film Studies; and Professor Allan Watson, School of Chemistry have been recognised with Research Fellowships from the Leverhulme Trust.

Dr Cowcher, Co-Director for the Centre of Contemporary Art at the University, received £29,299 for a six-month fellowship that will support the writing of her first book, Beyond the Feudal Fog: Art and Revolution in Ethiopia. The book examines the role of art, heritage and visual culture in the 1974 Ethiopian revolution, and the years that followed. It examines the fates of art and of artists in the midst of both Ethiopia’s Marxist-Leninist military dictatorship, and the expanded context of the late Cold War.

Dr Cowcher said: “I am grateful for Leverhulme support to push this project towards completion. It provides the opportunity to further my research into some of Ethiopia’s most important modern and contemporary artists, from Gebre Kristos Desta to Wosene Worke Kosrof. Beyond the Feudal Fog will be the first book-length study of art in the Ethiopian revolution and will, I hope, contribute to growing conversations about the complex cultural dynamics of the global Cold War.”

Dr Oliver Hazzard, author of two books of poems, Between Two Windows and Blotter, received an award of £57,300 which will fund the writing of a new book of poems entitled Sleepers Awake.

He said: “I’m really happy to have been given this fellowship, which will give me a period of free time to work on this book. It will explore the relationship between poetry and different time frames – of individual lives, of climate change, of pandemic. I’m very grateful for the support of the Leverhulme Trust.”

 Meanwhile, Dr Mara van der Lugt was awarded a research fellowship of £52,284 for a project called ‘The Value of Nature in the History of Philosophy’.

Dr van der Lugt said: “The project addresses the question of whether nature, aside from the value it has for humans, also has value in and of itself and how philosophers have answered this question in changing ways in the history of Western philosophy. 

“While there has been much development in the area of animal ethics, philosophers still struggle to justify an ‘intrinsic value of nature’. I will argue that it was precisely early modern philosophers’ newfound interest in the moral status of animals that caused philosophy to turn away from the non-sentient natural world.”

Professor Allan Watson received £60,000 to fund a project entitled ‘A biochemical boron tagging strategy for biomolecule visualisation and profiling’. The ‘tagging’ of biomolecules, such as proteins or DNA, is essential for the understanding and manipulation of biomolecular processes. The impact of biomolecule tagging can be seen in our understanding and control of disease. This interdisciplinary project seeks to develop a new biomolecule tagging strategy by merging enzyme-mediated tagging with organoboron chemistry.

He said: “I am absolutely delighted to have been awarded this Fellowship from the Leverhulme Trust. This funding will allow our group to develop an exciting new area of research that has significant promise for developing new understanding of biological processes. I am enormously grateful to the Trust for this support.”

The Leverhulme Trust was established by the Will of William Hesketh Lever, the founder of Lever Brothers. Since 1925 the Trust has provided grants and scholarships for research and education. Today, it is one of the largest all-subject providers of research funding in the UK.

Issued by the University of St Andrews Communications Office.

Category Awards

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