Independence experts awarded

With a referendum on Scottish independence due to be held in 2014, three University of Edinburgh academics have been selected to provide specialist evidence on how the potential dissolution of the United Kingdom would affect life in Scotland and beyond.

Dr Nicola McEwen, Professor Sheila Riddell, and Professor Stephen Tierney have been awarded Scotland Senior Fellowships from the Economic and Social Research Council to impartially explain the potential issues to policy-makers and voters.

The impact of independence explored

The £1.3m scheme aims to inform debate in the run-up to the referendum and assist in planning across a wide range of areas that will be affected by the outcome of the vote, whether for independence or the Union.

Dr McEwen, Senior Lecturer in Politics and Director of Public Policy for the Academy of Government, will research how shared cross-border bodies in energy and social security might work.

Professor Riddell, Director of the Centre for Research in Education Inclusion and Diversity, will look at how independence would affect universities and students.

How to engage citizens

While Professor Stephen Tierney, Professor of Constitutional Theory and Director of the Edinburgh Centre for Constitutional Law, will provide policy-makers and citizens with clear and accessible explanations of what independence would mean for the ways in which they are governed. He will also make recommendations for how best to engage citizens in the referendum process.

The academics are among only seven scholars from across the UK to be awarded the one-year Senior Scotland Fellowship.

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