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Sêr Cymru programme

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One of the world’ s leading experts in compound semiconductors has been appointed to lead a new research laboratory at Cardiff University through the Welsh Government’s £50m Sêr Cymru programme.
The Minister for Economy and Science, Edwina Hart, has announced the second appointment under the Sêr Cymru programme.
Our vision for science, the key initiatives we will take and how we measure success.

We have committed up to £50 million to the Sêr Cymru programme to strengthen research capability in Wales.

The scheme seeks to attract leading international scientific talent to prestigious new research chairs at our universities.

In June 2013 we announced the appointment of the first Sêr Cymru research chair, Professor Yves-Alain Barde. Subsequently two further appointments were made, Prof. James Durrant and Prof. Andrew Barron.

In May 2015 we are proud to announce the fourth Sêr Cymru research chair, Prof. Diana Huffaker.

The appointment of these outstanding researchers to positions in Wales is a reflection of the importance of the Sêr Cymru programme and the increasing status of our universities in the global scientific community.

About the Sêr Cymru research chairs

Prof. Yves-Alain Barde

Prof. Yves-Alain Barde, Sêr Cymru research chair in Neurobiology, specialises in the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying brain function. His appointment enhances the outstanding neuroscience expertise at Cardiff University’s School of Biosciences.

Prof. James Durrant

Prof. James Durrant, Sêr Cymru research chair in Solar Energy Research, is an expert in polymer and organic photovoltaics.  Prof. Durrant has established a world- class Solar Futures Laboratory within the SPECIFIC Innovation and Knowledge Centre at Baglan, a unique partnership between Welsh universities (led by Swansea) and Imperial College London.

Prof. Andrew Barron

Prof. Andrew Barron, Sêr Cymru research chair in Low Carbon, Energy and Environment, focuses on the application of nanotechnology to fundamental problems in energy generation.  Prof. Barron is supporting the development of the Energy Safety Research Institute on Swansea University’s new Science and Innovation Campus.

Prof. Diana Huffaker

Prof. Diana Huffaker, Sêr Cymru research chair in Advanced Engineering and Materials, is an expert in compound semiconductors.  Prof. Huffaker will lead a pioneering new Advanced Engineering and Materials Laboratory, building on existing strengths at Cardiff University in expanding areas of optoelectronics, semiconductor devices and materials, which will form part of the Compound Semiconductor Research Foundation, a UK-first venture between Cardiff University and technology firm IQE.

Strategic Awards for Capital Equipment

We have invited universities in Wales to bid for capital funding to purchase new equipment for research in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine.

We are looking to support proposals that fit with the strategic priorities we outlined in 'Science for Wales', and which can build upon the strengths our universities demonstrated in the recent Research Excellence Framework (REF).

Applications can be made for single pieces of equipment and/or multiple smaller items, but the total request for funding must be between £50K and £500K.

The total fund available is £1.7 million and the deadline for applications is 5pm on 19 June 2015.

Further details are available on request from Delyth Morgan email: or telephone: 02920 801383.