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Strategic Leadership in Research Programme 2021

Sophie Lowry, Strategic Research Executive in Edinburgh Research Office, writes about the Strategic Leadership in Research Programme 2021 and how you can apply.

The Strategic Leadership in Research Programme (SLiRP) aims to equip researchers at the University of Edinburgh with the leadership skills, knowledge and behaviours required to win large-scale strategic funding.

In partnership with the Institute for Academic Development, we are delighted to announce that the programme will run again this year from April – October 2021. As with previous years, the programme requires a commitment of up to six full days and it is important that applicants commit to attend all days of the programme.

Participants will be experienced investigators and research leaders with a clear trajectory toward running a major grant, centre or network within the next few years. Successful applicants are likely to be Readers or recently promoted Professors (or equivalent), but we will consider applications from any academic staff member who is able to demonstrate evidence of big grant readiness.

SLiRP places are available for all eligible colleagues in the College of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences (CAHSS) and the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine (CMVM). For 2021 entry, College of Science and Engineering (CSE) SLiRP places are available for Maths, Engineering, EPCC, Informatics, Biology and Physics, but not for colleagues in Geosciences and Chemistry.

The programme comprises five workshops followed by an Ideas Summit at which participants pitch their research idea to potential collaborators, funders and senior leaders from across the University. It will also offer wraparound support such as coaching, mentoring and action-based learning sets.

Key topics will include understanding your purpose, developing your vision, managing collaborations, navigating structures, interacting with funders, securing buy-in, and pitching research ideas. The course is highly participative and you will work with a coach during the duration of the programme to maximise your learning and development.

Successful applicants will be required to attend the following mandatory dates:

  • Workshop 1 – Wednesday 21 April 2021
  • Workshop 2 – Thursday 22 April 2021
  • Workshop 3 – Tuesday 18 May 2021
  • Workshop 4 – Thursday 17 June 2021
  • Workshop 5 – Wednesday 1 September 2021
  • Ideas Summit – Wednesday 6 October 2021

How to apply?

The programme is currently open for applications and will close on Sunday 6 December.

To apply, download an application form from the programme website and return it to

We recommend discussing your application with your Head of School / Centre, who is required to provide a supporting statement.

You can hear what previous participants have to say about the programme in the short videos available on the programme website.

If you have any questions about the Strategic Leadership in Research Programme please contact

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Sophie Lowry


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