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Overview of ESRC

Committee and Council Members induction

By Phil Sooben, Director of Policy, Resources and Communications

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Overview of ESRC

  1. 1. Committee and Council Members InductionOverview of ESRCMr Phil Sooben, Director of Policy, Resources and Communications
  2. 2. Introduction▶ Welcome and Introduction (All)▶ UK Research Councils▶ UK Dual Support System▶ ESRC in Context▶ ESRC Governance Structure▶ ESRC Office Structure▶ Further Information
  3. 3. The UK Research Councils
  4. 4. The UK Research Councils▶ All are Non-Departmental Public Bodies (NDPBs) established by Royal Charter and are independent legal bodies outside of Government, accountable to Parliament▶ Public bodies charged with investing in science and research in universities and research institutes, in order to advance knowledge and generate new ideas which can be used to create wealth and drive improvements in quality of life▶ Majority of funding comes through the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) as part of the Science Budget
  5. 5. The UK Research Councils▶ Research Council share of Science Budget is around £3 billion (2012/13). Funding is allocated through the Government’s Spending Review process▶ The ‘Haldane Principle’ – re-affirmed by current Government – decisions about what to spend research funds on should be made by independent funding bodies rather than politicians▶ Science and Innovation Investment Framework 2004-2014 – Government’s vision for UK science
  6. 6. UK Dual Support System
  7. 7. The UK Dual Support System▶ University research supported through the Research Councils (RCs) and the Funding Councils (FCs)▶ There are separate Funding Councils for each of the devolved administrations: – HEFCE (England)– annual research budget £1.6b – SFC (Scotland) £382m – HEFCW (Wales) - £5.8m – DELNI (N Ireland) - £N/A
  8. 8. The UK Dual Support System▶ Research Councils – Provide grants for specific projects and programmes – Fund awards on the basis of applications made by individual researchers or groups which are subject to independent, expert peer review – Awards made on the basis of research potential irrespective of geographical location
  9. 9. The UK Dual Support System▶ Funding Councils – Provide block grant funding to support the research infrastructure to enable institutions to undertake research of their choosing – Support for research (Quality Related ‘QR’ funding) is distributed on the basis of a retrospective assessment of the performance of individual departments in higher education institutions – the Research Assessment Exercise – from 2014 the Research Excellence Framework
  10. 10. Research Excellence Framework(REF)▶ New system for assessing the quality of research in UK HEIs▶ Will replace the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE)▶ To be completed in 2014▶ Will be undertaken by the four UK higher education funding bodies▶ Combined assessment of research and impact for the first time
  11. 11. Higher Education Innovation Fund(HEIF)▶ Designed to support and develop a broad range of knowledge exchange activities between HEIs and the wider world which result in economic and social benefit to the UK▶ Government has agreed that £150m per year will be allocated in HEIF funding for the period 2011- 2015▶ High priority is given at this time to activity that can help the countrys economic growth
  12. 12. Questions and AnswersComing Up:▶ ESRC in Context▶ ESRC Governance Structure▶ ESRC Office Structure▶ Further Information
  13. 13. ESRC in Context
  14. 14. Economic and Social ResearchCouncil (ESRC)▶ Established in 1965 as the Social Science Research Council▶ Total budget for 2012/13 is £200 million (BIS allocation of £179 million)▶ The Council supports independent, high quality research which has an impact on business, the public sector and the third sector▶ Subject areas include: economics, psychology, political science, sociology, anthropology, geography, education, management and business studies
  15. 15. Our Mission▶ To promote and support, by any means, high quality basic, strategic and applied research and related postgraduate training in the social sciences▶ To advance knowledge and provide trained social scientists who meet the needs of users and beneficiaries, thereby contributing to the economic competiveness of the UK, the effectiveness of public services and policy and the quality of life▶ To provide advice on, and disseminate, knowledge and promote public understanding of the social sciences
  16. 16. Our Principles▶ Quality – Funding research and training of the highest quality by world standards▶ Impact - Demonstrate the wider contribution of UK social science and its national and international impact▶ Independence – Ensuring independence from political, commercial or sectional interests
  17. 17. ESRC in Context Department for Business, Innovation, and Skills (BIS) – Vince Cable ESRC is a non-departmental public body, established by Royal Charter in Minister for Universities and Science – David Willetts 1965, principally funded through the Science Budget by the Department forDirector General for Knowledge and Innovation – Adrian Smith Business, Innovation and Skills. Research Councils UK ESRC AHRC – Arts and Humanities Research Council BBSRC – Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council EPSRC – Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council MRC – Medical Research Council NERC – Natural Environment Research Council STFC – Science and Technology Facilities Council
  18. 18. Arts and Humanities ResearchCouncil(AHRC) in April 2005▶ Established▶ Annual budget of around £100 million▶ The Council supports world-class research that furthers our understanding of human culture and creativity▶ Subject areas include: classics, visual arts, English literature, history, modern languages, museum studies, music and performing arts, law and religious studies
  19. 19. Biotechnology and BiologicalSciences Research Council(BBSRC)▶ Established in 1994▶ Annual budget of around £359 million▶ Subject areas include: agri-food, animal sciences, biochemistry and cell biology, biomolecular sciences, engineering and biological systems, genes and developmental biology and plant and microbial sciences
  20. 20. Engineering and Physical SciencesResearch Council (EPSRC)▶ Established in 1965 (as SERC)▶ Annual budget of around £748 million▶ Subject areas include chemistry, engineering, ICT, materials, mathematical sciences and physics
  21. 21. Medical Research Council (MRC)▶ Established in 1913▶ Annual budget of around £546 million▶ Subject areas include: physiological systems and clinical sciences, health services and public health, infections and immunity, molecular and cellular medicine, and neurosciences and mental health
  22. 22. Natural Environment ResearchCouncil (NERC)▶ Established in 1965▶ Annual budget of around £297 million▶ The Council supports research, training and knowledge exchange in the environmental sciences▶ Subject areas includes: atmospheric science, earth science, earth observation, marine science, polar science, science-based archaeology and terrestrial and freshwater sciences
  23. 23. Science and Technologies FacilitiesCouncil (STFC)▶ Established in 2007 following the merger of CCLRC and PPARC▶ Annual budget of around £251 million▶ The Council provides large scientific facilities such as ISIS, Synchrotron Radiation Source, Central Laser Facility and Diamond Light Source▶ Subject areas includes astronomy and particle physics
  24. 24. Research Councils UK (RCUK)▶ Aims to optimise the ways in which the seven UK Research Councils work together to deliver their goals. RCUK will: – Increase the collective visibility, leadership and influence of the Research Councils for the benefit of the UK – Lead in shaping the overall portfolio of research funded by the Research Councils to maximise the excellence and impact of UK research, and help to ensure that the UK gets the best value for money from its investment – Ensure joined up operations between the Research Councils to achieve its goals and improve services to the communities it sponsors and works with
  25. 25. Research Councils UK (RCUK) RCUK Executive Group Research Efficiency and Impact Group Group Reform Group
  26. 26. Cross-Council Programmes
  27. 27. Social Science at the Core▶ Social Science lies at the heart of understanding and tackling complex challenges facing society and is central to all the cross-Council themes▶ This fact increasingly recognised by all the Research Councils▶ ESRC leads on the RCUK Global Uncertainties Programme
  28. 28. Shared Services Centre (SSC)▶ SSC is managing on behalf of the Research Councils the following functional areas: – Finance – Procurement – Human Resources – IT/IS – Grants Processing Other BIS organisations now coming on board
  29. 29. Questions and AnswersComing Up:▶ ESRC Governance Structure▶ ESRC Office Structure▶ Further Information
  30. 30. ESRC Governance Structure
  31. 31. Committee and Network Structure
  32. 32. ESRC Council▶ Chair: Dr Alan Gillespie Secretary: Vicki Crossley▶ ESRC’s senior decision making body▶ Membership drawn from the academic, public, business sectors and civil society including a broad regional distribution and gender balance▶ Role of Council – Determine corporate strategy and priorities for the ESRC – Allocates funding for particular activities and monitors performance▶ Council delegates responsibility for development of policy, allocation of funds, management of investments to its Committees and to the Office through the Chief Executive
  33. 33. Policy Committees▶ Three Policy Committees: Research; Methods and Infrastructure; Training and Skills▶ Each contributes to delivery of strategic objectives and collaborates with other policy committees to do this▶ Roles include – setting policy in these three areas, advising Council on priorities, overseeing the relevant portfolio of investments, and maximising impact
  34. 34. Committees▶ Research Committee – Chair: Professor Glynis Breakwell Secretary: Michelle Dodson▶ Methods and Infrastructure Committee – Chair: Mr David Walker Secretary: Vanessa Cuthill▶ Training and Skills Committee – Chair: Professor John Beath Secretary: Dr. Esther Wilkinson▶ Evaluation Committee – Chair: Professor Ann Buchanan Secretary: Vicki Crossley▶ Audit Committee – Chair: Mr Paul Grice Secretary: Nigel Bird
  35. 35. Questions and AnswersComing Up:▶ ESRC Office Structure▶ Further Information
  36. 36. ESRC Office Structure
  37. 37. ESRC Office Structure
  38. 38. Policy, Resources and CommunicationsDirectorate▶ The Policy, Resources and Communications Directorate role and main activities include: – leading on the development and delivery of ESRC’s corporate strategy, within the overall direction set by Council – managing the Council’s portfolio of activities relating to training and skills and research resources – providing policy and secretariat support for Council and the three Policy Committees – communications, and public engagement, including press office and website – evaluating our investments, schemes and initiatives – Delivering corporate functions of Human Resources,
  39. 39. Research, Partnerships andInternational Directorate▶ The Research, Partnerships and International Strategy Directorate role and main activities include: – commissioning new research and managing the Council’s various research funding schemes – building upon or creating new strategic partnerships with businesses, government departments and third sector organisations – managing our portfolio of funded research and developing the relationship with our major investments – developing the relationships with other RC partners and Technology Strategy Board through cross-Council programmes and bi-lateral activities – Managing our international collaborative activities and building on our international partnerships
  40. 40. Further Information
  41. 41. ESRC’s Contacts▶ Speaker: – Phil Sooben, Policy, Resources and Communications phil.sooben@esrc.ac.uk▶ ESRC website – www.esrc.ac.uk
  42. 42. Documentation▶ Information and guidance for members of ESRC’s Council and Committees can be found on the ESRC website at: http://www.esrc.ac.uk/funding-and-guidance/guidance/committee-members/index.aspx▶ This includes: – Register of interests form for Council, committee and panel members – Council, Committee and Network Members Handbook 2011-2012 – Code of practice for Council and committee members – Management statement (see Annex 1) – Financial memorandum (see Annex 1) – Regularity, propriety and value for money (HM Treasury)(see Annex 2)▶ Travel and subsistence documents – ESRC travel and subsistence regulations – Claim form (for members of council, committees, panels, steering groups and other attendees at ESRC meetings)
  43. 43. PublicationsCorporate Publications▶ Annual Report and Accounts▶ Strategic Plan 2009-2014▶ Delivery Plan▶ ESRC at a glance 2012Magazines and Newsletters▶ Society Now▶ Britain In magazine▶ Evidence briefings▶ eNews