HRH Duke of Edinburgh, 10 June 1921 to 9 April 2021 Read more

Chief Scientific Adviser (CSA) for Scotland

Professor Sheila Rowan

Chief Scientific Adviser (CSA) for Scotland

Professor Sheila Rowan was appointed Chief Scientific Adviser (CSA) for Scotland in June 2016.

This is a part-time position. Sheila also remains Director of the Institute for Gravitational Research, University of Glasgow, a position she has held since 2009. She received an MBE in 2011.


The CSA is responsible for informing policy development to benefit the economy, people and environment of Scotland. She works closely with the Scottish Science Advisory Council, of which she is an ex officio member, to advise the Scottish Government across all areas of its work.


Sheila's research is targeted at developing optical materials for use in gravitational wave detectors, and her recent work has been a crucial part of the Advanced LIGO upgrades, carried out between 2010 and 2015, that contributed to one of the most significant scientific breakthroughs of this century: the first detection of gravitational waves announced in February 2016. This resulted in a share of the 2016 Special Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics for her and the members of her team in Glasgow.