Success rates explained

alex-hulkes-150Alex Hulkes is Strategic Lead for Insights at the ESRC, and is responsible for developing our ability to evaluate and carry out data-informed analysis of ESRC investments, policy and operation.

In his latest blog, he looks at new analysis on the relationship between success rates and decision volumes.

When writing A Brief History of Time Stephen Hawking was told that every equation he included in the book would halve its sales. So the two people who might actually read the most recent analysis of ESRC data (PDF) shouldn’t feel too bad. Continue reading

How dogma trumps evidence in the practice of prescribing antibiotics

Helen Lambert 150Professor Helen Lambert is Professor of Medical Anthropology in the Department of Public Health Sciences, University of Bristol. Her long-term work concerns popular therapeutics and medical plurality in India. She was the ESRC’s Research Champion for antimicrobial resistance (AMR) from 2015-2017 and is leading an interdisciplinary research collaboration on Pathways to Antibiotic Use in China with colleagues at Anhui Medical University.

Most of the UK population have grown up with the message that patients must complete their course of antibiotics to stop drug resistance developing. A recent paper in the British Medical Journal caused international controversy by pointing out that far from preventing the emergence of antibacterial resistance, greater exposure to antibiotics increases the risk of acquiring resistant pathogens; and where research evidence exists, shorter courses of antibiotics are mostly (though not always) as effective as longer ones.

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What actually is a PhD?

Hannes Titeca 150px.jpgHannes Titeca is an ESRC-funded PhD student at the University of Exeter.

It is only as I enter the second year of my PhD that I now feel able to start answering this remarkably simple question.

Throughout my first year, I found myself constantly updating the few expectations I did have. I feel that this illustrates a more general issue of young people, as part of the wider population, not knowing enough about what doctoral study involves and how it relates to research, universities, and academia more generally. Continue reading

Early life experiences and the adult mind

Marlene Lorgen-Ritchie 150Marlene Lorgen-Ritchie is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Rowett InstituteHer research involves investigating the biological pathways linking the social environment during development, with mood and personality in later life.

Here, in the latest of our biosocial blog series, she writes about one aspect of biosocial research – epigenetics – which she’ll be exploring more at a Festival of Social Science event next week.

Our early life experiences in the womb and throughout childhood have been shown to influence how we turn out as adults. This includes how healthy we are, how rich we become and what and how we think. However we still don’t know how it all comes about biologically. That’s where epigenetics comes in. Continue reading

Work begins at the new Collaborative Centre for Housing Evidence project

Kenneth Gibb 150Ken Gibb is the Director of the ESRC UK Collaborative Centre for Housing Evidence (CaCHE) and is professor of housing economics at the University of Glasgow. He has recently also worked as co-director of What Works Scotland and was the founding director of the University’s knowledge exchange body for policy research, Policy Scotland. He is a trustee of the Urban Studies Foundation and is chair of Sanctuary Scotland housing association.

The UK Collaborative Centre for Housing Evidence (CaCHE) started its real work last week, kicking off with a launch event in London. Four of 13 initial projects are underway, as well as four linked PhDs.

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