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Make a complaint

UKRI is committed to operating a responsive, transparent and fair complaints process. We follow the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman Principles of Good Complaint Handling.

You should use this procedure if you want to make a complaint about our standard of service or activities.

When to make a complaint using this procedure

You should use this complaints procedure if:

  • we have not followed agreed policies, procedures or legal obligations
  • a UKRI employee has been unhelpful or insensitive in their dealings with you
  • we have not responded or have taken an unreasonable amount of time to answer a query or request
  • you are dissatisfied with how we have handled a data protection, environmental information or freedom of information request.

Do not use this procedure if:

  • you disagree with a decision of the UKRI Board, our councils, committees or panels (including peer review)
  • you disagree with a decision by a research organisation we fund
  • the issue you want to complain about is subject to litigation or legal proceedings
  • your complaint has previously been through this procedure and has been closed.

When you should use a different procedure:

How to make a complaint

Step 1

You should make your initial complaint directly to the UKRI employee you have been dealing with, for example, on an enquiry, application or project.

If they are not able to resolve your complaint go to step 2.

Step 2

You must make your complaint in writing, either by email or letter. Any complaints made via telephone will need to be followed up in writing so that they can be formally investigated.

In making a complaint, you should include:

  • your reason for making the complaint, providing a clear description of your experience and what outcome you would like to see
  • the department of UKRI or the council your complaint relates to, including a contact name if known
  • if this is your first complaint or if it relates to a previous case
  • your contact details, including telephone number and address.

Send your complaint to:

Head of Governance
UK Research and Innovation
Polaris House
North Star Avenue


How we will handle your complaint

We will acknowledge your complaint within three working days and, in most cases, provide you with a full response within 20 working days. If it is not possible to provide a full response within this time, we will give you:

  • details of the progress we have made
  • a target date for when we are aiming to respond to your complaint
  • contact details if you want to get in touch with us.

How to appeal about an information rights response

If your concerns relate to a response issued under the Freedom of Information Act, Environmental Information Regulations or the General Data Protection Regulation, a different procedure applies.

You should send your appeal to:

Head of Information Governance
UK Research and Innovation
Polaris House
North Star Avenue

Email addresses for appeals relating to:

How to appeal

If you are not satisfied with our response, you have the right to appeal within six months of the date we responded to your complaint.

You should write to us again following the same relevant procedure as before. You must mention that your complaint relates to a previous case and provide your case number.

We will assess your concerns to decide if there is a rationale to review these outstanding issues. If we agree that there is, we will assign a senior, independent employee to conduct the review on your behalf. This person will not have any prior knowledge or involvement in the previous complaint.

We will aim to respond to you using the same review timescales and process as the standard complaints process above.

If you are still not satisfied with the decision, you can refer your complaint to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman via an MP.

If your complaint relates to an information request then you may want to refer this to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) for a decision. Generally, the ICO cannot make a decision until the complainant has completed UKRI’s review procedure.

Unresolved issues related to the Welsh Language Scheme can be escalated to the Welsh Language Commissioner.

Last updated: 10 January 2023

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