A TOP Scottish university is to launch an innovative project to encourage secondary school pupils to see the benefits of research.

Strathclyde University, in Glasgow, is the only institution in Scotland to secure financial support from the UK Research Council (RCUK) for the initiative.

Academics and students from Strathclyde will work with teachers and pupils from three Glasgow secondary schools – Bellahouston Academy, Knightswood Secondary and Springburn Academy.

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Professor Geri Smyth, from Strathclyde's School of Education, said: "We aim to increase young people's understanding of what research is because it is not always seen as relevant to pupils or the wider community. Research has an impact and an influence on everyone's daily lives."

Professor Tim Bedford, Strathclyde's associate deputy principal for research, added: "The new project will initially focus on staff and pupils from the partner schools working with academics and students from the university's computer and information sciences, engineering, education, history and English departments."

Stephen Curran, the council's executive member for education, said the project would help widen access. He added: "More and more Glasgow school- children are being accepted to universities and any project that makes this transition easier is to be welcomed and embraced."

RCUK's Professor John Womersley said: "We aim to encourage quality inter-actions between students and researchers in a broad range of disciplines."

In a separate move, students from Strathclyde University's Business School helped develop a project to encourage youngsters from deprived backgrounds apply for courses.

High achieving pupils from a number of Glasgow schools have been invited to the business school to experience university life.