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SFC Saltire Emerging Researcher Scheme

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In 2021 the Saltire Research Awards formed part of the Scottish Government’s £6.75 million commitment to supporting discovery and innovation in Scottish universities. They were designed to maintain and strengthen Scottish-European research collaboration.

As part of the initiative, 142 exchanges took place within the SFC Saltire Emerging Researcher Scheme. During the programme, Scottish- and European-based post-graduate and early career researchers undertook exchanges between Scotland and 21 European countries.


Announcing the programme

SFC-IconBlue_013“These awards provide excellent opportunities to develop the next generation of research talent in Scotland and I am pleased to see such strong proposals from our research pools and other consortia to support and grow EU connections.

“Maintaining connections with the EU is crucial and reinforces Scotland’s leadership in working collaboratively with key partners to tackle global challenges including the pandemic, driving net zero transition and enhancing digital and other growth opportunities right across the economy of Scotland.”

Jamie Hepburn, Minister for Education

Being awarded a scholarship

SFC-IconBlue_069“TU Delft is truly a world-class institution for architecture (among other disciplines) and the work on literary design methods being pursued by the team there is an amazing opportunity for me to make real strides in my doctoral thesis.

At the same time I cannot understate how important the articulation between local and national support in Scottish research institutions is for making meaningful work possible.

“For this, and much more, I am deeply grateful, and thrilled to have an opportunity to give this exchange all my attention and energy, so as to show gratitude in fulfilling my mission and beyond.”

Jeremy Allan Hawkins, SGSAH

Experiencing the exchange

SFC-IconBlue_016“This placement has delivered added- value to my doctoral experience. It gave me the opportunity to network with some important experts in my field. One of them is Pr. Joost VanHoof from the Netherlands who had the role of advisor for our project. I gained important skills in communicating with a diverse team of researchers. This is important experience for me, because my doctoral thesis will require multiple collaborations with a range of stakeholders and dementia experts. During my placement I also had the opportunity to exercise my leadership skills as I was given the role of co- leading the programme. It was a very beneficial learning experience for me to practice this role while constantly taking in consideration both the aims of the project and the abilities and the needs of my colleagues”

Loukia Minetou, SGSS

Finding shared values

SFC-IconBlue_118“From the perspective of broader international alignment, it was revealed that Italy shares important overlaps in core civic values with Scotland.

Namely, after meeting the workgroup of Professor Paolo Barsocchi (from the National Research Council of Italy), I was captivated by their determination to use cutting edge technology to improve health and social care services in Italian care homes.”

Juraj Sikra, University Strathclyde, SICSA

Looking to the future

“Another possible outcome of the collaboration is that researchers from Sweden would like to visit the Scottish research institutions and thereby ‘complete’ the exchange, by performing measurements in Scotland or involving students that could benefit from being immersed in new international academic environments.”

Magnus Sten Harald Janson, MASTS

The joy of sharing common interests

Emily Hague, a PhD researcher based within the Marine Spatial Analysis Group at Heriot-Watt University has written a blog about her visit to institutions in Ireland and Denmark. Emily’s blog describes how the visit helped her to connect with researchers with complementary research interests, to identify potential future collaborations.


Closing remarks

In this short video the Chair of the Scottish Funding Council, Mike Cantlay, talks about the legacy of the SFC Emerging Researcher Scheme and its contribution to creating even stronger links between Scottish and EU universities.

SFC Strategic Plan 2022-27

Building a connected, agile, sustainable tertiary education and research system for Scotland.

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