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Stuart Harrad has been awarded a grant from the European Commission under its European Industrial Doctorate scheme within the Marie Curie Initial Training Network Call. The grant (worth €1,173,886.56 over 4 years) is entitled “Elucidating Sources & Pathways of Environmental Contamination with Brominated Persistent Organic Chemicals Using Advanced Instrumental Tools (ELUTE)”, and will fund four doctoral researchers, who will split their time equally between Stuart Harrad's group and the Thermo Fisher POPs Center of Excellence in Bremen, Germany.

ELUTE's main research goal is to further understanding of the environmental fate and behaviour of brominated persistent organic chemicals and how best we may deploy recent advances in analytical instrumentation to do so. Its vision is that enhanced understanding of the underpinning science will benefit public health and associated regulators and scientists by improving the evidence upon which policies may be based that ensure sustainable use of chemicals - both those targeted specifically by ELUTE, as well as others, including those under development. The principal research objectives of ELUTE are to provide robust scientific information to improve understanding of: 

  1. the extent to which we can reliably use field-based instruments to identify products and waste material containing high levels of brominated flame retardants (BFRs)
  2. whether and to what extent the use of BFRs has led to an increase in environmental contamination by brominated dioxins and furans
  3. the environmental fate of BFRs, including the degradation/metabolic products of both BFRs now subject to restrictions like polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), and replacement chemical products like decabromodiphenyl ethane.