University of Glasgow academics join first UK-wide Young Academy


Two academics from the University of Glasgow are among the first members of the new UK Young Academy - a network of early career researchers and professionals established to help tackle local and global issues and promote meaningful change.

Professor Sean Adams and Dr Ahmad Taha are part of the first cohort of 67 members, announced today (10 Jan) by UK and Ireland National Academies.

Professor Adams of the School of Critical Studies and Dr Taha of the James Watt School of Engineering will have the opportunity to help shape the strategy and focus of this new organisation, based on areas that matter to them.

Along with their fellow members from across academia, charity organisations and the private sector, they will have the chance to inform local and global policy discussions, galvanising their skills, knowledge, and experience to find innovative solutions to the challenges facing societies now and in the future.

The UK Young Academy has been established as an interdisciplinary collaboration with prestigious national academies: the Academy of Medical Sciences, British Academy, Learned Society of Wales, Royal Academy of Engineering, Royal Irish Academy, Royal Society of Edinburgh, and the Royal Society. It joins the global initiative of Young Academies, with the UK Young Academy becoming the 50 to join the Young Academy movement.

Sir Adrian Smith, President of the Royal Society said, "We are delighted to introduce the first members of the UK Young Academy. This is a huge achievement for them and an exciting step for the UK in the Young Academy movement.

"It is vital that the next generation of researchers and professionals take their place on the frontlines of the issues that matter most. Finding solutions to global problems - pandemics, climate change, biodiversity loss and social inequality - needs to be guided by collaborative thinking across a breadth of disciplines, life experiences and ideas.

"I look forward to seeing the first cohort take ownership of this new initiative with energy and enthusiasm as they set the foundations for the UK Young Academy."

Professor Adams, Professor in New Testament and Ancient Culture, School of Critical Studies, said: "I am thrilled to be part of this new initiative to help connect scholars and researchers across the UK. It is a real privilege to help establish a new institution and I look forward to working with and learning from my fellow members."

Dr Ahmad Taha, a Lecturer in Autonomous Systems and Connectivity at the University of Glasgow’s James Watt School of Engineering, said: ""I am delighted and feel extremely privileged to have joined the UK Young Academy as one of its first members, in an early stage of my academic career. I am particularly proud to be amongst the first members who will help shape the strategy and focus of this new organisation. The UK Young Academy provides a platform for experts from different disciplines to come together which will have a positive impact on my research career through potential collaborations and will also give me a chance to address ongoing societal challenges, collectively with my fellow members, through our new roles, for a better future."

The successful applicants officially took up their posts on 1 January 2023, and membership runs for 5 years. It is expected that the next call for applications will open in 2023.

Statistics about the 2023 membership:

  • 13.43 % (9) members are from Scotland, 7.46% (5) from Wales, and 4.48% (3) from Northern Ireland; 74.63% (50) from England
  • 3% (33) appointments have been awarded to women
  • 4% (11) members identify as having a disability
  • 3% (23) members from minority ethnic backgrounds
  • 9% (14) members identify as LGBTQ+
  • 1% (57) members are from academia; 14.9% (10) members are from outside of academia, including private sector and charitable organisations.

About the UK Young Academy

The UK Young Academy connects and develops talented individuals in the early years of their career from a wide range of sectors so they can collaborate to make a difference in the world.

It is part of a growing international initiative to give young, early-career innovators, professionals, academics and entrepreneurs a voice for the advancement of issues that are important to them. The UK Young Academy gives its members the chance to have their perspectives, knowledge and insights represented as part of the wider landscape of academic and professional bodies in the UK.

Find the UK Young Academy on Twitter ( @UKYoungAcademy ) and


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