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Alliances for Research Challenges

Alliances for Research Challenges (ARCs) connect Scotland’s research excellence to Scotland’s national challenges.

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ARCs aim to:

  • Coordinate the research community across disciplines, institutions and sectors.
  • Leverage additional funding into our system.
  • Connect Scottish Government priorities with areas of strength within our publicly funded research system.

Alliances for Research Challenges diagramARCs fulfil the recommendation within SFC’s Review of Tertiary Education and Research to create next-generation networks that build on our sustained investment in the Research Pooling Initiative with a focus on interdisciplinary challenge-oriented research collaboration, leveraging additional funding and fostering early career researcher communities and training.

SFC provides funding to support the following ARCs:

Scottish Alliance for Food: Health, equity and sustainability

The Scottish Alliance for Food (SCAF) is a collaborative initiative bringing together perspectives from social, natural, and applied sciences, arts and humanities, to address critical emerging research questions related to building a better food future for all.

Scottish Research Alliance for Energy, Homes and Livelihoods

By bringing together researchers, industry, business, policy, and community partners, this cross-sectoral interdisciplinary alliance will work with the country’s households to achieve a sustainable net zero transition.

Brain Health Alliance

The Brain Health Alliance aims to create and support new cross sectoral, multidisciplinary collaborations with a shared vision of improving our nation’s brain health.

Whilst each ARC will has a designated host institution as its administrative lead, these Alliances include broad representation from across the Scottish higher education sector.

The following ARC is currently under development:

Quantum Technologies (University of Glasgow)

We expect to make a further announcement about this in late Spring.

Further information

For further information please contact Dr Charlotte Matheson, Senior Policy Officer, Research and Innovation, email: