Researchers Receive £2.8M Support in RSE Awards

Over 100 distinguished academic researchers will receive £2.8M in awards from the RSE.

These awards enable academics to either further their research or to investigate the commercial potential of their current work. To encompass this span of activities, the RSE offers a variety of different types of awards that range from enterprise awards to personal research fellowships, workshop grants to travel bursaries that allow collaboration with colleagues overseas.

Supported by both public and private bodies, these prestigious awards highlight the tremendous vitality of Scotland’s research sector and the huge contribution it makes to Scotland’s development, economy and wellbeing. Hailing from diverse disciplines, this year’s awardees have projects that represent a wide range of subject areas such as trade union feminism, hi-visibility ski wear, faecal microbiota transplantation and Scottish printmaking.

This year there are 19 Enterprise Fellowship awardees who will receive funding, training and mentorship to unleash their entrepreneurial potential, enabling them to commercialise their science and technology-based research. Michael Harkins of Heriot-Watt University who is looking to commercialise his award winning flotation device for the ‘Learn to Swim’ market said, “I was absolutely delighted that I was accepted onto the RSE Enterprise Fellowship. It is not only a huge boost for taking the business to the next level but also the first steps of creating the Olympic swimmers of tomorrow. My drive for seeing my company—Turtle Pack—succeed comes from my love for the sport”.

New to this year’s awards is the RSE Scotland Foundation supported Health, Happiness and Wellbeing Initiative which aims to facilitate research into understanding the factors that enable young people to make successful transitions from adolescence to adulthood. Through this new initiative, Dr Joanne McLean of the Mental Health Foundation will review population interventions designed to improve the health and wellbeing of ‘average’ groups of young people. She commented, “Being awarded this grant has been a great opportunity to explore promising interventions to improve the mental health, happiness, and wellbeing of vulnerable adolescents. This is a particularly important exploratory step in identifying how we can best support these young people to make successful transitions to adulthood and tackle the health inequalities that they face. This initial phase will feed into future studies, which could lead to the development and evaluation of primary interventions to improve the lives of vulnerable young people in Scotland.”

Dr Chih-Jen Lin from the University of Edinburgh has been awarded a Scottish Government supported Personal Research Fellowship. He said, “I feel very honoured to be one of the recipients of this esteemed RSE fellowship. This will provide the opportunity to investigate the underlying molecular mechanisms implicated in the formation of a healthy one-cell embryo. The fellowship generously includes substantial research funding and time to allow me to complete the research programme whilst developing new methodologies for potential therapeutic strategies. I am grateful for this opportunity that will further develop my career, and very much appreciate the RSE’s support.”

President of the RSE, Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell, said the awards recognise the finest in Scottish research, commenting, “It gives me great pleasure to see the RSE awards support such a vast range of research with far reaching impact. I offer my congratulations to all the pioneering and inspiring awardees whose abilities have been recognised; their achievements reflect the high standard of work that typifies the RSE and Scotland’s research and business community.”

The RSE’s awards are made possible through the continued and generous support of our funding partners: BBSRC, RSE Scotland Foundation, Scottish Enterprise, Scottish Funding Council, STFC and the Scottish Government.

Press Release: Researchers Receive £2.8M Support in RSE Awards


RSE Awards Reception

September 2016