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Wales’ Chief Scientific Advisor Professor Julie Williams has welcomed some of the world’s best scientific research talent to their new posts.

First published:
13 October 2016
Last updated:

This was published under the 2016 to 2021 administration of the Welsh Government

The 51 new Fellows have been attracted to Wales through the first of three rounds of applications to the Sêr Cymru II funding programme, offered by the Welsh Government to grow research throughout the country. 

They have come from such prestigious universities  such as Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the California Institute of Technology (CalTech), and  will work in a range of fields including cancer research, stem cell research, engineering, new materials, green energy and the environment.

Partnering with excellent researchers already succeeding in Wales, they will build capacity on the critical mass of existing researchers, for example the Energy Safety Research Institute at Swansea University.

Building on the original Sêr Cymru programme that supports four Sêr Cymru Chairs and three research networks, this latest funding will develop some of the world’s best scientific research talent in Wales, to deliver economic growth and high quality jobs to nearly £100m.

The Sêr Cymru II project is led by the Welsh Government and backed by the European Union, through Horizon 2020 programme, and the Welsh Higher Education sector, including HEFCW. It aims to help give a real boost to Wales’ research capacity – where some 600 further researchers are needed to help win competitive research funds.

Together they have pledged £17m to attract up to 90 new research Fellows  to work with the best researchers in Wales. 

A further £16m from the Welsh Government and the Higher Education sector as well as £23m from the European Regional Development Fund, provided through WEFO, will support three additional strands to recruit fellowships from both within the UK and internationally:

  • Rising Star fellowships: Up to 26 five-year fellowships for the very best ‘rising stars’ of academic research.
  • ‘Welsh’ Fellowships: Around 30 three-year fellowships for stellar candidates, to be recruited from anywhere in the world to come to work in Wales.  
  • Recapturing Research Talent: Approximately 12 fellowships for talented researchers returning to work following a career break or who have left the scientific world.

Wales’ Chief Scientific Advisor Professor Julie Williams said:

“We are delighted that young scientists with great potential want to build careers in Wales, partnering with strong researchers already addressing major issues facing Wales and the world in years to come

 “We will now continue to develop more researchers to fulfil our true potential, create long-term benefits and ensure Wales remains competitive in the global economy.”

The Minister for Skills and Science, Julie James said: 

“Sêr Cymru II is a unique and innovative development. The talent we are attracting through Sêr Cymru will confirm Wales as a progressive country, leading the way in scientific research and delivering economic growth.”