Committee discusses the impact of science research funding in universities

21 May 2019

The House of Lords Science and Technology Committee holds the first evidence sessions for its new inquiry to assess the impact of potential changes in funding on the ability of UK universities to conduct high-quality scientific research.

Purpose of session

The Committee will question the Vice Chancellors from Oxford University and the University of Manchester, as well as representatives from Campaign for Science and Engineering, the Wellcome Trust and the Northern Health Science Alliance.

In the first session the Committee will ask the Vice-Chancellors how their institutions allocate resources to fund scientific research and whether potential changes to tuition fees will affect this resource allocation. In the second session the Committee will ask for examples of the main challenges facing the ability of universities to conduct high quality research.


Tuesday 21 May in Committee Room 4A, Palace of Westminster

At 10.25am

  • Professor Louise Richardson, Vice-Chancellor, Oxford University
  • Professor Luke Georghiou, Deputy President and Deputy Vice-Chancellor, University of Manchester

At 11.25am

  • Dr Sarah Main, Executive Director, Campaign for Science and Engineering (CaSE)
  • Dr Andrew Welchman, Head of Neuroscience and Mental Health, Wellcome Trust
  • Hannah Davies, Head of External and Public Affairs, Northern Health Science Alliance
  • Professor Wendy Baird, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry & Health Director of Research and Innovation, University of Sheffield

Possible questions

Questions likely to be covered in the first session include:

  • What is the current state of public funding for scientific research in universities?
  • Does the dual support system for funding research in universities work?
  • What, if any, proportion of tuition fee income at your institution is allocated towards research costs?
  • If, after leaving the EU, EU students are charged 'overseas' fees, and lose access to UK student loans, what will be the impact on universities' income and, as a result, research spending?

Questions likely to be covered in the second session include:

  • How successful are universities at generating income from non-public sources?
  • The Government has committed to a target of 2.4% of GDP invested in R&D by 2027. How much of this research will be undertaken in universities?
  • What change in Government/UKRI policy would the groups you represent like to see in order for the scientific research base in universities to maintain or strengthen its position?
  • To what extent do institutions rely on EU funding for scientific research?

Further information

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