Head shot of Dr Jennifer CusiterHead of the CMVM Research Office, Dr Jennifer Cusiter outlines what the University’s new strategy means for the College.

As Head of the CMVM Research Office, part of my remit is to ensure the College provides input to and participates in University of Edinburgh initiatives and programmes. Now that the University has launched its new Research and Innovation Strategy 2030, I’d like to highlight what this means for CMVM researchers and the opportunities it will provide.

Overall, the new strategy aims to create an environment in which our research community can flourish and innovate and the University remains committed to nurturing excellence and innovation in each and every one of our disciplines. I want to stress that our discovery research is the bedrock for our research outputs. As a result, we have a world-leading reputation as a research-led higher education institution. Rigorous disciplinary methodology and knowledge are the foundations of our cutting-edge research, without which we cannot deliver effective interdisciplinary collaboration.

However, it would be remiss to ignore the fact that challenge-orientated research is a sensible way of addressing (and solving) the wicked problems of the world. The phrases ‘technology push’ and ‘market pull’ are regularly used in the commercial world but are now starting to cross the sector divides into academic research. The recent COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated the impact that relevant and responsible research and development can have on society, as interdisciplinary teams from across the disciplines were required to work together deliver an efficient and safe vaccination programme. It’s not surprising then that the University wants to strengthen its capacity in challenge-oriented research.

The strategy focuses on three core missions: shaping the future of health and care; tackling the climate and environmental crisis; and harnessing data, digital and AI for public good. These missions traverse CMVM’s own specific research themes: infrastructure delivering the strategy means that researchers, students, and innovators can work in tandem to create sustainable solutions. Funding is available to help pump prime novel interdisciplinary activities and new roles and teams have been created to help deliver the highest quality of support for our researchers.

The university’s commitment to open research, data sharing and transparency enables our researchers to drive towards achieving a global impact.

The strategy is also inclusive, promoting the personal and professional development of researchers while providing opportunities for all. There has been a focus on retention and support of our early career researchers and we have recently completed the recruitment of our latest cohort of Chancellor’s Fellows – watch this space for more information in the coming weeks!

>> Read the strategy in full (Sharepoint)

>> Press release