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Financial Statements 2011-12 13

also make a huge range of their work available through the University of Essex Research Repository, an online resource including more than 1,800 academic research papers.

Our research benefits individuals and society by directly engaging with current issues.

Understanding Society the biggest study of its kind in the UK is based at the Institute for Social and Economic Research (ISER). Data from the survey of nearly 40,000 households is available for researchers and the information gathered will greatly enhance public knowledge of what influences our careers; health and well-being, financial circumstances and personal relationships. The study will also capture biomedical data on 20,000 participants and place this alongside rich social histories, helping researchers weigh the extent to which people’s environment influences their health.

The UK Data Archive plays a central national role in the secure management of social and economic data to facilitate high quality research. Over the next five years the UK Data Archive will receive £15m of funding from the Economic and Social Research Council to establish the UK Data Service, the new flagship data infrastructure service. The UK Data Service will help ensure the UK social science community continues to produce world- class research.

Research having an impact on society includes the work of researchers at ISER who have discovered breastfeeding has a measurable positive impact on a child’s health, cognition and behaviour. They have held briefings with policymakers and are calling on the Government to recognise this fully in future policy development.

Philosophers at the School of Philosophy and Art History are continuing to research the issues surrounding personal autonomy and mental capacity as part of research funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). They are providing advice and training to frontline professionals, while also influencing policymakers and the interpretation of laws in this area.

The School of Biological Sciences has received grants totalling £800,000 from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council for projects exploring new ways of improving crop yields for both food and fuel. This will help alleviate the pressure on resources. Researchers are also taking part in ABSTRESS the Europe-wide project to speed up the development of drought resistant crops.

Essex is playing a leading role in the Network of Excellence in Internet Science funded by the European Commission. Principal investigator Dr Chris Marsden from the School of Law is leading joint research activities on standard setting and virtual communities. This work will lay the foundations for future technology development and help manage the potential social, economic and environmental impacts.

Gene variation thought to make people more vulnerable to depression and anxiety when times are bad also helps them benefit the most when times are good, according to a study by Professor Elaine Fox from the Department of Psychology. This will help the development of more appropriate therapies.

Awards recognising the high quality of the research and scholarship carried out at Essex received in 2011-12 included:

n Professor Nelson Fernandez from the School of Biological Sciences was awarded the Kiril Bratanov medal by the International Coordination Committee for Immunology of Reproduction for his contribution to the advancement of reproduction immunology.

n Professor Miriam Glucksmann from the Department of Sociology has become the eighth Essex academic to be named as an Academician of the Academy of Social Sciences.

n Professor Emil Kirchner from the Department of Government was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by the University Association for Contemporary European Studies (UACES).

n Dr Tom Quinn from the Department of Government won the Political Studies Association’s Richard Rose Prize for 2012. The prize is for young scholars who have made a distinctive contribution to the study of politics.

n Professor Paul Whiteley from the Department of Government was elected as a British Academy Fellow for his outstanding contribution to the social sciences.

n Essex PhD student John Wilson from the School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering won the IET Williams James Award 2011 for research which shows the greatest potential to contribute towards the development and improvement of the biomedical field for his work on advancing brain-computer interface systems for the disabled.

We are committed to the highest ethical and professional standards and have clear procedures in place for the governance of research to ensure the integrity of the work we undertake and protect our research reputation.

Increasing Access

We work to ensure all students with the potential to succeed, no matter what their background, have the opportunity to come to Essex and enjoy the benefits of studying at a university with an international reputation for research and a commitment to teaching excellence.

We admit students solely according to ability without reference to ethnic origin, class, religion, sexuality or any other characteristic. Our Access Agreement with the Office of Fair Access (OFFA) aims to ensure no student is deterred from applying due to financial hardship.

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