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Two Leverhulme awards made to St Andrews

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

Professor Derek Duncan of the School of Modern Languages and Dr Allan Watson of the School of Chemistry have been recognised with Research Fellowships from the Leverhulme Trust.

Professor Derek Duncan
Professor Derek Duncan

Professor Duncan has been awarded a Major Research Fellowship of £114,022 for a project called ‘Loose ends: minor transnational Italian cultures’.

His project will focus on the cultural presence of Italians in four cities: Edinburgh, Hamburg, Adelaide and New Orleans. The cities were chosen for having a significant but not overwhelming Italian presence, unlike more obvious choices such as Toronto or New York.

The project builds on previous work by Professor Duncan on migration to Italy, looking at the cultural effects of Italian emigration and maps a model of Italian culture which doesn’t have Italy itself as its defining term.

Professor Duncan said: “The Italian culture I identify emerges from the combination of local and global interconnectedness.

“The starting point of ‘Loose ends’ is the work of the Scots Italian sculptor and pop artist Eduardo Paolozzi and his interest in cultural and industrial debris, but particularly his use of collage as a way of visualising connections between people and things.”

Dr Allan Watson
Dr Allan Watson

Dr Allan Watson of the School of Chemistry has been awarded a research project grant of £144,421 over 24 months for his project ‘Must reductive elimination be the product determining event?’.

Dr Watson’s project aims to challenge how fundamental concepts are used in catalysis, and manipulate them to allow access to reactive molecules that could be used in drug discovery.

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, distributing approximately £80m a year.


Issued by the University of St Andrews Communications Office.

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