Universities and Science Minister, Jo Johnson MP, responds to the statement in the House of Lords on the clause in government grants.
Universities and Science Minister Jo Johnson MP said:
Our world-class research base is a source of great pride for this country, which is why the government is continuing to protect the science budget to the end of the decade.
The new clause in government grants is about ensuring that taxpayers’ money is properly spent on what was intended in the grant agreements. I am very aware of questions that have been raised about what this could mean for our research base and the principle of academic autonomy that is such a critical part of its strength.
I have been talking to the research community and working hard with colleagues in government to determine what clarification may be necessary to ensure that research is not adversely affected in any way.
I am happy to confirm that it is not our intention for the Research Councils, the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) or the National Academies to be covered by the clause. We are continuing to talk to the research community and will outline more detail by 1 May, when this clause takes effect.