Rural Affairs and Environment Research Strategy
The Scottish Government has been consulting on the Rural Affairs and Environment Research Strategy. The consultation focussed on the vision and underlying principles for the funding of rural affairs and environment research in Scotland for the period 2016-2021.
In its response the RSE is supportive of the Scottish Government’s proposal that the Main Research Providers (MRPs) will continue to be the principal providers of strategic rural affairs and environment research. In order to ensure that the most efficient use is made of the available financial resource, the RSE emphasises that priority should be given to strengthening those research areas in which Scotland already leads and those where it can further develop its capacity and expertise to potentially excel in the future.
The RSE response indicates that the links between the MRPs and the university sector could be strengthened with the creation of more formal engagement between the Scottish Government’s Rural and Environment Science and Analytical Services Division (RESAS) and the Scottish Funding Council (SFC). The RSE response further suggests that RESAS and the SFC could explore the co-funding of a Doctoral Training Partnership in the research themes covered by the strategy.
The RSE response also comments on the operation of the Centres of Expertise (CoEs) and the Strategic Partnerships – both of which facilitate closer collaboration between the MRPs, universities, businesses and other research users in a number of topical areas.