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Research Strategy 2005 - 2010

Research Programmes and Work Packages

A new approach to funding research was adopted by Government following the publication of the 2005 - 2010 research strategy.

In the past, research funded has aligned to changing needs through changes to the remits, missions and scientific disciplines employed by the Main Research Providers (MRPs). They reflected the views of the MRPs themselves and their capability and aspirations rather than being primarily informed by the Government's overriding concerns. This approach is no longer appropriate.

A Programme Approach to funding research was adopted, which focussed on the strategic needs of Government policy makers and stakeholders. This represents a fundamental change in the way in which research needs are determined, developed, managed and funded.

The Research Programmes form the main unit of research delivery. Within each programme there are a number of objectives and work is commissioned through a series of work packages.

Outputs from the three Cross Cutting Themes (Responding to Climate Change; Protecting Biodiversity and Environmental, Social and Economic Sustainability of Rural Scotland) were delivered through the main Programmes. Processes were established to generate added value within and between the Programmes to ensure coherence of research funded.

All programmes were reviewed in a Mid Programme Review in 2008-09.

The programmes of research are:


  • Research on International Plant Biodiversity

In addition to the Scottish-focussed research described in the four main Research Programmes, there is also additional funding for taxonomic and systematics research, plant conservation and collections which focus on overseas plant biodiversity, carried out by the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinbrugh (RBGE). Although primarily directed at supporting international biodiversity policies, this research complements work on Scottish biodiversity. Support for this international research will continue to be managed through the sponsorship funding arrangements for the RBGE, as opposed to the Programme approach outlined above.

Commissioning Process

Guidance on how the different programmes were commissioned is detailed below.

All of the research in this programme approach was reviewed by panels of experts before being accepted for funding.