It’s safe to say that the Research & Innovation Services team is busy all year round.  Whilst the University year is August to July, the calendar year is still relevant to us all personally and, as it draws to a close, provides the perfect opportunity to stop and reflect on the year just passed.

When reflecting on 2016, I prefaced a message to my team with “….and what a year it’s been……”, and at the risk of repeating myself, it would not be inappropriate to say that again when thinking back on everything that we’ve done and achieved in 2017!

Lots of good things over the last twelve months, absolutely; and we have worked our way through some challenging times too.  The contribution and commitment of the whole RIS team means that we can look forward really positively.

  • We implemented a restructure of the Research Funding & Development Team in September.  These processes obviously bring change and are disruptive for a period, but I believe that the team is now perfectly placed to move forward effectively.
  • Some colleagues left us for pastures new and we wish them well in the full and certain knowledge of the positive impact that ‘the Stirling effect’ will have on their new organisations.  We also welcomed new members of the team strengthening our research funding and development support; we established an enhanced contract support function which really positions us well to develop our activities across both research and innovation – that said, I would like to pay tribute to the Research Funding & Development Team for their patience, forbearance and efforts during the intervening period.
  • We also enjoy a close working relationship with our Deputy Principal for Research and the opportunity to contribute strategically with regard to research.  The knowledge and experience that we can offer as a team is significant and deployment of that in both strategic and operational contexts is so valuable.
  • Our external environment continues to be challenging too and that is unlikely to change any time soon…!
  • The team also made a huge contribution to our professional association, ARMA, as we hosted their executive team while it worked through a transitional phase that has seen it establish itself in its new headquarters in Edinburgh.
  • Innovation is at the centre of all that we do, whether it relates to the way in which we organise support for research funding, through to supporting student businesses and we need to reflect that in our work space in order to provide an environment that is conducive to fresh thinking and new ideas.  So, we reorganised our office space and have incorporated facilities that make it easy for colleagues from across the University to come in and work with us in addition to the time that we spend out in faculties.  Still not quite finished, but hopefully that will be completed in the New Year.
  • Every day, the contribution and relevance of all that we do in relation to the University’s strategic plan and objectives becomes more and more obvious – and, of course, that means lots of hard work (but we know that!)!  But……… actually achieve all that we do is down to a group of excellent colleagues and great people.  Let’s build on that as a platform for all that we want to achieve over the next 12 months.

A massive thank you to the whole RIS team for everything that has been achieved this year.