DUNDEE UNIVERSITY is to receive a grant for £150,000 to help bring seven Early Career Researchers from Australia to work on cereal research.

The new funding comes from the Universities UK International Rutherford Fund Strategic Partner initiative and will help strengthen ties with Australia and boost Dundee’s position as an international hub for research into cereals – particularly barley.

Professor Claire Halpin, Associate Dean of Research and Professor of Plant Biology and Biotechnology in the School of Life Sciences at the University of Dundee welcomed the grant: “This is another important step to firmly establishing Dundee as an international centre for cereal research. In partnership with the James Hutton Institute we wish to increase the impact of cereal research in Dundee through the establishment of an International Barley Hub (IBH). This Hub will facilitate both closer interactions with industry and a broader internationalisation agenda for cereal and barley research.

“As part of this initiative, and to make the ‘Hub’ truly international we wish to build on and extend connections and collaborations with all global centres of excellence in barley research, including those in Australia,” Ms Halpin concluded.

Colin West, chair of the International Barley Hub, welcomed the announcement of the Fellowship grants and claimed the research would be beneficial on both sides of the pond.

“This collaboration is definitely win-win: the young scientists get to work with the world-leading teams at the University of Dundee and the James Hutton Institute, and they bring enthusiasm, initiative and knowledge from their Australian base to contribute to taking barley forward as a global crop. Barley is a vital crop to Scotland, and to Australia, and both growing regions will benefit from this funding from the UK’s Rutherford Fund.”