Heriot-Watt has achieved its best-ever levels of research funding, bringing in more than £40.6million across the university in the 2014/15 financial year.
Prof Duncan Hand, Deputy Principal Research and Knowledge Exchange, said the results were all the more impressive against a backdrop of reduced available funding and demonstrated that the University was well on the way to achieving its target of an annual expenditure on research projects of £40 million by 2018.
“A number of factors have contributed to this result, through a concerted strategy to maximise our research funding success,” he said. “We have appointed staff with excellent research backgrounds to complement the existing high level academic staff we already had, and formed consortia with other leading institutions in order to capture larger grants, in both cases building on the research areas where Heriot-Watt already enjoys particularly high standing.”
Heriot-Watt’s funding awards for 2014/15 totalled £40,626,439 compared to £28,653,819 the previous year. While the largest amount of funding came from UK Research Councils, industry funding was another important area, responsible for £11.8 million of funding in the most recent year.
“Industry investment is always important to the mix,” Prof Hand said, adding that Heriot-Watt’s strengths in applied science and engineering, such as manufacturing, robotics and petroleum engineering, drew particularly high levels of industrial income. “This kind of investment often also brings research council funding with it, as it demonstrates the relevance of the research we are carrying out.
“The quality of our proposals is high and we work to ensure that we maximise the ratio of funding success to submitted proposals. We provide mentoring throughout the proposal process, using peer scrutiny and checking to ensure that proposals have the best chance of winning funding.”