STFC government relationships

The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) is part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), under the direction of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

BEIS is responsible for UK science policy and for funding basic research through the research councils.

Key facts

Parliament monitors and influences our work through its select committees and the Parliamentary Ombudsman. The select committees most relevant to STFC are:

A number of other parliamentary bodies take an interest in our work. They include:

  • Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST) – POST provides both Houses of Parliament with independent analysis of public policy issues related to science and technology. Its aim is to inform parliamentary debate
  • Parliamentary and Scientific Committee – this committee provides an interface between parliament and the scientific community with members from both Houses of Parliament and from not-for-profit scientific and technological organisations including STFC
  • Parliamentary Ombudsman (also known as the Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration) – carries out independent investigations into complaints about UK government departments and agencies such as the research councils with the aim of improving public services.

STFC also has close working relationships with the following bodies:

  • Science and Engineering Base Co-ordinating Committee – this committee addresses scientific and engineering issues that cross boundaries between government departments. It is chaired by the government’s Chief Scientific Adviser and includes representatives from the education departments, the Director General of the research councils, the executive chairs of the research councils, and the chief executives of the Higher Education Funding Councils
  • the Ministry of Defence (MoD) – STFC and the MoD often have a common interest in advanced technologies and we meet with them regularly to coordinate collaborative research
  • the Higher Education Funding Councils (HEFCE) – another source of funding for universities in their region. We work with them to coordinate support for scientific and technical research that’s relevant to our charter
  • The Regional Development Agencies – especially through their involvement in the science councils
  • Innovate UK – which was set up to drive forward the government’s Technology Strategy.

STFC also either works with or provides funding for:

  • The Department of Health and Social Care (DoH) – STFC’s concordat with the DHSC is a legacy agreement with PPARC, before STFC was formed, and was transferred when PPARC and CCLRC merged. The agreement declares that where there are complementary roles or an overlap of interests between the two organisations, they will mutually cooperate to take maximum advantage of respective skills and experience
  • UK Space Agency (UKSA)
  • Sensors Knowledge Transfer Network (Sensors KTN) – sponsored by STFC
  • Innovate UK Knowledge Transfer Partner – STFC is a participant in Innovate UK’s Knowledge Transfer Partnerships
  • Royal Society of Edinburgh.

Last updated: 7 December 2023

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