Young Scots get opportunity to work with top researchers

December 8, 2006

New researchers in Scotland are enjoying growing opportunities to establish their careers in a "transformed" research landscape, according to Roger McClure, chief executive of the Scottish Funding Council.

The SFC's plan for the next three years highlights its innovative "research pooling" strategy, in which universities receive special funding for collaborations across disciplines.

The pools provide new PhD studentships and research posts, and allow new researchers to work with the best in their field whichever institution they are based in.

Previously, promising young researchers might have thought they had to get into large institutions such as Edinburgh or Glasgow universities or the research-intensive English universities to make a name for themselves, Mr McClure said.

"But you could be in [new universities] Abertay Dundee or Glasgow Caledonian and, provided you have the talent, you ought to be able to participate in the pool. Early-career researchers are rubbing shoulders with top researchers."

The SFC committed £34 million to the physical sciences, engineering and mathematics, £6.5 million to the Scottish Alliance for Geoscience, Environment and Society (Sages), and £9 million to the Scottish Institute for Research in Economics. Extra funds have come from the institutions themselves.

This is over and above the SFC's main research grant, which is keeping pace with increases south of the border.

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