Academic research network converges at Scottish Crucible Forum


Scotland’s ‘research leaders of the future’ converged in Edinburgh last week to take part in the 3rd annual Scottish Crucible Forum hosted at the Royal College of Physicians.

Members of the Scottish Crucible Alumni Network – staff from Universities and other research organisations who had previously participated in Scottish Crucible – came together in a one day event to discuss their achievements since completing the programme. Now numbering more than 270 lecturers, academic fellows and research directors, the Forum showcased examples of novel research collaborations devised and led by Scottish Crucible Alumni.  Scottish Crucible Director, Dr Ruth Neiland said, “The Scottish Crucible Alumni Network represent a remarkable talent pool of emerging research leaders from all academic disciplines.  Their enthusiasm for tackling research problems and collaborating widely is inspiring and highly beneficial in fostering further impact from Scotland’s research base”.

Scottish Crucible Alumni attending the Forum also explored new opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration, innovation and knowledge exchange.  The potential for more academic outreach into school-level education was highlighted by guest speakers including Ian Menzies of Education Scotland and Alaina Macri of the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, whilst engaging with the media to raise public awareness of research was promoted by Steven Vass, Scotland Editor of The Conversation UK.  Projects merging Arts, Science and Policy domains were presented by senior academics from the Moredun Research Institute and Universities of St Andrews and Edinburgh as leading exemplars of successful interdisciplinarity and impact.

The event concluded with sector leaders considering the challenges and opportunities presented to the emerging research community by the changing policy environment in the UK. Keynote speakers included Dr Stuart Fancey, Director of Research & Innovation, Scottish Funding Council; Prof Alan Miller, CEO, SUPA and co-Director of Scottish Crucible; Prof Sheila Rowan, Chief Scientific Adviser, Scottish Government; and Prof Richard Williams, Principal of Heriot-Watt University.