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Research Councils Budgets Announced

20 December 2010

The individual budgets for the seven UK Research Councils over the 2011/12-2014/15 spending review period were today (20th December) announced by David Willetts, Minister for Universities and Science.

Research, whether based in arts, humanities, engineering or the social, physical, biological, medical or environmental sciences, is at the heart of the UK’s growth, prosperity and wider wellbeing. Public investment in research is an investment in the nation’s future, ensuring that the UK has a productive economy, healthy society and contributes to a sustainable world.

The total budget allocation across RCUK for the 2011/12 – 2014/15 spending review period is around £11.2billion.

To coincide with the announcement of the budgets each Research Council today publishes its Delivery Plan for the period. These delivery plans set out the priorities and commitments that Councils will meet in order to achieve their forward strategies. Alongside the individual delivery plans, the new Research Councils UK (RCUK) strategic vision is being published to set out how the Councils collectively will provide a vital contribution to economic growth and wellbeing within the UK as a result of investing this allocation in top-quality research.

Commenting on the budget allocations and the publishing of the delivery plans, Chair of RCUK, Professor Alan Thorpe, said: “This allocation as part of the 2010 spending review confirms the value that Government has placed on research investment for the UK. In the context of a very difficult public sector settlement, it is very encouraging that the allocations to the Research Councils have fared so well. Of course, to manage within our budgets there will need to be rigorous prioritisation by Councils and some difficult strategic decisions will need to be made. The cut to the capital budgets of the Research Councils will present particularly significant challenges going forwards, but we have a good foundation, and excellence with impact will remain at the core of what we do.”

Research Councils UK also welcomes the restatement of the Haldane Principle. It underlines the continuing independence of the Research Councils in making the strategic decisions for the investment of the Science and Research budget, ensuring that the key challenges facing society are addressed whilst maintaining national capability in vital areas."

Further details of the delivery plans can be accessed for the individual Research Council websites and the RCUK Strategic Vision can be found here PDF, 200KB.

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Further information

Jane Wakefield
RCUK Press and Communications Manager
Tel: 01793 444592

Notes for editors

  1. Research Council Delivery Plans can be accessed through the following links:

  2. Research Councils UK (RCUK) is the strategic partnership of the UK's seven Research Councils. We invest annually around £3billion 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 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).