An extraordinary year for the RSE while emerging from the Covid-19 pandemic and continuing to deliver on our mission of ‘Knowledge Made Useful’

We want to thank everyone who has engaged, collaborated and supported us over the last twelve months as we welcomed 80 new Fellows into our Fellowship, welcomed over 4,000 attendees at events, submitted 25 advice papers and responded to inform public policy decisions, launched a reformed medals programme, granted over £1.3 million funding for research, and much more.

We wish you all a pleasant and safe festive break and we look forward to welcoming you back in 2023.

2022 IN WORDS AND NUMBERS

Public engagement

  • Curious 2022, the RSE’s summer events programme comprised 32 individual events with 78 speakers and 1300 attendees from throughout Scotland and the world.
  • Over 4,000 attendees at RSE events in 2022.
  • Launch of the RSE’s Signature series, featuring speakers including Professor Dame Sarah Gilbert, Professor Samuel Moyn, and Ugandan climate justice activist Vanessa Nakate.
  • 20 stand-alone events with speakers including Nobel Prize winner Professor David MacMillan, and Sir Patrick Vallance, and six joint events on topics ranging from cancer prevention to rural challenges, and entrepreneurship to moral philosophy.

Awards

  • Opened two calls for the core RSE Research Awards programme in spring and autumn, with additional calls for SAPHIRE (Scotland Asia Partnerships Higher Education Research Fund), RSE Scotland-Germany Hydrogen Research Scheme, Ireland-Scotland Bilateral Network Grants, RSE International Bilateral Visits, and RSE Fellows and YAS Member Grants.
  • 397 applications were received, with a total of 76 awards made, amounting to £1,335,258.72.
  • A reformed medals programme was launched to recognise previously unrepresented sectors and the input of eminent women to the sciences, arts, and letters in Scotland. RSE medals recognise truly exceptional achievements and the work of RSE medallists impact lives all over the world. Five medals were awarded in 2022.
  • Lead awardees represented all 15 of the Scottish Universities. RSE Research Awards enabled international collaborations with 11 countries.

Expert advice

  • Scotland’s constitutional future: With funding from ESRC and UK in a Changing Europe, RSE facilitated discussion on the sustainability of the devolution settlement and the Westminster dimension.
  • Strengthened RSE presence in UK Parliament, with oral evidence to specialised committees.
  • Launched an inquiry into public support for tree planting and forestry.
  • Celtic Academies Alliance applied collective expertise to explore common issues of tax devolution and levelling up.
  • Submitted 25 advice papers and responses across a range of issues.
  • Supported the development of the Rethinking Policy Impact project, including by facilitating workshops with key stakeholders.
  • Held a full-day conference, Being and Belonging, with world-leading experts on early years education, attracting more than 300 attendees from the sectoral workforce.

Enterprise Fellowships

  • Funded by the RSE, STFC and BBSRC, awardees represented four UK research institutions; STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratories, University of Portsmouth, University of Leeds, and Cardiff University.
  • Two Enterprise Fellowship presentation events were held virtually, attended by an audience of Fellows, funders, investors, and representatives from enterprise support agencies.
  • Four entrepreneurial academics completed their Enterprise Fellowships, receiving an equity-free package of funding and training worth up to £100,000.

Young Academy of Scotland

  • Welcomed 60 new YAS members, who will join our existing members in our programme of interdisciplinary projects
  • Six of the new members joined YAS via the At-Risk Academics and Refugee Professionals membership programme, which recognises the talent and knowledge that exists in Scotland’s refugee, asylum seeking, and displaced migrant communities.
  • Presented ‘Ways of Seeing Invisible Illness’, a short film capturing the experiences of people with non-visible conditions and providing insight into how stigma or empathy can manifest in different situations.
  • Launched the Coastal Knowledge podcast: Spotlighting some of the communities most affected by climate change in Scotland.

Communications

  • 4000 new followers across RSE social media platforms.
  • Three editions of RSE’s magazine ReSourcE themed around health and wellbeing, Scotland’s Year of Stories, and technological disruption.
  • 104 pieces of media coverage secured across print, TV, radio, and online.
  • RSE website had 124kusers, 723k page views and 12k file downloads.

Fellowship

  • Welcomed 80 new Fellows (1 Honorary, 4 Corresponding, 75 fellows). This year’s cohort represents the diversity of expertise within Scotland and the UK.
  • Established the UK Young Academy together with the other six national academies operating across the UK and Ireland, complementing the work of YAS, and with opportunities for collaboration.
  • SGSSS Mentoring Scheme facilitated the third year of the RSE-Scottish Graduate School of Social Science Mentoring Scheme, pairing 12 Fellows with PhD students to offer support with professional development, research impact, networks, and career progression.
  • Established an Ethnicity Nominations Group to work towards better diversity within the candidates for Fellowship.

International

  • High profile international events such as the 50-strong delegation visit from the Royal Holland Society of Sciences and Humanities; a Scotland-Switzerland Innovation webinar, and the RSE-European Consular Corp introductions and networking event.
  • Human rights: Responded to four high-profile academic a risk cases; held four UK Human Rights Committee meetings to discuss humanitarian issues; published RSE statement condemning Russia’s war on Ukraine and prompting support for scholars and academics in both countries and supported success facilitation between RSE Fellows and Ukrainian academics.
  • Formal MoU agreed with the African Academy of Sciences taking forward ‘Science for Society’ collaborations.
  • Bilateral Visits and Joint Projects agreed across 7 international sister academies supporting mobility of researchers.
  • Established Scotland-Europe Steering Group to maintain and promote Scotland’s presence and role in networks in a post-Brexit Europe.

Post-Covid-19 Futures Commission

  • The RSE and the Scottish Parliament Covid-19 Recovery Committee held an informal fact finding session with MSPs in support of their inquiry and the communication of public health information.
  • Resilience and foresighting roundtable cochaired by Deputy First Minister John Swinney considered issued such as the role of citizens in decision-making and embedding resilience preparedness in public finances.