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Scottish Scientists Granted £16.5m by UK Government

Victoria Roberts


Scottish scientists
Scientists across Scotland will use the grant to develop their research ideas into products and services for global development. 

The funding, announced today, is part of the UK government’s pledge to increase public spending on research and development by £22 billion by 2025.

The country’s most promising researchers will be able to fund equipment and wages to carry out their work, with the hopes that will become a new generation of science leaders. 

Iain Stewart, the UK Government Minister for Scotland, said, “Scottish scientists have long been pioneers of innovation and this investment will encourage a new generation of trailblazers to keep that tradition going.”

Projects being supported include that of the University of Edinburgh’s Dr Bethany Mills, who will lead research into corneal ulcers. Over two million people globally are blinded by this condition, and her investigations will map the bacteria and fungi that cause ulcers to appear. This information will be used to develop appropriate treatments. 

Dr Emily Draper, University of Glasgow, will lead a project that develops environmentally friendly, organic materials to replace existing, expensive and damaging metals found in everyday devices such as smartphones. 

Dr Lynne Falconer, University of Stirling, will lead investigations into marine aquaculture to respond to the impact of climate change, using data from farms along Scottish and Norwegian coasts. This data will develop a framework of tools for the industry to make more informed decision making. 


The investment comes as part of UK Research and Innovation’s (UKRI) Future Leaders Fellowships scheme

Over the next three years the scheme will receive £900 million in investment by Westminster. 

UKRI Chief Executive Dame Ottoline Leyser said, “The new Fellows announced today will have the support and freedom they need to pursue their research and innovation ideas, delivering new knowledge and understanding and tackling some of the greatest challenges of our time.” 

This aims to put the UK on track to reach 2.4% of GDP being spent on research and development across the UK economy by 2027. 

Across the UK, nearly 100 projects are being supported, including cutting edge projects on global disease and climate issues. 

The Future Leaders Fellowships scheme lets universities apply for up to £1.5 million to support the research and innovation leaders of the future. 

Each fellowship lasts between four and seven years. Awardees will each receive between £400,000 and £1.5 million over an initial four year period.

Victoria Roberts

Staff Writer

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