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Scotland’s research pools need strong links, say vice-chancellors

An ongoing review of Scotland’s research pooling initiative needs to respond to the creation of large UK-wide funds to support interdisciplinary challenges, the vice-chancellors’ group Universities Scotland has said.

In its response to a call for evidence, the group welcomed the independent review of the Scottish Funding Council’s (SFC) research pooling initiative, saying it was “necessary and timely”. But the group cautioned that the review should take into account changes in how research funding is allocated, as a greater emphasis is being put on interdisciplinary collaboration to tackle large challenges.

“We are seeing large investments in: industry-led research such as through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund; a focus on place and economic development in Strength in Places Fund; and, a focus on international development such as via the Global Challenges Research Fund,” Universities Scotland said. All three funds are delivered by umbrella funder UK Research and Innovation.

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