The RCUK mission is to optimise the ways that Research Councils work together
to deliver their goals, to enhance the overall performance and impact of UK research,
training and knowledge transfer and to be recognised by academia, business and government
for excellence in research sponsorship.
The overall aim of RCUK is for the Research Councils to be recognised as the
benchmark around the world in terms of the impact they have and the ways they work.
Leadership of RCUK is provided by the Research Councils’ chief executives, working
together through the forum of the
RCUK activities are delivered across the Councils through three mechanisms:
Council business units,
cross-Research Council groups,
joint Research Council
projects and day-to-day collaboration between Council staff.
RCUK’s priorities for joint working between the Research Councils are set out
in the RCUK
RCUK is not a legal entity and its existence does not alter the governance of
the individual Research Councils or the accountability of their chief executives,
who remain directly and personally accountable for the guardianship of public funds.
These accountabilities are not exercised through RCUK.
Under the RCUK umbrella, the Research Councils proactively seek to work together
where there is benefit to their academic communities, government and other stakeholders
in doing so. This approach enables each Council to determine its own level of participation
in joint activities and secure the benefits of closer collaboration with other Councils
whilst remaining flexible and responsive to the needs of their own subject communities.
This model recognises that one size does not fit all and facilitates harmonisation
of policies and services, by speeding convergence on a bilateral or trilateral basis.
Externally, this model enables Research Councils to present policies and information
coherently, but allows for different views and opinions to be expressed by different
Although RCUK is a non-executive partnership, it adopts current good practice
of all public bodies. This includes compliance with codes of practice and legislation
on risk management,
Freedom of Information, data protection and a proactive approach to publishing
information about RCUK's activities, services, policies and