Public Release:  Fellows to look at the future of the UK and Scotland

Economic & Social Research Council

With a referendum on Scottish Independence due to be held in 2014, the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) has appointed seven one year senior fellowships with overall funding of £1.3 million.

The ESRC Scotland Senior Fellowships scheme invited applications to provide evidence and analysis across the broad range of issues and policy areas affected by the Scotland independence debate and the longer term future of the UK and Scotland.

The scheme forms part of a programme of work addressing issues around the future of Scotland, the UK and more widely. The programme aims to both inform the debate in the run-up to the referendum and assist in planning across a wide range of areas which will be affected by the outcome of the vote, whether for independence or the Union. These include voting, culture and identity, business intelligence, fiscal and monetary policy, policy development, building of new constitutional arrangements, and defence and administrative practice.

The seven selected fellows are:

  • Dr Angus Armstrong, National Institute of Economic and Social Research,
    Currency and fiscal policy options for an independent Scotland
  • Professor David Bell, University of Stirling,
    Fiscal aspects of constitutional change
  • Professor John Curtice, National Centre for Social Research,
    Public attitudes and Scotland's independence referendum
  • Professor Michael Keating, University of Aberdeen,
    Constitutional futures and models of policy making
  • Dr Nicola McEwen, University of Edinburgh,
    Between autonomy and interdependence: Scottish independence and intergovernmental co-ordination
  • Professor Sheila Riddell, University of Edinburgh,
    Higher education in Scotland, the devolution settlement and the referendum on independence
  • Professor Stephen Tierney, University of Edinburgh,
    The referendum on Scottish independence: a democratic audit

The Fellows will also act as champions for the social sciences, promoting the importance of social science research in addressing current and future issues in relation to possible Scottish independence.

ESRC Chief Executive Professor Paul Boyle comments: "The consequences of the outcome of the vote will be significant. The process of preparation is also, in itself, likely to have impact. It's crucial that the best possible independent research evidence should be available to inform those who need it, such as Scottish voters, and individuals and organisations inside and outside Scotland who are making decisions which may be affected by the vote process and outcome. The ESRC is uniquely placed to provide such high-quality, research-based, and independent evidence to inform the debate, both before and after the vote".

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For further information contact

ESRC Press Office:

Sarah Nichols
Email: sarah.nichols@esrc.ac.uk
Telephone: 01793 413122

Jeanine Woolley
Email: jeanine.woolley@esrc.ac.uk
Telephone: 01793 413119

Notes for editors

1. The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) is the UK's largest organisation for funding research on economic and social issues. It supports independent high quality research which has an impact on business, the public sector and the third sector. The ESRC's total budget for 2012/13 is £205 million. At any one time the ESRC supports over 4,000 researchers and postgraduate students in academic institutions and independent research institutes.

2. More information on the fellowships and the wider Scotland programme.

3. Funding figure refers to the Economic and Social Research Council's contribution which amounts to 80 per cent of the full economic cost of the grants.

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