Project factsheet

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Sêr Cymru II

Project description

Sêr Cymru II is a £56 million programme, led by the Welsh Government, European Union (EU) and the Welsh Higher Education sector.  It’s a unique development, seeing the EU’s Horizon 2020 funding working in synergy with EU Structural Funds, to deliver a seamless programme that includes:

  • Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions COFUND fellowships: more than 90 research fellows from outside the UK
  • Research Chairs and Rising Star fellowships: five-year awards to attract the best in academic research
  • ‘Welsh’ Fellowships: 30 three-year fellowships from anywhere in the world (including the UK)
  • Recapturing Research Talent: 12 fellowships to encourage researchers to return to academia.

Delivery model

Sêr Cymru II is a competitive research award scheme, open to universities in Wales.  Applications must come with match funding provided by the fellow’s host institution but are driven by the fellows themselves. Funding recommendations are made using tested, merit-based methods and decisions are made independent of nationality, discipline, age, career breaks etc. The Independent Evaluation Panel that make these recommendations for us was appointed through open competition and is made up of national and international experts with a broad scientific knowledge base and experience of funding panels. Their assessments are assisted via the use of external, international, peer review.

Geographical coverage

The project will benefit Cardiff and Newport in the South East of Wales as well as Anglesey, Gwynedd, Ceredigion, Swansea and Wrexham.

Essential eligibility criteria

  • Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions COFUND fellowships: 3 – 5 post PhD, not spent more than 12 months in last three years in the UK
  • Research Chairs and Rising Star fellowships: 7 years + post PhD, significant experience and standing in field of research.  Chairs only in exception cases only, where there is clear strategic need
  • ‘Welsh’ Fellowships: 3 – 5 years post PhD, from anywhere in the world, including the UK and Welsh institutions as long as they show ‘additionality’ and capacity building
  • Recapturing Research Talent: 3 years post PhD experience and approx 2 years spent out of academic research

Specific targets

The targets for Sêr Cymru II are:

  • New researchers in post: 74 (EW 36, WWV 38)
  • Increased grant income into Wales: £25.5m (EW £12.5m, WWV £13m)
  • Collaborations with enterprises: 52 (EW 25, WWV 27)

Contact details

Name: Delyth Morgan
Email: delyth.morgan@gov.wales
Telephone: 03000 251383
Address: Office of the Chief Scientific Adviser for Wales, Welsh Government, Cathays Park, Cardiff
Website: Website

Progress

Progress to end June 2017

So far we have held three rounds of Sêr Cymru II and offered 110 awards (see table).  Fellows from prestigious institutions from all over the world are taking up their places in Welsh universities (see map below).  All fit within at least one of our smart specialisation areas of Low Carbon Energy and the Environment, Life Sciences and Health, Advanced Engineering and Manufacturing, and ICT and the Digital Economy.

Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions COFUND fellowships – 62
Research Chairs – 7
Rising Stars – 7
‘Welsh’ Fellowships – 30
Recapturing talent – 4