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PS700. THE FUNDING OF RESEARCH IN UK UNIVERSITIES. PS700. [email protected] HISTORY OF FUNDING. The history of research funding of science in the UK falls into two distinct eras: Pre World War II (up to 1939) Post World War II (from 1945). PS700. Pre World War II (up to 1939).

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Ps700

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THE FUNDING OF RESEARCH IN UK UNIVERSITIES

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[email protected]


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HISTORY OF FUNDING

The history of research funding of science in the UK falls into two distinct eras:

Pre World War II (up to 1939)

Post World War II (from 1945)

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Pre World War II (up to 1939)

The organisation of research in a university physics or chemistry department was very different from the current structure.

Assistants: The research was centred on the professor who was the head of the department. He would have working for him a number of assistants, who would do the teaching and pursue research under his guidance.

Doctorates: There was no such thing as research students. The degree of Ph.D. was still unknown, it was only common in the U.S.A.

To progress an assistant would submit his papers, typically after about 10 years of research, for a D.Sc.

Universities: shift towards research-orientated PhDs.

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Pre World War II (up to 1939)

Research funding was relatively small and went directly to the professor. This came from:-

Private individuals

Companies

Government

Many of the famous scientists, such as Lord Rutherford, would refuse money from companies as they felt this would mean they would have to work on problems that did not interest them.

“We don’t have the money. So we have to think.”

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Post World War II (from 1945)

  • Boffins: The Second World War changed the government and public view of science. It was clear in the UK that scientists (‘boffins’) had played a major role in winning the war. There are numerous examples, obvious ones being:-

  • Radar

  • The jet engine

  • Plastics (synthetic materials)

  • Atom bomb ( nuclear energy)

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Post World War II (from 1945)

France: It is interesting to examine what happened in France. The French were shocked at how easily they were overrun by the Germans at the start of the war. They had (falsely) believed that their science and technology was the best in the world in 1938.

After the war de Gaulle vowed that France would not fall into this trap again. The result was a complete overhaul of the education system with the establishment of ‘Ecoles Superiore’ and a focus on science and technology.

The benefit to France has been a far greater awareness of science amongst managers and politicians and a respect for science by the public.

In contrast the UK was stuck with the concept of ‘two cultures’ expressed in the writings of C.P. Snow. (scientists & non-scientists)

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Post World War II (from 1945)

  • After the Second World War the UK government began to give serious financial support to science and into scientific training. This involved:-

  • Establishing specialised research institutions and centres

  • (The Royal Radar Research Establishment (Malvern, moved from Swanage in 1942 to be safe from german commando raids, spawned QinetiQ.

  • The Atomic Energy Authority set up in 1945 (RAF Harwell)

  • 2 Providing funds for research in UK universities.

  • Providing grants for students to study of PhDs.

  • Encouraging research in nationalised industry (British Gas, Coal Board, CEGB, etc.) and private industry.

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ORGANISATION OF RESEARCH FUNDING TO UK UNIVERSITIES

It is useful to understand:

how research has been funded by the UK government;

which department of government is responsible,

how it is decided for a given university department,

how do individual researchers get funds.

It has been quite complex and has changed again very recently.

Dual Support:Since 1945 to September 2005 the principle that has been applied has been that of dual support. The two parts of the support are:

infrastructure and projects

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RESEARCH INFRASTRUCTURE

The research infrastructure are the basic requirements needed to undertake the research. This means:-

Lab space

Lighting and heating

Technical support

Secretarial support

Postage

Telephones

Basic equipment

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PROJECTS

To undertake a specific research project then there will be additional requirements on top of the infrastructure. This could be:-

Specialised equipment

Consumables

Skilled manpower (postdoctoral or research students)

Travel funds

PCs

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THE MODEL OF FUNDING UP TO 2006

GOVERNMENT MONEY (TAXES)

INFRASTRUCTURE

PROJECTS

MINISTRY OF EDUCATION

DEPARTMENT OF TRADE

RESEARCH COUNCILS

(SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH COUNCIL, SRC)

(SCIENTIFIC AND ENGINEERING RESEARCH COUNCIL, SERC)

UNIVERSITY FUNDING SECTION

(UNIVERSITY GRANTS COMMITTEE, UGC)

(HIGHER EDUCATION FUNDING COUNCIL FOR ENGLAND, HEFCE)

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THE MODEL OF FUNDING UP TO 2006

GOVERNMENT MONEY (TAXES)

INFRASTRUCTURE

PROJECTS

MINISTRY OF EDUCATION

DEPARTMENT OF TRADE

RESEARCH COUNCILS

(SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH COUNCIL, SRC)

(SCIENTIFIC AND ENGINEERING RESEARCH COUNCIL, SERC)

UNIVERSITY FUNDING SECTION

(UNIVERSITY GRANTS COMMITTEE, UGC)

(HIGHER EDUCATION FUNDING COUNCIL FOR ENGLAND, HEFCE)

UNIVERSITY X

DEPARTMENT C

DEPARTMENT A

DEPARTMENT B

RESEARCHER

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RESEARCH INFRASTRUCTURE FUNDING: RAE

The amount of funding done mainly on a historical basis - number of staff, number of students, etc

MINISTRY OF EDUCATION

UNIVERSITY FUNDING SECTION

(UNIVERSITY GRANTS COMMITTEE, UGC) from 1945 to 1985

(HIGHER EDUCATION FUNDING COUNCIL FOR ENGLAND, HEFCE) since 1985

Based on Research Assessment Exercise Grade(RAE)

UNIVERSITY X

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PROJECTS FUNDING

DEPARTMENT OF TRADE

RESEARCH COUNCILS

(SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH COUNCIL, SRC)

(SCIENTIFIC AND ENGINEERING RESEARCH COUNCIL, SERC)

Researcher puts in application for a specific project; judged by peers

RESEARCHER

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FROM 2006

fEC: The research councils provide ‘full economic costings’. This means that an applicant applies for BOTH infrastructure and project funds.

So, some money has been shifted from HEFCE to the research councils. HEFCE still provides some infrastructure money, based on RAE or RAF: QR – Quality-Related Research - funding is used to support the research infrastructure

Present: 80% from RCs (100% of exceptional items, studentships). But the long term view is that all research will be funded from the research councils and that HEFCE will mainly fund undergraduate teaching.

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