Research Councils are the public bodies charged with investing tax payer’s money in science and research in the UK in order advance knowledge and generate new ideas which can be used to create wealth and drive improvements in quality of life.
Each Research Council funds research and training activities in a different area of research ranging across the arts and humanities, social sciences, engineering and physical sciences and the medical and life sciences. The Councils employ around 12,000 staff, and support around 30,000 researchers, including 15,500 doctoral students in UK universities and in their own Research Institutes.
There are currently seven Research Councils:
Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
Medical Research Council (MRC)
Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)
All are Non-Departmental Public Bodies (NDPBs), established by Royal Charter and are independent legal bodies outside of Government, accountable to Parliament.