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Research England Council membership announced


Research England Council membership announced

The Board of UK Research and Innovation has confirmed the first members of the Research England Council. 

The 11 members will work with Research England Executive Chair David Sweeney to deliver the Council’s aim to create and sustain the conditions for a healthy and dynamic research and knowledge exchange system in English universities. The Council will help shape the strategic direction and priorities for Research England as part of UK Research and Innovation, and will have an important role in supporting the transition process to the creation of Research England in April 2018.

The Council members appointed by UK Research and Innovation are:

  • Dr Richard Armour, (Retiring) Secretary-General, University Grants Committee, Hong Kong. Formerly in university administration in Australia and Scotland where he is returning
  • Professor Naren Barfield, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Provost Designate, Pro-Rector, Royal College of Art
  • Dr Phil Clare, Associate Director, Research Services and Head of Knowledge Exchange, University of Oxford
  • Professor Dame Jessica Corner, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research and Knowledge Exchange), University of Nottingham  
  • Professor Nandini Das, Professor of English Literature, University of Liverpool, and AHRC-BBC New Generation Thinker
  • Professor Maria Delgado, Director of Research and Professor of Drama, The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London
  • Dame Janet Finch, Former Vice-Chancellor of Keele University, and Honorary Professor of Sociology, University of Manchester
  • Dr Susan Hodgett, Senior Lecturer, University of Ulster, President of the International Council for Canadian Studies and previously Chair of the UK Council of Area Studies Associations
  • Professor Graeme Reid, Professor of Science and Research Policy, University College London, former Head of Research Funding, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.  Author of reviews for both Welsh and Scottish Governments
  • Mr Peter Saraga, (Senior Independent Member), Former Managing Director of Philips Research Laboratories UK, Chair of HEFCE’s UKRPIF panel, and formerly President of the Institute of Physics and Vice President of the Royal Academy of Engineering
  • Professor Deborah Smith, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research, University of York

Professor Trevor McMillan, the Vice-Chancellor of Keele University, will attend in his capacity as chair of the Knowledge Exchange Framework steering group.

All members will take up their positions from 1 April 2018. The Council will meet in shadow form prior to April.

David Sweeney, said: “I am delighted to welcome the members to our first ever Council for Research England. I look forward to working with each member as we seek to establish and develop our work.  Research England has a unique position within the dual funding system for research, and as the English funder within a UK-wide organisation.  Success will depend on strong partnerships, and the diversity of experience on the Council will support our work with key partners including the devolved funding bodies, and will ensure that Research England plays its role in the success of UK Research and Innovation.”

Prof Sir Mark Walport, UK Research and Innovation Chief Executive Designate, commented: 

"I am delighted to welcome the eleven excellent members appointed by UKRI to the newly formed Research England Council. They bring the diversity of personal backgrounds, experience and expertise that will be key to providing the best stimulus, support and challenge to Research England. The nine Councils of UKRI will play a critical role in our strategy development and governance and I am looking forward to working closely with them."

A further seat on the Research England Council is currently being reserved while the Council considers the most appropriate way to ensure the views of business and industry are reflected, strengthening Research England’s role in supporting research impact and effective knowledge exchange.  In addition, the UK Research and Innovation Board expect key observers to be in attendance.  This includes, representatives from the Welsh, Scottish and Northern Irish Funding bodies.  The Office for Students will also be invited to attend.


Tamera Jones, Research England interim communications:

  • Telephone: 01793 411561
  • Mobile: 07917 557215
  • email: t.jones@hefce.ac.uk

Notes to Editors

The appointments to the Councils of the nine Councils of UK Research and Innovation and made by the UKRI Board. 

The 11 members of the Research England Council will serve terms of between two and four years. These staggered terms will balance continuity with evolving membership of the councils in future.

A recruitment campaign for the other eight Councils of UK Research and Innovation was launched on 17 October 2017.

About Research England

Research England is being established as a new Council alongside the other existing Councils (the seven Research Councils and Innovate UK). Research England’s aim will be to create and sustain the conditions for a healthy and dynamic research and knowledge exchange system in English universities. As a key component in the dual support system for research, Research England will oversee the England-only functions in relation to research and knowledge exchange. This includes providing grant funding to English universities for research and knowledge exchange activities (over £1.9 billion in 2017-18); developing and implementing the Research Excellence Framework in partnership with the UK Higher Education funding bodies; overseeing the sustainability of the Higher Education research base in England; and overseeing the £900 million UK Research Partnership Investment Fund. 

More information can be found on the Research England website.

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