our member universities


The Institute of Medical Sciences (IMS) is the flagship research institution of the University of Aberdeen. With the focus to develop future effective therapies, the IMS is the largest research institute at the University of Aberdeen, with over 411 researchers and support staff, boasting one of the largest medical campuses in Europe. The IMS also houses the MRC Centre for Medical MycologyWellcome Trust Strategic Award in Medical Mycology and Fungal Immunology and the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) Centre of Excellence.

The Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health is a global leader in nutrition research and studies the relationship between the human diet and our health and wellbeing.  Its state-of-the art building at Foresterhill includes a clinical investigation unit, a metabolic research facility and a body composition suite, alongside extensive laboratories of the highest standard.

The Institute of Applied Health Sciences (IAHS) conducts population-based research into the need for, access to, evaluation of, and delivery of healthcare. Strong collaborations exist with other universities, research institutions, foundations and governments within the UK, Europe, America and more than 12 developing countries.

The School of Biological Sciences champions four main clusters that define our research- ecology, environment, evolution and physiology and operates from the greatest mountains to the deepest oceans and from high latitudes to the tropics. Our close proximity to the UK’s largest national parks also means that we use field teaching and research to complement our state of the art research laboratory  facilities. With 100 researchers in Aberdeen and our Cromarty field centre we are globally recognised through our partnership network.


Dundee’s School of Life Sciences enjoys a reputation as one of the most dynamic international centres for molecular cell biology, with outstanding laboratory and technology facilities for fundamental research and translation.

The School is home to the Drug Discovery Unit (DDU), a fully operational, fully integrated drug discovery group working across multiple disease areas. The DDU tackles unmet medical need through small molecule drug discovery, bridging the gap between academic scientific research and commercial drug discovery and development.

The MRC Protein Phosphorylation and Ubiquitylation Unit (PPU) is also part of the School of Life Sciences, as is the National Phenotypic Screening Centre, an interdisciplinary centre that develops and screens innovative assays that move away from the traditional target-based approaches in order to discover chemical biology tool molecules and more effective drug or agchem start points.



Edinburgh’s College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine ‘One Medicine, One Health’ strategy is built upon integration of research from bench to bedside and from process to population. In the College’s submissions to the Research Excellence Framework 2014, Veterinary Medicine was ranked 1st in the UK, Medicine was ranked in the top 5, Neuroscience was ranked 3rd and Social Work and Social Policy was 3rd.

The College has five major Research Institutes. Each institute has over 500 members of staff and postgraduate research students. They are: The Queen’s Medical Research Institute (QMRI), The MRC Institute of Genetics and Molecular MedicineThe Usher Institute of Population Health Sciences and InformaticsEdinburgh Neuroscience, and The Roslin Institute. The QMRI is home to the MRC Centres of Inflammation ResearchRegenerative Medicine, and Reproductive Health.

Edinburgh is also home to The School of Biological Sciences which is one of the largest Biology departments in the UK and is at the leading edge in teaching, research and innovation.  Independent rankings such as the Times Higher Education consistently place Edinburgh amongst the top 25 universities in the world for biological sciences.



The College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences (MVLS) brings together internationally renowned experts and state-of-the-art facilities to improve health and quality of life for humans and animals across the globe.  The College also provides innovative teaching for our students, preparing them for a wide variety of exciting careers.

MVLS is home to over 2,000 staff and 5000 students and has an annual turnover of £205M. The College consists of seven research Institutes (Infection, Immunity and Inflammation, Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences, Neuroscience and Psychology, Molecular Cell and Systems Biology, Health and Wellbeing, and Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine) with an annual research income of over £106.5 million.

MVLS is also home to the Wellcome Trust Centre for Molecular Parasitology, the MRC Centre for Virus Research, the BHF Centre of Research Excellence in Vascular Science and Medicine, the Cancer Research UK Glasgow Centre, the EULAR Centre of Excellence, the ARUK Centre of Excellence, the ARUK Arthritis Treatment Centre and the MRC / CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit.



SULSA in the University of St Andrews, encompasses four Schools: Biology, Chemistry, Medicine and Psychology & Neuroscience.

Research in the School of Biology is organised into three major interdisciplinary centres: the Scottish Oceans Institute (SOI), Biomedical Sciences Research Complex (BSRC) and Centre for Biological Diversity (CBD). In the REF2014 results, the impact of research undertaken in Biological Sciences in St Andrews was rated top in Scotland and second across the UK.

The BSRC has thirty-two affiliated research groups, who perform highly innovative, multi-disciplinary research in eleven broad areas of biomedical research, employing state-of-the-art techniques to address key questions at the leading edge of the biomedical and biological sciences. Research at the BSRC ranges from microbiology to structural biology and molecular medicine.



The Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy & Biomedical Sciences (SIPBS) is a major research centre in Scotland and is amongst the UK’s top Schools of Pharmacy. They have a wide range of state-of-the-art research facilities with research focused on ‘New Medicines, Better Medicines & Better Use of Medicines’. SIPBS is home to Continuous Manufacturing & Crystallisation (CMAC), the Cancer Research UK Formulation Unit, an SFC-funded Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre (IBioIC), now the Rapid Prototyping Centre and the Centre for Biophotonics.  SIPBS also hosts the Drug Discovery company, Mironid Ltd targeting various diseases for therapeutic intervention.



At Edinburgh Napier University, research within the School of Applied Sciences makes a positive impact on health, the environment and society, both nationally and internationally.

The Animal and Plant Science Research Group focusses on terrestrial & marine biodiversity, conservation and management of temperate and tropical ecosystems in a changing world. Specific areas of focus include: biodiversity and conservation, environmental microbiology, pollutants and tourism.

The Biomedical Science Research Group focuses upon understanding physiology in the context of health and disease. Areas of interest include: cancer and drug design, immunology and infection, neurological disease, physical health recovery, pollutants, public health, bone health and reproductive health.

The Microbiology Research Group examines microbiological interactions with a variety of hosts (humans, animals and plants) together with the wider external environment. The main areas of focus are: applied microbiology and biotechnology, biofuels, environmental microbiology, food security, host pathogen interactions, and pollutants.

The Sports, Exercise and Health Science Research Group work complements this work with research focused around physical activity and health. The Psychology Research Group works collaboratively with internal and external partners on areas including Forensic Psychology and Applied Cognition.

The School also hosts the Mountain Bike Centre of Scotland and the Biofuel Research Centre.



Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) is the University for the Common Good.  Our vision for 2030 is to be recognised as world-leading for social innovation: delivering transformative education and impactful research through purposeful partnerships as a globally connected University with an engaged University community committed to the Common Good.

The School of Health and Life Sciences has a long tradition of conducting a wide range of multi-disciplinary applied health research that is economically and socially relevant – applying new knowledge to problems of global significance. This is realised through our Research Centre for Health (ReaCH), which aims to make direct and significant contribution to Sustainable Development Goal 3 – good health and wellbeing. The core of our activity is to focus on enhancing lives of people with long-term health conditions as well as developing and evaluating public health and lifestyle interventions.

The centre showcases the work undertaken in our research groups in the themes of public health: Ageing Well; Child and Adolescent Health; Safeguarding Health through Infection Prevention (SHIP); Sexual Health and Blood Borne Viruses; Substance Use; and long term-conditions: Living with Stroke and other long-term conditions; Molecular Mechanisms of long-term conditions; Musculoskeletal Health; and Vision Research. Colleagues in the Chief Scientist Office-funded Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professions Research Unit (NMAHP) and Public Health Scotland also contribute to the centre.  The centre also provides excellent opportunities for close collaboration with health economists and health services researchers in the Yunus Centre for Social Business and Health, and social work and social policy colleagues in Glasgow School for Business and Society as well as in the School of Health and Life Sciences.

We promote research led teaching on our programmes and pride ourselves on provision of both workplace and research laboratory experience and additional support via our Career Tracks initiative. Supporting this research, we host a Skin Research Tissue Bank and wide range of state of the art research facilities including our Bio-Imaging Facility which is open access to everyone.  We are also collaborators on a number of interdisciplinary flagship programmes such as the IBioIC, the West of Scotland Health Sciences network and the Glasgow City of Science Innovation Strategic Programme Board.



Heriot Watt’s strength in life sciences research lies an interdisciplinary approach to real world problems, the development of unique state-of-the-art facilities, and through collaboration between Schools and other research institutions. The interdisciplinary research interests and state-of-the-art facilities provide a unique environment for integrative research.

Heriot Watt drives economic and societal benefit through a number of interdisciplinary research centres and institutes. Amongst them is the Institute of Biological Chemistry, Biophysics and Bioengineering. This institute applies advances in the chemical, physical, and engineering sciences to enable and enhance life science research.

A unique complement of infrastructure and facilities required to engage in this activity at the highest level is already in place in; world class cell biology, molecular imaging, atomic force microscopy, tissue/cell culture and bioprocessing facilities, laser and optical laboratories, linked by a high-speed data network, all in one building complex.



At the University of the West of Scotland, Research in the Life Sciences has an interdisciplinary approach across Biomedicine, Medical Devices, Human Health and Sport, Environmental Health, Aquatic Health, and New Medicines. UWS has excellent links with the NHS, Industry and other Research Institutes. Examples of this include the Alzheimer Scotland Centre for Policy and PracticeThe Institute for Clinical Exercise and Health Science, and the Institute of Biomedical Environmental Health Research and The Institute of Thin Film, Sensors and Imaging.


Robert Gordon is home to multi-disciplinary research that focuses its activities on addressing major issues around the diagnosis, prevention, treatment, care and welfare of patients, drawing on the research skills of academic staff in their Schools of Applied Social Studies, Health Sciences, Nursing and Midwifery, Pharmacy and Life Sciences.  It also houses the Research Centre for Obesity Research and Epidemiology (CORE) and the CyanoSol research facility which aims to develop sustainable solutions for algae related problems in the aquatic environment in parallel with the exploitation of their diverse biosynthetic capabilities.




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