Strategy & Structure

Through a coherent approach to staffing strategy, research initiatives, graduate education, knowledge exchange, industry engagement and funding opportunities, physics research in Scotland has flourished with SUPA partner institutions proving to be attractive to top class researchers and the best graduate students from around the world. Collectively, SUPA forms the largest cluster of research power in physics in the UK.

SUPA is theme led, reflecting research strengths in the eight partner universities. Five themes represent physics sub-disciplines: Astronomy & Space Physics (ASP), Condensed Matter & Materials Physics (CMMP), Nuclear & Plasma Physics (NPP), Particle Physics (PP) and Photonics (P). A further two themes represent impact strengths: Energy (E) and Physics & Life Sciences (PaLS).

The Graduate School (GS), with around 600 PhD students currently registered, has been a major success of SUPA. Over 50 advanced courses, corresponding to over 800 hours of lectures, are delivered annually via a network of video classrooms. SUPA Prize studentships have been awarded to outstanding applicants since the creation of SUPA. The SUPA GS works in collaboration with a number of RCUK funded Doctoral Training Centres, research institutes and other alliances.

Organisational Structure

A CEO supported by a Directorate staff is tasked with co-ordinating the overall operation of SUPA, working with an Executive Committee (EC) formed from the senior physics representatives from each of the partner institutions and chaired by the SUPA CEO. Governance of SUPA is provided by a Board of Directors (BoD) at Vice-Principal level. SUPA receives strategic guidance from an International Advisory Committee (IAC) providing a broad combination of experience of top level physics research globally.