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Leverhulme Awards granted to University of St Andrews academics

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Three University of St Andrews academics have been granted Leverhulme Awards for research projects which include the development of new techniques to understand how medieval people used manuscripts.

Dr James Palmer of the School of History and Professor Kathryn Rudy of the School of Art History have been recognised with Major Research Fellowships in the latest round of awards from the Leverhulme Trust.

Dr Palmer’s project ‘Science and Belief in the Making of Early Medieval Europe’ and Professor Rudy’s ‘Measuring Medieval Users’ Responses to Manuscripts: New Technological Approaches’ have been awarded £165,353 and £174,784 respectively.

The use of medieval manuscripts

Professor Rudy will develop four techniques to investigate how medieval people used their manuscripts: pollen analysis, three-dimensional photography, parchment thickness analysis, and DNA analysis of stains.

Developing metric-based, machine-aided techniques – and applying existing techniques in new ways – she will answer humanities questions about how medieval people sourced materials, handled their books, travelled with them, and used them ritualistically.

Early medieval science

Dr Palmer aims to build on his previous research into apocalyptic traditions to write a new cultural history of early medieval science and medicine. He will look for lost and forgotten texts in manuscripts held in libraries around Europe to explore forgotten influences on early medieval Christendom.

Meanwhile, Dr Malte Gather of the School of Physics and Astronomy has been awarded a research project grant of £328,203 over 48 months for his project ‘Lighting up the Brain: Organic LEDs as Light Sources for Optogenetics’.

The Leverhulme Trust

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.

(image copyright University of St Andrews. From left to right: Dr James Palmer, Professor Kathryn Rudy and Dr Malte Gather)

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