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Research Councils UK logo Excellence with Impact


Research Councils UK launches framework for the future

20 October 2009

Research Councils UK (RCUK) has published a new framework setting out their vision for the future. The RCUK Framework for the Future: Excellence with impact shows the outstanding contribution made by Research Councils UK. RCUK enables the UK to have a productive economy, healthy society and contribute to a sustainable world, and these three mutually supportive areas form the basis of the framework.

Professor Alan J Thorpe, Chair of RCUK, endorsed the new framework. "RCUK spans all academic disciplines and this framework highlights how interdisciplinary and collaborative research has been, and will be, the key to solving many of the challenges facing both the nation and the world. Here in the UK we already have the skills needed to tackle these challenges, but we must ensure we continue to invest in researchers who can understand the problems and develop answers.

"In the current economic climate, it is essential that the benefits research brings to the UK are recognised. Despite current pressure on public finances, we must maintain investment in research or we won't be able to solve the problems facing us. RCUK's commitment to funding excellent research, together with the stability and investment that has been seen within research over the last ten years, means that the UK is internationally recognised as being a world leader. To maintain this position, and to aid future growth and prosperity, it is vital that there is sustained public investment in research."

The Minister for Science and Innovation, Lord Drayson, said: "UK researchers constantly push at the frontiers of human knowledge, satisfying our curiosity about the world and creating the basis for a sustainable future.

"Record levels of government investment in our research base mean that the UK is now internationally renowned as a world-leading destination for science. But we cannot rest on our laurels. There are big challenges ahead and RCUK's new framework makes a strong case for the essential role of science in tackling them."

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Chloë Somers
RCUK Press Officer
Tel: 01793 444592

About the framework

Further information is available on the Framework for the Future website: including:

  1. the Framework for the Future document
  2. a variety of case studies
  3. facts and figures
  4. an audio interview with Professor Thorpe.

About Research Councils UK

Research Councils UK is the strategic partnership of the UK's seven Research Councils. We invest annually around £3 billion in research. Our focus is on excellence with impact. We nurture the highest quality research, as judged by international peer review providing the UK with a competitive advantage. Global research requires we sustain a diversity of funding approaches, fostering international collaborations, and providing access to the best facilities and infrastructure, and locating skilled researchers in stimulating environments. Our research achieves impact – the demonstrable contribution to society and the economy made by knowledge and skilled people. To deliver impact, researchers and businesses need to engage and collaborate with the public, business, government and the third sector.

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).