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University Of Liverpool-BSG Luminescence Dating Award (early career)

University Of Liverpool-BSG Luminescence Dating Award

Deadline(s): 30 September

Up to six optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) ages per round are available to pump-prime geomorphological research undertaken by postgraduate student or Early-Career Researcher (ECR) members of the Society. We define an ECR as a member of staff who holds an employment contract of 0.2FTE or greater and who started their academic career within four years of the closing date of applications. Note that to be eligible for this scheme, the primary employment function of applicants must be in ‘research’ or ‘teaching and research’, within any HEI or other organisation, whether in the UK or overseas. We regard postdoctoral researchers hired on funded projects as having started their academic career.

OSL dating is a geochronological technique that can determine the timing of sediment deposition using quartz or feldspar. It relies upon the fundamental principle that mineral grains can store energy produced by radioactive decay, which is then released during stimulation by light. OSL dating is a versatile technique and can be advantageous over other geochronological techniques as: (1) it directly determines the timing of sediment burial; (2) it can be used in many depositional settings (e.g. aeolian, fluvial, glacial, lacustrine); (3) it can be used for many grain sizes, typically from silt up to sand; and (4) it has the potential to extend the age range beyond radiocarbon dating. The University of Liverpool-BSG Luminescence Dating award offers the opportunity for a successful applicant to obtain up to six OSL ages for sedimentary samples (silt to sand-sized particles) to inform geomorphological research. The request for OSL ages must be for samples from depositional environments where grains were likely to have been exposed to sunlight prior to burial (e.g. aeolian, lacustrine, proglacial, fluvial). Note that the Liverpool Luminescence Laboratory can provide advice on sampling of sediments for luminescence dating, but will not be responsible for collecting samples in the field.

The applicant should include details on the sample characteristics, their context in the depositional environment and also how the ages that will be determined fit within the wider setting (e.g. other analysis performed on the sediments to facilitate an environmental interpretation). They should also outline the significance of the research.

The University of Liverpool-BSG Luminescence Dating award is intended to provide the opportunity for postgraduate students and ECRs to extend the scale and scope of their independent research, and should not be used to support standard Ph.D. research or funded postdoctoral research. Applications will be evaluated for the quality of the research and for the potential to pump-prime subsequent work and career development (e.g. publications, research grant proposals, new avenues of research). Postgraduate applicants must include a signed statement from their Ph.D. supervisor confirming their support for the application.

All successful applicants are required to:

  • acknowledge BSG (Wiley) support where relevant (publications and conferences),
  • provide a written report to the Reports Officer for publication on the website,
  • regard Earth Surface Processes and Landforms as the primary outlet for publication of papers and special issues,
  • regard the RGS-IBG Book Series as an outlet for publishing authored monographs or edited volumes.
  • claim their awards within 1 month of notification, otherwise the BSG reserve the right to withdraw the award.
  • acknowledge the support of the University of Liverpool through co-authorship on any publication arising from the luminescence ages provided to the successful applicant.

BSG follows the UK Concordat on open data and we would normally expect any recipients of funding to adhere to this policy. BSG maps to HEFCE and RCUK policy on publishing and expects results to be published using at least a green open access route.

For further enquiries about this award, please contact Dr Rachel Smedley at the University of Liverpool. E-mail: [email protected].

Grant applications

Members with correct permissions may apply for this Grant...

Application Procedure

Applicants should complete the on-line application form and associated on-line supporting statement.

The maximum funding is listed in the call. It is the applicant's respnsibility to check the maximum amount in each scheme. 

For OSL grants the "funding" can be left blank as the assumption is the funding will be for 6 OSL samples. 

For Carer, OSL and Decolonising geomorphology grants please select "full member grant" from the drop down list in the grant type but then indicate the scheme in your grant title.  

Click here for details of the assessment criteria and procedures.


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