The University of Sheffield was established in 1905 and currently has 24,000 students and almost 6,000 staff. It is one of the 20 leading UK universities belonging to the Russell Group, which focuses on delivering academic excellence. The University of Sheffield currently holds 99 projects sponsored by Europe and FP7, including 52 collaborative grants, 7 prestigious ERC projects, 28 grants under the People Programme and 14 coordinating, networking and enterprise grants. The research income of the entire institution is approximately 100 million Euros per year. The Department of Animal and Plant Sciences (APS) is rated within the top 3 of biological science groups within the UK and in 2008 celebrated its centenary year as one of the world’s largest groups carrying out research on the functioning of organisms, from the molecular level to their role in ecosystems. With 40 academic staff including 4 Fellows of The Royal Society (the highest scientific recognition in the UK), and over 50 postdoctoral research associates, it has a vibrant research ethos with internationally recognized work. Five academics from APS are listed as `highly cited’ in the Shanghai Jiao Tong ranking of world universities, and the Times Higher Education Supplement placed Sheffield 7th in its 2008 world ranking of universities in the fields of environment and ecology. The Department publishes about 200 research papers per year, with 42 research articles in Nature or Science in the last ten years (2001-present). It hosts a number of modern state-of-the-art facilities including controlled environment chambers that replicate growing conditions for a number of World climates; the Arthur Willis Environment Centre for climate change studies and crop investigations; and the Biomolecular Analysis Facility. The Global Change Research Group is involved in a number of relevant projects and centres that demonstrate an ability to collaborate and produce internationally recognized outputs. Members have contributed to IPCC reports and the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment and have links with Abisko Scientific Research Station and the International Rice Research Institute.
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