Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation

Jo Johnson MP


Jo Johnson was appointed Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation in July 2016. He was elected Conservative MP for Orpington in May 2010 and re-elected in May 2015.


Jo began his schooling in Brussels, at the European School in Uccle, before attending Ashdown House School in East Sussex, and then Eton College. In 1991, he went to Balliol College, Oxford to study Modern History.

A French speaker, Jo did his postgraduate studies in Europe and has degrees from 2 further European universities.

Political career

He was head of the Downing Street Policy Unit and served as Minister of State at the Cabinet Office from July 2014 until May 2015. He served as an Assistant Government Whip from September 2012 until July 2014. He also served as Parliamentary Secretary at the Cabinet Office from April 2013 until July 2014.

Career outside politics

Jo joined the Financial Times in 1997, after working as an investment banker at Deutsche Bank. He had 2 foreign postings with them: firstly as Paris correspondent (2001 to 2005), and then as South Asia Bureau Chief based in New Delhi (2005 to 2008). In 2008 he became an Associate Editor of the Financial Times and Head of the Lex Column.

Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation

The minister is responsible for:

  • industrial strategy
  • universities and higher education reform (including implementation of the Higher Education and Research Act and teaching excellence framework and quality)
  • higher education student finance (including the Student Loans Company)
  • widening participation and social mobility
  • education exports (including international students, international research)
  • science and research, including the creation and governance of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)
  • agri-tech
  • space
  • innovation
  • intellectual property

Previous roles in government

  1. Minister of State for Universities and Science

    • 2015 to 2016
  2. Minister of State for Cabinet Office

    • 2014 to 2015
  3. Parliamentary Secretary (Minister for Constitutional Reform)

    • 2013 to 2014


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  1. First-ever UK-US Science and Technology Agreement paves the way for closer research collaborations

    • Press release
  2. Science Minister announces new Chief Finance Officer of UK Research and Innovation

    • News story
  3. Universities must embrace accountability

    • News story
  4. Jo Johnson: speech to UUK annual conference

    • Speech
  5. Funding awarded to help UK science centres increase visitor numbers and engagement with science

    • News story
  6. Professor Duncan Wingham appointed as Executive Chair Designate of the Natural Environment Research Council

    • News story
  7. Securing value for money for students and taxpayers

    • News story
  8. Jo Johnson: delivering value for money for students and taxpayers

    • Speech
  9. Instruct European Research Infrastructure Consortia (ERIC) inaugural event

    • Speech
  10. £100m boost for UK space sector to ensure UK is equipped to stay ahead of the competition

    • Press release