Three international research projects led by University of the West of Scotland (UWS) academics have received prestigious funding awards.

The projects, which will each receive from Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE) Saltire International Collaboration Awards, will see close collaboration between UWS and three world-renowned European research institutions – GSI laboratory in Germany; CSIC in Madrid; and the Université Paris-Saclay in France.

Professor Milan Radosavljevic, Vice-Principal of Research, Innovation & Engagement at UWS said: “This recent funding is testament to the world-leading research expertise that UWS proudly holds within each of its schools. Our academics work tirelessly to find solutions to real-world problems and the awards highlight the significance that each of these projects is expected to have in terms of societal impact.”

The RSE award provides up to £6,000 per year to significant research projects, awarding up to a maximum of £12,000 over two years.

The awards are assessed on a range of factors including the feasibility of the study, the outputs proposed and the likely impact of the research. The purpose of the award is to help facilitate international collaboration between researchers in Scotland with researchers in the EU.

UWS lecturer Dr David O’Donnell is leading a project in collaboration with Dr Akash Banerjee, based at the GSI laboratory in Germany, to study atomic nuclei produced when massive stars reach the end of their lives, or in collisions between two neutron stars. The UWS-led project will enhance essential equipment used in such studies– paving the way for larger future projects.

A project led by Dr Nara Singh Bondili, UWS lecturer in nuclear physics, along with Professor Olof Tengblad from the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) in Madrid, aims to underpin UWS’s programme of nuclear astrophysical reaction rate measurements. The first set of measurements will provide data of nuclear reactions that govern chemical evolution of the Universe, potentially leading to future programmes at TRIUMF – Canada’s particle accelerator centre – and the CERN facility near Geneva.

UWS lecturer Dr Paul Keir is leading a two-year project in collaboration with Dr Joel Falcou at the Université Paris-Saclay. The aim of this project is to research and develop software tools which enable businesses to gain competitive security and performance advantages.