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Scottish Funding Council launches postgrad advisory group


Group will advise on funding approaches and response to UK-wide developments to postgraduate policy

The Scottish Funding Council has announced the launch of a new expert group to advise it on policy and funding approaches for postgraduate research.

The council said the group will guide Scotland’s response to a “shifting” UK-wide landscape in postgraduate research, such as national funder UK Research and Innovation’s new deal for postgraduates or the UK government’s 2021 R&D People and Culture Strategy.

“So much of Scotland’s global reputation is based on our talent for discovery and innovation,” said Karen Watt, chief executive of the council. “For this to continue, and for Scotland to contribute to the huge research challenges ahead, we need to encourage and support our postgraduate researchers.”

The advisory group announced on 11 August has 19 group members, who come from different disciplines and universities and include postgraduate students, academics, professional services staff, and UKRI director of talent and skills Frances Burstow.

It is co-chaired by Kay Guccione, head of research culture and research development at the University of Glasgow, and Nick Fyfe, vice-principal for research and community at Robert Gordon University.

Guccione said the work that the group is setting out to do will be “a great opportunity to think imaginatively to address some long-standing issues as well as some contemporary challenges for postgraduate researchers”.

She added that “it has the potential to create the foundations for an even stronger and more equitable research base for the future”.

The group, known as SFC Advisory Group on Supporting Scotland’s Postgraduate Researchers, will meet 6-8 times over an 18-month period, with the first meeting expected on 28 September.