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Impact of MDT funding

What has been the impact of the MDT funding portfolio?

Since 2012, the Macaulay Development Trust has provided funding to the James Hutton Institute for:

  • 10 MDT Fellowships
  • 20 MDT PhD studentships
  • 14 seedcorn projects
  • 3 rapid response projects
  • 3 workshops, and  
  • various capital items (either fully or by providing match funding)

Funding has supported scientists and social scientists from a wide range of disciplinary backgrounds to do innovative research supporting sustainable land use and vibrant rural communities across Scotland. The research has led to impacts on science as evidenced by over 50 journal publications and reports, providing a better understanding, fresh empirical evidence, and new methods for capturing and analysing data. It has leveraged additional funding for both capital equipment and follow-on projects, many of which have allowed insights gained in Scotland to bring international benefits. MDT contributions have supported policymakers at the national, regional and local level and have influenced the way Scotland’s land and natural resources are managed and used in practice.

The following examples are illustrative of the wide range of projects and topics areas that have received MDT funding:

Case Studies

Purchase of the Thermal Ionisation Mass Spectrometer (TIMS), replacing the previous 24-year-old instrument, has enhanced the capability of the James Hutton Institute in the provenancing of materials from the natural environment. The team responsible for the TIMS have increased their capability for read more ...
The Route Aware project used a touchtable in participatory research for exploring the spatial patterns of people’s recreational behaviour. It enabled the capture of people’s knowledge and experiences of walking routes. The principal scientific output from the project was a refereed paper on read more ...
This project provided a ranking of the relative ecological importance of European tree species which can be used in developing risk assessment of tree pests and diseases. It thus helps public and private sector woodland managers develop adaptive strategies to the benefit of biodiversity. Outputs read more ...
The Craigiebuckler Biodiversity Action Plan (2017 to 2020) forms the basis of the planning prioritisation and management of the unique green space surrounding the James Hutton Institute’s Aberdeen site. Operationally, it is guiding on-the-ground actions contributing to the maintenance and read more ...
The Renewable Energy Fellowship enabled an Agri-Renewables Strategy to be developed for the James Hutton Institute. This has increased corporate knowledge of the technical options and processes associated with developing, installing and operating renewable energy systems on the Institute estate,   read more ...