Policy paper

Triennial review of the research councils

Review of the role and the structure of 7 UK research councils along with their way of working together as Research Councils UK.

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


Triennial review of the research councils

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Seven research councils were the subject of this review, along with their way of working together as Research Councils UK (RCUK), which is the partnership body of all the councils. They are:

  • Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)
  • Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)
  • Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
  • Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
  • Medical Research Council (MRC)
  • Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
  • Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)

Stage 1 of this review assessed the continuing need for the research councils which are funded by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), and are responsible for investing public money in research and innovation in the UK.

Stage 2 examined compliance with the governance process operated by the councils including statutory accountabilities and financial and management responsibilities.

We received views from over 100 stakeholders including businesses, government, UK charities and national academies, universities and select committees.

Published 16 April 2014