The £2.8 million contract was awarded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) to a consortium led by the University of Edinburgh’s Institute for Academic Development following a competitive tender process. The programme is funded for three years.
The Network is made up of seven institutions: University of Edinburgh (lead), the University of Cambridge, Cardiff University, the University of Leeds, University College London, the School of Advanced Study and Queen’s University Belfast.
Partner universities will be organised into four regional hubs and will connect Fellows with local, national and global leaders in research and innovation.
The Fellowships were created in 2018 to establish the careers of world-class research and innovation leaders across UK business and academia.
UKRI described the Edinburgh-led consortium as “world-leading” with expertise in fostering the collaborations and building the links with networks that will help the Fellows thrive.
The Network will focus on five areas: enterprise and self-leadership; leading teams and collaborations; transforming research cultures; contributing to UK society; and global citizenship.
Fellows will receive leadership and peer review training, participate in international research encounters where they can network with industry researchers and policymakers. In addition, a funding stream has been created to help initiate and grow the groups’ collaborative ideas that will develop as Fellows start working and learning together.
SAS will offer training to help Fellows communicate their research to a variety of audiences, including policymakers, industry, the media and the wider public, exploring new ways to engage and to reach new audiences.
Director of the Institute of Philosophy, Professor Barry Smith, who is leading for SAS, said: “This is a great opportunity to work with future research leaders who will help to reshape research culture and demonstrate the value and importance of their work to a growing number of audiences.”
Professor Sarah Churchwell, SAS’s Chair in Public Understanding of the Humanities, added, “Society benefits from research to an immeasurable degree, making it absolutely vital that our most skilled researchers be equally skilled at communicating that research to an array of audiences, in pluralist, accessible, and meaningful ways. It’s such an important step forward in thinking about the public skills the research leaders of tomorrow will require, and we’re thrilled to be part of it.”