Physical Sciences Strategic Advisory Team meeting February 2016

Information for the meeting of Physical Sciences Strategic Advisory Team, held on 22 September 2016.

AGENDA for the Physical Sciences SAT Meeting 24 February 2016
Jury's Inn, Swindon

Time Session
10.30 - 10.45 Coffee
10.45 - 11.30 Update from John
11.30 - 11.50 SAT chairs update from Neil
11.50 - 12.00 Coffee
12.00 - 12.15 Single panel
12.15 - 13.15 Balancing Capability
13.15 - 14.00 Lunch
14.00 - 15.15 Theme Planning
15.15 - 15.45 Engagement workshops
15.45 - 15.55 coffee
15.55 - 16.15 Grand Challenges
16.15 - 16.30 Wrap-up

Notes from the Physical Sciences Strategic Advisory Team meeting:
24 February 2016 at Jury's Inn, Swindon


  • Prof Neil Alford (Chair) [NA] - Imperial College London
  • Prof Cameron Alexander [CA] - University of Nottingham
  • Prof Adrian Mulholland [AM] - University of Bristol
  • Prof Sonia Contera - University of Oxford
  • Prof Chris Marrows - University of Leeds
  • Dr Steven Harris [SH] - BAE Systems
  • Prof Michael Hannon [MH] - University of Birmingham
  • Mr Martin O'Brien [MOB] - Culham Centre for Fusion Energy
  • Prof Rasmita Raval [RR] - University of Liverpool

EPSRC staff:

  • John Hand [JH] - Physical sciences Theme Lead
  • Dr Christina Turner [CT] - Senior Portfolio Manager
  • Dr Helen Niblock [HN] - Portfolio Manager
  • Dr Anna Angus-Smyth [AAS] - Senior Portfolio Manager
  • Dr Ian Hickman [IH] - Portfolio Manager
  • Natasha Richardson [NR] - Portfolio Manager
  • Dr Neil Viner [NV] - Director, Programme Delivery


  • Prof Miles Padgett - University of Glasgow
  • Dr Alan Brown - Pfizer
  • Dr William Whittingham - Syngenta Ltd.
  • Ms Isabella Van Damme - Mars Chocolate UK
  • Prof Geoff Rodgers [GR] - Brunel University
  • Prof Richard Winpenny [RW] - University of Manchester
  • Prof Graham Machin [GM] - National Physical Laboratory

1. Introduction

NA welcomed the SAT to the meeting and JH ran through the agenda.

2. Update from John Hand

JH provided an update on the delivery plan, the outcomes framework, the CSR and Nurse Review

3. Update from SAT Chair

NA updated the SAT on what was discussed at the SAT Chair's meeting in November. There were discussions around the possible CSR outcomes, the delivery plan and Nurse Review.

4. Single Panel update

The first Physical Sciences single panel will go ahead in September 2016. The SAT was encouraged to feed in any amendments to the briefing document

5. Balancing Capability

The SAT was updated on the Call for Evidence for the Balancing Capability project. The SAT was split into 3 groups to look at the draft rationales for Physics, Chemistry and Materials the SAT were asked to comment on where there are gaps and which research areas should be highlighted in the call for evidence. Overall the SAT would like to see more consistency between the rationales, especially around the data included.

6. Theme Planning

Initial thinking on a theme vision and objectives was presented to the SAT. The SAT discussed a series of questions to help develop the theme objectives.

7. Engagement Workshops

The SAT were updated on the on the reasons for doing the workshops, the agenda and the role of the SAT members who are attending the workshops.

It was suggested that the Learned Societies meeting should discuss how EPSRC can complement what they are already doing.

8. Grand Challenges

The SAT were updated on the on the progress of the Grand Challenges review. The SAT had some discussion around the benefits and learning from the Grand Challenges and the SAT agreed that the Grand Challenge approach could be used to engage the Physical Sciences community with the Outcomes Framework.

9. AOB

No other business was discussed.

The next meetings are scheduled for 26 July and 20 September 2016.