The Leicester Institute for Advanced Studies


Current funded projects

There are three central pump-priming schemes live and accepting applications; Pioneering Partnerships, Into the City, and LIAS Seed Corn. These primarily respond to the overarching strategic themes of World-leading research and Our Citizens, and allow for ambitious research outcomes and outputs to come to fruition. There are currently no thematic priorities, which allows applicants to conceptualise and deliver projects in response to varied contexts and for a myriad of purposes. More information and application guidance can be found here. 

Pioneering Partnerships

Pioneering Partnerships offers funding (up to £6,000) to develop existing ambitious, challenge-led collaborations, preparing the way for others to follow. This scheme is live and currently accepting applications.

  • The social life of wind energy: An interdisciplinary and multi-sided approach (lead: Dr Matt Wilde)
  • Addressing the University of Leicester Hospitals' nursing staff shortage through organisational self-identification model using AI (lead: Dr Dennis Pepple)

Into the City

In-line with our civic mission, the Into the City scheme builds and nurtures collaborations with organisations based in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland. This scheme is currently live and accepting applications.

  • Diaspora Leicester in translation: Living heritage and memory in sayings, poems and songs (lead: Dr Yan Yin)
  • Leicester Huntington's Disease network launch (lead: Dr Sarah Gunn)
  • Using art to engage with communities underrepresented in genomic research: development of an outreach activity (lead: Dr Chiara Batini)
  • Developing an historical understanding of black maternity and motherhood health experiences in Leicestershire (lead: Dr Jennifer Creese)
  • Co-creation of faith-based adaptations for multi-faith ethnic minority communities at risk of developing long-term conditions’ (leads: Dr Ash Routen, Ry Riya Patel)
  • Ethnic minority EU citizens in Leicester: super-diversity, post-coloniality and citizenship regimes (lead: Professor Bernard Ryan)
  • Working with the “Dance & Health” community programme to co-create research into chronic lung disease in Leicester women of South Asian ethnicity (lead: Dr Leah Cuthbertson)
  • ACCESS: Advancing Collaboration for oral Cancer to improve Services for migrantS (leads: Dr Manish Pareek, Dr Zainab Lal, Dr Harrier Winter)

Seed Corn

Up to £1,000 is offered to support and promote activities fostering the development of new and untested interdisciplinary research ideas/projects. There are no thematic priorities. This scheme is currently live and accepting applications.

  • Approaches to systemic observations of learning in classrooms (leads: Dr Ascension Pagan and Professor Chris Wilkins)
  • Mapping UK-based Chinese community awareness and understanding of dementia and digital literacy (lead: Dr Sarah Gong)
  • Multilingualism: Languages and power from the ancient world to the present day (lead: Professor Sarah Knight)
  • Digitalising Manuscripts (leads: Dr Armand de Filippo and Professor Giasemi Vavoula)
  • Family Language Policy (lead: Dr Mohammed Ateek)
  • The role of PKN2 in Aortic Valve Stenosis (lead: Dr Richard Allen)
  • Exploring Classroom Engagement and Learning (EXCEL) – The Pilot (lead: Dr Agneta Svalberg)
  • Investigating air quality and its effect on inflammation in the Industrial Period: Combining the scientific analysis of respiratory irritants in mineralised dental plaque with markers of inflammatory disease in human archaeological individuals (lead: Dr Anna Davies-Barrett)
  • Molecular and genetic mechanisms underlying temperature responsiveness of the Burkholderia phage, AMP-1 (lead: Dr Anna Bates)
  • Acceptability of phage therapy for the treatment of recurrent UTIs (lead: Dr Melissa Haines)
  • Reducing Risks for Infant Mortality: Supportive Training Offering Reassurance and Knowledge Stakeholder event (STORK) (lead: Dr Gemma Hughes)
  • Co-created an interdisciplinary team to research the burden of Multimorbidity in Ethnic Minority Populations (leads: Dr Deborah Ikhile and Dr Shabana Cassambai)

Previous projects

Since its conception in 2016/17, LIAS has responded to the research landscape by offering varied schemes to align with strategic themes and evolving needs.

Centenary Community Engagement Fund

In alignment with our centenary commitments, including the endorsement of our civic mission, we want to encourage new interdisciplinary research that actively involves collaboration between researchers and charity, third sector and community organisations located in the city, Leicestershire and Rutland.

This research addressed real-world challenges experienced by these organisations and the communities they serve through innovative projects, including building new methodologies or designing and trailing new interventions. The funded projects lay foundations for longer term, sustainable and equitable partnerships. This scheme is primarily supported through the generous philanthropy of alumni, friends and donors.

Read the co-authored open access working paper series

Current awarded collaborations 

Engaging communities with nature for wellbeing


  • Dr Burns - Psychology, Biological Sciences and Informatics
  • Dr Jones - Psychology, Biological Sciences and Informatics
  • Emmanu-El Apostolic Academy

Working to remove structural challenges for entrepreneurs with disabilities


  • Professor Baines - School of Business
  • Circle Foundation

Exploring perinatal mortality, health literacy and stigma amongst the Leicester Gypsy and Traveller community


  • Dr Ekezie - Centre for Ethnic Health Research
  • Leicester Gypsy and Travellers Equality Group

Establishing a 'lived experience group' for survivors of gender-based violence


  • Dr Sleath - Criminology
  • Leicester's Sexual Assault Referral Centre, Juniper Lodge

Co-producing concepts and solutions to Refugee belonging


  • Dr Clarke - Criminology
  • Bright Path Futures

Enhancing user services for potential improvements to critical end of live care


  • Dr Kaul - Engineering

Into the City

Creative Climates

Conference on citizenship and peace-making in Leicester

Mapping the city with electric paint

Tactile space

  • Lead: Dr Jennifer Carter

New discovery programme with National Space Centre


Leicester Microbial Sciences and Infectious Disease Network (LeMID)

Interdisciplinary expertise from across the university and UHL NHS Trust, microbiology, genetics, structural and chemical biology, mathematical and computational biology, physics, health and social sciences, respiratory medicine, clinical microbiology, and infectious diseases.

Learn more about LeMID

Identification Network

The Identification Network brings together molecular, mathematical, biomedical, imaging, anthropological and legal concepts and expertise to explore advances in identification of individuals.

Heritage Protection Network

The Heritage Protection Network showcased research focused on cultural heritage and its protection, particularly within communities and in fragile situations such as conflict and post-conflict environments. 

Leicester Artificial Intelligence Network (LAIN)

Bringing together 10 different departments and 3 different colleges, the founding members of LAIN collaborate on studies in technical, social, legal and business-related aspects of AI to develop innovative research.

Leicester Prisons Research Network (LPRN)

The LPRN delivered ambitious, transformative and innovative prisons research to better understand the context of prisons in distinctly interdisciplinary ways.  

Migration, Mobility and Citizenship Research Network (MMC)

This Network brought scholars together to generate cohesive and dynamic understanding of migration, mobility, and citizenship both locally and globally. Drawing on lived experiences and the everyday lives of the residents of Leicester, the network generated innovative approaches to the understanding of how communities and institutions have been transformed by migration in the post-war era.

Pioneering Partnerships

Busting the Myths surrounding Uterine Cancer: development of a co-designed information intervention for ethnic minority women delivered through community pharmacists

Energy cooperation as a novel approach to create future energy proof business districts

Exploring the feasibility and value of Pioneering Partnerships to reduce avoidable snakebite deaths in India

Future Citizens

Identifying and addressing human and research culture factors driving the insufficient validation of antibodies in biomedical research

Investigation of LGBT+ patients’ views and experiences of endometrial cancer diagnostic and treatment pathways, and post-treatment survivorship

Development of online user-centred platform for thin section scans

Towards net zero plus: A pioneering partnership

Explainable AI for breast cancer detection

  • Lead: Dr Yudong Wang

Responding to the pandemic: Networks

In 2020 we convened an 'Advanced Study Group' (ASG) comprising 19 colleagues from all three Colleges, facilitated by critical collaborators Dr Laura Meagher and Sean Callaghan. The group established core Leicester strengths which informed the subsequent pandemics call, and cumulated in a published LIAS working paper. Eight successfully awarded pandemics research networks launched in 2021.

LOSST LIFFE: addressing inequalities at the intersection between law enforcement, mental health and suicide prevention

Co-constructing inequalities and improving well-being post-Pandemic: Children's vision in five Majority Word countries

  • Lead: Professor Panos Vostanis

PPE Communications; interpersonal communication inequalities and implications

Health inequalities and minority communities in Leicester

  • Leads: Dr Winifred Ekezie, Dr Idil Osman

Reimagining the Homogenocene

Air Pollution, viral invasion and microbial-human interaction

A Manifesto for Pandemic Sexual and Gendered Citizenships

  • Lead: Professor Gavin Brown

Technological Responses and quality care

Responding to the pandemic: Rapid response

The spatialization of sexual and gender politics in a time of pandemic

  • Lead: Professor Gavin Brown

Interactions between air pollution, SARS-CoV-2 and respiratory bacterial pathogens

Virtual reality in Guyana’s prisons during Covid-19

Migrant inclusion in Covid-19 planning and response: a policy analysis

Changing spatial practices in the era of Covid-19 contact-tracing apps

Transcending the bars: transgender and non-binary prisoners’ experiences of the Covid-19 pandemic in England and Wales

Perceptions of air quality and air quality action in Medellin due to Coronavirus

Seed Corn

Developing a hub for community-led arts-based research

Invented Lives: fictional osteobiography, critical fabulation and representing past lives

LatinX Studies in the UK

Charging overseas nationals and residents by NHS trusts

Cracking the Dickens code: A novel neural network

Development of an integrative AI and liquid biopsy approach to improve early detection of head and neck cancer recurrence

Just transitions? Pastoralism, energy and net zero

Optimising walking exercise using music during rehabilitation: Make every step count

Tiger Teams

  • Discourses of long Covid: the role of language in the reification and management of an emergent condition
  • Office of the public guardian (co-funded ESRC IAA)
  • Mapping identities for data explainability (MAIDEN)
  • Anticipating and avoiding unitended consequences of remote sensing applications
  • Bespoke endometrial Cancer follow-up
  • Time and space imaging
  • Empathy, literature and medicine
  • Maths meets arts
  • Anthropocene
  • Avoidable deaths
  • Heritage and science
  • Human bias
  • Relationships and sex education
  • Leicester ethnicity, ageing and diabetes
  • Vauxhall gardens and virtual reality
  • Lion cubs
  • Scientific approaches to dress, material culture, identity
  • Mental health and social media
  • Migration, healthcare and education
  • Urgent care for frail older people
  • Prisons
  • Cancer detection in diabetics
  • Earth system plastics
  • Harnessing digital technology in maternity care
  • Gender diversity and equality in education
  • Female pelvic floor health globally
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