Our organisation brings together the seven disciplinary research councils, Research England, which is responsible for supporting research and knowledge exchange at higher education institutions in England, and the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK.
Our nine councils, delivering together
Our nine councils work together in innovative ways to deliver an ambitious agenda, drawing on our great depth and breadth of expertise and the enormous diversity of our portfolio.
Through our councils we maintain and champion the creativity and vibrancy of disciplines and sector-specific priorities and communities. Our councils shape and deliver both sectoral and domain-specific support.
Whether through research council grants, quality-related block grants from Research England, or grants and wider support for innovative businesses from Innovate UK, we work with our stakeholders to understand the opportunities and requirements of all the different parts of the research and innovation landscape, maintaining the health, breadth and depth of the system.
How we receive funding
As part of the government’s Spending Review we submit an overview on how we plan to spend money to DSIT, which considers this within the department’s overall spending plan that goes on to HM Treasury.
The recommendations from HM Treasury goes to the Cabinet (including the Prime Minister and Chancellor) which decides how to allocate funding to government departments in line with government priorities. In addition to the Spending Reviews, the Treasury also designates research and innovation funding in the annual Budget, and sometimes in the Spring Statement or other ad hoc announcements.
In addition to the funding allocated directly to us from DSIT, UKRI also manages programmes on behalf of the department and delivers additional funding for other government departments.
How we allocate funding
We work collaboratively across our councils and communities to recommend to the DSIT Secretary of State the distribution of funding across UKRI that best supports the delivery of ambitions set out in our first five-year strategy, UKRI Strategy 2022-2027: Transforming tomorrow together.
We allocate funding for collective programmes and to each of our councils: the seven research councils, Research England, and Innovate UK. The core Innovate UK budget, which supports business-led innovation in all sectors, technologies and UK regions, is separate from the core budget for research councils and Research England.
For research councils and Research England we use the dual support model, where funding is allocated through:
- grants for individual research projects (through the research councils)
- block grants for research institutions (through Research England)
While project-specific funding can respond to new ideas and support national priorities, block grant funding supports institutions in providing a stable and flexible research environment through long-term strategic investment.
Last updated: 24 April 2023