We are distinctive for our strategic collaborations and academic and industrial research alliances, both national and international, and take advantage of the reach of our Scottish and international campuses for global research opportunities.
The University takes a lead role in the development of research pooling in Scotland and is a partner in the research pooling initiative created by the Scottish Funding Councli. The aim is to develop a research landscape in Scotland that attracts leading researchers from around the world.
Excellence in research is at the core of the research pools, extending to knowledge exchange and sharing of facilities. Graduate Schools within the research pools offer an enhanced and collaborative environment for PhD students from around the world.
We are a partner in the following research pools, funded by the Scottish Funding Council and the participating universities:
Edinburgh Research Partnership in Engineering and Mathematics (ERPem)
ERPem, a consortium involving the University of Edinburgh, Heriot-Watt University and Edinburgh Napier University, is organised into six Joint Research Institutes (JRIs) dedicated to world-class research, innovation and education in engineering and mathematical science.
Marine Alliance for Science & Technology for Scotland (MASTS)
The Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland (MASTS) is a consortium of organisations engaged in marine science and represents the majority of Scotland's marine research capacity. This pooling of marine research talent has a constituency of some 700 researchers with the management of resources consisting of over £66 million annually.
Scottish Universities Physics Alliance (SUPA)
SUPA is a pooling of physics research and post-graduate education in 8 Scottish universities. Supported by the Scottish Funding Council, SUPA is focused on seven research themes: Astronomy & Space Physics, Condensed Matter & Materials Physics, Energy, Nuclear & Plasma Physics, Particle Physics, Photonics, Physics & Life Sciences.
ScotCHEM is a mature “research pool” for chemistry - a strategic collaboration pooling and enhancing resources for chemistry research and research training in Scotland. It brings together seven universities and other major players in research in the chemical sciences to generate enhanced critical mass and collaboration and to enable wider access to major facilities.
Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE)
SIRE pools key areas of strength within the Scottish Economics research base in three thematic programmes: Behaviour, incentives and contracts; Work and well-being; Macroeconomics, financial linkages and the regions.
Scottish Informatics and Computer Science Alliance (SICSA)
The Scottish Informatics and Computer Science Alliance (SICSA) is a collaboration of Scottish Universities whose goal is to develop and extend Scotland's position as a world leader in Informatics and Computer Science research and education
Scottish Institute for Policing Research (SIPR)
The Scottish Institute for Policing Research (SIPR) is a strategic collaboration between 12 of Scotland's universities and the Police Service of Scotland. It offers a a range of opportunities for conducting relevant, applicable research to help the police meet the challenges of the 21st century and for achieving international excellence for policing research in Scotland.
Interface Food & Drink, Agritech and Acquaculture
Heriot-Watt is a partner in the Interface Food & Drink network, a partnership designed to meet the research and innovation needs of Scottish food and drink companies. It includes 17 Scottish universities together with Interface, and is funded by partners including the Scottish Funding Council, trade associations and Scotland Food & Drink with contributions from companies and universities.
Read more about our Interface Food & Drink partnerships.