UKRI Chief Executive update to the community

UKRI Chief Executive, Professor Dame Ottoline Leyser, writes:

In the light of the ongoing debate triggered by the Secretary of State’s letter to me on Saturday, and my response to it, I wanted to make my position, and that of the UKRI Executive Committee and Board, crystal clear.

We are fully committed to the principles of freedom of speech within the law and equality, diversity and inclusion. These are the foundations on which research and innovation excellence is built.

I am determined to uphold these principles through the actions we are taking, despite the heightened emotions surrounding these debates at the current time.

With respect to the specific immediate issues, I would like to restate that we are adopting a well-governed process to support evidenced, principled decisions.

Only the operations of the newly formed Research England Expert Advisory Group on EDI have been suspended while our investigation proceeds. All our other EDI work continues as normal. We want to resolve this as quickly as possible, consistent with taking effective, well-founded decisions. The aim is to bring clear resolution in a way that best supports all of those who serve on our advisory groups, and research and innovation in the UK.

In line with the principles we espouse, we understand that different people will take different views about the best way to act and we respect their decisions.

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