Soillse was a research collaboration, established between founding members – the University of the Highlands and Islands, the University of Aberdeen, the University of Edinburgh and the University of Glasgow – to provide a much enhanced research capacity to inform public policy towards the maintenance and revitalisation of Gaelic language and culture. It later expanded to include representatives from Glasgow Caledonian University, Heriot-Watt University, the University of Strathclyde, and the University of the West of Scotland.
Soillse represented a large investment in Gaelic language related research and was a unique pooling of resources by the academic institutions that were involved. Following its first phase of support for PhD studentships and research fellowships around the original network, the Scottish Funding Council granted further support from December 2017 for continued network co-ordination and project development for a period of five years.
Soillse aimed to pool Gaelic language research capacity across the participating academic institutions to develop and establish:
- An international-quality research capability that would support, inform and influence policy at national and local levels in the effort to maintain and revitalise the Gaelic language in Scotland and beyond.
- A powerful research network across the participating Scottish Higher Education Institutions, linking national researchers with expertise and interest in contemporary Gaelic language matters, with international minority language research institutions.
(a) Gaelic as a family/community language
(b) Gaelic in education
(c) Policies for Gaelic