SFC news published since 2018. See SFC archived content for earlier news articles.

The Scottish Funding Council (SFC) has announced an independent review of Scottish research pooling.

First established in 2004, research pools are multi-university research collaborations designed to make Scotland more globally competitive in attracting research talent and producing world-leading research. Since being set up, more than £400 million has been invested by SFC and Scotland’s universities in research pools covering disciplines such as physics, engineering, life sciences and energy.

The review of the initiative will be chaired by Professor Louise Heathwaite of Lancaster University. It will be supported by an advisory panel of experts including representatives from universities, UK Research and Innovation and the Association of Medical Research Charities.

Higher Education Minister Richard Lochhead said:

“This independent review of Scotland’s research pools is very timely. We need to ensure that Scotland’s universities are in the best possible position to face the challenges of the future. This includes maintaining our research excellence, international outlook and global research collaborations despite the threat formed by Brexit. I look forward to the outputs of the review in this context.”

Stuart Fancey, Director of Research and Innovation at the Scottish Funding Council, said:

“Scotland took a bold step in bringing its top research teams together to create virtual departments large enough to take on the world’s best universities. It is important that we learn every lesson we can from the experience so that Scotland can continue to do world-leading research and be an attractive destination for researchers and research students from around the world. SFC is very grateful to Professor Heathwaite for agreeing to lead this vital review.”