Global Engagements: Karen Faulds Université de Montréal

Project: Internally funded project

Project Details


The purpose of this visit is to develop an international research collaboration with The University of Montreal and in particular with Prof. Jean-Francois Masson and the Centre for Self-Assembled Chemical Structures (CSACS).

The specific activities and aims and objectives with preliminary timescales are given below (the specific dates for the research visits have not yet been decided around all the schedules involved)-

May-October 2014- Dr Stacey Laing is currently developing methods to allow the nanopatterning of multiple surface chemistries onto the surface of gold SPR chips to allow capture of proteins and lips. This involves writing thiol molecules onto gold surface using a technique called Dip Pen nanolithography (DPN) which we have within the Centre for Molecular Nanometrology. This is being carried out with the aim of integrating the functionalised gold chip with surface plasmon resonance- mass spectrometry (SPR-MS) measurements at Montreal. This cannot currently be done at the University of Montreal and this combination of techniques has not been done before.

~ 10th October- November 2014- Dr Stacey Laing (funded through WestCHEM) begins her one month research stay at University of Montreal. She will integrate her preliminary experiments/samples with the SPR and MS imaging as well as learn about issues of integration between the methodologies to allow the research collaboration to continue to progress when she returns to Strathclyde.

~24-31st October 2014- Applicants visits University of Montreal. The specific aims of this visit are listed below-
• Undertake research discussions with Prof. Jean-Francois Masson and Dr Stacey Laing about work undertaken by Stacey during the initial part of her research visit.
• Spend time in Prof. Masson’s laboratory to understand the practicalities of the current collaboration and explore future collaboration.
• Discuss work going forward that can be carried out during the remainder of Stacey’s stay and what will be required to continue the work after her visit.
• Look at ways to sustain research collaboration through potential research funding/researcher exchanges.
• Engage with researchers within CSACS to find potential research collaborations between CSACS and Bionanotechnology at Strathclyde. This will be carried out by giving a presentation about Bionano@TIC and our research activities, followed by discussions with academics within CSACS to try and enhance collaborations between the two groupings.

November-December 2014- On return from Montreal
• Continue research collaboration with Prof. Masson with a view to publishing the research work carried out.
• Further explore possible joint funding opportunities/researcher exchanges.
• Discuss with my Bionano colleagues about research overlaps and potential research collaborations with academics at the University of Montreal.

The short term outcome from the visit will be the publication of the research results from the collaboration between my research group and that of Prof. Masson. The visit will also result in continuing research collaboration between our research groups which we will sustain through further exchange of researchers, see below for possible funding routes to enable this. However by also establishing links between Bionano@TIC it is hoped that further research collaborations between my colleagues within Bioanano and academics at the University of Montreal will be established which will result in sustainable partnerships and future research publications and funding between the two institutions. Gaining funding for researcher exchanges is relatively abundant at the moment however it is much more challenging to gain research grant funding between different continents, however some possible examples are given.

Some examples of possible funding routes to enable future/continuing collaborations are given below-
Student/Researcher Exchange
• Funding is available from WestCHEM (SFC funding) for researcher exchanges. This funding is available for students and Early Career Researchers.
• The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) have launched a Mobility Fellowship for PhD students and Early Career Researchers which can be awarded to both UK and non-UK based recipients for either single visits of up to 3 months for several visits over a period of up to 2 years.
• There is also various mechanisms for funding within the University such as this global engagement call or travel scholarships such as the Mac Robertson Travelling Scholarship.
• Potential for the collaboration to result in for example Newton fellowship applications.
• Opportunities are also available from Montreal, for example CSACS have a visiting scientist program.

Grant Funding
• Some of the funding above, for example the RSC funding, includes research costs.
• Engagement with international collaborations will greatly strengthen RCUK applications, in particular Fellowship applications where International collaboration is encouraged and funding can be applied for as part of RCUK grant applications for investigators to spend time abroad.

Effective start/end date11/08/1410/08/15