Currently funded projects

Project Co-creation Fund

STEER: Supporting Teaching staff to Enable children to build Emotional and behavioural Resilience

This project aims to improve outcomes for vulnerable children and their families, to learn more about the difficulties practitioners face and about how children’s needs may be better addressed. Professors Tamsin Ford and Brahm Norwich, in collaboration with the Incredible Years Corporation, Exeter Community Initiatives and the Stansfield Centre, will:

  • Build expertise among Family Support Workers  in the delivery of the Teacher Classroom Management (TCM) course developed by Carolyn Webster Stratton of Incredible Years;
  • Deliver TCM courses to Learning Support Assistants and develop a peer support network to enable the sharing of best practice;
  • Gain feedback from the Learning Support Assistants, Family Support Workers, children and parents about the course;
  • Evaluate the impact of attendance at the TCM course on children with whom the Learning Support Assistants work.

Research conducted by Dr Sam Vine and his colleagues has helped explain how individuals working in safety-critical industries and high-pressured environments respond to stress. This project seeks to explore the impact of pilot stress during flight (particularly during emergency incidents). Dr Vine is working in collaboration with Exeter-based airline Flybe, who are interested in the implications for their flight procedures, training and assessment.
The ESRC IAA is funding Dr Vine to:

  • Monitor a cohort of pilots to examine their reactions to heightened stress;
  • Develop bespoke measurement tools for Flybe to assess accurately and objectively the performance and state of mind of pilots during flight;
  • Develop multimedia resources that can be used by Flybe to train their pilots.

Antenatal anxiety is a common and disabling condition, and is associated with long-term negative outcomes for the infant, but there are currently no treatments available. Dr Heather O'Mahen's project seeks to embed a straightforward and sustainable treatment for anxiety during pregnancy into NHS healthcare pathways.

The ESRC IAA is funding Dr O'Mahen and her partners to conduct a trial that will provide a test of a new treatment pathway and its benefit. The researchers will also interview providers and participants to assess the acceptability of the intervention. The objective is to develop a treatment that will improve the mental health of mothers and their relationships with their partners, and reduce the potential impact of their anxiety on their developing baby.

Building on his ESRC IAA Impact Cultivation award, Professor Patrick Devine-Wright will work with EirGrid and other key stakeholders to develop a common understanding of the issues involved in redistributing the costs and benefits arising from power line siting for locally affected communities, exploring community acceptance, and assessing how the distribution of community funds is framed, governed, perceived and evaluated. The project is expected to produce findings that inform future policy and practice on community fund payment.

Working with the Nelson Mandela Foundation, the Institute of Security Studies, and Kathryn Smith of Stellenbosch University, Professor Brian Rappert will undertake focus group workshops to establish the content and design of an interactive exhibition about South Africa’s apartheid chemical and biological weapons programme. The exhibition will be housed at the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory and serve as a site for dialogues promoting transitional justice in South Africa and its neighbours. In particular, the research team will produce reports to inform and improve professional science conduct and the practices of those undertaking post-conflict memory work.

Dr Navonil Mustafee and Professor John Powell are working with Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust and the South Devon and Torbay Clinical Commissioning Group to develop a computer model which simulates the current urgent and emergency care system in South Devon & Torbay. The model will be a tool for senior decision to use to test and apply ‘what if’ scenarios modelling new approaches to improve the coordination of services between Accident and Emergency and Minor Injury Units. The modelling work will help in designing services and in predicting demand across the urgent care network.

This project builds on previous collaboration between Dr Claire Dunlop and the Health and Safety Executive researching health and safety ‘myths’. This project will develop sector-specific training resources, guidance and evaluation materials with which the HSE can inform and reform practice in three key policy sectors where health and safety myths dominate, and evaluate how the different ways of constructing and communicating health and safety messages affects perceptions of those messages among key audiences. The results will enable the HSE to reframe how it communicates its message on myths to key groups.

Research carried out by a team led by Dr Ben Wheeler has demonstrated links between different types and qualities of natural environments and health and wellbeing. The team is working with Cornwall Council to inform Council policy, activities and decision-making on the provision and management of public open space to support both biodiversity and human health and wellbeing. The team will also work with the Council to develop public engagement on public open space decision-making.

Building on his Impact Cultivation award, Professor Philip Stern is working with the Crown Commercial Service (CCS), an executive agency of the Cabinet Office responsible for providing commercial services to the public sector and improving government commercial and procurement activity. The project will analyse and aim to improve the CCS procurement process, to help meet the target of 33% of central government contracts awarded to Small and Medium Sized Enterprises by 2020.

There is currently little guidance concerning the ethics of genetic research in the NHS. Professor Susan Kelly is working with clinical partners to co-develop guidance and training materials (both online and face to face) to improve processes and regulation of genetic research within the NHS, with a particular focus on consent processes. The materials produced by the project will feed into the online NIHR clinical trial toolkit for researchers.

This project, led by Dr Rachel Turner, aims to identify barriers to fishers’ access to healthcare services and to work to improve that access through better targeting and acceptability of health and wellbeing outreach initiatives. Working with fishing communities in Cornwall and with the Fishermen’ Mission, Cornwall Inshore Fisheries & Conservation Authority and Public Health Cornwall, the researchers hope to develop a model of best practice that can be applied elsewhere.

Science Play Park: Encouraging scientific conversations between young girls and their female caregivers

Women remain under-represented in science in general and physics in particular. A multi-disciplinary team, led by Dr Thekla Morgenroth, is working with the company Science Play to develop physics-enhanced playground equipment. ESRC IAA funding will enable the team, which has members from the departments of psychology, physics, and drama, to take this equipment to West-Country seaside villages to engage primarily with female caregivers of toddler and primary-school-aged girls. This creative approach will introduce the girls and their caregivers to the physics principles behind their play in a playful, story-based manner. The objective is that as female caregivers show more confidence in their physics knowledge and more enjoyment of physics-related activities, girls in their care will adopt similar attitudes towards physics, which will no longer be seen as being 'just for boys'.

Dr Ana Beduschi and Dr Nick Gill will work with Save the Children and the Network of Children’s Rights to organise a workshop for civil servants, legal practitioners and NGO and charity workers, to share and discuss research findings in the field of human rights, reception and detention of migrants in Europe. Through these discussions they aim to develop and enhance strategic relationships with major NGOs and legal practitioners working on the protection of migrant children and to inform practical approaches to the current refugee crisis.

Dr Katharine Boyd and Dr Hannah Farrimond work as part of a team with Devon and Cornwall Police to develop evidence-based policing. The #RU2Drunk breathalyser scheme encourages licensed premises to monitor drunkenness and make decisions on whether to allow entry, with the ultimate goals of reducing alcohol-related violence and increase perceptions of public safety. The scheme is being extended, and this project will evaluate the scheme, to test whether it achieves those aims and should therefore be rolled out across the region.

Dr Celia Morgan is working with EDP (Drug Services) in Exeter to develop and pilot a novel group therapy with drug service users and service providers. The therapy will be tested in three different settings in Devon where high densities of long-term prescribed heroin users are located. The ESRC IAA funds will also allow the project to run a consultation on the development of a compassionate drug service delivery model.