Membership of three UK Research and Innovation Councils announced

Membership of three UK Research and Innovation Councils announced

In line with the Higher Education and Research Act (2017), UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) is establishing membership of its nine Councils. The Board of UK Research and Innovation has appointed members to three Councils; Economic and Social Research Council, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and Natural Environment Research Council. These appointments were recommended to the UKRI Board by the Executive Chair of each Council.

The Councils will be responsible for advising and making decisions, as delegated to it by the UK Research and Innovation Board, on scientific, research and innovation matters. These responsibilities will include:

  • The leadership of their discipline area or fields of activity, including the prioritisation of budgets within their delegated remits and the development of delivery plans; 
  • Ensuring the future of skilled specialists, researchers, scientists and others essential to the sustainability of the UK’s research and innovation capacity; 
  • Engaging with their community to develop ideas, raise awareness and disseminate strategic outputs; and
  • Encouraging and facilitating collaborative work across the nine UKRI Councils to foster strategic relationships. 

The members announced today reflect the diversity of communities that they represent including higher education, industry, policy and civil society.

Professor Sir Mark Walport UK Research and Innovation Chief Executive Designate, commented: "I am delighted to welcome these new Council members. Their stimulus, support and challenge will provide a critical role in the development of strategy and the governance of UK Research and Innovation. The diversity of their personal backgrounds, experience and expertise will ensure that we make the very best choices in how to invest wisely in research and innovation and develop capability and capacity for the future."

The Economic and Social Research Council members appointed by UK Research and Innovation are:

  • Professor Diane Coyle*, Bennett Professor of Public Policy, University of Cambridge
  • Mr Mike Emmerich, Founding Director, Metro Dynamics
  • Professor Jane Falkingham^, Professor of Demography and International Social Policy, University of Southampton
  • Professor Matthew Flinders, Professor of Politics, University of Sheffield
  • Professor Nigel Gilbert^, Professor of Sociology, University of Surrey
  • Professor Rachel Griffith, Professor of Economics, University of Manchester and Research Director, Institute for Fiscal Studies
  • Professor Melinda Mills^, Head of Department of Sociology, University of Oxford
  • Professor James Smith, Professor of African and Development Studies, University of Edinburgh
  • Professor Anna Vignoles, Professor of Education and Director of Research, University of Cambridge
  • Sir Christopher Wormald**, Permanent Secretary, Department of Health

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council members appointed by UK Research and Innovation are:

  • Professor Muffy Calder^, Vice-Principal and Head of College of Science and Engineering, University of Glasgow
  • Ms Bonnie Dean^, independent
  • Professor Alison Etheridge, Professor of Probability, University of Oxford
  • Professor Nick Jennings, Vice-Provost (Research and Enterprise), Imperial College London
  • Rt Hon Baroness Pauline Neville-Jones^, independent
  • Professor Matthew Rosseinsky^, Professor of Inorganic Chemistry, University of Liverpool
  • Professor Sarah Sharples, Associate Faculty Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research & Knowledge Exchange, University of Nottingham
  • Professor Mark Smith*^, Vice Chancellor, Lancaster University
  • Professor Ian Walmsley, Pro-Vice Chancellor, University of Oxford
  • Professor Timothy Whitley^, Managing Director, Research and Innovation, BT
  • Dr Peter Williams, Group Technology Director and Head of Investor Relations, INEOS Group
  • Professor Andy Wright, Director of Strategic Technology, BAE Systems

The Natural Environment Research Council members appointed by UK Research and Innovation are:

  • Professor Ian Boyd**^, Chief Scientific Adviser to Defra
  • Mr Nick Folland*^, Former Chief Executive of the Crown Prosecution Service
  • Professor Louise Heathwaite^, Cross-Faculty Associate Dean for Research, Lancaster University
  • Professor Gideon Henderson, Professor at the Department of Earth Sciences, University of Oxford
  • Professor Stephen Holgate, MRC Clinical Professor of Immunopharmacology at the University of Southampton
  • Mr Imran Khan^, Head of Public Engagement, Wellcome Trust
  • Professor Karin Lochte, Former Director of the Helmholtz Association's Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research 
  • Mr Gordon McGregor, Founder and Director, Spot Sensor Technologies Ltd
  • Professor Dame Julia Slingo^, Professor of Meteorology, University of Reading
  • Lord Willis of Knaresborough^, House of Lords

All members will take up their positions from 1 April 2018. The members of the Councils will serve terms of between two and four years. These staggered terms will balance continuity with evolving membership of the councils in future. Announcements on the other Councils will be made in the coming weeks. The membership of the Council of Research England has already been announced.

Notes for Editors

  • The appointments to Council are made in accordance with the Code of the Commissioner for Public Appointments.
  • All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process. However, in accordance with the original Nolan recommendations, there is a requirement for appointees' political activity (if any declared) to be made public. No political activity has been declared by any appointee.
  • Appointees each receive an annual remuneration of £6,850 for their position on Council.
  • None of the appointees currently holds any ministerial public appointment.
  • Under the HER Act each of the nine Councils within UK Research and Innovation has a Council comprising the Executive Chair and between 5-12 ordinary members. Council members are appointed by the UK Research and Innovation Board in consultation with the relevant Executive Chair. The Secretary of State may appoint one of the members, and is entitled to attend any Council meeting (or nominate a representative to attend).
  • * Senior Independent Member: One member will be appointed as Senior Independent Member with a direct communication channel to the Board and Chief Executive.
  • ** Councils will want to call on the best expertise and advice as required to fulfil their functions.  As such, UK Research and Innovation will ask Civil servants (including but not limited to Chief Scientific Advisors), to join the council in a personal capacity.
  • ^ Members previously served as a member of the research council.