On 6th May 2020, the Scottish Government announced a ‘£75 million boost for Scottish university research’ to contribute to the mitigation of effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Scottish university research base. This recognised the wide range of impacts to both the income and activity of university research in the short, medium and longer term. The Scottish Funding Council then announced the allocation of this funding to the Scottish universities on 12th June, and in recent months each institution has considered the best use this investment to meet the objectives of:
- Protecting excellent, world-leading research
- Concentrating fully on planning the long-term future
- Focussing more effort on the high priority research needed to fight the outbreak and to support society and the economy
- Supporting PhD students whose studies have been impacted by the pandemic
At Edinburgh Napier University some of this additional funding has been allocated to support new research projects. Amongst these are two pieces of work to be led by colleagues in the Centre for Social Informatics.
- Dr Gemma Webster will be the Principal Investigator on a project on information professionals and volunteers in ‘digital proxy’ roles. Working on the project with Gemma will be Dr David Brazier, Peter Cruickshank, and Dr Bruce Ryan. This builds on other research completed within our research group, notably that which Peter Cruickshank recently presented at ISIC2020.
- Dr David Haynes will lead a project on the risks and vulnerabilities of homeworking. Assisting David on the project as a Research Assistant will be PhD student Rachel Salzano. This funding gives David an opportunity to explore further some of the themes reported in his PhD thesis (2015), and considered during his Royal Academy of Engineering Fellowship (2017-2019), in the context of the pandemic.