Universities Scotland’s Convener has written to Sir Paul Nurse to provide the Scottish higher education sector’s response to the Nurse Review of Research Councils.
Universities Scotland endorses Universities UK’s response to the Nurse Review of Research Councils and draws out some points that are of particular importance to universities in Scotland, including:
- Concern that there may be a lack of consideration amongst the Research Councils’ and Innovate UK’s decision making bodies of government priorities and research needs in devolved jurisdictions in relation to some spending decisions.
- Consideration of geographical balance in funding decisions should work hand-in-hand with recognition for research excellence, but no funding should be ring-fenced for specific geographic areas.
- Consideration of integrating the work of Research Councils with Departmental research and development budgets should also include such budgets in Devolved Administrations.
- We would urge Research Councils’ decision making bodies to seek more advice from devolved
nations or the academic leaders within them.
- Concern that initiatives to encourage collaboration between institutions can sometimes exclude small research groups in less research-intensive institutions through, for instance, threshold criteria dependent on scale.