Legacy Council

Legacy Council comprised the Chair, the Executive Chair and Council members and it existed in parallel with the new UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) – Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) Council until the end of October 2018 to complete any legal matters relating to STFC prior to the establishment of UKRI on 1 April 2018.

Members were appointed by the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (UKRI’s then sponsor department).

The Council, formed in April 2007, was the governing body and its members were appointed by the Minister for Universities and Science.

The council was comprised of a combination of non-executive directors from academia and industry.

The Council’s terms of reference reflect its responsibility to the organisation, and its commitment to a more integrated approach to large facilities, including international negotiations; and to ensure that the STFC delivers its goals, upholds its responsibility towards its stakeholders, users, members of the public and staff of the organisation.

Role of Council and Executive


The Council of STFC agreed in its response to the Organisational Review of STFC to publish a statement on its role, and its interactions with the Executive. In preparing this statement, Council considered the recommendations of the Wakeham Review of Physics and the Report of the Organisational Review of STFC, and the views of the Department of Innovation, Universities and Skills (DBIS).


Council’s responsibilities are both general and specific, as follows:

Council has ultimate accountability for all aspects of the STFC’s affairs, and

Specific responsibility for the following:

Determining the overall direction of STFC, including formal approval of:

  • the STFC strategy (normally every three years and annually updated)
  • the 10 Year Financial Plan
  • the Asset Management Strategy
  • the Delivery and Operating Plans (annual) including Annual Departmental budgets (annual, plus variations thereto) and delegated authority
  • the Annual Report and Accounts (annual)
  • the Corporate Risk Register (quarterly)
  • approving OTF’s and financial submissions/reports to DBIS.

Providing oversight of the executive who will be responsible for delivery of the STFC mission.

Ensuring probity and efficiency of governance.

Ensuring that the peer-review processes are conducted effectively.

Overseeing high impact or high risk decisions, or both, for example: financial, reputational, programmatic and ensuring the overall balance of the STFC programme.

Overseeing key relationships with government, national and international partner organisations and the community.

Chair of Council

In addition, the Chair will have specific responsibilities in relation to identification of strategic priorities, interaction with DBIS, input and engagement with stakeholders and (with the CEO) staff recruitment and retention, as well as representational duties.

Advisory and Council Committee structures

In the discharge of its responsibility Council will be supported through a number of support and advisory structures reporting to it, including the:

Council will appoint the membership of the principal boards and committees.

Science Board will provide the STFC with a strategic scientific overview and assessment of, and science advice on, all of the programmes STFC supports. It is supported by advisory panels, peer review committees and other advisory committees.

Each lay Council member acts as the lead in one of the areas identified in paragraph 4.

Executive Board structure

Council will recruit and appoint the membership of the Executive Board, with the exception of the CEO who is appointed by the Secretary of State.

The CEO will be ultimately responsible to Council for the management of the organisation and the delivery of its mission. They have a specific responsibility for ensuring Council is fully and timely briefed on all relevant matters.

Among other things the Executive Board will be responsible for delivery of the following, within the strategic direction and guidance set by Council:

  • the science programme
  • international subscriptions and engagement
  • financial management and planning
  • the economic impact agenda
  • the campuses
  • outreach, external relations and communications.

The Executive Board will delegate the delivery of these functions as appropriate.

Role of Executive Board

The role of the Executive Board will be to:

  • support the STFC’s council
  • deliver STFC’s mission
  • develop proposals for Council outlining the organisation’s mid-to-long term strategic direction
  • implement effective financial (including CSR/SR bid) planning
  • implement robust and effective governance, including financial policy/procedures
    support and develop the appropriate advisory structures
  • oversee reputational & stakeholder relationship management, including with government
  • oversee effective succession planning and approve senior appointments
  • define and cascade appropriate organisational culture and ethos
  • have responsibility for the investment appraisal regime and to approve capital and revenue commitments under a threshold amount
  • make executive decisions on matters having a material impact on the organisation (including reputational, legal/ regulatory) within the delegated authority granted by Council
  • approve legal and regulatory compliance policies
  • approve HR policies


  • Professor Sir Michael Sterling FREng (Chair)
  • Professor Mark Thomson (Exec Chair)
  • Gill Ball OBE
  • Professor David Price FGS
  • Ian Taylor
  • Professor Carole Mundell
  • Professor Richard Kenway
  • Professor Tony Ryan
  • Professor Karen Holford

Register of interests

Each member of the Council is required to declare any personal or business interest direct or indirect, monetary or non-monetary that may conceivably conflict with the interest of the STFC (the areas include; university; industry; other government departments; other interests).

Michael Sterling

  • university interest: Retired Vice-Chancellor of the University of Birmingham and Brunel University
  • other: Council member of the Foundation for Science and Technology; Consultant to GEIDCO (Global Energy Interconnection Development & Cooperation Organisation) Beijing, China.

Brian Bowsher

  • other: Member of International Advisory Board of NIM, China; Member, Board of Directors for Diamond Light Source.

Gill Ball

  • university interest: Director of Finance at University of Birmingham until 31 December 2014. University of Birmingham is a recipient of STFC funding.

Ian Taylor

  • commercial interest: Chair, UK Innovation & Science Seed Fund (formerly Rainbow Seed Fund) Advisory Board; member of Inmarsat plc Strategic Advisory Board; Chair, Living PlanIT SA.
  • other: Council Member, Campaign for Science & Engineering; Chair, fundraising committee of British Society for Research on Ageing; Trustee of Lunar Mission One; Chair, National Space Academy Steering Group.

David Price

  • university interest: Vice-Provost, UCL; European Research Universities (Co-convenor of the committee of ‘Vice-Rectors’ of Research of the League).
  • Other: Chair of Governors, University College London Academy, Camden.

Richard Worswick

  • commercial interest: Chair, Cobalt Light Systems Ltd.
  • other: Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Jordan Nash

  • university interest: Imperial College London. Recipient of STFC grants, Head of Department in receipt of STFC grants.
  • other government department: Board member of the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation.

Carole Mundell

  • university interest: Head of the Department of Physics at the University of Bath.
  • commercial interest: Lumini Ltd.
  • other: University of Bath membership of: UK-LSST Consortium & CTA Consortium; Lead of sub-work package for ESA XIPE mission; individual membership of LSST-US pending; Onsala Space Observatory Board; USKA Operations review Panel; UK SKA Programme Board.

Richard Kenway

  • university interest: Vice-Principle/Professor University of Edinburgh; Director of UoE HPCX Ltd – wholly owned subsidiary of University of Edinburgh; holder of STFC grants and member of DIRAC Project Management Board, member of Board of Directors of the Scottish Universities’ Physics Alliance (SUPA); family member employed by UCL.
  • commercial interest: Director, Turing Innovations Ltd – wholly owned subsidiary of Alan Turing Institute; family member employed by ThinkTank Maths Ltd.
  • other government department: Member, e-Infrastructure Leadership Council.
  • other: Trustee, Alan Turing Institute; Member of Advisory Boards for Hartree Centre, Higgs Centre of Innovation, Irish centre for High End Computing.

Gerard Connell

  • commercial interest: Independent Director at the Nuclear Decommissioning Fund Company Ltd.
  • other government department: Non-Executive Director and Chair of Audit at the Defence Science & Technology Laboratory and at the Financial Ombudsman Service, Non-executive Director at the Land Registry.

Anthony Ryan

  • university interest: The University of Sheffield.
  • commercial interest: Non-Executive Director of Farapack Polymers Ltd.
  • other: Trustee of the High Polyler Research Group (registered charity 206902).

Karen Holford

  • university interest: Deputy Vice-Chancellor – Cardiff University.
  • commercial interest: Director – Compound Semiconductor Centre Ltd.
  • other: EPSRC SAN; Royal Academy of Engineering Research Committee.

Last updated: 17 August 2023

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