Short items

The RSC has secured ?3.6 million from the Higher Education Funding Council for England for the pilot phase of its Chemistry for our future initiative, to build on current RSC initiatives to address chemistry provision in UK universities. The project has four strands: raising aspirations; the transition from school to university; curriculum development; and better use of laboratories. The project’s two cross-cutting themes are careers, and dissemination of outcomes from pilot projects. In total the project aims to secure ?27 million over eight years. 

Pharmaceuticals company Merck Sharp & Dohme has announced the launch of its UK 2006 travel grant award schemes for undergraduates ( and postgraduates ( 

The EPSRC has allocated ?1 million for research into the impact of climate change on the urban environment. Projects must be multi-disciplinary and consistent with UK strategies for economic, social and environmental sustainability. The deadline for proposals is 18 April. 

UK universities of Bath, Cambridge and Imperial College London have received ?2.2 million from the EPSRC to find a way to make oil refineries more efficient, with the aim of cutting fuel bills. The universities will work together with oil refining companies. 

The European Commission’s ERA-NET Bioenergy network’s partners from Austria, Finland, Germany, Sweden and the UK have announced a pilot call for projects to investigate small scale biomass combustion. The deadline for applications is 3 May 2006. UK applicants should contact the EPSRC for details. 

ESRC, EPSRC and the e-Science Core Programme, have commissioned a set of inter-disciplinary projects to address key research challenges on technology enhanced learning.