Three Swansea University researchers have won travel scholarships from The Worshipful Livery Company of Wales, which will allow them to further their research.
Caitlin Tanner is examining the experiences of deaf nurses, Jason Pitt is studying Type 1 diabetes, and Laura Hughes-Dowdle is researching wind energy and peatlands.
All three will now be able to advance their work, thanks to a total of £1500 of funding awarded by The Company following a competition open to Swansea University researchers who are in the early stages of their career.
Caitlin Tanner, a qualified intensive care staff nurse and now PhD researcher examining the experiences of deaf nurses in the UK, describes her work:
“As a bilaterally profoundly deaf PhD researcher and qualified nurse, my experience of the challenges deaf people face is unparalleled. There is limited evidence about the challenges that deaf nurses experience and what helps them continue to practice.
My work aims to support employment of deaf nurses within Wales and improve the quality of care for patients. For example, by retaining experienced nurses who may have developed age-related hearing loss, making them less likely to leave due to unimplemented support.
My Livery Company award enabled attendance at a ‘Deaf Academics Conference” in Vienna, which was a vital opportunity to connect and establish potential international partnerships with other deaf academics.”
Jason Pitt explains his research on the best way for people with type 1 diabetes to help manage their condition around exercise:
"Building upon an existing relationship between Swansea University and the Steno Diabetes Centre Copenhagen (SDCC), Denmark, my award will enable me to visit the SDCC. The SDCC is a centre where world-leading research is being conducted on new insulin therapy technology used by people with type 1 diabetes.
My visit would allow me to learn more about how this technology can be used around physical exercise and would open new networking and collaboration opportunities on our current project at Swansea University. Our aim, through collaboration, is to help provide further information on insulin use around exercise and help those with type 1 diabetes manage their condition."
Laura Hughes-Dowdle outlined how her research will help inform peatland restoration on a wind farm in South Wales:
“Peatlands are the most carbon-rich terrestrial ecosystem on the planet. However widespread forestry on peatlands during the last century has caused extensive peatland degradation, posing serious environmental concerns including biodiversity loss and carbon emissions.
Pen y Cymoedd is an upland peatland region which coexists as Vattenfall’s flagship wind farm. A large, multi-partnership restoration project is under way to restore afforested peatlands here. Our research applies novel geophysical methods to assess peatland hydrology and to better inform peatland restoration.
The Award has supported my attendance to an international conference in Croatia, focused on nature inclusive upscaling of wind energy."
The Worshipful Livery Company of Wales was founded in 1993 and one of its aims is to “promote education, science, technology and the arts in Wales”. This it achieves by helping young people throughout Wales to develop their talents and skills by means of an annual awards programme of scholarships and bursaries to students in schools, universities and technical colleges, as well as to apprentices and young people in the armed forces.
The Master of The Company, Major John Charles, in making these awards to Caitlin, Laura and Jason, said:
“One of The Company's aims is to encourage and support students to progress with a specific project. We raise funds through various charitable events and also by reaching out, not only to our Liverymen for financial support, but also to the wider community in Wales by inviting Welsh business circles, foundations and other organisations interested in promoting education, science, technology and the arts in Wales, to support our activities.
All of these exciting projects illustrate how such cutting-edge work can make a vital contribution to research in Wales. We are also delighted to be able to support Caitlin, Laura and Jason in taking forward their research projects.”