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You can incorporate these facts and figures in your grant application - choose those that suit your needs.

Please feel free to use the metrics and text below in your grant applications. FYI - this information was last updated on 2 September 2022.

University of Edinburgh general metrics

The University of Edinburgh's Strategy 2030 states that our mission is to to address tomorrow’s greatest challenges. Between now and 2030 we will do that with a values-led approach to teaching, research and innovation, and through the strength of our relationships, both locally and globally.

  • UoE is consistently among the top 15-25 universities in the 'World QS Rankings' (which measures mostly research): 2023 - 15th, 2022 - 16th, 2021 - 20th, 2020 - 20th, 2019 - 18th, 2018 - 23rd, 2017 - 19th,)
  • UoE is currently 30th in the Times Higher Education (THE) World Rankings (which measures research, teaching, knowledge transfer and international outlook): 2022 - 30th, 2021 - 30th, 2020 - 30th, 2019 - 29th, 2018 - 27th, 2017 - 27th)
  • UoE ranked 4th in the UK in Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021, top in Scotland (please cite 'THE, May 2021')

Edinburgh Neuroscience - General description

Edinburgh Neuroscience is a vibrant, cross-disciplinary, cross-College community at the University of Edinburgh whose ethos is collaborative and collegiate cooperation across all research areas. It comprises over 500 fundamental and clinical researchers, based in over 200 research groups university-wide, whose work spans the life course from prenatal to old age.  Our shared vision is to:

  1. Discover new knowledge of the workings of the brain and mind across the life-course, in health and disease,
  2. Translate this into individual and societal health and wealth gains.

To this end our research takes place within a range of research centres that work closely together, with clinical work being integrated across all areas. Edinburgh Neuroscience is widely recognised for its extensive integration of outstanding clinical, biomedical, informatics and psychology research.

Edinburgh Neuroscience - REF2021 outcome

In the REF2021 exercise, Edinburgh Neuroscience was rated 2nd in the UK for the quality of our research (according to Research Professional, May 2022) and 3rd in the UK for overall research power (according to Times Higher Education, May 2021), reflecting the quality of its outputs, breadth of its research base, societal impact of its research and the quality of the research environment.

Some 90% of our research papers were judged to be either world-leading or internationally excellent.

Edinburgh Neuroscience is dedicated to creating an environment within which our researchers can flourish. In REF2021 we were judged to be providing a world-leading environment for our researchers (scoring 100% four star, the maximum possible) and, with 100% of our impacts considered world-leading, our research makes a genuine contribution to society.

Edinbugh Neuroscience was the only submission to its Unit of Assessment (UoA4; Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience) to receive top scores in both environment and impact.

Edinburgh Neuroscience - general research structure/environment/investment in last few years

Our research is supported by 13 externally funded research hubs and grouped around three main themes, which span the life course:

  • Neurodevelopment and Neurodiversity (foetal to childhood)
  • Mental Health and Mental Wealth (adolescence to early adulthood)
  • Ageing, Degeneration and Regeneration (middle to old age) 

Over the past 7 years we have received £257 million in strategic funding (averaging £36 million annually). This success has arisen from our externally funded research hub model which brings together researchers from cross-disciplinary areas to focuss on specific health or wellbeing issues. These hubs are:

Jennifer Brown Research Laboratory;  Muir Maxwell Epilepsy Centre;  Patrick Wild Centre for Research into Autism, Fragile X Syndrome and Intellectual Disability (which incorprates the Simons Initiative for the Developing Brain); Salvesen Mindroom Research Centre;  Sackler Centre for Developmental Psychobiology;  MS Society Edinburgh Centre for MS Research;  Anne Rowling Regenerative Neurology Clinic;  Euan MacDonald Centre for MND Research;  Edinburgh Dementia Prevention;  Row Fogo Centre for Research into Ageing and the Brain;  UK Dementia Research Institute at Edinburgh;  Alzheimer Scotland Dementia Research Centre.

Edinbrugh Neuroscience and University of Edinburgh - Information about Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

The University of Edinburgh is committed to creating and promoting a positive culture that celebrates diversity, challenges prejudice and ensures fairness; this is evidenced by the widespread take-up of ‘rainbow lanyards’, instigated in 2017. To this end, the University has put in place a portfolio of policies and initiatives, including:

  • Holding an Institutional Athena SWAN Silver Award, 
  • Establishing the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee to implement its Equality and Diversity Strategy. The associated Edinburgh Race Equality Network recently won the ‘Contexts’ award in the Hidden REF awards.
  • Providing a comprehensive Equality, Diversity and Inclusion website so that all staff and students can easily find information, resources, access training and find networks to join.
  • There is an active Staffpride Network, which was named Stonewall Scotland’s Network Group of the Year in 2018, in recognition of its efforts to promote an inclusive and supportive culture for LGBT+ colleagues.
  • The University has a zero-tolerance stance towards any form of bullying: their 2019 ‘Don’t Cross the Line’ campaign and workshops raised awareness to reduce all forms of bullying and harassment. 
  • All staff have access to a Dignity and Respect advisor, and the ‘Respect at Edinburgh’ web hub is a resource for staff and students. Staff are encouraged to become Respect Champions for their work area.
  • Parental and adoption leave now includes ‘keeping in touch days’ and we have a Returners’ programme for staff who have taken leave greater than 4 months, providing them with 6 months protection from teaching upon return.
  • The university has listened to the calls of researchers to make it easier for overseas students to participate in our PhD programmes by making fully funded places (including full overseas tuition fees) available on our PhD programmes.

Within the broad Edinburgh Neuroscience community:

  • Clinical Psychology and Edinburgh Clinical Medical School both hold Athena SWAN silver awards, 
  • Biomedical Sciences and Psychology both hold Athena SWAN Bronze awards.
  • Equality & Diversity and Unconscious Bias training is compulsory for all staff within Deanery of  Biomedical Sciences and strongly encouraged fro all UoE staff and students
  • We also encourage early-career academics and professional services staff from BAME backgrounds to undertake AdvanceHE's Diversifying Leadership programme, which is s designed to support them as they take their first steps into a leadership role

In Spring 2019 Edinburgh Neuroscience established ‘Diversity at Edinburgh Neuroscience’, a grouping from all career levels representing a wide range of diversity (including hidden disabilities, ethnic and social background diversity). This group provides guidance to the Director (Chandran) and Board. The group has already instigated many positive changes including:

  • Changing the registration process for our annual research-community-wide Neuroscience Day meeting to better accommodate those with hidden disabilities or special requirements, and provided a prayer room at one-day meetings
  • Prompted the Edinburgh Neuroscience Board to conduct a survey seeking information and suggestions on issues related to ethnicity and religious identity. These issues are now a standing item on the Board agenda
  • Organising ‘Diversity Drop-in’ sessions every month that are open to anyone

Edinburgh Neuroscience is keen to ensure all researchers, regardless of background, have an opportunity to be given a platform to present their work and to participate in academic activities. To this end over the past year, 48% of our general seminar speakers have been female and 33% BAME while, over the past 7 years, 57% of our Annual Distinguished Lecturers have been female and 29% BAME.

We have good female representation on all Edinburgh Neuroscience committees (including) grant awarding committees and improving BAME representation too. For instance, the Edinburgh Neuroscience Board consists of 13 senior staff, of whom 38% are female and 23% BAME, while the RS Macdonald Seedcorn Fund committee has 50% female and 30% BAME membership.

Edinburgh Neuroscience - Translational Neuroscience PhD programme

In 2016 Edinburgh Neuroscience was awarded a prestigious Wellcome Trust funded Four-Year PhD programme in 'Translational Neuroscience: Life course influences on human brain health', and was renewed in 2019. With a total of £9 million investment from Wellcome and £2 million from The University of Edinburgh, we are able to recuit 6 students a year over nine intakes (2016 - 2024).

This flagship PhD programme draws on Edinburgh's unique research strengths in diseases across the life course. Aimed at basic science students, this programme will 'train them to translate' and equip them with the distinct skills required to bridge the knowledge gap between the design, execution and interpretation of cellular experiments and the challenges of experimental medicine.

The programme is part of the Wellcome-led drive to improve equality of opportunity and research culture. To this end, the programme is leading by example with regards to equality of recuitment and opportunity, and wellbeing support of both students and staff.

Edinburgh Neuroscience and UoE general - Support for students

Edinburgh Neuroscience provides a supportive and nurturing environment for early years researchers and students. 

In line with University policy, each PhD student has a primary and secondary supervisor and, since the ethos of Edinburgh Neuroscience is interdisciplinary activity, collaborative projects are strongly encouraged. Student progress is assessed by a thesis committee, which includes the supervisors and at least two advisors one of whom must be outside of the supervision team. Students also have access to the Institute for Academic Development for transferable and scientific skills training as outlined in the Vitae Researcher Development Framework. Postgraduate committees within the administrative Schools oversee training quality and pastoral support.

The Edinburgh Neuroscience Autumn School for PhD Students (established 2012, 50 students per year from all backgrounds) provides tailored neuroscience-related career development training. Delivered by Edinburgh Neuroscience researchers, it is designed to encourage interdisciplinary mixing from the first stages of a research career

Students and early years researchers are proactively nominated for awards, e.g., in 2011 the inaugural Royal Society of Edinburgh Beltane Innovators Award for Public Engagement was awarded to Joanna Brooks (a PhD student in Psychology) and the British Neuroscience Association Undergraduate Award has been won by an Edinburgh Neuroscience student in 8 of the previous 9 years (2012-2020, with the exception of 2018).

Edinburgh Neuroscience - public engagement

Edinburgh Neuroscience has a broad range of outreach activities that enables researchers and students to engage with the wider community within a supported structure. This programme covers an array of activities designed to appeal to different groups within society and allows researchers to engage in a manner that suits those groups. From science festivals to our getBRAINY workshops for schools (e.g. getCONNECTED, getREMEMBERING, getLOVING), and our public lectures and film events for adults.

In 2013 the British Neuroscience Association recognised the value of the outreach work in Edinburgh and the Award for the Public Understanding of Neuroscience was given to Jane Haley, the Edinburgh Neuroscience Coordinator at the time.

Since our outreach programme began (in 2007) we have reached 68,700* people/pupils directly through our activities (this number includes 39,000* through the Edinburgh Science Festival drop-in activities), and our online talks/videos have reached a further 54,000 people (*numbers at December 2020).