Higgs Centre award welcomed

The Scottish Government is to contribute £2 million to the University’s Higgs Centre.

Artist's impression of the Higgs Centre

Edinburgh’s Principal Professor Sir Timothy O’Shea has welcomed the news, confirmed by First Minister Alex Salmond, that the Scottish Funding Council will provide £2m to support the Centre at the University’s Kings Buildings campus.

The Centre will provide an iconic focus for research, postgraduate training, international visitors and companies engaged with these.

International focus

I very much welcome this announcement from the Scottish Government. Its foresight and commitment in supporting world leading research will help to establish a fitting and lasting legacy for Professor Peter Higgs.
Professor Sir Timothy O'SheaPrincipal, University of Edinburgh

An International Advisory Committee will advise on the research programmes and the Centre’s overall strategy and any associated appointments.

The Centre’s research will be embedded in, and stimulated by, a programme of workshops that brings world-leading scientists and industry innovators to the Centre.

Staff will work with industry affiliates and give them unparalleled access to facilities and data.

Public engagement

The Centre will be involved in public outreach to schools and the general public through lectures and other events.

A further £2 million spread over five years will be used to support additional postgraduate opportunities in physics or mathematics.

The announcement coincided with a ceremony at the Scottish Parliament to mark the launch of a new physics prize named in Professor Higgs’ honour.

School prizes

Professor Higgs joined the First Minister at Holyrood to make awards to the two inaugural winners of the Higgs Prize: 18-year-old Lucy Willets-White and 17-year-old Peter Rhodes.

The Higgs Prize was established in recognition of the impact Professor Higgs' theoretical work has had on modern day particle physics.

Its purpose is to reward and inspire Scotland’s best young school physicists.

The award winners will visit the internationally renowned CERN research facility in Switzerland to take part in its summer school and a specially designed programme of events.

City celebration

Professor Higgs is to receive the Freedom of the City of Edinburgh at ceremony in January.

He will be presented with the honour as part of an event, Edinburgh's Enlightenment Reborn, taking place at the University's McEwan Hall on 8 January.