The University of Stirling is set to contribute to the understanding of, and response to, the COVID-19 pandemic and its impacts, with three new research projects.
The research studies, all led by academics from Stirling’s Faculty of Social Sciences, have been funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), which has invested more than £400m in new research and innovation which tackles COVID-19 and its impacts on business, the economy and society.
Dr Richard Simmons has secured £476,113 to launch a 15-month project, ‘Optimising Procurement Outcomes for COVID-19 and Beyond: Lessons from the Crisis’, with support from colleagues at the Universities of Oxford, Cardiff and Northumbria. The expert academic team will provide a detailed analysis of local authority procurement practice and performance, marking out critical success factors and points of failure across the whole system, while considering variations in local authorities with different characteristics.
Professor Fiona Copland is leading one of three new projects into COVID-19 and its impact.
Professor Fiona Copland is the Principal Investigator of ‘Supporting separated migrant children to thrive during COVID-19’, a project awarded £192,000 to examine how the pandemic has impacted on young people’s connectivity to networks and services. Working alongside Stirling colleagues Dr Maria Fotopoulou, Dr Maggie Grant and Dr Paul Rigby, the team will deliver an arts-based intervention to support English language development.
Professor of Social Statistics, Alasdair Rutherford, is part of a UK-wide team who will explore the volunteering response in each of the UK’s four nations during COVID-19. ‘Mobilising Voluntary Action in the four UK jurisdictions: Learning from today, prepared for tomorrow’ has received funding of almost £420,000 and is a partnership between six universities and representatives from volunteer organisations, including the four key voluntary sector infrastructure bodies for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Professor Copland, who is also the Faculty’s Associate Dean for Research, said: “Stirling’s social scientists are well-equipped to explore the wider impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and their insights will have a big impact not only in Scotland, but across the world.
“The Faculty’s success in securing this funding is further acknowledgment that our experts are at the forefront of their fields.”