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RCUK welcomes the steps taken in today’s budget to increase Institute flexibility

The Chancellor has today announced a package of Flexibility measures for Research Councils' Institutes. The measures provide certain exemptions from central government constraints around pay, procurement and marketing. Increasing RCUK flexibility in financing research and researchers will contribute to our ability to maintain the UK's world leading position in research.

Research Councils look forward to working further with BIS to realise how this package of reforms will be implemented.

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Further information

Nicholas Turner
Press and Communications Manager
Tel: 01793 444592 or email: Nicholas Turner

Notes to editors

  1. The measures include:

    • Pay: Exemption from the 1% limit on yearly pay increases, and the freedom to manage paybill within existing budgets
    • Procurement: Exemption from ERG procurement controls for scientific computing
    • Budget Exchange for non-grant income: Ability to roll over commercial income will be considered on a case by case basis
    • Marketing: Exemption from Cabinet Office controls on marketing and advertising
    • Depreciation: HMT would look favourably on DEL requests


  2. Research Councils UK (RCUK) is the strategic partnership of the UK's seven Research Councils who annually invest around £3 billion in research. We support excellent research, as judged by peer review, that has an impact on the growth, prosperity and wellbeing of the UK. To maintain the UK’s global research position we offer a diverse range of funding opportunities, foster international collaborations and provide access to the best facilities and infrastructure around the world. We also support the training and career development of researchers and work with them to inspire young people and engage the wider public with research. To maximise the impact of research on economic growth and societal wellbeing we work in partnership with other research funders including Innovate UK, the UK Higher Education funding bodies, business, government, and charitable organisations.

    The seven UK Research Councils are:

    • Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC);
    • Biotechnology & Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC);
    • Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC);
    • Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC);
    • Medical Research Council (MRC);
    • Natural Environment Research Council (NERC);
    • Science & Technology Facilities Council (STFC).

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