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Research Councils welcome positive Spending Review settlement for research


The Research Councils welcome the Government’s recognition of the value of investment in research in today’s Comprehensive Spending Review.

The research budget, within the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, will increase in line with inflation. This means by the end of the spending review period the combined budget for science capital and resource will reach £6.4 billion and the science resource budget will be over £500 million higher by the end of the decade compared to 2015-16.

Professor Philip Nelson, Chair of the Research Councils UK Executive Group, said: “Our world-class research is the engine that drives growth, improves health and increases quality of life in the UK and beyond. We welcome the Government’s clear recognition of this in the Comprehensive Spending Review - protecting the value of the research budget and ensuring an absolute cash increase.

“Across Government there are programmes facing significant cuts and against this background we acknowledge the value the Government has placed on research with this settlement. It means that the UK’s research base will be able to maintain its world-class research outputs, continue to partner with and attract industry, maintain its flow of trained researchers into the economy and society and continue to inspire the next generation.

“The new £1.5bn Global Challenges Research Fund to be delivered over the next 5 years as part of this settlement will enable the deployment of the UK’s research strengths, across all disciplines, to help meet social, environmental and health challenges across the world. The Research Councils will build on our existing strong partnerships with colleagues at the Department for International Development and other government departments to help develop and deliver this initiative.

“The Research Councils will now turn our attention to working closely with Government to develop the details of the research budget for the Councils and the allocation of funding to specific Council budget lines.

“Against this backdrop we remain committed to make every pound work hard to deliver high impact research and will be continuing our focus on reducing the operational costs of the Councils.”

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Further information

Matt Goode,, 07766 423 372.
Katie Clark,, 01793 444387.

Notes to editors

  1. The Spending review and autumn statement 2015 documentation can be found here: 

  2. Research Councils UK (RCUK) is the strategic partnership of the UK’s seven Research Councils. Our collective ambition is to ensure the UK remains the best place in the world to do research, innovate and grow business. The Research Councils are central to delivering research and innovation for economic growth and societal impact. Together, we invest £3 billion in research each year, covering all disciplines and sectors, to meet tomorrow’s challenges today. Our investments create new knowledge through: funding research excellence; responding to society’s challenges; developing skills, leadership and infrastructure; and leading the UK’s research direction. We drive innovation through: creating environments and brokering partnerships; co-delivering research and innovation with over 2,500 businesses, 1,000 of which are SMEs; and providing intelligence for policy making. Find out more about our work at

    The seven UK Research Councils are:

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