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Durham University

Institute of Advanced Study

Welcome to the

Transforming The Way We Think


The Institute of Advanced Study is a prestigious, ideas-based Institute with global reach. We bring together world-leading researchers from all disciplines to work with Durham colleagues on collaborative projects of major intellectual, scientific, political and practical significance. At least twenty visiting IAS Fellows join us in Durham each year to work with Durham scholars to spark new investigations, set tomorrow's agenda and participate in a varied programme of activities.

Each year, the IAS supports four ambitious interdisciplinary projects tackling major research questions. Leading researchers from around the globe join Durham colleagues in collaborative teams to develop ground-breaking ideas, explore interdisciplinary synergies and develop new programmes of research.

The Institute also serves as a top-level forum, enabling key-decision makers and experts to discuss pressing policy problems in an intellectually stimulating and unrestricted manner. We put on a wide range of public lectures and other events. There are also opportunities for postgraduates and other early career researchers to get involved.

The IAS aims to build research capacity, realise potential, and meet the challenges of a changing world. There are many ways to participate in the life and work of the institute. We warmly welcome your involvement.


IAS Fellows' Seminar - Phase Transitions and Universalities in Strongly Interacting Matter

7th December 2020, 17:00 to 18:00, Virtual - via Zoom, Dr Dimitrios Giataganas, University of Athens

IAS Seminar by Dr Dimitrios Giataganas, University of Athens

Large classes of theories in the strongly coupled regime are known to have universal properties. We show that these properties rely heavily on certain symmetries of the system, and when the symmetry is reduced the universality is lost. This is particularly evident in the transport coefficients, where for example the shear viscosity over entropy density ratio, can act as a direct measure of the reduction of the symmetries. On the other hand, new qualitative universalities arise which depend on the symmetry breaking. For example, the presence of anisotropy in strongly coupled systems acts as a catalyst on the confinement/deconfinement phase transitions reducing the critical temperature that takes place. I will describe the above issues without heavy technicalities to encourage further discussions.

The Seminar will take place on Zoom. To register please click here.

Contact enquiries.ias@durham.ac.uk for more information about this event.



IAS Contribution to the evaluation of interdisciplinary research in the REF

For a number of years the IAS has been closely involved in the development of methods of evaluating interdisciplinary research, working collaboratively with UK funding bodies/the REF. Its Executive Director, Professor Veronica Strang, is a member of the UKRI Interdisciplinary Advisory Panel, which is guiding this aspect of the REF process, and a regular speaker at the Annual REF Forum and related events. Her report Evaluating Interdisciplinary Research: a practical guide (Strang and McLeish 2015), written in consultation with a range of funding bodies, has been taken up widely, nationally and internationally. With the REF submission date coming up soon, colleagues who are considering interdisciplinary outputs for submission, or who will be involved in evaluating such research for REF sub-panels, may find this publication helpful.