Learned Society of Wales and HEFCW Announce Research Development Partnership

The Learned Society of Wales (LSW) has revealed plans for a national support scheme for researcher development, following the announcement of a partnership with the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW).

An initial one-year funding agreement of £103,000 will see the Society deliver projects that:

  • support mid-career and senior researchers to develop their links with external organisations and networks;
  • provide advice, resources and networking opportunities for early-career researchers;
  • increase collaboration between researchers from different universities.

The activities will draw on the Society’s status as a national, cross-disciplinary scholarly academy. They will complement the work of individual universities and of initiatives such as the Wales Innovation Network.

Dr David Blaney, Chief Executive of HEFCW, said:

“We shouldn’t underestimate the importance of working with LSW for the future success of research and innovation.

“From supporting researchers early in their careers to increasing diversity and encouraging collaboration, they will all help to build a successful knowledge-based economy. We look forward to seeing the real-world impact of the partnership on people and progress.”

Martin Pollard, Chief Executive of the LSW, said:

“We are excited by the opportunities this partnership offers. The Learned Society of Wales and HEFCW have a shared interest in research and innovation, collaboration, quality and impact.

“Our policy work and the success of our Early Career Research Network already show the benefits of nurturing Wales’ research talent.

“The partnership reflects the recommendation, made by the Diamond review of higher education funding in Wales and echoed by the Reid Review, that the Society should receive core funding to develop its work. It means we can push on with practical, well-developed schemes that will have real outcomes and benefits for Wales’ researchers, whether their careers are starting or well established.”

Projects already planned include:

  • Expanding the Society’s emerging Early Career Research Network, with a focus on mentorship, leadership skills and establishing Wales’ role within the UK Young Academy.
  • Supporting mid-career and senior researchers through mentoring ‘matchmaker’ and researcher pairing schemes?
  • Encouraging collaboration through a grant scheme for early-stage research proposals.
  • Increasing partnership by expanding our work with strategic partners across the Celtic nations and UK.
  • Promoting and celebrating the strength of Wales’ research culture, through case studies, policy work and the Society’s successful Dillwyn Medal scheme.