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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/R015007/1
Title: International Centre For Mathematical Sciences 2018
Principal Investigator: Lord, Professor G
Other Investigators:
Sherratt, Professor J Schroers, Professor B Vanneste, Professor J
Glendinning, Professor P Lindgren, Dr FK Wiese, Dr A
Pelloni, Professor B Gordon, Professor I
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: S of Mathematical and Computer Sciences
Organisation: Heriot-Watt University
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 April 2018 Ends: 31 March 2024 Value (£): 3,010,518
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Algebra & Geometry Continuum Mechanics
Logic & Combinatorics Mathematical Analysis
Mathematical Aspects of OR Mathematical Physics
Non-linear Systems Mathematics Numerical Analysis
Statistics & Appl. Probability
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
13 Sep 2017 EPSRC Mathematical Sciences Infrastructure Interviews Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Researchers in the mathematical sciences need conversations, information and encouragement or competition from others to be most effective. International research is undertaken in an international context, and it is vital to be aware of the latest ideas and techniques. For the past 25 years the International Centre for Mathematical Sciences (ICMS) in Edinburgh has run focussed research workshops to meet this need. The topics for the workshops come from the research community itself, and proposals are assessed by peer review and an international Programme Committee. The main objective of this grant proposal is to fund each year for six years eighteen research workshops, associated knowledge exchange and public engagement activities and the administrative support necessary for successful meetings at ICMS. This provides researchers from all over the UK with the opportunity to meet together with a small group of international experts to make real progress in understanding a problem.

This funding will have two immediate impacts. First, it ensures a level of excellent activity at ICMS which makes it a prestigious venue for other research meetings. Thus the total activity at ICMS is significantly more than that funded by this grant. Indeed, over the last two years only 35% of participant days were funded by the current EPSRC grant. Thus the grant provides a critical contribution to the infrastructure of mathematical science research in the UK, providing an internationally recognised venue for high level research and ensuring that UK science is able to engage with its international counterparts. Second, the directly funded workshops themselves have impact. They showcase UK research and allow international researchers to develop new themes. Proposals are encouraged to have specific outcomes - ambitious goals for what might come out of the conversations and exchange of knowledge that arise during their programmes.

Six of the eighteen workshops each year will be 'strategic'. They will address new areas of the mathematical sciences, or new cross-disciplinary applications. Industrially focussed workshops also come under this heading, as do scoping meetings and workshops addressing UK science priorities signalled by the Research Councils. This provides a mechanism for the mathematical sciences research community to engage with these areas at an early stage. ICMS has a Knowledge Exchange Officer who ensures that all the workshops have opportunities to identify potential interest outside academia. Where such possibilities are identified ICMS arranges for special industrial sessions within the workshops and there is an extensive list of industrial contacts to help focus ideas.

The ICMS activity includes training for early career researchers, and we champion diversity at our meetings. Some of the dedicated Knowledge Exchange and Public Engagement meetings funded by the grant are training sessions to give ECRs an insight into how to engage outside academia. There are some 'ECR workshops' designed to give an early opportunity for researchers to develop as leaders in their field. The UK has a very poor record of gender balance in mathematical science researchers and ICMS strongly advises potential organisers on gender balance within their workshops and gives support for parents who need extra childcare because of attendance at ICMS events.

ICMS works with other institutes and organisations, most notably the Isaac Newton Institute in Cambridge, the learned societies of the mathematical sciences and the Research Councils, to ensure that the needs of UK mathematical sciences research are met efficiently and effectively effectively as recommended in a recent EPSRC Review. This proposal enhances the activity at ICMS and ensures the continued vitality of research in the UK.

Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
Sectors submitted by the Researcher
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Project URL:  
Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.hw.ac.uk