Aid for researchers wins THE award

A "game-changing" initiative set up to develop future research leaders in Wales has won a Times Higher Education award.

The Welsh Crucible, in which Swansea University plays a significant role, won the award for  Outstanding Contribution to Leadership Development. The trophy was presented to representatives of the St David's Day Group at an awards dinner at Grosvenor House, Park Lane, London.

The programme encourages researchers to interact and make new connections in other disciplines. Over three months, 30 participants hear guest speakers, engage in skills seminars, take part in informal discussions and receive input from senior government, research policy and media representatives.

Participants can bid for a share of £50,000 seed funding to make their ideas a reality. Welsh Crucible has also introduced a research-themed study visit to Brussels, which promotes greater awareness of European policy and interdisciplinary funding opportunities.

welsh cruciblePictured are Penny Dowdney (Bangor University), Louise Bright (University of South Wales) Liz Crispie (Cardiff University) Peter Halligan (Cardiff University) Rhian Morris (Swansea) Sarah Williams (Cardiff) Jonathan Burnes (Swansea) and judge Mark Pegg.

 One of the judges, Mark Pegg, chief executive of the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education, said: “Feedback is overwhelmingly positive, with game-changing impacts on attitudes and behaviours.”

Jonathan Burnes,  Research Programme Manager in the Planning & Strategic Projects Unit, said:  "This recognition is testament to the feedback we receive from the early to mid-career researchers at Swansea who have already begun to reap the rewards of participating in the Welsh Crucible programme.

"Working with our Welsh partners we have developed a proven programme of activity that truly develops our researchers and makes a difference to them individually and for research advancements. We aim to continue Welsh Crucible and embed improvements to the  programme through dialogue with the participants.

"A huge thanks must go to  Andrea Buck and Rhian Morris who manage the Swansea-based workshops, support applicants and  represent Swansea on the steering group."

Welsh Crucible is designed for talented early- to mid-career researchers employed by any Welsh university, or working in research and development in Wales in business, industry or the service sector.

The St David’s Day Group comprises Aberystwyth University, Bangor University, Cardiff University, Swansea University and the University of South Wales. The Welsh Crucible is also supported by the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales.