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Value of research and innovation in Scotland

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Task and Finish Working Group

The Scottish Funding Council (SFC) is pleased to invite applications to be part of its new ‘Value of research and innovation (R&I) in Scotland Task and Finish Working Group’ (referred as the Group).

This cross-sector Group will support the SFC in developing and implementing a programme of work, building on the suite of reports published in 2023, to meaningfully demonstrate the impact of R&I funding, including SFC core R&I funding, to Scotland’s society and economy.

It is anticipated that the Group will meet virtually up to 6 times for c. 1-2 hours, with some brief pre-meeting work, over a period of approximately 12 months, but please note this is likely to be frontloaded. Work is expected to conclude by the end of July 2025.

The Group’s remit will not include SFC funding policy decisions.

Value of research and innovation in Scotland programme

Scotland’s universities are among the best in the world, with cutting edge R&I that creates knowledge of immense social, economic and cultural value, essential not only to Scotland’s ability to tackle challenges and opportunities now and in the future, but vital for our collective global health and wellbeing and efforts to fight climate change

SFC invests in excellent R&I carried out within the Scottish Higher Education sector through three core grants: Research Excellence Grant; Research Postgraduate Grant; and Universities Innovation Fund (from AY 24/25 will be replaced by the Knowledge Exchange and Innovation Fund).

As set out in our Review of Tertiary Education and Research, we are committed to developing evidence on the value of R&I from our universities, and to work with sector partners to articulate the case for sustained investment and demonstration of impact.

In 2023, we published a suite of reports demonstrating the economic and social impact of Scottish Higher Education Institutions’ (HEIs) research​ at regional, national, UK and international level:

  • economic impact through a new analysis focused on supply chain impacts within Scotland’s economy, commissioned from the Fraser of Allander Institute;
  • societal impact through an analysis and showcase of Scotland’s REF2021 impact case studies, commissioned from RAND; and
  • the importance and role of SFC’s undirected research funding through an SFC animation and publication which showcases the REG case studies received through the Outcome Agreement process.

The new Task and Finish Working Group will support SFC as we continue to develop our approaches to:

  • communicating the value and impact of our core R&I funding mechanisms to targeted stakeholders;
  • building our evidence base to articulate and evaluate the value of public investment in Scotland’s R&I landscape to targeted stakeholders; and
  • identifying stakeholders for the programme, including those across the sector with shared priorities, and opportunities to amplify the programme’s activities.

Application processes of Task and Finish Working Group

Prospective members with an interest, expertise and knowledge in evidencing and communicating the impacts of Scottish HEI R&I are sought.

We are seeking to establish a Group with a wide and diverse membership, providing representation across a variety of sectors (industry, third sector, academia, other non-academic organisations), institution types, disciplines, career roles including professional services, career stages and geographical areas of Scotland.

Selection to the Group membership will be done on the applicant’s expertise, knowledge and experience.

Applications from under-represented groups, including women, minority ethnic backgrounds and disabled candidates are particularly welcomed. The SFC is committed to diversity and equality.

The Group is expected to include 10-15 members. At SFC’s discretion, guests may be invited to attend the Group’s meetings to provide additional expertise where this is likely to enhance the quality of discussion. The SFC will reserve the right to change the Group’s membership as required for its purposes.

We are conscious that we are likely to receive more applications than the Group can accommodate. We would like to invite applicants unable to be accommodated on the Group to support our work as part of a more diffuse network that the SFC can draw on to support the Group. We may lean on the whole diffuse network and/or individual expertise identified within the network. Please note, given the potential scale of a diffuse network, and the developing nature of the work, we are not setting expectations for a minimum level of involvement for the network.

How to apply

Interested persons should apply via the light touch application form found below. The application includes two qualitative questions regarding your interest in being part of the Group, and the knowledge and expertise that you would bring. The closing date for applications is Thursday 3 July 2024, 12:00pm UK time.

If you have any questions, or wish to discuss further, please contact res@sfc.ac.uk.

If reasonable adjustments are required to complete the application form, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

To apply please complete the Value of R&I Scotland Task and Finish Working Group application form. A copy of the application form for reference only can be accessed on Value of research and innovation – application form [PDF].

Selection process

Following the closing date, applications will be considered internally by SFC in order to meet its needs.

In making their decision, the SFC will consider expertise and knowledge as identified in the application form, interest and potential contribution to the Group.

We expect to be able to confirm the Group’s membership in summer 2024. We will contact successful applicants by the email.  Please note, we will not provide feedback to unsuccessful applicants.

Data Protection

Personal data including name and email address will be gathered as part of the application process. For more information about how SFC uses personal data please see our privacy notice on SFC Research and innovation privacy notice section.

SFC Strategic Plan 2022-27

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

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