Early career researchers and professionals in Scotland are being encouraged to get involved as members of the first UK-wide Young Academy — a network of emerging leaders to guide conversation and policy across the UK.

The UK Young Academy will see opportunities for talented early-career individuals in Scotland to collaborate with peers across disciplines throughout the UK and around the world. These young researchers, innovators, clinicians, professionals, academics and entrepreneurs will be brought together to tap into their collective potential and expertise in order to tackle important issues in society.

Go to the UK Young Academy website

The initiative is a collaboration with the Academy of Medical Sciences, British Academy, Learned Society of Wales, Royal Academy of Engineering, Royal Irish Academy, Royal Society of Edinburgh, and the Royal Society. It will connect emerging leaders with different knowledge and expertise, and include their voices in local and global policy discussions.

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Academy of Medical Sciences, British Academy, Learned Society of Wales, Royal Academy of Engineering, Royal Irish Academy, the Royal Society, and Royal Society of Edinburgh.

Professor Sir John Ball, President of the Royal Society of Edinburgh said:

The RSE is pleased to come together with the UK and Irish National Academies in supporting early career researchers and professionals through this new and exciting initiative. As research in the arts and sciences continues to find innovative solutions to societal issues, it is more important than ever to draw from as deep a pool of knowledge as possible.

Alongside the continued work of the RSE’s Young Academy of Scotland, we look forward to collaborating across the shared values and principles of the UK Young Academy; creating new and wider opportunities to support future research and strengthen the next generation’s response to some of the biggest challenges of the day.

The founding members of the UK Young Academy will shape the strategy and focus of the organisation. Applicants will come from a variety of sectors, be at the early stages of their professional careers and will have made significant contributions to their fields. They will join the global initiative of Young Academies, with the UK Young Academy becoming the 50th and latest to join the Young Academy movement. Applications close on 8 September 2022. 

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Sir Adrian Smith, President of the Royal Society said

We continue to face significant challenges as a society, so we need to galvanise the expertise, talent and motivation of those at early stages of their careers to find the solutions to the challenges they will face now and in the future.  

Global problems like pandemics, climate change, biodiversity loss and social inequality need solutions from many different sectors and individuals from diverse backgrounds to bring about meaningful change. 

“There are limited formal opportunities in the UK for young professionals to collaborate across disciplines and we hope the UK Young Academy will give them a credible voice on the issues that matter.”  

Dr Olga Kozlova, Director of Innovation and Industry Engagement at the University of Strathclyde and member of the UK Young Academy appointments committee said,

As a former member of the Young Academy of Scotland, I can speak from experience about the value of bringing people early on in their careers together to collaborate and learn from one another, in transforming the ways they look at the world. 

Successful innovators, entrepreneurs and inventors of the future need the space and support to explore challenges from all angles, including the ones they hadn’t even known existed. This is the goal of the UK Young Academy; to enable cohesion between different sectors to solve societal challenges by harnessing talent across the country.

Applications for membership to the UK Young Academy are now open; details of selection criteria and how to apply can be found on the UK Young Academy website. Applications will close on 8 September 2022.