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Language and style


The language used by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) supports our brand as much as graphics, logos and icons. Every time we write or speak about ourselves, we convey our purpose and values.

We must choose our words wisely and consider carefully not only what we say, but how we say it: is our tone appealing and accessible, and will it resonate with our audiences?

The UKRI content style guide (formerly the RCUK style guide) describes our approach to language and its usage, including points of grammar, capitalisation and hyphenation, and how we use certain words. This helps ensure UKRI speaks with one voice.

Our tone of voice is based on UKRI values:

  • collaboration
  • excellence
  • innovation
  • integrity.


UKRI works in partnership with the UK’s diverse community and supports projects across the entire spectrum of research.

This support is reflected in the language we use in describing our relationships with the wider research and innovation communities. We talk about our discoveries and achievements in a way that is professional and easy to interpret.

Examples of key words: support, together, development, ideas.


UKRI is home to world renowned organisations, researchers and innovators undertaking ground breaking work. We ensure quality, value for money and sustainability in everything we do. Our goal is to produce work of quality and consequence. 

We are not informal or overly casual. While it is important that all written content can be read and understood easily, it is essential that UKRI is always seen as a professional body.

Examples of key words: knowledge, expertise, research.


UKRI as a whole helps to make the world we live in a better place. We believe we can make tomorrow better than today. We build on international best practice, learn from what works, innovate and take risks.

We convey this in the way we talk about our work. Our vocabulary reflects our innovative, learning approach. We aim to be a world-renowned research and innovation organisation and should be proud to discuss our achievements.

Examples of key words: new, development, ideas, research, innovation.


We are independent and objective, supporting our work with rigorous analysis.

We have a responsibility to explain our work as simply and clearly as possible. Clarity and accuracy are foundations upon which our content should be built. It is sometimes necessary to use technical terms; whilst this is acceptable when talking to those with an appropriate level of knowledge, it is essential we use clear, straightforward language with the wider community.

Sentences should be short, succinct and precise, punctuation should be kept to a minimum, and unnecessary repetition should be avoided. It may mean using a few more words rather than a technical term or an acronym.

Examples of key words: best, knowledge, expertise, together.

The UKRI web domain includes content relating to UKRI, and the websites of our councils as subdomains. 

Out of scope are: 

  • the electronic grants application service for the councils - Joint Electronic Submissions (Je-S)
  • the Innovation Funding Service for Innovate UK
  • Gateway to Research
  • institute websites.

Web addresses for the UKRI organisations take the format <councilabbreviation>.ukri.org:

Council institutes are not in scope for changes to web addresses; decisions relating to these remain with each institute director.