Scotland creates world hot spot on climate change

July 14, 2006

Edinburgh University is marking the launch of a £22 million Scotland-wide research pooling initiative by advertising 11 geosciences posts in The Times Higher . It is hoped the move will make Scotland a world centre for research into environmental change.

The posts include a professorial-level director of the Scottish Alliance for Geoscience, Environment and Society (Sages), two professors, four lecturers, a senior research fellow, two research fellows and one technical officer.

Sages brings together nine universities: Aberdeen, Abertay, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Paisley, St Andrews, Stirling and the UHI Millennium Institute. It draws together disciplines ranging from ecology and environmental science to geography and geology.

The alliance is likely to require 35 appointments in total, of which the Edinburgh posts are the first tranche. The remaining 24 will be spread across the other partner institutions. There will also be 16 fully funded PhD studentships.

David Sugden, acting director of Sages, who heads Edinburgh's School of Geosciences, said: "We are aiming at the very top, and trawling internationally for these posts."

This latest pan-Scotland collaboration follows earlier poolings in physics, chemistry, and engineering and mathematics. Sages has won £6.5 million from the Scottish Funding Council; the rest of the funding will come from the partner institutions.

Roger McClure, SFC chief executive, said: "Scottish universities have a world reputation for research on climate change. I am pleased that the council can award funding to (a research pool) not only across institutions but also different subject areas."

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