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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/R029768/1
Title: Enhancing 800 MHz NMR Capabilities at Nottingham
Principal Investigator: Searle, Professor M
Other Investigators:
Davis, Dr AL Titman, Dr J farren, Dr TR
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Sch of Chemistry
Organisation: University of Nottingham
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 May 2018 Ends: 30 April 2021 Value (£): 965,910
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Analytical Science Chemical Biology
Chemical Synthetic Methodology Food structure/composition
Materials Characterisation Protein chemistry
Structural biology
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Food and Drink Healthcare
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
29 Nov 2017 High-Field NMR for Physical and Life Sciences Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
NMR spectroscopists from across the UK are working towards the establishment of a co-ordinated strategy for provision of world-class NMR infrastructure. Establishing a linked network of facilities will provide for UK-wide access to new state-of-the-art capabilities, training and expertise in NMR technologies for the physical and life sciences. Here we demonstrate how the proposed investment at the University of Nottingham will contribute to the national effort and promote regional collaborations and access to the facilities to researchers across the Midlands. We are committed to being fully integrated within the UK NMR community across academia and industry and to engage with funding agencies to establish a sustainable network and funding mechanisms, and to share best practice.

NMR is a key analytical technique for studying the molecular composition, structure and properties of novel materials and real-time monitoring of processes and reactions. There are no other techniques which offer such versatility and breadth of potential applications to interdisciplinary researchers at all of the key interfaces across the physical sciences, engineering, biosciences and medicine. The current collaborative open-access framework around our high-field NMR facility embraces all of these disciplines and impacts widely in areas of public interest, for example, around food security and food nutrition; the development of new sustainable materials and processes for every day devices and for energy storage; studies of fundamental bioscience for understanding of aspects of human health; chemical biology linked to drug-discovery in areas from autism to neurodegeneration and stroke; development of novel biocatalysts linked to industrial biotechnology and our sustainable future. The Nottingham Facility is already supporting this incredible breadth of activity, and this proposed upgrade will extend the lifetime, sensitivity and capabilities to the next level, to continue to support Nottingham's, and hence the UK's, international research competitiveness.

By upgrading the 800 MHz high-field NMR facility we will provide our broad user base, which reaches across the physical and life sciences, with the NMR infrastructure to address a myriad of questions, to allow researchers at Nottingham to remain competitive and at the cutting edge in key research areas, allow us to extend the breadth of our activities into new areas and draw in new collaborations, and maximise the wider impact of our research. The upgrade, and suite of new probes for different applications, will allow key research questions to be addressed that were previously out of range of our current capabilities. Significantly, the proposed upgrade accommodates new capabilities to now study solid-materials at high resolution and sensitivity where previously this was only possible on a lower-field (600 MHz instrument) of lower-sensitivity and more limited capabilities.

This suite of instrumentation presents a diverse multi-functional facility for the integrated characterisation of both large and small molecules, solutions and solids, in a single facility. The requested spectrometer upgrade will: (i) ensure that the current 800 MHz magnet has the highest performance currently possible at this field strength, (ii) will open up previously inaccessible areas of research particularly in the study of solid materials, (iii) add new capacity and capabilities to the network of UK NMR facilities and provide local and regional access to researchers across the Midland HEIs and Industry, (iii) provide unprecedented versatility to support a wide range of research projects across the RCUK physical and life science priority areas, (iv) contribute to high quality publications in internationally leading journals, (v) support the international research competitiveness of Nottingham and the UK.

Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Organisation Website: http://www.nottingham.ac.uk