UKRI is here, so let’s talk about its performance, says Sarah Richardson in this week’s Research Fortnight leader.
Two and a half years after a super-funding agency was mooted by Paul Nurse in his review of the UK’s research councils, UK Research and Innovation comes into being on Sunday. Ironically, given the long-running controversy around its creation, any disquiet at its launch has been overshadowed by a host of storms erupting in higher education: the pensions dispute, the role of the Office for Students (also coming into force on Sunday) and the ongoing rumblings over vice-chancellors’ pay.
That could be a blessing in disguise. Whether or not you believe that UKRI, with its focus on interdisciplinarity, is the right approach, the payoff for the overhaul of the research-council funding system and closer ties to government will be £2 billion more funding a year.