As a result of Brexit, research policy in the UK is being asked to perform an increasingly large array of functions and will likely undergo significant changes. In this post David Edgerton draws on the findings of a recent British Academy report on the history of UK research policy to highlight how research policy in the UK is frequently misunderstood […]
Category: Research Councils
How to survive the cruel world of peer-reviewed funding applications
With government funding and industry support for research either static or falling, the grant funding environment has become increasingly competitive. Most funding goes to those in secure employment who have been in academia for some time, making the outlook particularly grim for early-career researchers. Jonathan O’Donnell sets out some practical advice for early-career researchers competing for grant funding; starting with […]
Peer review processes risk stifling creativity and limiting opportunities for game-changing scientific discoveries
Today, academics must prepare written proposals describing the research they wish to conduct and submit them to funding agencies for evaluation – a process known as peer review. According to Don Braben and Rod Dowler, the current peer review process actually serves as a blocker to more radical research, stifling creativity and limiting opportunities for game-changing discoveries. Obviously peer review should not be abandoned entirely, but it […]
Universities under purdah: maintaining impartiality or restricting academic freedom?
Is purdah, intended to maintain the impartiality of the civil service, infringing on university researchers’ independence at a time when their expertise is most needed? Bob Ward explains the rules and argues that the next government should undertake a review of the guidance available, in order to ensure that purdah does not harm the public interest in the future. University […]
Addressing societal challenges: Joined-up research funding could facilitate innovation and engagement.
With changes looming for research councils and research funding as a whole, John Goddard looks at what a more joined-up research council driven by societal challenges would mean for the social sciences. Universities are going to have to increase their capacity to support engagement with society. The social science community therefore needs to actively enter into the fray locally and nationally […]
Without a balance between research and teaching, there will be nothing “higher” about UK education.
There are a surge of rumours circulating over how higher education will be affected by the government’s Comprehensive Spending Review at the end of the November. Responding to the latest suggestions, Martin Eve writes below directly to Jo Johnson, the Minister for Universities and Science. Whilst there are many causes for concern outlined, of particular concern is the emphasis put on teaching at the […]
BIS report on UK Research Councils: Drop in income sees fewer researchers supported but more knowledge created.
Jane Tinkler breaks down the key findings from the UK government’s Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) report on the impact of research council funding over the last year. With income cuts playing a significant role, the number of principal investigators and research fellowships with research council funding have both gone down. Interestingly, output productivity of funded researchers has actually increased […]