No. 82 of Session 2003-04 15 November 2004


Wednesday 2 February 2005 at 9.30 am

The House of Commons Science and Technology Committee will be taking evidence from representatives of Research Councils UK (RCUK) on Wednesday 2 February 2005 at 9.30 am.

This will be a scrutiny session on RCUK, to conclude the Committee's programme of scrutiny of the Research Councils.

The hearing will be held in public in a committee room at the House of Commons and members of the press and public are invited to attend.

The Committee will be following up the issues it has raised in its Reports on each of the Research Councils, with a particular focus on the role of RCUK in promoting cross-Council co-operation and best practice. The Committee will also be following up the implementation of OST’s RCUK Review and will consider the relationship between RCUK, the DGRC and OST. 

The Committee is inviting comments from users and other interested parties on the above issues and any others relating to the performance of RCUK. Anyone wishing to submit comments should do so by Wednesday 19 January 2005.

Guidelines for the submission of evidence

Submissions should be as brief as possible, and certainly no more than 3,000 words. Paragraphs should be numbered for ease of reference, and the document should include a brief executive summary. Those submitting evidence are reminded that evidence should be original work, not previously published or circulated elsewhere. The Committee will send you a formal acknowledgement of the evidence that you submit. This acts as a confirmation of receipt. If you do not receive such an acknowledgement within a fortnight of making your submission, please contact the Committee on the number given below, as it is likely that your evidence has not been received. Once submitted no public use should be made of it, but those wishing to publish their evidence before it is published by the Committee are invited to contact the Clerk of the Committee to obtain permission to do so. Guidance on the submission of evidence can be found at guide for witnesses on our website

Where to send your evidence

Evidence should be submitted in both hard copy and electronic format (MS Word). Please mail hard copy evidence to: Chris Shaw, Clerk, Science and Technology Committee, House of Commons, Room 107, 7 Millbank, London SW1P 3JA. Evidence in electronic format should be sent by e-mail to The body of the e-mail must include a contact name, telephone number and postal address. The e-mail should also make clear who the submission is from.

For further information, please ring Chris Shaw on  020 7219 2792
Previous press notices and publications are available on our website

Notes for those wishing to attend a public meeting of the Committee

Members of the public wishing to attend should present themselves at St Stephen's Entrance, or Portcullis House if appropriate, where they will be directed through security and to the appropriate Committee Room.  It is advisable to allow about 15 minutes for this. It is possible for the Committee Room designated for the hearing to change at short notice, but such room changes will be clearly  indicated.  Please ensure that mobile phones and pagers are turned off before entering the Committee Room.  Under no circumstances should members of the public address the Committee while in session.  It is not possible for seats to be reserved in the Committee Room but every effort is made to ensure sufficient seating.  Standing in Committee Rooms is permitted at the discretion of the Chairman.  Those attending meetings are asked to remain silent throughout.

Notes for Editors

Under the terms of Standing Order No. 152 the Committee is empowered to examine the "expenditure, policy and administration of the Office of Science and Technology and its associated public bodies". The Committee was appointed on 12 November 2001.

RCUK was established in 2002 to increase the policy influence of the Research Council, to provide a single focus for collective dialogue with stakeholders and to secure greater cohesiveness and harmonisation of operations amongst the Research Councils. The OST Review of RCUK was published in October 2004. For details of its work, see .

The Committee has already reported on CCLRC (HC 462 of Session 2003-04), BBSRC (HC 6 of Session 2003-04), PPARC (HC 161 of Session 2002-03), on MRC (HC 132 of Session 2002-03), on NERC (HC 674 of Session 2002-03), and on EPSRC (HC 936 of Session 2002-03).

Membership of the Committee

Dr Ian Gibson (Lab, Norwich North) (Chairman)
Mr Tony McWalter (Lab, Hemel Hempstead)
Paul Farrelly(Lab, Newcastle-under-Lyme)
Dr Andrew Murrison (Con, Westbury)
Dr Evan Harris (Lib Dem, Oxford West & Abingdon)
Geraldine Smith (Lab, Morecambe and Lunesdale)
Kate Hoey (Lab, Vauxhall)
Bob Spink (Con, Castle Point)
Dr Brian Iddon (Lab, Bolton South East)
Dr Desmond Turner (Lab, Brighton Kemptown)
Mr Robert Key (Con, Salisbury)