Research Council budgets announced

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

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 £11.2 billion.

To coincide with the announcement of the budgets, each Research Council published 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 has been 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 forward, 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 from the individual Research Council websites.