The Research Councils have recognised the Government’s continuing support for UK research in today’s announcement of allocations from the research and innovation budget. The Councils will collectively publish a summary response on their spending plans and priorities next week.
The budget allocations follow an overall positive settlement for research in last November’s Comprehensive Spending Review at a time when many parts of public expenditure are being reduced significantly. In particular, the confirmation of the £1.5bn Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) presents an opportunity for all parts of the UK research community to play a full role in deploying our world-class capabilities and resources in support of international development.
The specific allocations of programme baselines and the nature of the funding for new GCRF activity will create pressures for individual Research Councils that may have an impact on some existing commitments. This will affect certain disciplines and initiatives and may necessitate some difficult decisions. The Research Councils will now individually and collectively be working to fully understand the implications and opportunities from the allocations and will be developing detailed delivery plans for publication in April.
Professor Philip Nelson, Chair of Research Councils UK, commented: “The Government has been clear in its belief in research as the engine for economic growth and improved wellbeing in the UK and has now clearly signalled the role research can play in international development. The Research Councils look forward to playing a leading role in developing the detail of the Global Challenge Research Fund and strongly encourage all parts of the UK research base and all disciplines to consider how their research and future priorities can be part of what will become a significant national initiative.”
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Details of the science and research resource budget allocations for 2016 to 2020 are available here.
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 www.rcuk.ac.uk.
The seven UK Research Councils are: