The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) is the main UK government agency for funding research and training in engineering and the physical sciences, investing more than £850 million a year in a broad range of subjects – from mathematics to materials science, and from information technology to structural engineering.
EPSRC Programme Grants are a flexible mechanism to provide funding to world-leading research groups to address significant major research challenges. They are intended to support a suite of related research activities focussing on one strategic research theme. To date (October 2011), there have been three Programme Grants in Mathematics:
- Professor Richard Thomas, Imperial College London, 'Applied derived categories'', £1.3 million, January 2010 - December 2015.
- Professor Geoffrey Grimmett, University of Cambridge, 'New frontiers in random geometry', £1.4 million, September 2011 - August 2017.
- Professor Dominic Joyce, Oxford University, 'Motivic invariants and categorification', £1.8 million, October 2011 - September 2017.
Ours is, we believe, the largest grant ever made in Pure Mathematics in the UK. The principal investigator is Professor Dominic Joyce, and the co-investigators Tom Bridgeland, Kobi Kremnizer, Kevin McGerty, and Balázs Szendröi. The proposal is a collaboration between Professors Joyce and Bridgeland and Dr Szendröi in Algebraic Geometry, and Dr Kremnizer and Dr McGerty in Geometric Representation Theory. The proposal creates a new research group spanning Geometry and Representation Theory, with an emphasis on projects involving both disciplines. Over the six years, amongst other things the EPSRC grant will fund six 2 year PDRAs, three 3.5 year PhD studentships, a visitors programme, and a workshop. Our research programme is summarized here.