A project, led by the University of St Andrews, which will help understand the genetic basis of dyslexia and learning difficulties has been awarded a grant from the Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE).
The funding of £10,000 has been awarded for the project, ‘Specific learning disorders in Scotland’ led by Dr Silvia Paracchini FRSE, Reader in the School of Medicine at the University of St Andrews.
Part of the RSE Workshop Grants, the funding will support the organisation of a major workshop in the Summer of 2022 to bring together researchers from different disciplines who are united by a common interest in learning disorders such as dyslexia, dyscalculia and language difficulties.
An important component of the workshop will be dialogue with families, teachers and charities to understand how research can address the priorities of individuals with direct experiences of learning disorders. The goal is to shape the direction of research in this field to make it relevant to the key stakeholders.
Dr Paracchini said: “By bringing people together to engage and discuss ideas through this workshop, we hope to raise awareness of these conditions and formulate a coordinated research agenda for Scotland and beyond.
“Setting up such a network and engaging with families and teachers is extremely important, yet not typically supported by traditional funding schemes.”
Dr Paracchini’s research focuses on understanding the genetic basis of dyslexia and learning difficulties. Through this project she will join forces with Dr Michelle Luciano, Reader at the School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences, at the University of Edinburgh.
Dr Paracchini added: “I am looking forward to working with Dr Michelle Luciano, co-PI at the University of Edinburgh, and establishing closer links between our institutions. I believe that this work will significantly adjust the direction of my research.”