Monday, May 29, 2023

University given £427,000 to help uncover the country’s past

Lincoln’s Bishop Grosseteste University has received a grant of more than £427,000 from the Arts and Humanities Research Council to invest in the university’s archaeology department.

The award was confirmed in a ministerial announcement by Science and Technology Secretary Chloe Smith. The grant is awarded to institutions that seek to upgrade facilities and enhance their capacity to contribute to the UK’s creative and cultural research economy.

BGU has used the grant to refurbish teaching rooms and the archaeology laboratory on campus. The university’s Old School House will now host the new open access Lincolnshire Culture Heritage Research Hub.

The funding has also enabled the purchase of state-of-the-art equipment to enhance the research capabilities of the department, including a 3D laser scanner and a drone fitted with a LIDAR sensor, which can produce high-resolution maps and 3D models of landscapes and historical buildings. Other new equipment such as a magnetometer and a ground penetrating radar allow archaeologists to “see” into the ground and identify what lies beneath without having to excavate.

The equipment will be used at the university’s upcoming archaeology field school, which will see excavation of the Haw Hill area of Swanpool in Lincoln, where significant archaeological findings are expected.

Dr Derwin Gregory, Archaeology Programme Leader at BGU said: “The AHRC grant has allowed us to significantly enhance our facilities and research capabilities, enabling us to provide our students with a first-class learning experience.

“The equipment purchased through this funding will also benefit the wider community of archaeology and history groups, who are encouraged to contact the department and arrange use of this sophisticated equipment for their own projects.”

The AHRC is the UK’s largest funder of research and postgraduate training in the arts and humanities. As part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), it provides funding and support to institutions in the UK. The funding programmes are designed to support research across the full range of arts and humanities subjects.

UKRI is investing £103 million to expand and upgrade the UK’s world class research infrastructure, including digital infrastructure. The investments will support the sector and ensure UK researchers have access to the best labs and equipment they need to keep producing world-class science.

UKRI International Champion Professor Christopher Smith, said: “The investments, made across the UK, will provide UK researchers with advanced equipment, facilities and technology, and help maintain the UK’s position as a leader in research and innovation.

“This support will ensure the UK is an attractive place for scientists, researchers and entrepreneurs to live, work and innovate.”

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