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The primary objective of European Crucible is to create and develop a pan-European network of future research leaders who have enhanced knowledge, contacts and capacities to collaborate more effectively with wider impact 

Listen to broadcaster, Quentin Cooper, as he interviews team members from 5 pilot projects that received seed funding and learn how their multidisciplinary research activities were initiated and enabled through their participation in European Crucible. Projects address medical, health, environmental, social, legal and technological challenges.

SUPA had responsibility, on behalf of all Scottish Research Pools, for the administration and delivery of the European Crucible grant from Scottish Funding Council / Scottish Government.

SUPA Annual Gathering

Tues 16 May 2023, 9.30-4.30, followed by networking reception

Technology & Innovation Centre, University of Strathclyde

The SUPA Annual Gathering in 2023 will take place in Glasgow, at the TIC building on George Street at the University of Strathclyde, easily accessible by train to either Queen Street or High Street, with coach drop off/pick up available directly outside.

The event will continue to be a showcase of the incredible research taking place across SUPA, with guest speakers, speakers from within the SUPA community, posters and networking.

Read more ...

Article written by Prof Victoria Martin, University of Edinburgh

The fourth of July 2022 saw the 10th anniversary of the discovery of the Higgs Boson at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN. Both Edinburgh and Glasgow are members of the ATLAS Experiment collaboration - one of the two experiments that made the discovery - and of the LHCb Experiment collaboration that investigates on other of particle physics phenomena, including the quantifying the asymmetry  between matter and anti-matter.

Edinburgh & Glasgow particle physicists celebrated the Higgs10 anniversary with an event at the National Museum of Scotland attracting around 400 participants. YouTube star & professional science communicator Dr Sam Gregson (aka "bad boy of science") presented two interactive shows; PPE PhD students & researchers provided hands-on exhibits - from make your own particle collision (aimed at the youngest attendees) to test-driving robots used in underground particle physics experiments. In the evening, around 100 invited guests, colleagues and supporters attended a drinks reception and talk by Prof Victoria Martin (Edinburgh).

For 2022 we bring you our Annual Gathering

Join us either at the John McIntyre Conference Centre, Edinburgh, or live online throughout the day.

Annual Gathering
Tuesday, 24 May 2022 - 09:30 – 18:00 BST  (registration from 09:00)

James McIntyre Conference Centre
18 Holyrood Park Road,
Edinburgh, EH16 5A - view map

The day will include:

  • A research highlight talk from one of SUPA's top talents
  • Highlights from our ECRs
  • PhD students discussing their research
  • Hearing from the SUPA Saltire Emerging Researcher Awardees
  • Selected posters from SUPA research themes
  • A closing keynote you don't want to miss

Those in the room and online will all be able to ask questions and engage with the speakers.


9:00    Registration and Poster Session

9:30    Welcome and Opening Address

  • Prof Alan Miller, SUPA CEO
  • Prof Peter Mathieson, Principal & Vice Chancellor, University of Edinburgh

10:00  Research Highlight

  • Prof Brian Gerardot, Heriot-Watt University

10:30   Posters, Coffee

It's been a year of ups and down, home working for some, back in the lab, classroom and office for others, and we wanted to take the opportunity to reflect back on all the successes of the last year. 

See our summary infographic below, but for those who prefer the written word, here is a summary of the successes acros SUPA in 2021:

The SUPA Public Engagement Forum aims to bring together those with a passion and interest for public engagement across SUPA and beyond. Exploring current activities and illustrating what can be achieved together with external partners with whom we work to promote public understanding of science.

The event will open with a Welcome from Prof Julie Fitzpatrick, Chief Scientific Advisor for Scotland.

We will hear from key science centres about what platforms and audiences they can provide for researchers, and learn from the experiences of those SUPA researchers and projects that have engaged with science centres. Speakers include:

SUPA would like to extend a very warm welcome to all our new students for the 2021/22 academic year!

We have lots of information available for you on our New Students page, which introduces you to what SUPA is, what you can expect from us, and what we need from you, to make your time with us a great experience!

Joint SUPA Statement from all eight University Partners

Launched in 2004, SUPA is a strategic partnership in research and advanced training across eight Scottish universities. Since its inception, the SUPA Graduate School has been delivering a highly developed and closely integrated programme of graduate education now offering over 60 advanced technical courses (over 800 hours of lectures per annum) for physics PhD students and PDRAs across Scotland. In addition, professional development training is tailored to a physics background. Courses, accessing the knowledge and skills of world leading researchers drawn from across the partner universities are mostly delivered by live video links using SUPA's e-learning portal with dedicated state-of-the-art video classrooms. There are also tutorials, lab classes, workshops, careers workshops and international summer schools (SUSSP). These courses are aligned to SUPA research themes:  Astronomy and Space Science, Condensed Matter and Material Science, Nuclear Physics, Particle Physics, Photonics, Plasma Physics, Energy and Physics & Life Sciences.  Each PhD student must take 40 contact hours of Advanced Physics courses and 20 hours of Professional Development courses in their first two years.

Professor Catherine Heymans, a world-leading expert on the physics of the so-called dark universe, has been awarded the prestigious title of Astronomer Royal for Scotland, a title which dates back almost 200 years. Created in 1834, the position of Astronomer Royal for Scotland was originally held by the director of the Royal Observatory, Edinburgh. Since 1995, however, it has been awarded as an honorary title. The previous holder, Professor John C Brown, passed away in 2019.

Prof Heymans was recommended to the Queen for the role by an international panel, convened by the Royal Society of Edinburgh. She is Professor of Astrophysics in the School of Physics & Astronomy at the University of Edinburgh and Director of the German Centre for Cosmological Lensing at Ruhr-University Bochum. Her research seeks to shed light on the mysteries of dark energy and dark matter – elusive entities that together account for more than 95 per cent of the Universe.

Once that spark and connection with the Universe is made,

This year's Annual Gathering will once again take place virtually:

February 2021 became Finding Your Future month at SUPA, offering PhD students and Early Career Researchers the opportunity to explore a variety of professions and discuss these with representatives from industry and academia. 

The 2021 event "Finding Your Future" opened with CV clinics for SUPA students and researchers during the first two weeks of February with support from careers advisers and experts from our universities and the Institute of Physics.

The final two weeks of February had daily discussions with guest speakers about their careers post-PhD, with each day concentrating on a particular theme. Themes included were: Research & Innovation, Research, Physics & Life Sciences, Business Development & Intellectual Property, Science Communication, Third Sector & Public Sector, Education & teaching, Computation & Coding. We opened up these daily discussions to the wider Scottish research and innovation community, inviting students from other research pools, through Research Innovation Scotland.

There is no single entity that can solve the complex and interconnected problems we face as a society. To overcome the grand challenges we face, collaboration and co-ordination across the Scottish Research and Innovation landscape is paramount. Research Innovation Scotland strives to depict a whole system view, to act as a catalyst for intersectionality, toward a better future; to build back better. Created as a joint activity between the Scottish Research Pools, this new resource also involves SFC funded Innovation Centres and Interface. 

The online resource includes upcoming cross-pool and multi-disciplinary activities and funding opportunities, as well as case studies of past collaborative working. 

Dr Stuart Fancey, Director of Research and Innovation at the Scottish Funding Council said

Scotland’s collaborative culture in research is a huge asset for us and connecting that with business-facing Innovation Centres and with Interface, our national hub connecting business and academia, will help us take on the challenges facing Scotland. SFC looks forward to working with the Research Innovation Scotland partnership.

Click here to visit the RIS website...

As we start the 2020/21 academic year under challenging circumstances, SUPA finds itself well placed for online learning, with our experience and knowledge of video classrooms already well developed. Having moved our Annual Gathering online back in May, we now find ourselves supporting lecturers providing our courses on different platforms, in different modes to previously. Many of our courses will continue to run as in previous years, with live lectures broadcast through our video conferencing tool, VScene. Others will be switching to using pre-recorded materials. 

At SUPA Central, we are busy preparing to Welcome the new intake of PhD students in October, with an online Welcome Event on the morning of Tues 20 October. Details will be circulated to the students in due course. 

We have introduced new videos introducing how to get the best from the SUPA student experience. 

Watch this short video on accessing our Virtual Learning Environment, My.SUPA (1min 48s, can watch with or without sound). 

Watch this short video to find out about the courses we offer, and what we require of our students (2min 26s, can watch with or without sound).