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Lords grill EPSRC chiefs over change to funding system

David Delpy, chief executive of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, and chairman John Armitt robustly defended the council’s plans for changes to its grant assessment process before the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee on 29 November.

The system, set to take effect from spring next year, will require researchers to explain the “importance” of their proposed research in promoting the national interest when submitting a funding application. Armitt and Delpy said that the notion of importance is already implicit in funding rules and that the EPSRC is simply making it explicit. Armitt also added that the change passed without much notice when initially announced in the EPSRC’s strategy in 2010.

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