Press release

Nurse Review Advisory Group named

The Advisory Group who will support Sir Paul Nurse in his review of UK Research Councils has been announced.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


The Advisory Group of 8 leaders bringing expertise from research, academia and industry who will support Sir Paul Nurse in his review of UK Research Councils has been announced by Universities, Science and Cities Minister Greg Clark, today (26 February 2015).

The ‘Nurse Review’ will look at how the research councils, who invest around £3 billion of government funding per year, can work most effectively.

The UK is a world leader in science and innovation. As well as breaking barriers by trying to find a cure for cancer or producing driverless cars, our research base creates jobs across the country. The government wants to ensure we continue this success, so Sir Paul Nurse has been asked to recommend how we can stay ahead.

Those who will make up the review Advisory Group are:

Professor Lord Sushantha Kumar Bhattacharyya Kt CBE FREng FRS: Professor and Chairman of the Warwick Manufacturing Group. Lord Bhattacharyya was one of the founding members of the Prime Minister’s Council for Science and Technology. He is an advisor to many governments and manufacturing companies worldwide on matters of science and technology.

Professor Muffy Calder OBE FRSE FREng: Vice-Principal and Head of the College of Science and Engineering at Glasgow University, and formerly Chief Scientific Adviser for Scotland.

Professor Sir David Eastwood DL FRHistS: Vice-Chancellor, University of Birmingham and Chair of the Russell Group. Sir David is a former Chief Executive at the Higher Education Funding Council for England, and former Chief Executive of the Arts and Humanities Research Board (now the Arts and Humanities Research Council). He is a Board Member of Universities UK.

Dame Janet Finch DBE, DL, FAcSS: Honorary Professor of Sociology at the Morgan Centre for Research into Everyday Lives, University of Manchester. Previously Dame Janet was Vice-Chancellor at Keele University.

Dr Paul Golby CBE FREng: Chair of the Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council. Previously Dr Golby was Chief Executive of E.ON UK. He is a member of the Prime Minister’s Council for Science and Technology, Chairman of Engineering UK and Chairman of the Board for NATS.

Professor Ottoline Leyser CBE FRS: Professor of Plant Development and Director of the Sainsbury Laboratory at the University of Cambridge. Professor Leyser chairs the Royal Society Science Policy Advisory Group and until recently was Deputy Chair of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics.

Professor Molly Stevens FREng FIMMM FRSC FRPharmS FSB: Professor of Biomedical Materials and Regenerative Medicine in the Department of Materials and Department of Bioengineering at Imperial College London, and the Research Director for Biomedical Material Sciences in the Institute of Biomedical Engineering.

Professor Terry Wyatt FRS: Professor of Physics, School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Manchester. Professor Wyatt works on the ATLAS particle physics experiment at the CERN Large Hadron Collider and is a member of the Scientific Policy Committee of CERN.

Greg Clark, Minister for Universities, Science and Cities said:

The UK’s science base is extraordinary – our cutting edge research base is world leading, our universities are world-class, we develop and attract the world’s brightest minds and we are second in the world when ranked by Nobel prizes.

To maintain our advantage, and following the recommendations of the triennial review, we have asked Sir Paul Nurse to lead a review of the Research Councils in order to build on their firm foundations and ensure we continue to maintain and promote research excellence.

I am delighted to announce today the membership of the advisory group for the Nurse review. The members between them cover a strong and diverse mix of skills, disciplines and experiences and will make valuable contributions to the review.

Sir Paul Nurse, Chair of the review said:

The aim of the Research Councils review is to look at overall questions relating to UK research funding, and build on the findings of the recent more focussed triennial review. The aim of this review is to ensure that the UK continues to support world-leading science, and invests public money in the best possible way.

The advisory group membership announced today will bring a rich range of expertise and experience to this task, and help guide the review towards the right conclusions; I look forward to working with them.

It is very important that the review takes account of the widest possible range of evidence and viewpoints. As such there will be an open call for evidence, and in addition to the advisory group I am also looking to build a wider reference group of representatives of major stakeholders, international researchers and others which we can use to test our emerging thinking.

There will be an open call for evidence, and details will be announced shortly.

Sir Paul is also forming a wider reference group, which will include international expertise, to help test the review’s emerging thinking. Research Councils UK, Universities UK, Innovate UK, the Russell Group, and the Universities Alliance will also be asked to nominate representatives to join the reference group.

Minister Greg Clark also today announced the leads of independent reviews of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) degree accreditation and graduate employability. These reviews will explore how STEM degree courses can be strengthened to ensure that they equip individuals with the relevant, up-to-date skills needed to meet the demands of the modern workforce. Professor Sir Nigel Shadbolt will lead a review of computer science degree accreditation and graduate employability. Professor Sir William Wakeham will work with accrediting bodies, the higher education sector and industry to determine whether there are other STEM degree subjects and associated accreditation systems that would benefit from similar review.

Greg Clark, Minister for Universities, Science and Cities said:

It is crucial for the UK economy that we equip graduates in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects with the high quality skills required of the workforce of the future and I’m delighted that Sir Nigel and Sir William have agreed to take on this important piece of work.

Both Sir Nigel and Sir William have a long and distinguished career in the academic field, close links with industry and a proven track record of delivering high quality work on behalf of government, which makes them ideally suited to lead these reviews.

Notes to Editors:

  1. This review was announced in the Science and Innovation strategy, published on 18 December 2014.
  2. The review will look at how the Research Councils support research in the most effective ways by drawing on a range of evidence, including international comparisons and the views of the scientific and business communities. It will help ensure the councils are in the best position to meet the challenges ahead, underpinned by the core principles of excellence outlined the Science and Innovation strategy: agility, collaboration and the importance of place and of openness.
  3. The review will report to the Chancellor, the Business Secretary and the Minister for Science.
  4. The terms of reference for the review are published at: Nurse Review of research councils: terms of reference
  5. The review will report by late summer 2015.
  6. Membership of the wider reference group will include:
    • Thomas Cech, Nobel Laureate, former President of Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Distinguished Professor at the University of Colorado
    • Sir Peter Gluckman, Chief Scientific Adviser to the Prime Minister of New Zealand
    • Professor Ian Boyd, Chief Scientific Adviser to Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra)
    • Baroness Onora O’Neill , Emeritus Honorary Professor of Philosophy at the University of Cambridge and former President of the British Academy
    • Professor Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard, Nobel Laureate and Professor at the Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology
    • Professor Sir John Cadogan, Inaugural President of the Learned Society of Wales and former Director General of Research Councils at the Office of Science and Technology
    • Sherry Coutu, Angel Investor and entrepreneur
    • Richard Lambert, Chancellor of the University of Warwick and former Director-General of the CBI
    • Professor Sir Konstantin Novoselov, Nobel Laureate and Langworthy Professor in the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Manchester
    • Professor Dame Julia Slingo, Chief Scientist at the Met Office
    • Colin Smith, Director of Engineering at Rolls Royce
    • Professor Sir Alan Wilson, Professor of Urban and Regional Systems in the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis at University College London
    • representing Research Councils UK: Professor Rick Rylance, Chief Executive of AHRC; and Chair, Research Councils UK Executive Group
    • representing Universities UK: Professor Sir Ian Diamond, Vice-Chancellor, University of Aberdeen
    • representing the University Alliance: Professor Alistair Fitt, Vice-Chancellor, Oxford Brookes University
    • additional representatives nominated by Innovate UK and the Russell Group
  7. Details of the STEM accreditation reviews and the terms of reference for each review can be found at Computer science degree accreditation and graduate employability: Shadbolt review - terms of reference and STEM degree provision and graduate employability: Wakeham review - terms of reference
Published 26 February 2015