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Welsh Crucible promotes interdisciplinary collaboration and innovation

08 December 2010

A new initiative will bring together bright thinkers from different academic disciplines and industries across Wales to find solutions to some of today’s complex research challenges.

The newly launched Welsh Crucible is a programme of personal, professional and leadership development for 30 promising research leaders of the future who are building their careers in Wales.

The Welsh Crucible is funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales with involvement from across the St David’s Day group of higher education institutions. The programme is led by Cardiff University in partnership with the universities of Aberystwyth, Bangor, Glamorgan and Swansea.

Applications are invited from talented early- to mid-career researchers employed by St David’s Day partner universities or by Welsh SMEs. Researchers are invited to participate in four designated research areas, prioritised by the Welsh Assembly. Areas highlighted include the emerging Digital Economy; tackling climate change in the Low Carbon Economy; Health and Biosciences as well as Advanced Engineering and Manufacturing.

Professor Peter Halligan Dean of Strategic Futures and Interdisciplinary Studies, Cardiff University said: "This scheme which is the first in Wales will enable talented researchers from a variety of disciplines to come together to explore and expand their creative capacity and problem-solving potential in ways they may never have considered before."

"Our aim is to establish a network of talented individuals who are Wales’s "research leaders of the future" and are more open to engagement in knowledge exchange and interdisciplinary research because of their Welsh Crucible experience."

Participants of the Welsh Crucible will attend three intensive workshops comprising guest speakers, seminars, skills sessions, tours and informal discussions.

Professor Stéphane Bordas, Cardiff School of Engineering said: "In 2009 I had the pleasure to participate in the first Scottish Crucible. I met other like-minded young and enthusiastic researchers with completely different backgrounds, which provided the opportunity to approach research questions from different perspectives.

"If you are an enthusiastic researcher and keen communicator and wish to meet others to investigate productive joint research directions in a uniquely conducive environment, moderated by professionals, then… apply! You will not be disappointed."

The Welsh Crucible is based on the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts’ (NESTA) UK ‘Crucible’ development programme.

Notes to Editors

Full details of the Welsh Crucible can be read at:

Cardiff University is recognised in independent government assessments as one of Britain’s leading teaching and research universities and is a member of the Russell Group of the UK’s most research intensive universities. Among its academic staff are two Nobel Laureates, including the winner of the 2007 Nobel Prize for Medicine, University President Professor Sir Martin Evans.

Founded by Royal Charter in 1883, today the University combines impressive modern facilities and a dynamic approach to teaching and research. The University’s breadth of expertise in research and research-led teaching encompasses: the humanities; the natural, physical, health, life and social sciences; engineering and technology; preparation for a wide range of professions; and a longstanding commitment to lifelong learning. Three major new Research Institutes, offering radical new approaches to neurosciences and mental health, cancer stem cells and sustainable places were announced by the University in 2010.

Further information

Emma Darling

Public Relations

Cardiff University

Tel: 02920 874499