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First applications invited in major safety scholarship scheme

Researchers looking into safety and accident prevention can now apply for funding through a £500,000 scholarship scheme established by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents.

The scheme has been launched following a bequest from BNFL (British Nuclear Fuels) which will fund two to three scholarships a year for a decade, including for example, PhDs and shorter research projects.

The scholarships aim to enable individuals and teams, both in the UK and overseas, to carry out research into safety and accident prevention that will produce defined, practical and influential outcomes to help save lives and prevent injuries.

Applications are invited for projects in the range of £6k to £20k which address key safety themes including improving standards of driving and reducing home and leisure accidents.

As well as general safety, other themes include raising the standards of health and safety management at work, reducing injuries in water, and enhancing risk understanding and awareness through education.

The closing date for the first round of applications is April 17, 2009.

Tom Mullarkey, RoSPA chief executive and one of the scheme's overseers, said: “This excellent scholarship scheme will stimulate academic research into finding new ways for us to achieve our mission, which is to save lives and reduce injuries.

“BNFL's funding support in this initiative is a welcome boost to the tremendously important work of safety and accident prevention research.
“We are challenging the bright and ambitious to come forward with new insights and we want to instigate an inquisitive, energetic approach to unpick some complex issues.”

BNFL will be closing down once it has completed the sales and transfers of its remaining businesses.

Tom Mullarkey added: “The research which will arise from these scholarships will also provide a fitting legacy for BNFL, which has been relentless in its pursuit of occupational safety.”

Applications for funding should be made on no more than two sides of A4, setting out the aims of the proposed research, the methodologies to be employed, timescales, anticipated costs and benefits and supervisory arrangements. Summary biographical details of researchers and supervisors should also be included.

Applications should be emailed to Roger Bibbings at RoSPA (rbibbings@rospa.com).

An announcement about the winning applicants will be made in the week beginning May 11, 2009.

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