How SCRR works
SCRR is managed by a board with directors selected from each of the member institutions. The board meets formally twice a year and is chaired by a senior member of the University of Edinburgh nominated by the University Court.
The day-to-day work of SCRR is carried out by two officers, the Scientific Director and the Secretary/Treasurer.
The officers are appointed by the board; their appointments are reviewed each year and renewed as appropriate.
The officers are guided in their duties by the executive committee, which meets about six times a year.
Meetings and visits
The Annual General Meeting of SCRR is held in the autumn, when reports are presented on past activities, papers discussed about future developments and the audited accounts are formally approved.
SCRR organises a series of monthly meetings when the directors visit each member organisation in turn for a working lunch. After lunch, the host organisation arranges a programme of visits and presentations about their research priorities so that, in the course of a year or so, all directors gain a good insight into the research work being carried out within the SCRR family.
In addition to these monthly lunches, a programme of VIP visits is organised, in order to give people holding important positions in government, the Research Councils and the main organisations in the ‘Rural Industry’ of the UK a detailed knowledge of the scope of work being carried out by SCRR organisations. Not only are these visits much appreciated by our guests, they also frequently result in new ideas for research, new research contracts and other tangible benefits to both parties.
A unique and cost-effective collaboration
SCRR therefore functions as a low-cost, without-frills ‘networking’ organisation. The total cost, shared between the member organisations, is about £20,000 a year. This compares very dramatically with the annual cost of the former ECRE, the predecessor to SCRR, which was costing the members about £250,000 a year!
In recent times most of our members have been subjected to a number of searching reviews and commissions of enquiry. SCRR has submitted evidence to these enquiries on behalf of all its constituent members. In our evidence we have stressed that, at any rate in the Edinburgh area, there is a high level of collaboration and the sharing of expensive facilities by the member organisations, even though they are funded by different government agencies or research councils, with some in the private (voluntary) sector.
There are other networking organisations in different parts of Scotland and elsewhere in the UK, but the SCRR is unique in its large membership and low cost structure, which strives to keep bureaucracy and paperwork to the minimum while promoting the healthy exchange of scientific information and ideas to the maximum.