Launch of UK Young Academy Announced 

Emerging Leaders Wanted as First Members of New UK Young Academy

The first UK-wide national Young Academy – a network of early career researchers and professionals – is being launched today. The UK Young Academy will bring together researchers, innovators, clinicians, professionals, academics and entrepreneurs to tap into their collective potential and expertise to tackle important issues in society.  

The initiative, as part of an interdisciplinary collaboration with the Academy of Medical Sciences, British Academy, Learned Society of Wales, Royal Academy of Engineering, Royal Irish Academy, Royal Society of Edinburgh, and the Royal Society, aspires to connect emerging leaders with different knowledge and expertise, and include their voices in local and global policy discussions.

Professor Hywel Thomas FLSW FREng FRS, President of the Learned Society of Wales said: “The Learned Society of Wales is excited to be involved with the UK Young Academy. 

“The launch last year of our own Early Career Research Network shows the Society’s commitment to the research talent emerging from Wales’ universities. 

“We are proud of that work and know that a ‘Global Wales’ needs collaboration and strong networks across disciplines, institutions and nations. 

“The UK Young Academy offers that opportunity and we pleased to support its development.” 

Sir Adrian Smith PRS, President of the Royal Society said, “We continue to face significant challenges as a society, so we need to galvanise the expertise, talent and motivation of those at early stages of their careers to find the solutions to the challenges they will face now and in the future.  

“Global problems like pandemics, climate change, biodiversity loss and social inequality need solutions from many different sectors and individuals from diverse backgrounds to bring about meaningful change. 

“There are limited formal opportunities in the UK for young professionals to collaborate across disciplines and we hope the UK Young Academy will give them a credible voice on the issues that matter.”  

The first members of the UK Young Academy will shape the strategy and focus of the organisation. Applicants will come from a variety of sectors, be at the early stages of their professional careers and will have made significant contributions to their fields. They will join the global initiative of Young Academies, with the UK Young Academy becoming the 50th and latest to join the Young Academy movement. Applications close on 8 September 2022.

Dr Olga Kozlova, Director of Innovation and Industry Engagement at the University of Strathclyde and member of the UK Young Academy appointments committee said, “As a former member of the Young Academy of Scotland, I can speak from experience about the value of bringing people early on in their careers together to collaborate and learn from one another, in transforming the ways they look at the world. 

“Successful innovators, entrepreneurs and inventors of the future need the space and support to explore challenges from all angles, including the ones they hadn’t even known existed. This is the goal of the UK Young Academy; to enable cohesion between different sectors to solve societal challenges by harnessing talent across the country.”  

Professor Duncan Cameron, Professor of Plant and Soil Biology at the University of Sheffield and member of the UK Young Academy appointments committee said, “As a member of the LGBTQ+ community and a disability advocate, I know that finding solutions to global challenges requires contributions from different people with different life experiences. It is therefore central to the creation of the new UK Young Academy that members commit to establishing an inclusive and equal environment for all. 

“We are committed to attracting a diverse membership and will be taking steps throughout the assessment process to ensure that all applicants have an equal chance to succeed. In addition, we will champion members of the UK Young Academy to be role models for other early career professionals aspiring to make positive change.” 

Applications for membership to the UK Young Academy are now open; details of selection criteria and how to apply can be found on the UK Young Academy website. Applications will close on 8 September 2022.