Dr Scott McGrane
Strathclyde Chancellor's Fellow, Economics
The Chancellor’s Fellowship, unlike a traditional lecturer post, is an excellent opportunity for ambitious researchers to build their own independence and build a research group around them. I was attracted to this fellowship because of the freedom and flexibility that it allows to develop ambitious research proposals and collaborative networks. As an interdisciplinary academic, these fellowships provide a unique opportunity to work across disciplines and develop a truly impactful research group that address significant challenges.
I am an interdisciplinary hydrologist with a particular focus on the impacts of environmental change on freshwater resources. My Fellowship is a joint appointment with the Department of Economics and the Applied Physics Department at Stanford University (one of Strathclyde’s key international strategic partners), and I also work closely with colleagues across Strathclyde in the departments of Physics, Government and Public Policy, Civil and Environmental Engineering and the School of Law.
The University of Strathclyde is an excellent, progressive university and the ideal place to build an ambitious research group. The University is home to excellent academics, facilities and have very strong ties with industry and government groups alike. A major attraction for me is the international ambition the university have and the connection to a network of international strategic partners. The University actively encourage and support these collaborations, and I have been fortunate to spend significant time at Stanford University building my research group with support from across the faculties here at Strathclyde.
I ultimately would like to acquire a chair, running my own research group that work across the University faculties in a truly transdisciplinary way. The fellowship is a perfect developmental step toward this ambition, as it enables me to develop my research portfolio and team, and use my research outputs to develop truly innovative and multidisciplinary teaching programmes that will transcend science, economics, policy, law and engineering.
Since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, my work life has looked considerably different! The transition to everything being done from home and online was a monumental challenge for the entire sector, and something I think we’ve collectively risen to. The hard work and endeavour I’ve seen from my colleagues over the past 8 months has been incredible. Initially, it was incredibly difficult with my wife and I both working from home and balancing the childcare of a 3 year old – getting to spend several hours each day watching my daughter grow and learn perhaps wasn’t ideal for career development, but it was one of the more fulfilling aspects of early lockdown. As childcare became available again through both our nursery and families, I’ve grown to love working from home – perhaps I’m atypical in that sense, but it’s providing the opportunity for a much better work-life balance, my mental health is much more stable and while there are undoubtedly still challenges from a productivity perspective or the online platforms we’re using, I find I have substantially productive periods of working in my home environment. Of course, I do miss the camaraderie of our department and being able to casually meet and engage with colleagues, and the previously international aspect of my role with Stanford University has looked very different this year. Safe to say I miss the California sunshine…