Duncan Wingham, chief executive of the Natural Environment Research Council, has said he is “actively” considering freeing up more time for researchers at the council’s institutes to pursue original projects and personal interests.
Wingham made the comment during an evidence session at the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee on research funding on 17 July. He was responding to a question raised by Alec Broers, the committee’s former chairman. “All people doing creative research work should have the ability to spend 10 to 20 per cent of their time doing what they please and have some resources to do it,” Broers told Research Fortnight after the session. “Researchers in research council institutes and industry may be [particularly] concerned about this; I think it is something worth reinforcing,” he says.