A record eight out of 30 places on the award-winning Scottish Crucible programme have been secured by Strathclyde researchers, recognising the outstanding potential of the University’s future research leaders.
Supported by the Scottish Funding Council, the Royal Society of Edinburgh, the Scottish Parliament and Heriot Watt University, Scottish Crucible brings together 30 of the most highly promising science, social science, humanities, and arts researchers in Scotland each year.
Its objective is to explore and expand the innovative potential of participants through a series of intensive, two-day events, or ‘labs’. Successful researchers, or Cruciblists, were selected from 14 institutions across Scotland this year.
The labs are specifically designed to help new academics enhance their understanding of how science can benefit society – as well as how thinking creatively can make a difference to their work and career.
The 2017 Strathclyde Cruciblists are:
• Dr Katherine Duncan (Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences)
• Dr Natalia Gorenkova (Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences)
• Dr Abigail Hird (Design, Manufacture and Engineering Management)
• Dr Catherine Jones (Electronic and Electrical Engineering)
• Dr Asimina Kazakidi (Biomedical Engineering)
• Dr Brian Patton (Physics)
• Dr Lucas Richert (History)
• Dr Liu Yang (Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering).
Dr Richert said: “The Scottish Crucible was a jolt of intellectual electricity. Each lab struck a spectacular balance between fostering outside-the-box creativity and presenting practical engagement strategies.
“Importantly, the goal of bettering Scottish society was never once forgotten. It was an honour to participate.”
Professor William Kerr, Deputy Associate Principal (Research and Knowledge Exchange) at Strathclyde, said: “We are delighted that this excellent group of Strathclyde’s emerging high-calibre researchers has been recognised through this prestigious programme. Engagement with the various Scottish Crucible events will further develop the capability of these bold future leaders to deliver world-leading research and innovation to the benefit of society.”
The first Crucible lab was held in Edinburgh and focused on engaging with the media and policy makers. Cruciblists visited the Royal Society of Edinburgh, the Scottish Parliament, and the Scottish Government to learn about engaging with both the media and policy makers. The lab concluded with a panel of policy experts including Sir Paul Grice, Chief Executive of the Scottish Parliament, and Dr Audrey MacDougall, Chief Social Researcher at the Scottish Government.
The University of Stirling hosted the second lab, with a focus on UK research and innovation strategies and policies. The University of the West of Scotland will host the third lab at the start of July.
Each year Strathclyde provides internal assistance for potential applicants. Dr Emma Compton-Daw, of the University’s Organisational and Staff Development Unit (OSDU), along with previous Strathclyde Cruciblist mentors, offered advice on the career-enhancing benefits of applying for Scottish Crucible and provided direct support as part of the application process.
Applications for Scottish Crucible 2018 will open in December and staff interested in applying should contact OSDU for support.