Strategic research for seerad 2005 2010 environment biology and agriculture
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Strategic Research for SEERAD 2005 – 2010 Environment, Biology and Agriculture. Overview. Review Process Strategy Outline Progress against targets Future plans. Review Process. Consultation Consideration Consolidation Consultation (again) Conclusion Publication. Vision.

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Strategic Research for SEERAD 2005 – 2010 Environment, Biology and Agriculture

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Strategic Research for SEERAD 2005 – 2010Environment, Biology and Agriculture


  • Review Process

  • Strategy Outline

  • Progress against targets

  • Future plans

Review Process

  • Consultation

  • Consideration

  • Consolidation

  • Consultation (again)

  • Conclusion

  • Publication


  • Supports the policy and other functions of the Department and the work of its various client groups, through the provision of high quality and relevant scientific knowledge

  • Gains international recognition for its value and quality

  • Is a fundamental and essential part of the scientific community in Scotland


  • To procure scientific research that is of high quality and strategically relevant to Scottish Ministers’ policy, legislative and enforcement functions

  • To improve knowledge and technology transfer from, and public awareness of, the research and its outputs

  • To ensure that the research base providing the work funded by SRG is efficient and effective

Objective 1 – Relevant Research

  • Relevance is key in future research funding

  • Commissioning through a programme approach

  • Less ‘basic’ and more ‘applied’ research

  • More competition for funds

  • More use of peer review assessment

  • Set up a Strategic Advisory Panel

Objective 2 - KTE

  • Increased emphasis on KT

  • Specific funding streams

  • End user engagement strategies

  • Continued emphasis on raising profile of SRG funded R&D

Objective 3 – efficiency and effectiveness

  • Need for structural change to build critical mass

  • Rolling grants to replace grant-in-aid

  • Identify what research needs to be conducted within an ‘Institute’ setting

  • Joint funding and collaboration with other funders

  • Development fund (seedcorn)

Progress against Targets

  • By 2010: improve quality and relevance of scientific research procured by SRG

  • Cross cutting themes

  • Programmes/work packages

  • System for peer review prior to commissioning

Progress against Targets

  • By 2010: the proportion of SRG funded research which is classified as policy relevant will increase to at least 75% of the total

  • Continuing interaction with stakeholders on research programmes

  • SSAP to advise on identification of what research is required within an Institute setting

Progress against Targets

  • By 2010: basic research will be less than 10% of the total programme

  • By April 2005: set up the Strategic Science Advisory Panel

  • By April 2006: publish a system for assessment of SEERAD research programmes and providers with a view to implementation by 2008

  • By September 2005: publish end user engagement and publicity strategies

Progress against Targets

  • By 2010: Improve knowledge transfer activities across all research activities

  • KT plans set out within work package submissions

  • KT Strategy developed for Programmes 1-3

  • KT plans subjected to peer review

Progress against Targets

  • By 2010: facilitate greater intellectual and financial critical mass among the MRPs

  • PWC report; ADL consultancy on structure and funding options

  • Current joint initiatives – ACES, EBRC, Rowett/Aberdeen University

  • ‘Centres of Excellence’ competition opened

Progress against Targets

  • By April 2010: increase the proportion of SEERAD programmes which align with programmes of other funders and increase the level of joint funding

  • Working agreements with other funders to be updated/developed

  • Involvement in BBSRC Sustainable Agriculture Strategy Panel and Funders Group established by Defra SFFG

  • Regular discussions with SFC on research

Plans for 2006

  • Complete commissioning process

  • Assessment procedure

  • Centres of Excellence Awards

  • Environment and Health Package

Centres of Excellence Awards

  • Recent reviews found that Critical Mass was a significant issue for MRPs. Also gaps in the SEERAD portfolio to address emerging issues

  • Stronger relationships with HEIs and PSREs in Scotland seen as way forward.

  • Purpose of CoEs is to develop excellence and strategic capability in areas relevant to SEERAD

    • Strengthen Scottish infrastructure

    • Gain international recognition

    • Align with other funders initiatives

Centres of Excellence Awards

  • £1m per annum for 5 years, for 1-3 Centres

  • 14 Expressions of interest (3 pages), 20 organisations

  • First sift: Panel SE senior Professional staff, SSAC, comments from SHEFC, BBSRC.

  • 6 full proposals invited, suggested 2 might combine.

  • Currently establishing a peer review ‘college’ of UK, EU and Int’l QS referees. Also SSAP members, Programme Panel members and UK funders to provide strategic view

  • CoE Panel meeting March: SE, SFC, SSAC, UK funders and one ‘Champion/introducing member’ for each CoE.

  • Commission from 1st April 2006. Review 2008.

Environment and Health package

  • Emerging area identified as of increasing priority during Strategy review

  • No clear set of problems, needs and research priorities identified

  • SRG Programme Objective 12 “To consider how existing food production systems and changes in them affect human health through their environmental impact”

  • Aligned with SEERAD outcome – “People will be Healthier” – through clean air, safe water, waste reduced and safely disposed of, homes protected, access to green space

Environment and Health package

  • SE developing cross-department (HD-ERAD) Strategic Framework in Environment and Health

    • To create and optimise systems through which to pursue an environment promoting health and wellbeing in Scotland. Priority: Reduction in asthma and cardiovascular disease

  • New NERC programme commencing 2006,

    • “Particles, Pathogens and Pathways”.

    • Initially capacity building, I

    • In response mode.

    • SEERAD not co-funding as not directly aligned with SRG Strategy to increase relevance and a problem-led programme approach.

    • SE on NERC programme management Committee

Horizon scanning

  • Identify what research needs to be conducted within an ‘Institute’ setting

  • OST ‘RIPSS’ report

  • Critical Mass issues

  • Need for ‘expensive’ facilities

  • Biological advances

Peer Review of Work Packages 1.

  • New system for SEERAD-SRG to assess proposals prior to commissioning. New to MRPs

  • Review of Quality of Science, Strategic Relevance and Alignment with SEERAD Policy

  • Quality of Science review ‘college’ recruited by advertisement. MRPs nominated WP reviewers

  • WPs written in 3 sections to enable policy and relevance peer review

  • WP proposals sent to 2+ ‘list’, 3-4 nominated and 1-2 SRG named reviewers

Peer Review of Work Packages 2.

  • Reviewers score 1-3 (3=fail) for Strategic Relevance, Science quality, value for money, Management, Collaboration, KT. SRG compile summaries and highlight key points

  • Panel convened for each programme to consider reviewers comments. Panel provide feedback on WPs to MRPs. Minor revisions for most WPs, some require major revisions/rewrite

  • Revised proposals received from MRPs, sent to Panels for assessment of revisions.

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