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Scottish Universities Physics Alliance SUPA – the Evolving Vision April 2012 Prof Jim Hough Chief Executive.

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Presentation on theme: "Scottish Universities Physics Alliance SUPA – the Evolving Vision April 2012 Prof Jim Hough Chief Executive."— Presentation transcript:

1 Scottish Universities Physics Alliance SUPA – the Evolving Vision April 2012 Prof Jim Hough Chief Executive

2 Scottish Universities Physics Alliance SUPA l will pool and enhance Scotland's strongest physics research to develop international leadership provide a magnet for researchers and sponsors worldwide Scottish Universities Physics Alliance: A Partnership for Excellence SUPA I (Scottish Universities Physics Alliance) A Partnership for Excellence In the beginning

3 Scottish Universities Physics Alliance SUPA I SUPA l – funded for a start in 2005 £14.1M (58% from Scottish Higher Education Funding Council) ending 2010 then extended to 2011 SUPA l – 6 Universities: Edinbugh, Glasgow, Heriot-Watt, St Andrews, Strathclyde, University of West of Scotland 5 funded themes + Graduate School Astronomy and Space Condensed Matter and Materials Physics Nuclear and Plasma Physics Particle Physics Photonics Plus subtheme of PP and Astro – TEOPS (Technology for Experimental and Observational Physics in Scotland) which involved the Astronomy Technology Centre in Edinburgh.

4 Scottish Universities Physics Alliance Vision of SUPA Aim: SUPA 1 will place Scotland at the forefront of research in physics in the UK 2008 UK Research Assessment Exercise Three departments in Scotland were ranked 7th equal or better (out of 42), led by St Andrews standing at equal 2nd with Cambridge and Nottingham, Edinburgh 6th and Glasgow equal 7th. Heriot-Watt Physics improved significantly, rising to equal 15th place, on a par with Oxford and Southampton. Collectively, SUPA has more high quality activity than Cambridge. SUPA

5 Scottish Universities Physics Alliance SUPA II SUPA ll – funded to start winter 2009 £48M (33% from Scottish Funding Council), for 7 years, so overlap with SUPA l SUPA lI – Two More Universities: Aberdeen and Dundee extra themes Physics and Life Sciences (PaLS) Energy Plus extension of TEOPS subtheme, renamed SPARK (Scottish Physics and Astronomy for Research and Knowledge exchange ) More investment in people overall but particularly in PaLS and Nuclear (SCAPA: The Scottish Centre for the Application of Plasma-based Accelerators)

6 Scottish Universities Physics Alliance Current SUPA network

7 Scottish Universities Physics Alliance Now SUPA 11 - VISION Strong International Profile Recognised Research Excellence As determined by – REF performance – grant income – international collaborations Long term sustainability

8 Scottish Universities Physics Alliance Progress to date 1 Currently we have –> £150 M research grant portfolio – approx. 60 prestigious appointments/fellowships including 8 Leadership professorial appointments made across the themes and schools (4 in PaLS, 2 in condensed matter and 2 in Photonics) 2 leadership professorial positions in Nuclear/Plasma Physics theme offered 7 holders of ERC awards, 14 RS/RAE Fellowships etc –5 new Wolfson Merit Awards –8 new electees to the RSE –1 Royal Society Professor

9 Scottish Universities Physics Alliance Publications in SUPA II to date Astro CMMP En’rgyN/PPPaLSPhot.P’rticle

10 Scottish Universities Physics Alliance Progress to date 2 Prizes include –2011 Charles H Townes award holder (Sibbett) –2011 Royal Medal of the RSE (Smith) –2011 Occhialini Medal holder (Oppo, Strathclyde), –2011 IoP Particle Physics Group Prize (Davies, Glasgow), –2012 Edinburgh Award (Higgs) –2012 RAS Gold Medal (Brown) JUNO Champion Status for Glasgow.

11 Scottish Universities Physics Alliance Themes All 7 themes (Astro, CMMP, Energy, Nuclear/Plasma, Particle, PaLS and Photonics) are progressing well with clearly laid out strategies for their future development –Strategies will be discussed later by the theme leaders or representative Graduate School has ever increasing number of applications for prize studentships SUPA 11 has a Director of Knowledge Transfer and he will report on the growing activities in this area.

12 Scottish Universities Physics Alliance REF – see papers attached 3 Meetings of REF Champs since May –Looking at impact statements –Will cross read selection of papers –Will collaborate on wording on overall applications Currently –Edinburgh/St. A. intending to submit jointly with high ‘entry’ threshold. Will exclude significant number of staff. –Other Schools/departments undecided as yet Serious discussions will commence in early summer

13 Scottish Universities Physics Alliance International Agenda Invitation to talk at ‘Regional Cooperation in Higher Education’ in Essen, October 2011 Developing MoU with CNISM (Italian National Inter-university Consortium for the Physical Sciences of Matter) Involvement in Scottish Fraunhofer Centre. Potential Max Planck Centre in Scotland –(SUPA/MPG)

14 Scottish Universities Physics Alliance Max Planck Centres The Max Planck Society is one of the world’s most successful research organizations. Since its establishment in 1948, the Society has produced 17 Nobel Laureates, putting it on a par with the most prestigious research institutions worldwide. (10th in the world and 3rd in Europe according to

15 Scottish Universities Physics Alliance Max Planck Centre Measurement and Observation at the Quantum Limit Propose Max Planck Centre on Measurement and Observation at the Quantum Limit Joint venture between SUPA (Glasgow, Strathclyde and St Andrews in the first instance until set up) with AEI Hannover and Golm, MPL Erlangen, MPQ Garching, MP for Chemical Physics Dresden, and MP for Solid State Physics Stuttgart promote international collaboration with the Max Planck Society and beyond success will be measured in terms of jointly authored papers and grants international recruitment programme visitors exchange programme international workshops/sandpits pump-priming of projects Strategy, Aspiration and Progress

16 Scottish Universities Physics Alliance Max Planck Centre Measurement and Observation at the Quantum Limit Five Year life in first instance Being led by Danzmann (AEI) and Hough (initially) Strong support from the Universities with interest from STFC, EPSRC and SFC. Negotiations are ongoing. Fully consistent with the original SUPA Vision The Max Planck Society delivers science at the highest of international standards, making the Centre a magnet for the world’s leading researchers, students, fellows and full professors

17 Scottish Universities Physics Alliance Challenges to be met Keeping researchers motivated towards collaboration and the work required, when they have received their share of funding –Prize Studentship contest helps but future carrots are needed – hence internationalisation and other activities. Matching collaborative priorities to competitive individual institutional priorities when bidding for funds – requires care –the pool has to be able to add value to each institutional bid –Would be helped if collaborative proposals specifically invited Long Term Sustainability

18 Scottish Universities Physics Alliance Opportunities SFC imposed a funding cut of 16.4 % for 2011/12 but ongoing funding has been restored Amount cut will also be restored provided it is used to place early career researchers in industry or an entrepreneurial environment. –Real opportunity here to get young researchers out to Silicon Valley for a period using our SU2P connections Extra funding has also been provided for helping with EC grant applications involving SMEs, and for early career exchanges to improve internationalisation. Funding of a number of Innovation Centres recently announced Last two points will be discussed under KT and Graduate School.


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