activities and projects

SULSA collaborates and leads on a diverse range of projects, all of which aim to support economic recovery and benefit society


Research and Innovation Scotland Website

Working across the Research Pools and Innovation Centres to explore connectivity and opportunities to facilitate transformative and innovative research. A new webpage will be launched this summer and throughout the year we will be working across disciplines, to deliver strategic workshops and activities, in growth areas as well as those of high societal benefit.

Update: The webpage went live on September 1st 2020, highlighting a range of interdisciplinary and innovative activities as well as funding opportunities. To find out what is happening across the research and innovation landscape or to have your organisation or initiative listed please visit the RIS website


Brain Health Data Science Network and Forum (BDNF)

SULSA are working in partnership with SINAPSE, SICSA, SDRC and CENSIS to create a new network around Brain Health and Data Science with a focus on the management of data in early detection of neurodegenerative disorders. You can read about our joint session at the SICSA conference and join the mailing list.


Natural Products in the Bioeconomy

SULSA have continued to work with ScotCHEM and IBioIC around the topic of Natural Products, which covers a diverse spectrum including drug discovery and AMR and biomass in aqua and agriculture, to name a few. This working group now includes SAIC and together we are hosting a webinar on 14th October on the Nagoya Protocol. Work is underway to run three workshops in early 2021 aligned with the UK Bioeconomy Cluster Builder (IBioIC/KTN/SE), as well as a Summer School on this topic in July 2022.



Scottish Microscopy Society Database

Support a national network to create a new database for microscopy facilities in Scotland, to work beyond barriers and encourage collaboration and interdisciplinary research. SULSA will provide funding to support our exceptional facilities, their staff and the researchers that use them.

Update: The society has gathered the facility information and will start development of the database and flow diagram. The SMS Symposium will be online this year, the day will include microscopy talks from across all disciplines, workshops with practical tips and tricks, interactive video poster sessions, the chance to interact with facility managers from different universities around Scotland, and of course prizes to be won! More information can be found on the Scottish Microscopy website


Scottish Health & Innovation Network for Entrepreneurship (SHINE)

SULSA are supporting a new national network builder, SHINE, which is working toward bringing together innovators and entrepreneurs with ideas at the bio and or health interface, across Scotland. Committees are being set up across our Universities and in the build-up to an in-person event in 2021, there are a series of Monday Night Webinars each with a new topic and run by the local committee. The next event is on 2nd November on Diagnostics and registration is now open.

Contact: Rebecca Goss

The Scottish Advanced Therapeutics Medicinal Products (ATMP) Network

The Advanced therapies field is experiencing rapid growth at present particularly in areas of cell, gene, viral vector, antibody and vaccine therapy. SULSA is working with Skills Development Scotland and Scottish Enterprise as part of the Industry Leadership Group to deliver on a National Growth Strategy for Scotland in this area. We are currently running a survey to map the skills provision in Scotland in this area, to participate please complete the survey.


Scotland’s Life Science Landscape

SULSA aims to create an interactive map depicting the landscape of our life science expertise within our Universities and across our Industries. This would serve as a tool for collaboration and celebrate the opportunities here in Scotland within this sector.



Breaking Barriers in STEM

An ECR-led initiative looking at identifying where the key issues lie and understanding what SULSA can do to address them.

Update: Through the Looking Glass: Breaking Barriers in STEM ran on 28th October and was an overwhelming success. As we heard from four exceptional early career researchers, from across the UK, we explored where inclusion and diversity in STEM can improve and through breakout sessions have identified some actions to take forward for change. This event was developed by Ally Hughes, Kirsty Robb and Ali Dun (SULSA) and was supported by fellow RIS members ScotCHEM, SUPA, MASTS, SINAPSE, SRPe and IBioIC. This event marked the launch of a longer-term project to make sustainable change within academia for those from minority groups, making a more inclusive and diverse research culture and environment.

Next steps: An event summary followed by an event report will be published as well as the talks and resources from the day being made available. If you are interested in working with us to drive forward the identified actions please get in touch with Ally Hughes.

Contact: Alison Hughes


Graduate Employability Masterclasses

A scheme developed by the Glasgow Economic Leadership (GEL) Life Sciences Skills Theme group in 2014, in partnership with Skills Development Scotland, as part of the Life and Chemical Sciences Skills Investment Plan. The scheme aims to raise the number of ‘industry ready’ graduates and encourage more young people to choose a career in the Life Sciences sector. SULSA has joined the organising committee (alongside Dr Kevin Moore, OBE and Dr Ronnie Palin) to increase the number of Universities receiving the scheme and incorporate our Scottish Innovation Centres into the program. Classes in the planning stages for early 2021 in Semester 2.


Careers Month

Our skills development programme continues and builds, with more workshops running to support our ECRs throughout this challenging time.

Update: The Post-Academic Careers Fair 2020 ran as a series of online workshops across the month of November 2020, rounded up by a panel session event where attendees learnt more about the range of careers available to them. SULSA is continuing to work on lifelong learning through our Graduate Employability Masterclasses and a practical skills training program with Forth Valley College, IBioIC, Scottish Manufacturing Service (SAMS) Skills Development Scotland and ScotCHEM.



Upcoming Funding Calls

SULSA currently has three funding calls in development which will be live towards the end of 2020/early 2021. 

Our Innovation Seed Fund is aimed at early stage PIs/Lecturers and supports industry-partnered projects or those seeking a route to commercialisation. Our ECR Development Seed Fund is a progression of the SULSA PECRE call, supporting early career researchers to develop their independent research line. Finally, the SMS-Database associated Microscopy Facilities Seed Fund, will help enhance capabilities within our exceptional facilities in Scotland and drive research impact.

Learn more about our Funding Opportunities



Staff Involvement in Scotland’s Response to COVID-19

SULSA Director, Professor Mike Barrett, helped establish the Lighthouse Laboratory in Glasgow, part of the UK’s network of laboratories screening for COVID-19 and has continued leading scientific developments there. He has also continued in life long learning, for example updating the University of the third age in Helensburgh on the global and local situation for COVID-19.


SULSA ECR representatives, Leagh Powell and Nicola Morrice, have led on a project to increase the visibility of our Scottish researchers working on COVID-19 Research, through a Twitter campaign running from June until September #ScotlandRespondsC19. The next stage of the project is to represent these academics as an interactive map with the longer-term plan to work together with Skills Development Scotland to demonstrate the National response to the pandemic in the life science sector from academia to industry.

Skills Development

SULSA is working together with a cohort of organisations including Forth Valley College, ScotCHEM, IBioIC, SDS and SMAS alongside the Lighthouse Lab in Glasgow to support skills development in our screening centres.