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Scotland’s cereal connections boosted with Fellowship awards

Barley (c) James Hutton Institute
“This is an excellent way of building long-term partnerships and will add impetus to our efforts to build an international centre of excellence in barley research in Dundee.”

Dundee’s position as an international hub for research into cereals – particularly barley – has been given a boost with the award of a grant which will create new connections with Australia.

The award of a £150,000 from the Universities UK International Rutherford Fund Strategic Partner initiative will allow the University of Dundee to bring seven Early Career Researchers from Australia to Dundee for periods ranging from one to twelve months between March 2018 and March 2019.

“This is another important step to firmly establishing Dundee as an international centre for cereal research,” said Professor Claire Halpin, Associate Dean of Research and Professor of Plant Biology and Biotechnology in the School of Life Sciences at the University of Dundee.

“In partnership with the James Hutton Institute we wish to increase the impact of cereal research in Dundee through the establishment of an International Barley Hub. This Hub will facilitate both closer interactions with industry and a broader internationalisation agenda for cereal and barley research.

“As part of this initiative, and to make the Hub truly international we wish to build on and extend connections and collaborations with all global centres of excellence in barley research, including those in Australia.”

Professor Robbie Waugh, a joint appointment of the James Hutton Institute and the University of Dundee, said, “The UUKI Rutherford Fund Strategic Partner Grant will consolidate and extend research links with key barley researchers in Australia by allowing collaborative research projects to be developed and undertaken by excellent early career researchers, who could maintain those links throughout their future careers.

“This is an excellent way of building long-term partnerships and will add impetus to our efforts to build an international centre of excellence in barley research in Dundee.”

Colin West, chair of the International Barley Hub, welcomed the announcement of the Fellowship grants.

“The International Barley Hub is delighted to see grants awarded to bring young scientists from Australia to Dundee to join the local expert research in cereals science,” he said.

“This collaboration is definitely win-win: the young scientists get to work with the world-leading teams at the James Hutton Institute and the University of Dundee, and they bring enthusiasm, initiative and knowledge from their Australian base to contribute to taking barley forward as a global crop. Barley is a vital crop to Scotland, and to Australia, and both growing regions will benefit from this funding from the UK’s Rutherford Fund.”

The Universities UK International (UUKi) Rutherford Fund Strategic Partner Grants programme provides funding for eligible UK higher education institutions to offer short-term fellowships that will build on and enhance their global strategic partnerships.​

The fellowships are funded by the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) through the Rutherford Fund, with the aim of attracting global talent and strengthening the UK's research base.

A grant of £150,000 has been awarded to deliver a dynamic programme of research fellowships for early career researchers. By funding individual mobility within the framework of strategic partnerships, the aim is to catalyse longer term and interdisciplinary collaboration. The outcomes of the Rutherford Fund Strategic Partner Grants scheme are expected to include:

  • Enhanced research links between UK institutions and key strategic partners in a broad range of countries
  • The development of new and improvement of existing research networks and links between future research leaders and the UK research community
  • New opportunities for collaboration and joint working, and greater impact for existing collaborations
  • Enhanced reputation of the UK and UK institutions in a broad range of countries.

Notes to editors

The Division of Plant Sciences at the University of Dundee is an internationally recognised centre for molecular plant science. It sits within the School of Life Sciences, which with more than 900 scientists, research students and support staff from 61 countries and external funding in excess of £50 million per annum is one of the largest and most productive Life Sciences research institutes in Europe. www.lifesci.dundee.ac.uk

The International Barley Hub is an initiative that seeks to create a unique, integrated, open platform for the translation of barley research into economic, social, environmental and commercial impacts for the breeding, farming, malting, brewing, feed, food, health and related industries. For more information see http://www.hutton.ac.uk/about/facilities/international-barley-centre-project

As part of Universities UK, Universities UK International (UUKi) represents UK higher education institutions (HEIs) globally and helps them to flourish internationally. To do this we actively promote UK HEIs abroad, provide trusted information for and about them, and create new opportunities through our unique ability to act at sector level. We draw on UK university expertise to influence policy in the UK and overseas, delivering information, advice and guidance to facilitate mutually beneficial collaboration between UK HEIs and a broad range of international partners. www.international.ac.uk

More information from: 

Bernardo Rodriguez-Salcedo, Media Manager, James Hutton Institute, Tel: +44 (0)1224 395089 (direct line), +44 (0)344 928 5428 (switchboard) or +44 (0)7791 193918 (mobile).

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Printed from /news/scotland%E2%80%99s-cereal-connections-boosted-fellowship-awards on 23/01/19 11:00:00 PM

The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.