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Past IAS Major Projects

The IAS has supported 19 Major Projects since 2018/19. 


2022/23 Projects

Three major projects were supported in 2022/23, along with several research development projects.

The Politics of Credibility

An interdisciplinary project which casts fresh analytical light on the politics of credibility that underpin asylum determination regimes in the UK and Europe
Infographic of the project

Opportunities in Pollution

Looks at the impacts of pollution on micro organisms, plants, animals & humans in the N.E and the interdependent mechanisms of evolution and adaptation to it
Infographic of the project

Risks to Youth and Studenthood in Digital Spaces

While it is acknowledged that students inhabit digital spaces, there is a lack of understanding of how social media interacts with their identity development
Infographic of the project

2021/22 Projects

A pair of hands holding a black and white photo

Representing Memory

The project aims to explore how memory is represented in a variety of situations. Since the cognitive revolution of the 1960s memory has been considered as the encoding, storage and retrieval of information.


Children at school working in a classroomMind the Gap

Exploring the Differences in Access to Social and Cultural Capital Between Advantaged and Disadvantaged Children (a UK/USA Comparison).


A blue face made up of pixelsFiring up the Epistemological Engine

We propose to explore one component of the Durham Epistemological Engine (DEE), by developing methods to automate the processes involved in a literature review.


Night sky filled with stars and coloursEnabling Responsible Space Exploitation

The project brings together stakeholders to discuss the implications of ‘democratising Responsible Space Exploitation space’ and to identify the opportunities, challenges and barriers to creating an environmentally, economically and socially sustainable space industry.

Sea water surrounded by iceExploring Arctic Soundscapes

The Exploring Arctic Soundscapes project will develop new practices for fusing scientific and artistic invocation and explanation of Arctic environments.


2020/21 Projects

Cardboard cut out town and car on a green backgroundNegotiating Landscapes of Rights

This interdisciplinary project examines the negotiation of rights around common resources by involving archaeologists, lawyers, historians, geographers in a series of case studies taken from around the world.

A plane flying over trees at duskQuantifying Global Risk

This project drew together an expert inter-disciplinary team to perform the first review of lessons learned, remaining challenges, engineering solutions, and financial models for coping with the next event(s).

an artist's rendering of the molecules in a cell surface membraneThreshold Worlds

Cognitive research on dreams has experienced a new wave of interest in recent years. Multiple methodologies are combined to chart more systematically the landscape of dream-worlds.

2019/20 Projects

Clay and hands 150x150

Antibacterial Clay Therapy

Antimicrobial resistance is a global concern requiring innovative and imaginative approaches to combat the threat to human health. 


Science, society and environmental change in the first millennium CE

Science, society and environmental change in the first millennium CE

Bringing together scholars in sciences, social sciences and humanities, this project explores scientific and social responses to natural phenomena in the context of what is now known about environmental and climate change in the first millennium CE. 

Mediation350x350Mediation for the Twenty First Century

New mediation, framed as conflict prevention, needs to be concerned not only with ending violence but with re-building fractured societies and creating the conditions that will prevent conflict from recurring. 

MaterialImagination300x300Material Imagination

The recent advances in genetic engineering and material science provide a unique opportunity to create materials that fuse the intelligence of living organisms and the robustness and designability of non-living matter.

2018/19 Projects

Who are “We the People”?: Community beyond the state

Who are “We the People”?: Community beyond the state.

“The people” are sovereign; “the people’s will” must prevail; but who are “the people”? Who gets to belong to this group, and who decides? How do individuals coalesce into a collective “people”, and what other communities are formed in the same way?

Dynamic Interactions at Cell Membrane InterfacesDynamic Interactions at Cell Membrane Interfaces

Membrane Nanoparticles (MNPs) are small vesicles ubiquitously released into bodily fluids from cells. They have therapeutic potential in immune therapy, vaccination, regenerative medicine, drug delivery, personalized medicine and point-of-care market (projected £1 billion/year by 2022).

Abolition-Project-300x225An Abolitionist Industrial Complex: Patterns of anti-trafficking/anti-slavery policy and practice in the 21st century.

The project will bring together scholars from a range of disciplinary (and cross-disciplinary) backgrounds to develop a methodological approach for tracing the contours of the global anti-trafficking / anti-slavery field. Anti-trafficking / anti-slavery policy and practice have been expanding over the last two decades but critical analysis has often been limited to particular actors (or groups of actors).

martial artsMasculinities in Martial Sports: West, East and Global South

Masculinities in Martial Sports investigated, through an interdisciplinary, trans-national methodology ‘hard and masculine’ sports from different areas of the globe, and their relationship to the shaping of gender orders. Kushti (Indian wrestling), Japanese Aikido and Western boxing form the subject sports.