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Professor Richard A Williams, Heriot-Watt Principal and Vice-Chancellor, was among the key speakers who addressed Scotland's ‘research leaders of the future' at the third annual Scottish Crucible Forum.

The Scottish Crucible Alumni Network represent a remarkable talent pool of emerging research leaders from all academic disciplines.

Dr Ruth Neiland

Scottish Crucible is designed and directed by Ruth Neiland, Head of Academic Leadership and Development at Heriot-Watt, and is run through that Department.

Members of the Scottish Crucible Alumni Network, staff from Universities and other research organisations who had previously participated in Scottish Crucible, came together in a one day event to discuss their achievements since completing the programme. Now numbering more than 270 lecturers, academic fellows and research directors, the Forum showcased examples of novel research collaborations devised and led by Scottish Crucible Alumni and explored new opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration, innovation and knowledge exchange.

Professor Williams spoke of times of unprecedented change in higher education, which provide challenges but also opportunities for Scottish Universities and the emerging research community.

Scottish Crucible Director, Dr Ruth Neiland said, “The Scottish Crucible Alumni Network represent a remarkable talent pool of emerging research leaders from all academic disciplines. Their enthusiasm for tackling research problems and collaborating widely is inspiring and highly beneficial in fostering further impact from Scotland's research base”.

Other speakers included Ian Menzies of Education Scotland; Alaina Macri of the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland; Dr Stuart Fancey, Director of Research & Innovation, Scottish Funding Council; Professor Alan Miller, CEO, SUPA and co-Director of Scottish Crucible, and Professor Sheila Rowan, Chief Scientific Adviser, Scottish Government.